Jordi Vilasuso (Rey, The Young and the Restless) is dealing with some dramatic illnesses on and off screen. In Genoa City, his character, Rey Rosales, is helping girlfriend Sharon Newman (Sharon Case) battle breast cancer. In real life, Vilasuso is helping his family - wife Kaitlin, their two daughters, and himself - recover from COVID-19. The actor spoke to TV Insider's Michael Maloney about his real and reel lives.
Contracting coronavirus proved trying for all the Vilasusos. He shared:
The thing that I want to dig into a little bit is the psychological aspect. You don’t know if you’re going to get worse. That’s where you start to get into your head. Thank God, my father and brother are doctors. They are always there for us. I learned it was all about staying calm and keeping an eye on what was going on. The doctors we spoke to were all great with us. They didn’t want us coming in. They had us stay home as it was a mild case and we kept an eye on things.
Vilasuso hopes to become part of the cure, saying:
I want to, hopefully, get an antibodies test. I want to not just be a victim here. I want to do something. If I can give my blood to a hospital [for tests] that’d be great. It’d feel great to take action against this.
Meanwhile, Rey's support of Sharon echoes Vilasuso's own family's battle with cancer. He divulged:
After we got married, we found out that my dad had this horrible, aggressive cancer. The mortality rate for the kind he had was 60 percent. It was scary. We left LA and moved to Miami so I could be there for my dad. The way our industry goes I was able to take the time. You learn about mood swings and what the chemo does to you. Cancer’s a terrible, terrible disease. But there are treatments for it, which gave us a lot of hope.
Oh, and if you're wondering about a Guiding Light Santos family reunion? Vilasuso is in, quipping:
Being on Guiding Light was a magical time in my career. What a great group of folks.