Interviews

The Young and the Restless Mast Head by Soap Opera Network

David Livingston/Getty Images

David Livingston/Getty Images

Being on the winning team during this year’s Super Bowl was a dream come true for Seattle Seahawk’s fullback Michael Robinson, but the true touchdown for the Virginia native was being asked to film a scene for CBS’s “The Young and the Restless” — a soap opera he recently admitted is his guilty viewing pleasure! Soap Opera Network took part in a call with the sports star where he discussed his love of the show, how the gig came about and a very interesting conversation had had with soap legend Eric Braeden (Victor Newman). Read on for the detailed play-by-play!

It’s not uncommon for sports stars to be fans of daytime television programs, given that their schedules tend to leave them free during the mid-day hours. But Robinson is a little different in that he actually began watching “Y&R” when he was a little kid! “My mom and my father were divorced, and I was very young, maybe five or six years old, and one of my earliest memories, I remember my mom dropping me off at the babysitter’s house, and I was watching ‘Divorce Court,’” he recalls. “‘Divorce Court’ was on before ‘Y&R,’ and I was watching ‘Divorce Court’ thinking that I was going to get my mom and my dad on.”

On thing lead to another (literally), and Robinson found himself getting hooked on “Y&R.” “It was awesome,” he recalls. “My babysitter was just laughing at me, because I was so into it, and before you knew it, I was watching the stories on my own.”

The fullback remembered this during a recent interview on the NFL Network, and when “Y&R” producers caught wind of the star being a fan of the show, they invited him to play a guest-starring role. “It was definitely a dream come true, especially to be in a scene with Victor Newman. I was like, ‘What?!’” he says of his initial reaction. “It was a very gratifying experience.”

However, it was his mother who nearly died of excitement. “I thought I was excited, but my mom, she almost hit the deck!” he says with a laugh. “She can’t wait for it to come on, so that was definitely fun.”

Robinson isn’t allowed to talk about the details of his scenes, but he does say he’s waiting on the big buildup to Thursday, March 13, which is when he’ll air. “It’s pretty exciting,” he says, adding that the conversation he had with his scene partner, Braeden, was also fun. “We actually sat and chatted for about two hours before the scene, and we just talked football, talked working out, talked about how excited he is about what happened in the Super Bowl. He was very much intrigued about how we work and how we go about the business… and what it takes to play this game. He expressed to me that he doesn’t watch [football] as much as he used to, but he definitely was a fan of the Seahawks, and he enjoyed the way we played this past Super Bowl. And I told him, if I could ever get a chance, I invited him up to Seattle, if I’m ever up there, then maybe we can hang out a little bit.”

CBS

CBS

As for filming scenes with Braeden, the Virginia native says it was a breeze. “He’s so smooth,” he reveals, adding that having had his own lines memorized before arriving was key. “We did it all on Friday, and I got the script that Wednesday, and I had memorized them Wednesday night, I was so excited. When I told him I memorized it, he kind of looked like, ‘Wow, that’s pretty impressive!’ And I said, ‘You don’t understand, this is one of my dreams coming true. I was going to sleep memorizing those lines, I was practicing them with my wife at home, I was saying them to anybody who would listen to me!’ Nobody knew what I was talking about, but I think it came out well. [Braeden] does a lot of improv, and I was just trying to stay with him, and I thought I did well.”

Unfortunately, Robinson wasn’t able to meet Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki), whom he loves just as much as Braeden. “I really wanted to meet [Scott]. And also, my mom wanted me to meet her, too,” he says, adding that another Genoa City legend he missed out on was the late Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor). “I loved her character, and I got a chance to talk to some of the prouducers, and they really expressed to me how much Jeanne meant to ‘Y&R’ and how good of a person she was… I really, really loved the character. She brought so much [to the show], from what I’ve heard, she was super professional… and was definitely one of the greats in soap opera television.”

Speaking of the show’s history, the athlete names the Victor and Hope (Signy Coleman) love story as a standout over the years he’s been watching. “Back in the day, I remember Victor was kind of getting with Hope a little, and I think that was my favorite storyline, just the way he met her and how things went forward, and how Nikki reacted,” he says. “I was watching and was really super into it during that at that time, so that was one of my favorite storylines.”

Though he’s gotten a bit of flack for being a big, burly man who watches soap operas, most of his teammates’ reactions have been positive to his love of the show and his upcoming appearance. “I think they’re going to watch it because I’m on,” he says, adding that it’d be great if they all also got hooked on the show. “Just for my friends to say, ‘Yeah, I didn’t know ‘Y&R’ could be that interesting,’ [would be great]. One thing about ‘Y&R’ that’s really the best is they’ve never been afraid to be edgy, they’ve never been afraid to put a young athlete on. They gave me lines. At first, I thought I’d just be standing there, but they gave me lines, and I think that’s kind of what separates ‘Y&R’ from some of the other daytime soaps.”

Sean Smith/JPI Studios

Sean Smith/JPI Studios

And the show’s diverse cast is also something Robinson says sets it apart. “That’s what makes ‘Y&R’ so unique and so special,” he opines. “I think that’s what caught me as a young kid and why I even watch. The storylines and different people, seeing black people, black guys, and young black women on TV… Coming from Virginia, we definitely didn’t see that much, so it was definitely gratifying to know that one day I could be there… So it’s great to see that on TV, and ‘Y&R’ does a great job integrating all races.”

In fact, he says that ‘Y&R’ does a great job with just about everything — to the point where he and his wife, Shameka, have even been known to turn watching into a competition! “A few years ago, we used to watch it and kind of figure out what was going to happen next, kind of have a competition about it, and it turned into a lot of fun,” he says. “But I do think that the stories, especially ‘Y&R,’ but I just think daytime drama in general, has more of a calming effect. I think we always have to be high wired and high strung and aggressive and all of those things on the football field, so it’s always nice to kind of come home, relax, kind of ease your mind and watch the drama on the TV.”

Back when the athlete was playing for the San Francisco 49ers, he hosted “Real Rob Report,” meaning this isn’t his first experience with the entertainment industry. And, as he says, he hopes this “Y&R” appearance leads to more. “They invited me back whenever I’m in LA and I have time, and that’s definitely something that I want to do,” he reveals. “I want to be back on ‘Y&R, ‘ and I would hope that the Super Bowl and this ‘Y&R’ opportunity will be able to open doors in acting, because that’s something I would love to do.”

But if he does end up back in Genoa City, it probably won’t be on the terms he’d like! “I think I would want my character to be a good guy, but I play football, I’m big, so he’d probably be a bad guy,” he says with a laugh. “But it wouldn’t matter. I’d just want to be a part of the team. Again, they opened up to me so openly. It was like a family. And definitely, I would love to be a part of something like that.”

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WHAT DO YOU THINK?
  • David

    Improv* 7th paragraph, opened me up* last paragraph

  • mdbball02

    LOVED IT and you could see EB was tickled himself … his face lit up when this guy showed up!