Deep Soap: Eric Roberts Is Latest Film Actor To Join ‘Y&R’

Eric Roberts (Toby Canham/Getty Images)

Eric Roberts (Toby Canham/Getty Images)

This Week In Stuntcasting

The Young & The Restlessannounced Thursday that Eric Roberts will play the short-term role of Adam (Michael Muhneys) lawyer starting July 12.  He is the latest actor well known for his work in other mediums to tale a role on a soap.  Given the recent Y&R appearances by both Sean Young and David Hasselhoff, the show’s casting director seems to have a fascination with actors who are notorious for their substance abuse problems.  Roberts’ appearance is being derided by some fans as another D-list film actor stealing a role that could go to a daytime actor in order to gain publicity for the show.  I am going to defend the casting of Roberts.  First of all, the guy is a really good actor.  Talent is always welcome in daytime, whether it’s someone with decades of experience or a 22-year-old with no prior credits.  Before I gave up on ‘Heroes,’ I loved him as Thompson. Unlike Young, the guy is capable of getting work.  Over the past couple years, he has staged a comeback and could become the next Mickey Rourke.  He has a major role in ‘The Expendables,’ a big budget action movie coming out this August.  Based on the large number of projects he has in various stages of production, it looks like he is making up for lost time.  I have no idea how or why he ended up on Y&R.  Maybe he knows someone on the show.  His sister Julia Roberts has gone on the record with her love of ‘Days of Our Lives.’ Perhaps soap fandom ran in the family and he is a Y&R aficionado who thought it would be fun to be on the show.  I assume that he is not one to consider appearing on a soap to be slumming given that the bio on his official website mentions his appearance in ‘The Dark Knight‘ in the same paragraph as his role in the Larry the Cable Guy vehicle ‘Witless Protection,’  and is going to star in the upcoming Syfy/Roger Corman movie ‘Sharktopus.’  Why not do Y&R?  If the show is on a quest to cast as many people from outside daytime as possible, at least this time they’ve gone with someone who is going to be interesting to watch.

Preview Friday’s ‘Y&R’:

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This Week in  Recasting: ‘All My Children’s New Bianca

Christina Bennet Lind has very big shoes to fill as ‘All My Children’s new Bianca. Eden Riegel was one of the show’s most popular actresses.  Bianca is the rare soap character who manages to be saintly without being annoying.  As daytime’s only major lesbian character, the actress who plays Bianca has the additional responsibility of representing an entire community.  All things considered, Lind has done a terrific job.  It helps that she has a physical resemblance to both Riegel and the other Kane women.  Her voice also sounds similar. Since Bianca returned to Pine Valley to search for a missing Erica, Lind  had to play tough, emotional scenes from day one.  I was impressed that she seemed to have thought a lot about who the character is. She has given Bianca a toughness that she did not have before.   It will take a little getting used to, but it makes sense for the character.  She is a Kane woman, after all. Lind can definitely act.  She adeptly managed to transition between Bianca’s fears for her mother’s safety and her anger and mistrust of Greenlee (Rebecca Budig) and David (Vincent Irizarry).  Her newness to the genre is evident.  She over enunciates a lot of her words and some of her facial expressions are mannered.  Given her background in theater, this is understandable. I am sure that as she becomes more accustomed to daytime, those tics will disappear.  On a superficial note, I was distracted throughout her scenes by her strange dress, which had a cap sleeve on one side and was sleeveless on the other.  It did not look asymmetrical. It looked unfinished.  Way to be accidentally stereotypical by putting the lesbian character in the ugly dress, AMC.

Thought Provoking Soap Quote of the Week

“U.S. cultural imperialism is finished. Years ago we took reruns of ‘Dallas’ and ‘The Young and the Restless.’ Now Turkish screenwriters have learned to adapt these shows to local themes with Muslim storylines, Turkish production values have improved, and Asians and Eastern Europeans are buying Turkish series, not American or Brazilian or Mexican ones.”- Turkish television critic Sina Kologlu

The New York Times published an interesting article about the influence of Turkish soap operas on Arab nations.  Soaps may have dwindling relevance in the U.S., but on the other side of the world series that reflect Turkey’s modern, secular Islamic lifestyle are being credited with everything from a reexamination of gender roles in more conservative Arab nations to a Turkish tourism boom.  It’s a reminder of how powerful and universal the genre can be.   It made me wish, for the upteenth time, that SoapNET had embraced the true possibilities of a soap cable network and produced documentaries about how the genre is different around the world, as well as making the best international soaps available to an American audience.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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