What are we ever going to do with Christian Jules LeBlanc (seen above with Elaine Hendrix, Mircea Monroe andBrian Krause)? One of daytime's most talented and compassionate actors recently participated in Hollywood Helps Alabama, a webcast fundraiser for the state, which on April 27, 2011 was devastated by the deadliest "Tornado Day" the United States has seen since 1925. The effort, held this past Tuesday, May 17, was sponsored by John Paul Mitchell Systems, New Tek, Inc. and ACME Comedy Theatre. All proceeds went to the American Red Cross.
I caught up with The Young and the Restless star to talk about his involvement with Hollywood Helps Alabama, as well as to get his reaction on his Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstandling Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Per usual the answers from the man who plays Genoa City's legal eagle Michael Baldwin manage to both intrigue, entertain and slightly perplex!
Daytime Confidential: Congratulations on your Lead Actor in a Drama Series Daytime Emmy nomination! What did you submit this time around?
Christian LeBlanc: I chose a scene in which Lauren (Sarah) breaks Michael's heart. In this scene I glom onto an amazing performance by Tracy Bregman, my hot Y&R wife, thereby, once again, adhering to my strategy of shamelessly using the genius of my acting partners in my quest to satisfy my obsession for acquiring shiny objects.
DC: Ha! This year's ceremony will be bittersweet with so many soaps being cancelled. Have you noticed a greater kinship among the soap community since the announcements of All My Children and One Life to Live's cancellations?
CB: Actually, I have always experienced an amazing kinship in the daytime community. It's kinda what we do best. Artists are rare and beautiful things, but they live the life of gypsies and they are survivors. At the end it will be the roaches and an actor performing a Richard II monologue while serving a "Moon Over My Hammy" breakfast at Denny's!
DC: Sony and the brass at your soap, The Young and the Restless, have expressed interest in bringing over some AMC and OLTL cast members once those soaps wrap. If you had to create a wish list of who you'd like to see pop up in Genoa City and cross paths with Michael Baldwin from those soaps, who would be on it?
CB: Way ahead of you! I am already stalking Tristan Rogers, Stephen Nichols and Genie Francis... hell...Maura West already hides when she sees me...she thinks I don't notice...but I do!
DC: Michael's staying busy these days, serving as consigliere to the Newman clan, trying to get Kevin out of another jam and running the occasional interference for his best gal pals Phyllis and Diane. As much as these types of stories keep you onscreen, do you hope your most recent Emmy nomination will inspire the brass at Y&R to give Michael a meaty story of his own? The fans would certainly love to see that!
CB: Oh yeah...Maria [Arena Bell] is constantly looking over her shoulder too."Deal with it!" I say! I will keep pitching my new opening for the show —"The Young and the Restless, The Michael Baldwin Story"— with the last breath left in my body!
DC: Shifting gears, lets talk about Hollywood Helps Alabama Tornado Relief. How did you become involved with the webcast?
CB: I will go to the opening of an envelope. The amazing ACME organization left the back door of their theater unlocked. It is still a wonder to me how much you can help by just showing up and lending your voice to a cause. You are talking to someone who has directly benefited from the selflessness of perfect strangers during Katrina and who is currently watching floodwaters threaten the homes of friends. Speaking of the daytime community, it has taught me the power the individual has to make a difference...so when ACME's publicist, Charles Riley, told me about "Hollywood Helps Alabama Tornado Relief" I jumped to it!!
DC: What's the latest on your budding comedy career opposite fellow Y&R stud Sean Kanan?
CB: Frankly, I would prefer to be onstage with someone less talented and less handsome but, for now, Sean will do in a pinch.