Christian LeBlanc (CBS)

“What’s been wonderful with what they did with Michael, who I think is the best constructed character on the show, is that they didn’t let any of the past go away. Nor do I let it go, either.” recently sat down to chat with The Young and the Restless star Christian LeBlanc, who plays prominent Genoa City lawyer Michael Baldwin. Read on as Christian gets candid about the possibility of a Michael Baldwin/Vance Abrams showdown, the current status of the Fenmore-Baldwin marriage, Michael’s evolution from rapist to overall good guy, and much more! Michael Baldwin has been the number one lawyer in Genoa City for quite some time, but now we’ve been introduced to hot shot attorney Vance Abrams, played by Eric Roberts. Any chance of a Baldwin/Abrams showdown in the near future?

Christian: Yes! I think so. There was a point for Michael where the next step would have been him defending himself against himself. But now we’ve got Rafe [Yani Gellman] and we’ve got Heather [Eden Riegel]. We’ve got more lawyers, which for Michael, to be the hot shot, it’s so much more interesting to be threatened. We do know that in the few scenes I’ve had together with Eric, Michael and Vance know each other by reputation. It’ll be very interesting if there is a showdown. I keep hearing whispers of it but I don’t know for sure. I think it’d be great to see more of Christian LeBlanc and Eric Roberts together onscreen.

Christian: This is Eric Roberts! This is “Pope of Greenwich Village.” Eric is the one man I stalk on set without saying anything. Thank God he’s not a very fearful person. [chuckles] His beautiful wife is on set all the time and I just watch him. This is a brilliant, brilliant actor. If I get to go up against him in court or in any kind of high-stakes scene, I would be so thrilled. You want to play tennis with people who are better than you, and they make you good. Michelle Stafford does that to me all the time with Phyllis’ character. I’m lucky on the show to have people who are top notch. A real actor wants to improve and get better, to get challenged and to grow. Then they throw someone like Eric Roberts in the mix! If the writers don’t put us in a big thing, you don’t think I’m dropping notes into their mailboxes like, “Hey, wouldn’t this be great?” I’ve heard rumors and it would be amazing, but I don’t have anything in script form yet. I could see this leading to a fourth Emmy for Mr. Christian LeBlanc…

Christian: Oh, I am not above using Eric Roberts to claw my way to the middle! [laughs] Hey, the Emmys are about putting your best work forward. My others come from me like a remora, glomming onto Greg Rikaart’s [Kevin Fisher] performance, and then onto Tracey [Bregman, Lauren Fenmore]. I have the hot wife on the show. I’m not above using any of these people to make a great scene. And the Christmas show? It was great. I remember a reviewer saying, “All he really did was walk into rooms and react.” Well, that’s the definition of acting. I got to walk into rooms on that particular show, with Michelle Stafford doing these amazing characters, and Tracey doing old Lauren from back in the day when she was such a bitch! It was a really tweaked show where all I did was pass from one scene to the next and react to these really riveting performances, partly because I’d never seen these characters in this light. I mean, Greg in the insane asylum? C’mon! Give me the Emmy. Just give it to me, for God’s sake! [laughs] Looking at the way Lauren’s been dealing with Jill lately, it seems that the witchiness has resurfaced. Family wise, there hasn’t been a lot going on between Michael and Lauren. How do you feel Michael sees his current marriage situation?

Christian: There’s stuff coming up where Tracey gets back some of this kind of craziness, thank God. Nobody wants to be sweet, who wants to watch that forever? And it’s legitimate because she was that character. What’s great about Lauren and Michael is that they’ve never let their horrible pasts go away completely. That’s part of why they’re a couple, because they understand each other like no one else would understand ex-homicidal maniacs. [laughs] It’s interesting. The family dynamic comes back in a little while, and I do miss that. There’s nothing like sitting down at dinner with the Baldwin-Fishers. There’s some of it coming back, around the holidays. There’s stuff that comes up where Lauren really forces the people around her to deal with what she’s going through. We get to make these scenes where you get a real marriage. You don’t get the “sweetie” and “pumpkin” all the time. You can’t be in love unless you see love at risk. That’s what makes a love affair. It’s what you surmount together, especially as adults. That’s the great thing with Lauren and Michael, is that they were adults who fell in love, knowing all the kinds of things they were getting into. On a personal level, are you enjoying the slowdown in your storyline ever since the whole Lauren/clone piece ended?

Christian: I always pitch to the show the spinoff series, “Michael Baldwin’s Young and the Restless.” That’s pretty much when they usher me out of the third floor at CBS. [laughs] More is better, as far as I’m concerned, and most is best. But it’s also a cyclical thing. Nobody could maintain five days a week, or you’d go crazy. There’s plenty to fill in the in-between times. It’s funny, because it doesn’t feel like I’ve had much of a vacation! But it’s the nature of an actor to want more. I want more storyline, I want more of everything. I’m killing to work with Maura [West, Diane Jenkins] and Billy Miller [Billy Abbott], and Liz Hendrickson [Chloe Mitchell]. The one great thing about being a lawyer is it’s portable. I get to do other people’s storylines while they’re having their emotional breakdowns. I enjoy doing other things. I have a gallery show coming up, and publishing. All this other stuff coming up, and I love that. But I’m an actor first, and I’m a greedy one, too. I want more. I want more storyline. Get out of my way. Who are you? [chuckles]