Christine and Christian at ReelWorld (Soaps.com)

While attending Tonya Lee William’s ReelWorld Foundation fundraiser in Toronto recently, Soaps.com was able to sit down with the event’s special guest, Christian Jules LeBlanc (Michael Baldwin) for a very enjoyable chat! Christian remembered our own Christine Fix from the Soap Cruise in 2007, so after some funny cruise stories and much laughter (Christian is a very witty personality and just full of energy), we settled down to talk. Before we even got to ask a question, Christian revealed that he is a huge fan of genealogy, and recently traced his family’s origins in New Orleans!

Soaps.com: Obviously, you are a friend of Tonya Lee’s (ex-Olivia, Y&R), but can you tell us how you came to be involved with this fundraising event, and your thoughts on Tonya Lee’s work with ReelWorld?

Christian: Tonya called me up. Tonya’s been off the show for a while and has been very busy. You know she founded this film festival seven years ago now. I’ve always known Tonya to be a real ‘doer’, someone who puts their money where their mouth is. It’s so impressive what she does up here. She called me and let me know that this fundraiser was happening up here, and I said, “Well, I’m in New Orleans! I’ll just shimmy up there in the snow!” We share the same agent in Los Angeles, so we brush up against each other every now and then, even though she’s way up here!

Soaps.com: Have you ever attended the film festival?

Christian: I’ve never been to the actual film festival. They just sent me the book and I’m stunned at how amazing it is! I produced my own short film too, and did the circuit, so I know what it’s like. Reading the program for the film festival this year, it’s the workshops I like so much because now everything’s digital and it’s opening up from when my film came out – but we won – L.A. Short Film Festival, New York Short Film Festival – it really did well! But it’s exciting to be out there and see this kind of stuff – the big networks don’t get it all! The studios don’t get it all! These venues, like Tonya’s film festival, all of them, are just so exciting to see – all the new ideas! You’ve got to winnow through it – there’s a lot to see, but you know, I’m one of those huge fans of foreign and independent films and it’s amazing to hear how many voices are out there that you really don’t get through the major studios. There are much more now, much more egalitarian, much more eclectic groups coming. There’s still things like the Oscars but on the film festival circuit, you get such a taste, and it’s so exciting you can be an actor, or someone who makes films and there’s such a huge, huge body of work out there, and you know, creativity feeds off creativity. It brings so many people together, these festivals, and that’s the exciting part of it! You know, when somebody can find a voice that relates to them. It’s a great networking thing too, the people I’ve met and the things I’ve learned, like I said in the workshops, and from the other people who are interested in film. It’s like Disneyland for people in the business!

Soaps.com: Do you have any upcoming projects?

Christian: My upcoming project is a visual arts thing. I’ve been asked to be in a Gallery show in my hometown of New Orleans. I draw.

Soaps.com: And your children’s book?

Christian: Still working on that. I never studied art or writing, this actually comes from being an unemployed actor – you get very creative when you’re unemployed! But I would do gifts for people, and the writing is coming from stories I did, I would do public readings of the stories. My art is now on the Internet, it’s very exciting! We give it to charities and auction it off. I have to thank Charles Reilly, during the Emmy Awards one year, and Julie Harris was responsible too – I did plays with her. These people, who were so instrumental in my acting, were like, “What are you doing? This is good, this art work – get to work!” Because, being in the business, you get creative people who responded to it, which really excited me. You know someone like Charles Reilly or Julie Harris – they’ve got the only few pieces of original art of mine now that I’ve given out. This translates to your hometown – I did the Mardi Gras poster for New Orleans, one year I designed it, so this is from someone who’s like, “Yeah, I doodle nicely!” When you find people who are encouraging to you, and venues for your creativity, well, you’re excited! Someone basically comes up to you and says, “You can do this!” And that’s what this all feels like – where we empower one another to express ourselves.

Soaps.com: I have a four-year old. Is he going to enjoy your book?

Christian: The book, I like to say, is like “Alice in Wonderland” for Cajuns. It’s a magical book. It’s like “Wind in the Willows”. I wanted a complicated text – I didn’t want to talk down to kids. I wanted a beautiful language, like “Wind in the Willows” was for me, which is Old English. It’s called a ‘read-to’ – what an adult will get from it will be different than what children will get. (Christine asks about one of her favorites, Harry Potter) I purposely don’t read Harry Potter because I will steal, and I admit it, I will steal stuff! Thank God I can go see the movie and forget the dialogue!