Michael & Sharon (Judy Eddy/WENN.com)

“It’s almost like petting a snake. You just don’t know with Adam.”

Soaps.com recently sat down to chat with “The Young and the Restless” star Michael Muhney, who plays the “black sheep” Adam Newman in Genoa City’s most infamous family. In Part I of this Soaps.com exclusive, Michael goes in-depth as he explores Adam’s feelings about his dastardly deeds, where Adam fits into the Newman family, the truth behind Adam’s feelings for Sharon, and much more!

Soaps.com: From forgery to baby-stealing, Adam’s developed quite the rap sheet since showing up in Genoa City. How does he feel about the dastardly deeds he’s committed in the past couple of years?

Michael: When I came in and took the reins of Adam, things were already underway that were sending him in a different path than we ultimately ended up taking him. I knew I was going to come in and have to dive into a sh*t storm with no proper gear or protection. My goal was to work my way through the tornado into the calm center. I was quickly able to get to the eye of the storm and got to have some control over what Adam was doing. The horrible missteps of sending Ashley [Eileen Davidson] down the stairs really tore into Adam’s psyche. He felt really guilty and it became a “two wrongs attempting to make a right” situation, trying to find a way to give Ashley a baby. Of course, that opened up Pandora’s Box from that point on.

Soaps.com: Take us through the evolution of Adam Newman, from then to now.

Michael: Adam was introduced to the show as Hope’s [Signy Coleman] son, a good guy from Kansas. To swing in the opposite direction and have Adam do some cruel and manipulative things, that took everyone by surprise. But after going from the extreme right to the extreme left, you kind of want to find that chewy center, and that’s where I’m most comfortable playing the character. To create that grey area. There’s no black and there’s no white. It’s always so much fun seeing fans’ reactions to things they think are going to happen. But consistently, there’s this universal truth that Adam is unpredictable.

Soaps.com: If someone would have told me two years ago that I’d end up rooting for Adam, I’d have called them a liar.

Michael: I’m so grateful for that kind of sentiment, which is what a lot of people have. I remember what it was like when the character was pitched to me two years ago. I felt like I was walking around with this dirty little secret. [chuckles] I always knew that there would be a contingent of haters, and people who would shut their minds out to Adam, but that there’d also be this large group who would grow with the character. I had never done a soap but this was the reason I agreed to do it. This particular character made me think that I could have a large impact and bring the audience somewhere they never saw themselves going. I really appreciate the compliments, and not to be cliche, but it’s like “the dream coming true.” I had a dream to make this happen, and for it to come to fruition, is most satisfying.

Soaps.com: Family wise, Adam’s often been viewed as the “black sheep” of the Newman clan. Is this an accurate statement, or does Adam have more positive feelings toward his family than meet the eye?

Michael: It’s interesting. Adam is reactive but also creates action. Is he going to be reactive to the way his family treats him or is he going to make the first move to bridge any gaps between them? I think it’s an organic thing that will happen over time.

Soaps.com: Do you see the character eventually becoming closer to his siblings or does he remain the outsider?

Michael: I have it sort of plotted in my head, that moment where Adam and his siblings have a moment of humanity where they go, “Why have we truly hated each other for as long as we have?” But that being said, I think his relationship with Victor [Eric Braeden] is more important than his relationships with his siblings.