The Young and the Restless' Nate Hastings isn't in an enviable position. Just as he was about to make a very important jump from the medical world to the business world as a new employee at Newman Locke, he was confronted with the possibility that his pal and potential new employer, Ashland (Robert Newman), has been faking his cancer diagnosis. This week, Nate finds evidence that proves his so-called "friend" really has been deceiving everyone, and what the doctor chooses to do with that information could change the course of his life forever.
As Nate gears up to go head to head with Ashland, Soap Central spoke with the character's portrayer, Sean Dominic, to get the scoop. How will Nate react to being manipulated and lied to by his friend? What will the former surgeon do with the damning information he has on Ashland? Will this explosive situation derail Nate's plan to switch careers? And how will all this drama affect the character's relationship with Elena (Brytni Sarpy)? Keep reading to find out!
Soap Central: Poor Nate! It would be such an awful feeling to suspect that a friend has been lying to you.
Sean Dominic: Yeah, it's that place where you're not sure. You're thinking, "Okay, could he have possibly done this?" At this point, Nate doesn't want to believe it, but could it be true? Could he have been hoodwinked?
Soap Central: That feeling will escalate this week after Nate comes into possession of evidence that proves Ashland has, indeed, been lying. How does Nate procure this evidence? Is it through Victor [Eric Braeden] and Michael [Christian LeBlanc]?
Dominic: Nate does a little digging of his own, because even though Victor seems honor-worthy in this instance, he knows that Victor is always about himself and his family, and sometimes he can skew things to make the outcome benefit himself and his family. So, I think this is something that Nate really has to see for himself.
Soap Central: Nate decides to confront Ashland with this damning information. Is he at all intimidated by Ashland or intimidated by the hornets' nest that he is potentially walking into with this information?
Dominic: I don't think Nate is intimidated by Ashland. I think Nate lives by a system of honor and trust, and he's ethical, so, if he saw that all of these were lies, even if you're a billionaire, he's willing to come at you. I don't think he's intimidated at all.
Soap Central: That takes some guts! Both Ashland and Victor are very powerful and formidable men, and they have the ability to destroy people's lives! He doesn't worry about that at all?
Dominic: Well, I think if Nate didn't have Victor on his side, he would probably be a little more careful or nervous about it, but knowing that this is something that could help Victor and Victoria [Amelia Heinle], he's [willing to go there]. And it helps to have a billionaire cousin! [Laughs] He can fight, as well, so I don't think he's worried. It might be different if Victor wasn't behind the scenes with Nate.
Soap Central: How does Nate feel about potentially being deceived by Ashland, who has actually been his friend for a while now? I mean, Nate stood up for Ashland at his wedding, and Nate also has this job offer to potentially work for Ashland! So, how does he feel about having been manipulated and deceived?
Dominic: At this moment, Nate doesn't want to believe it because it calls into question his judgment of character. He thinks, "Am I a good judge of character? I thought this guy was a good friend. Out of all the quality stuff I've done in my life -- I went to a great school, I had a great mother, a great family, a great partner, and I'm doing great things in Genoa City, and I need to make friends and have acquaintances besides my family -- but I brought a guy into my pool, and he could be an absolute wolf in sheep's clothing." It makes you second guess everything you've ever done in your life.
Soap Central: Does this also make Nate second-guess this potential move from medicine to the business world? Because the business world is full of sharks -- especially in Genoa City!
Dominic: Yeah, I think Nate is second-guessing everything right now! [Laughs] He's really wondering if this is a good move. But putting myself in Nate's shoes, it's still a good problem to have; he got approached by three people to join their companies. So, it's not necessarily a bad problem, but it could affect his career down the road if he ended up wanting to stay in medicine or stay working in the hospital.
Soap Central: How do you feel about Nate exploring a career change? I think many people out there dream of the idea but are very scared about switching careers mid-life, so it's nice to see him weighing the consequences of this big decision.
Dominic: I can relate because I myself changed career paths to become an actor, and I didn't do it very early in life, either! It's scary, especially for Nate, because all of his life, he wanted to be a surgeon; there was nothing else to think about. And now, to take on this new venture, it's good that his friends offered this venture to help ease the transition, but I think it's nerve-wracking. You question how good you can actually be, because you understand what it takes to be a great surgeon, but now, in the business world, you are years behind everybody -- years!
Soap Central: Obviously he's leaving the medical world because he can't perform surgery anymore, but why do you think he was attracted to the corporate world? Was it just because that's where the offers came from, or do you think Nate really wants to get into business?
Dominic: I think Nate is tired of the paperwork at the hospital. It's not what he signed up for. Now, he's watching his counterparts do surgery and watching others in the hospital growing and loving their lives, and he's like, "Ah, man. It's cool to talk to all these patients," but he can't do anything anymore; he can't do what he felt like he was put on this planet to do. So, it's tempting to get into the business world, because it'll be a new challenge, something he's never thought of, and it could bring joy to his life. Because I don't think that being chief of surgery is actually bringing him any joy.
Soap Central: And it's a bonus that the storyline puts you even more in the orbit of the big boys like Victor and Ashland! What has it been like working with veterans Eric Braeden and Robert Newman?
Dominic: Working with Eric, he's a comedian on set, so I have to be careful not to get caught up in a laughing fit! He is always cracking jokes right before we tape. [Laughs] And I also love working with Robert. There's an intensity about him that he brings to the character, and as an actor, he's always available. When I have scenes with him, he gives his full availability, and that means a lot as an actor, because he gives me a lot.
Soap Central: What was it like for you to say goodbye to the character's former portrayer, Richard Burgi, and then welcome Robert Newman? Because that changed the dynamic a little bit of the friendship between Nate and Ashland.
Dominic: Richard was my buddy; he was my dude. And when someone leaves, you don't want to like the next person that steps into their shoes, but in my first scene with Robert, I was like, "Argh, okay, I like this guy!" [Laughs] But they are both great guys in their own rights.
Soap Central: Fortunately Nate and Elena seem solid right now, but it can be quite stressful in a relationship to have a partner who is going through major life changes like switching careers, and Nate is also getting caught up in this Ashland drama, so can you tease whether or not this will have an effect on Nate and Elena's relationship?
Dominic: It will most definitely have an effect... This is uncertain territory because she takes her work seriously, as well, and it could affect her reputation if Nate's reputation goes into the tank. So, yes, it could have an effect on their relationship.
Soap Central: What is like working with Brytni Sarpy? She is so loved by everybody!
Dominic: I know! Her and her "Elvon" fans, oh, my gosh! But I love working with Brytni. That's my dog. That's my dog. We have a great time. We're very professional, but we do crack jokes. And that's all you want: someone who is professional and can be real and not be standoffish after you're done filming.
Soap Central: You and Bryton James [Devon] and Christel Khalil [Lily Winters] are the new generation of two of Y&R's legacy families, the Winters and the Hastings. You follow in the footsteps of great actors [the late Kristoff St. John as Neil Winters, Victoria Rowell as Drucilla Winters, Tonya Lee Williams as Olivia Hastings, Nathan Purdee as Nathan Hastings, and Shemar Moore as Malcolm Winters]. Do you think much about the responsibility of carrying that torch, or have you discussed this with your castmates?
Dominic: We haven't really discussed carrying the torch, but I saw a couple of friends write that looks-wise, I kind of reminded them of Kristoff, and that put things into perspective for me. If we can get that front burner story, the Winters and the Hastings families battling the other major billionaires in Genoa City, that would be amazing. I think that would put a stamp on the Winters/Hastings family.
Soap Central: It seems like there's potential for it to go in that direction, with Nate possibly getting into the business world now. Lily is already there, Devon is there, so the canvas is ripe for this!
Dominic: And if Nate gets into the business world, oh, my gosh, watch out, Genoa City! He's gonna take over. Let's see what happens in the next couple of weeks.
What do you think about our interview with Sean Dominic? Do you think Nate should make the switch from medicine to business? How do you feel about the direction the writers have taken Ashland's storyline, and how would you like to see Nate deal with his friend and his friend's deception? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.