In 2009 Yanni Gellman's boyishly-handsome face was splashed all over the pages of the gay press and online blogs (like this one) once it was spoiled Rafe Torres, the earnest, young attorney he portrays on daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless, was set to be involved in a gay storyline on the sudser. Now it's primetime Gellman hopes to make his mark on.
On tonight's episode of ABC Family's hit dramedy Greek (10/9c), Gellman reprises the role of Pete, a nice, rich kid frat boy, who sparked an attraction with Ashleigh (Amber Stevens) in last week's installment of the serial. I recently caught up with Gellman, who shares what it's like woring with Stevens, as well as fellow daytime alum Spencer Grammer (ex-Lucy, As The World Turns), who plays Casey on the college soap. We also talk about his controversial Y&R storyline, and whether or not Rafe still has feelings for the dastardly Adam Newman (Michael Muhney).
Daytime Confidential: Tell me about your role on tonight's episode of Greek?
Yani Gellman: I play the character of Pete, who is from a rather well-to-do family, but he's pretty humble and doesn't like to show that off. He's a member of the Omega Chi fraternity, and in last week's episode he happened to meet the one and only Ashleigh, played Amber Stevens, at an interfraternity baseball game where sparks flew. Tonight's episode picks up from there.
DC: How'd the role come about?
YG: Well, I got a call from my manager, who asked if I was interested in auditioning for the part. I am a pretty big fan of the show, so I said, "Sure", and I ended up getting the job.
DC: What makes you a fan of the show?
YG: Greek has this really fine balance of being light hearted, feel good comedy, and at the same time it's very real and deals with issues kids at universities face every day. The actors on the show have comedic abilities and are also able to tell really dramatic stories. That's a dream project for any actor.
DC: As a performer, which do prefer, comedy or drama?
YG: I actually think the best dramas are really comedic. If you get the audience laughing, they will be there for you for the more dramatic parts, if that makes sense. Working with Amber in particular on Greek, there is slapstick comedy one minute, and drama the next. It's really hard to pull off, but so rewarding whaen you do.
DC: What's it like working with felllow daytime soap alum Spencer Grammer?
YG: Spencer is a very alive, very spontaneous, young actress. Every time she does a take she adds something wonderful and new.
DC: Daytime soap audiences know you of course as Rafe Torres, the tortured gay lawyer who was seduced by the evil Adam Newman (Michael Muhney) on CBS Daytime's The Young and the Restless. Spoilers say Adam is about to get his comeuppance soon. Will Rafe play a part of that?
YG: All I can say is that Rafe is a continuing part of the Adam storyline. [Laughs].
DC: When it was first revealed Rafe was gay and he and Adam were going to be lovers on the soap, it generated tons of buzz in the press and online. Were you prepared for all of that?
YG: I mean, I guess to a certain extent I was aware it was a bit of a landmark role for that show, but I didn't think about all of that too much. In the end, the fans really gravitated toward the character, and I'm really happy about that.
DC: Do you think Rafe still has feelings for Adam?
YG: I'm gonna leave that for the viewers to decide. As an actor, it's always better if there are higher stakes, higher emotions involved. I think Rafe has very mixed up, conflicted feelings about Adam.
DC: So what's next for Yani Gellman, more daytime or primetime?
YG: Well, I'm hoping to keep juggling both! [Laughs] I am really enjoying being on Y&R and Greek.
DC: So will you back on Greek after tonight's episode?
YG: Yes, I have one more, and then I guess we'll see where it all goes. I'm excited.
For more on Greek, go to ABC Family's official website.