Zach Tinker is a rising star in Hollywood. In addition to his recurring role as Fenmore Baldwin on “The Young and the Restless,” the actor has appeared in such shows as “American Horror Story: 1984,” “Station 19” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” and will soon appear in the upcoming fourth and final season of the Netflix drama “13 Reasons Why” and the second season of Spectrum’s “L.A.’s Finest” starring Jessica Alba and Gabrielle Union. With TV and film productions across most of the world currently at a standstill due to COVID-19, Tinker is for once not on the move. Not even if he wanted to be.
“I’ve been coping with the lockdown by just trying to keep myself busy. A lot of working out, writing, trying to stay creative. I’m trying to keep a routine,” says Tinker to Soap Opera Network of how he’s been handling the lockdown and tidbits he could share that might help others. “In the night, I let myself relax by playing video games. I’ve been playing a lot of ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’ and ‘Super Smash Bros.'”
Since “Stay at Home” orders were put in place in mid-March in several major cities, including Los Angeles where Tinker resides, people have been forced to adapt to a new normal, and that includes celebrating birthdays like never before. On Friday, May 8, Tinker turned 26. Like others, he spent his personal holiday indoors and socially distant from many of his friends and family, but it wasn’t all bad. “My birthday was fantastic,” Tinker exclaims. “I obviously wasn’t able to spend it exactly how I wanted to, as I wasn’t able to be with my family and friends in person. However, my family and I did a Zoom game night and played a bunch of games like Pictionary and Cards Against Humanity. I got some cool gifts! Some Ruth Bader Ginsburg socks, a little mini arcade cabinet, and some other goodies!”
One person that he could physically share his birthday with is his girlfriend, “Y&R” co-star Cait Fairbanks (Tessa). “I am dating her! Oh god— I could go on and on and on and on about this,” Tinker says happily when asked to list the five things he loves about her. Citing her heart as number one, Tinker says, “She’s the kindest and most caring person I’ve ever come across. She’s so caring and feeling. I’ve caught her tearing up over a cute dog food commercial before. Like, she is empathetic to the nth degree. I love her brains, her beauty, her smile, and that killer voice of hers too!”
For Mother’s Day (May 10), Tinker wasn’t able to celebrate his mom on her special day in person for obvious reasons, but he did drive over to say hi, albeit from a distance. “I already sent a gift and flowers, so I’ve checked those off the list!” Tinker said excitedly. He shared the picture of his mother receiving her gifts on his Instagram page and captioned the post, “To the victor goes the spoils. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. Thanks for being my best friend.”
Joining the cast of “Y&R” in late 2018, Tinker recalls his first day on set and how the day progressed into a standout. “Running on two hours of sleep, having learned 18 pages of dialogue the night before… I’ll never forget that anxiety and [the] thrill of that,” he says. But after more than a year on the job, he still hasn’t gotten to work with everyone. He hopes that’ll change in the future and indicates his ideal storyline for Fen, which includes the character “facing his inner demons and trepidations.” Tinker says, “I think Fen is a very complicated guy, with a complex ego and multiple, multiple layers to himself. I would love a storyline that unpacks his inner turmoil and forces him to genuinely confront who he is.” As for who he’d like to work with that he hasn’t already? “I would really love to work with Peter [Bergman; Jack Abbott]. Every time I watch him, he is so smooth and natural. I would love a chance to get to play around with him.”
Outside of daytime, Tinker has been hitting it out of the ballpark in primetime and on streaming services. He appeared in the most recent season of “AHS” and a recent episode of “Station 19.” He will even appear in the next seasons of “13 Reasons Why” and “L.A’s Finest,” both of which launch next month on their respective platforms.
While he couldn’t share much about his characters on “13 Reasons Why” or “L.A.’s Finest,” Tinker does say, “The two characters are complete opposites. They were both awesome to work on, though.” He elaborates more on differences between his characters on “Station 19” and “AHS,” however.
“‘Station 19’ was a blast to work on! It was a crazy day with a bunch of stunts and high pace scenes. I spent half of the day swimming around, and the other half pretending I was hoped up on cocaine, so an interesting day for sure,” Tinker says of his character, Greg, on the ABC series. Meanwhile, “‘American Horror Story’ was great too! Everyone on the crew and cast was so nice and welcoming. It was interesting because the show is so secretive; I couldn’t tell anyone I was working on it until I was given the OK by production,” he notes of his role as Sam in the horror series that airs on FX.
Outside of his television work, some of Tinker’s fondest memories are that of his time with family. “My mom is Italian, and we have a huge extended family, so all of those gatherings!” he says. Other notable family memories include that of his late grandfather, Grant Tinker, who ran NBC as the network’s chairman and CEO during what is considered one of the biggest golden eras of television with such shows as “The Cosby Show,” “The Golden Girls,” “Hill Street Blues” and “Family Ties,” among countless others.
“My grandpa will always be kind of an enigma to me. He is such a legend in television, and the scope of his impact will always be bigger and broader than I will be able to realize,” says Tinker of his grandfather who passed away in 2016 at the age of 90. “He was also pretty private and good and keeping a cool, calm, and collected demeanor, so I never got to really know any of his deeper feelings and ideas. I remember my favorite memories of him were him coming to my baseball games.”
Taking part in Brad Everett Young‘s Dream Loud campaign, which hopes to bring music and art programs back into schools, Tinker says the arts are very important to him as he doesn’t know where he would be without the exposure. You can watch Tinker discuss more on the Dream Loud campaign in the video below.
The fourth and final season of “13 Reasons Why” launches Friday, June 5 on Netflix. Tinker appears in the season’s second episode as a character named Grayson, according to his IMDb page. He’ll portray the role of Joe Killinger in the 11th episode of “L.A.’s Finest’s” second season, which launches Monday, June 8 as a Spectrum original for those who receive the service. The first season of the series will air this fall on FOX.