Michael Damian has reprised his role as Danny Romalotti on The Young and the Restless, which the actor reports will be vastly different than his previous returns in recent years.
"I'm usually brought in for anniversaries or parties or big events like that, so this is the first time in a long while that it's just Danny visiting Genoa City for no other reason than to see his family," Damian said in an interview with Soap Opera Digest. "Last time, I had scenes with Lauralee (Bell, Christine Blair) where Danny and Cricket talked about old times but it was a little awkward for them. She was still with Paul, and Danny could tell she was a little uncomfortable talking to him," the actor recalled. "Then she gave him the ride to the airport and we never knew what they talked about during that drive. So Josh (Griffith, Y&R's co-executive producer/head writer) created a nice little setup to come back to."
Returning to Y&R boiled down to timing for Damian. He's been a busy movie producer and director for years. "When I'm in the middle of making a movie, I'm usually in another country so it's pretty hard for me to get away," the actor explained. "I was in Paris and New York all this summer finishing up with directing Paris Christmas Waltz, and now that we're in post-production, I have a lot more flexibility. So I had a nice block of time to devote to Y&R."
Damian appreciated the positive response from fans regarding the news of his return. "I've gotten tremendous reaction on social media," he revealed. "The fans have been posting some clips from the past that I'd forgotten all about, like when Danny just finished making the bed and Cricket comes out wearing sexy lingerie, or when they were in the kitchen cooking Italian food for a dinner party. The fans are really excited about this, which is very touching to me," Damian said.
Damian explained that before any scenes with Bell were taped, he first worked with Michael Graziadei (Daniel Romalotti Jr.) and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis Summers). "I just love those two and it's always very special for me to be reunited with them," he admitted. "It's always fun with Michelle and I love our little banter every time. And Michael Graziadei, that's my boy. I've loved him since we first started working together years ago. I have to say that the Danny/Phyllis/Daniel scenes are pretty exceptional right out of the gate."
Danny might be a popular musician, but Damien has no idea if viewers will get an opportunity to see that side of Danny. "The show asked me to brush up on my piano, so I've been practicing a lot," he said with a chuckle. The actor/singer also confessed that he was on board for crooning if asked. "Are you kidding? I'm ready to go!" Damian declared.
The actor is most looking forward to kicking off the latest chapter with Danny and Christine. "I think the fans are really going to enjoy this," Damien said with a smile. "The writers are keeping it real with all of that history and the great story that can go along with it. The fans have been on this rollercoaster ride with Danny and Cricket for a long time so I think they'll be treated to some good story. And things have been really fun and harmonious behind the camera since I got there. The people have been wonderful and the scripts are excellent," he teased. Damian is confident that this time around, they would be getting back to Danny and Cricket having fun.
Damian conceded that Cricket and Phyllis' dynamic remains unchanged since Phyllis still refers to Cricket as "the Bug." "Phyllis is not going to like Danny and Cricket [spending time with each other] and Phyllis is in rehabilitation mode where she's trying to be a good person now and I'm like, 'Okay, let's see it.' It's very interesting dynamics. Phyllis is like, 'Oh, my God, you're still not over her! So, it's kind of fun."
Damian promised that he would be up for more appearances when the current story arc concluded. "Y&R is my other family," he explained. "It's the home that I love visiting whenever I can."
For now, Damian is just looking forward to what's coming up. "I think there's a lot of story that's going to unfold," he revealed. "Believe me, I've been reading all the texts and tweets from fans and they're asking a lot of questions and they've been waiting a long time for this. So, they've been the most patient. God, I love them," the actor concluded.
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