When news first broke that The Young and the Restless had recast the role of Adam Newman last year, fans of the CBS soap opera were skeptical. After all, two very popular actors had previously played the character (Michael Muhney and This Is Us star Justin Hartley) and both were tough acts to follow. However, fans were pleasantly surprised to find that as soon as Mark Grossman stepped into the shoes of Adam, he owned them. Like a boss.
With so many positive reviews of the actor's talent pouring in over the last year, it's no surprise that he's landed an Outstanding Supporting Actor Daytime Emmy nomination. Soap Central caught up with Grossman to find out how he feels about the groundswell of love, what it's like to receive his first nomination, and his thoughts on this very exciting time for soap operas.
Soap Central: Congratulations on your Emmy nomination!
Mark Grossman: Thank you so much. This is all really nice. It's all new to me, and it's really, really nice to be nominated.
Soap Central: Does receiving a nomination feel anything like you imagined it would?
Grossman: It's kind of hard to take in, honestly. Being my first year in daytime and taking on a role like this and then to get nominated, I'm kind of at a loss for words. It just feels so nice. It's always nice to be acknowledged. I feel really lucky that Y&R gave me this opportunity to play the role.
Soap Central: How did you find out that you'd been nominated?
Grossman: Well, I was at home, and Matt Kane [our publicist] from the show actually called me and told me. I just was like, "Wow, that's crazy." Because I knew that they were going to announce the nominations on The Talk, but I totally forgot that the show airs on the East Coast way before! So, he called me and told me, and I was just at a loss for words. It's really nice. Really nice.
Soap Central: Did you immediately call any friends or family to share the news?
Grossman: Yeah, I called my dad. He was really proud, and he's still on a buzz from me getting the job and being on the show, so for him to hear this, that I got nominated, he's just beside himself. He's just a very, very proud father. And my mom is happy, as well. They're really proud. And my extended family is also really excited.
Soap Central: I'll bet it's a whirlwind for everyone, including you. I mean, you land this awesome job, and it's go, go, go on a soap opera, and then to get an Emmy nomination right out the gate? Does it feel very surreal?
Grossman: It does, yeah. It's been quite a year. I had never done daytime before, and then I took on this huge role that had been played by previous actors that were so great. It really was quite a year with a steep learning curve and just getting used to the amount of material and the pace of a soap. It was a steep learning curve. But I just feel so lucky that they cast me. Everybody at Y&R has been wonderful, and the cast has really helped me along the way and welcomed me. It's just crazy -- this whole last year has been wild, and I feel really grateful that Sony and CBS gave me the opportunity to take on the role.
Soap Central: Have you been in contact with any of the other stars from your show who have been nominated?
Grossman: Yeah, I haven't gotten a chance to talk with Bryton [James, Devon Hamilton] or Christel [Khalil, Lily Winters] or Sasha [Calle, Lola Rosales] directly, but a lot of cast mates have reached out to me, and Tony Morina, our EP, and Josh Griffith, the head writer, and some other directors and producers have texted me and emailed me. They've all been so nice, and I've heard from a lot of the other cast, which has been nice. And also friends that saw it online have reached out, which feels really nice. A lot of love! And I'm really glad that a lot of other people from Y&R were nominated. It's a great group of people.
Soap Central: This is the time of year when everyone's phones melt! All of the messages that come through just blow your devices to smithereens.
Grossman: Yeah, I mean, again, it's new for me, but it is really nice to get text messages and emails from people congratulating me. It's really nice. But yes, the phone has been busy!
Soap Central: What scenes did you end up choosing for your submission reel?
Grossman: I used three scenes -- two scenes with me and Mr. Braeden [Eric, Victor Newman] and another scene with me and Sharon [Case, Sharon Newman]. And later, when I submitted it, I realized that a lot of actors submitted reels that are close to ten minutes long, and I think mine was under five minutes. So, I was like, "Oh, man, maybe I should have submitted some more scenes!" [Laughs] Because, really, I was lucky to work a lot last year, and I had a lot of material to choose from. But I just decided to use those three scenes, and being my first time competing, I chose to go with just those three scenes.
Soap Central: Well, obviously it worked, because here you are with the nomination!
Grossman: Yeah, it's nice! [Laughs]
Soap Central: I think the voters appreciate brevity, anyway. Just show the power of what you can do and leave it at that!
Grossman: Yeah, I agree, and I think maybe that's why I decided to just make it short and to the point and not kind of put a bunch of different scenes in there. I picked some that were strong and kept it short and sweet.
Soap Central: So, what were the storylines for the scenes you submitted?
Grossman: I submitted one when Adam thinks that Victor was the one that ran him over out on the road when it turned out actually to be Billy [Jason Thompson], and Adam comes storming into the ranch and they have a big confrontation. And then I submitted a scene with Sharon when I think Adam proposed to her and wanted to get married. It was in the penthouse with me and Sharon before I basically said goodbye to Sharon because Adam wanted to get married, and they just weren't on the same page. And I also submitted one when Adam finds out that Victor is actually alive, and right before he takes off to Vegas, they have a big set in the ranch and things get emotional.
Soap Central: You chose scenes with two very talented, legendary actors: Eric Braeden and Sharon Case. And that is good for your reel, as well. If people see you holding your own against them, how can they not think you're great?! So, what is it like working with them? Do you ever feel intimidated?
Grossman: Oh, for sure! They're like legends in daytime. Mr. Braeden just celebrated 40 years [at Y&R], which is incredible. Coming on the show and knowing that I'm going to be playing his son and being in scenes with him was extremely intimidating, but Mr. Braeden has been great. He has been so great to me; he has been like a mentor to me. I love when I get to work with him. He's so grounded, and whenever I get to do scenes with him, it just kind of brings everything down, and I love it. It's an honor to work with him. And Sharon, I mean, she's amazing. When I auditioned for the show, I read with Sharon. She was the first cast member that I started working with, and she really has been a rock for me, and she helped me so much, getting into daytime. She's been there with me the whole time, helping me, and she's amazing. She's a great actress, and I love watching her.
Soap Central: As you mentioned, you had so much material, so was it hard for you to narrow down the scenes for your reel, or did you know instinctively what you were going to choose?
Grossman: In my head, I kind of had some scenes that I thought and felt were good for me. Whether or not the audience read them as "good scenes" or not, I don't know, but I just felt me as an actor got somewhere where I wanted to go, or I just felt that the scene was authentic. So, again, what I was saying with Mr. Braeden, I've always enjoyed working with him, and I think I've done some of my better work in scenes with Mr. Braeden. So, I think the scenes that I submitted were ones where I felt like they were good scenes for me personally as an actor. It's kind of hard to say -- there have been a lot of scenes. I've had quite a load since I've started! [Laughs]
Soap Central: Yes, that is an understatement! So, how do you feel about the other actors who are in your category?
Grossman: In the Supporting category, Bryton is an amazing actor and such a great guy. I think he's been on the show for like 15 years, and I love Bryton. As far as the other people in the category, Paul [Telfer, Xander Kiriakis], who's from Days of our Lives, and Wally Kurth [Justin Kiriakis, DAYS], and then James Patrick Stuart [Valentin Cassadine] from General Hospital, and [Chandler Massey, Will Horton, DAYS] -- I've never met them, and unfortunately, I haven't had a ton of time and haven't been able to watch a lot of their work, because I've been so busy with our show, but I'm just happy to be nominated with all of these people who have been in daytime for quite a while.
Soap Central: How do you feel about the ceremony being televised? I know it's your first year, but this is such a big deal in the soap world that fans have been clamoring for for so long!
Grossman: Yeah, it's amazing that it's going to be aired in primetime. I think it's great. I've never been to a ceremony before, so my first instinct is being nominated, it's a little less nerve-wracking if you do win and you have to give a speech; it's a little less stressful if you get to do it at home on a Zoom and not in a big auditorium in front of a lot of people! [Laughs] But I think it's amazing that they're going to air it in primetime. I think it's great for the daytime community, and especially being on CBS, our network, that's amazing! And on ABC they even had a primetime special the other night, The Story of Soaps, so it's just nice to see this daytime stuff aired in primetime. It's just good for the community.
Soap Central: There has been such a resurgence for soaps lately, and I think it's driven a bit by nostalgia and comfort and partially because they've gone out of production and people are realizing like, "Wait a minute, we love our soaps! Don't take them away!"
Grossman: The pandemic is very unfortunate, obviously, but who knows -- maybe there are a lot more people at home that are watching soaps, and they are falling in love with them all over again. Or now that new episodes aren't airing, they're like, "I want my soaps!" [Laughs] We're very eager to get back to work, and we can't wait until we can continue with the storylines again.
Soap Central: How have you been spending your time in quarantine? Some people are relaxing and watching Netflix, others are baking artisan bread. Where are you landing on the spectrum?
Grossman: Oh, man, I try to stay away from the bread! [Laughs] I haven't been doing much, really. I've been trying to get outside and just stay active and exercise here and there. I've also been staying in touch with family and friends. Obviously, there's not a whole lot that we can do. That's pretty much it, just taking it a day at a time and hoping we can get back to work soon. But now, being home, it's a good time to catch up on some things that you put off for a long time. So, just trying to make the best of it!
Soap Central: Is there anything else that you'd like to add before I let you go?
Grossman: Just that it feels very nice to be nominated. I'm very proud to be a part of The Young and the Restless and proud to be a part of the daytime community.
What do you think about Mark Grossman receiving a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for his work as Y&R's Adam Newman? Do you think the actor will take home the gold this year? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.