CENTER STAGE: Ignacio Serricchio Opens Up About His ‘Y&R’ Status, Possible Romance With Chloe, Not Impressing His CBS Boss and More!
It’s been exactly one year since Argentinian actor Ignacio Serricchio first aired as “The Young and the Restless’” Alejandro “Alex” Chavez, and there are a few things fans of the show have learned about the actor in that year: He’s incredibly talented, he’s incredibly sexy, and he’s incredibly kind. But when Soap Opera Network recently caught up with him at one of his stand-up comedy performances (yes, he does stand-up comedy), we learned that he’s much more talented, sexy and kind than anyone even imagines. And we’ve got the quotes to prove it!
Serricchio doesn’t often get a chance to flex his comedy muscles in Genoa City, but if you haven’t heard, he’s seriously funny. So much so, he consistently has audiences in stitches as a stand-up comedian, a job he does in addition to his soap work. And the audience Soap Opera Network was a part of at the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club at Universal Studios was especially appreciative of the actor, who delivered a high-energy off the cuff performance tailored specifically for the crowd. “I don’t decide what I’m going to talk about until I see the crowd 30 seconds into my act,” he says, adding that while it’s risky, he’s never nervous to perform in that manner. “I’m not going to go and say, ‘I’m going to do my act, and you can like or not.’ I want to connect with the people. And I don’t [get nervous] because I don’t do anything I don’t have fun with. Ever. If I’m not having fun, I stop what I’m doing and just leave it.”
Apparently he was having fun during his SON interview, because he didn’t storm out halfway through. And we wouldn’t have blamed him if he’d done so, considering he came straight from a soccer game, hopped on stage to do his stand-up routine and was still in some of his soccer gear after the show! “I finished the game, I was in full gear, ran to my car, came over here, started taking everything off and drying off with the air, and I was in my tights for soccer, which I still have on under my jeans,” he says with a laugh. “But I took a shower before the game so I’d smell good, even [after] sweat.”
*Editor’s Note: Yep, he smelled pretty good.
Believe it or not, whether he’s performing impromptu, being funny in tights or getting on stage in front of one of his major bosses, Angelica McDaniel (Senior Vice President of CBS Daytime), who’s come to see him do standup, Serricchio always keeps his cool. “I don’t get nervous [performing in front of McDaniel] because I treat everybody the same,” he explains. “The guy who’s fixing the light is as important as her, because if one person is out of tune, the whole project just goes, plop.”
Though Serricchio covers a wide range of topics during his comedy routines, “Y&R” is a subject he rarely touches on. But that just means there’s more funny material for when he’s on set at the sudser! “I’m definitely always making jokes and keeping things super light,” he admits. “It’s always heavy stuff for the most part, but when you make jokes, you start to warm your muscles, so I need to joke with everybody and talk and all of that.”
When it comes to the onscreen stuff, however, the actor prefers that it not be light and easy. “I like for stuff to be earned,” he explains. “For example, if you give someone a possible love interest, I don’t like if it’s easy. I like tantric. I like a nice struggle for whatever. You appreciate it more.”
And who’d create more onscreen conflict than Elizabeth Hendrickson’s alter ego? “The most conflicted would be Chloe,” Serricchio says in agreement of possible romantic matches. “If it were to be written in a smart way, it would be very, very cool. Because it would be that conflict of, ‘I can’t do this, [Kevin] is my boy, I can’t do that to somebody.’ The character would never ever think of doing something like that and would just fight it and fight it and fight it. But then, if you try to show moments, little moments, and fight them and avoid them, I like that. And I like when it’s said underneath with just a look. You know the look I’m talking about! You can tell somebody so much with just one little look. I like when it’s subtle stuff. And I think with Chloe, we had one scene at the coffee shop, and people went crazy, and I like that. I like just showing just a little bit. Tantric.”
Added bonus: Serricchio is really impressed with Hendrickson as well as her acting skills. “She’s phenomenal. And she’s very natural,” he raves. “Plus, she has hand fed me the most amazing chocolate cake. We bought it at some earthy, Namaste kind of place, where it’s organic, and it’s like, ‘How much for that slice?’ ‘$24’ and I’m like, What?!’ But it was delicious. And walking back, I was holding stuff, and I wanted to eat it, so she was feeding it to me as we were walking. And that scored her a ton of points.”
Despite the bond he and Hendrickson share, Serricchio is more than happy that Alex isn’t attached to anyone romantically — at least for the time being. “I kind of like the fact that he’s not involved with anyone, because everyone is involved!” he says with a laugh. “Someone once told me it’s not about fitting in, it’s about standing out while fitting in. So I like anything that’s conflictive. [Executive producer] Jill Farren Phelps always tell me, ‘You always try to create conflict!’ And I do; I always try to create some kind of conflict, because it’s fun. So I like that I’m not related to anyone, because you don’t know much about the character. He’s got to be the voice of reason, and now this whole thing with Delia, everybody is losing their mind, but he’s that one person, that one character, who’s calm. So it’s good balance. And I can have my secrets and nobody has to know about them.”
Besides, considering he’s recurring and not a contract player, there’s not much chance to tell in depth stories with his character. “It’s very hard for them to write for someone whose career is unpredictable,” he explains. “On the one hand, I feel bad about that. I always told them, from the beginning, ‘If you guys need to get rid of me, I will totally understand.’ While I’m here, I am 100 percent here. I tweet the fans, and I always do anything that’s ‘Y&R’ related, I love it. I absolutely love the show. But at the same time, I’m in a moment where I’ve got to do everything and take advantage of all of the great things that are happening. So it’s hard for them, and I understand. People would love a story, but in order to do that, you need at least a month guaranteed that I’ll be there so they can write a nice arc. So they could make the decision [to cut me] and there would never be any bad blood.”
Luckily, it doesn’t look like Serricchio is going anywhere soon. But he has been busy with a multitude of other projects. “There are just so many things I want to get my hands on and accomplish,” he says, adding that he’d like to be known as the brown James Franco (ex-Franco, “General Hospital”). “I want to do a ton of movies. I want to do movies in Argentina, I want to do movies in [the five] other languages that I speak. I want to do sitcoms, I want to have my own sitcom. I have a band, so I’m always doing music. And there’s stand up, theater, diving and there’s a lot of salsa dancing and hip hop dancing. And I just wrote a romantic comedy. There’s a lot to do.”
And he admits that if he doesn’t feel accomplished at the end of the day, he’s unable to fall asleep. “If I feel like I did not have a productive day, I go do something. I have to be exhausted. Otherwise, it’s not productive to me,” he explains. “So if it’s 9:00, and I don’t feel tired, I’ll go to the gym or something. I don’t ever go to the gym, and I hate doing weights, but if it’s the only thing open by my house, I have to do something. I’ll even go salsa dancing, even if I wasn’t planning on going, so I can go, ‘Ok, now I can go to bed. I went dancing.’”
So just where does he get all of this insane energy to be an actor/writer/dancer/diver/linguist/musician/comedian? “Honestly, I get my energy from being in the water almost every day,” he reveals. “Not in a spiritual way. This is scientific. We’re 70% water in our bodies, which is a huge conductor of energy. So if you need to recharge, you’ve got to be around something living, a living organism. That’s why when I go to New York, I go insane. Or Vegas. It’s all fake. You’re actually depleting your energy. So if I go surfing in the morning for a couple of hours, I’m like, ‘Aaaahhhh.’”
*Editor’s note: Add surfing to Serricchio’s long list of talents that seem to go on and on and on…
And he feels water is such a recharge, he surrounds himself with it at home, as well. In fact, it’s a large part of his morning routine. “Basically, if I have to work at ‘Y&R’ at 7:00 in the morning, then I wake up at 4:30, because I’m not somebody who wakes up and goes, ‘Aaagghhh!’ and goes to work,” he says. “I need time to drink my matte, take in the day. I have five aquariums, so I feed my fish and I check them out and I see if anybody had babies. I have a lot of slutty maritime creatures. I do. I have a shrimp that gets pregnant all of the time. So I do that, and I take in the day.
“My goal is to have a house where I can build my own aquarium,” he continues. “If I have a house and have to spend money, everything else will be normal, but I will have a huge aquarium. And I can swim in it, that would be even better!”