‘Young & the Restless’: Linden Ashby Talks Cameron’s Return & Not Wanting Him Redeemed

Linden Ashby at 'The Young and the Restless' 50th Anniversary Celebration
Francis Specker/CBS

He’s baaack! Savvy viewers of The Young and the Restless had already guessed what today’s episode confirms: Cameron Kirsten (Linden Ashby) is back in Genoa City! (Who else would have sent a blood-stained champagne bottle to Sharon Newman Rosales given that she once clubbed the killer with one?)

TV Insider chatted with Ashby about his return to Y&R and whether or not his character, now out of jail, will be headed for redemption — or if he’s back for some plain old-fashioned revenge! Cameron isn’t the only role Ashby reprised this year. In January, he got back into Sheriff Stilinski’s uniform in Teen Wolf: The Movie. Read on to get Ashby’s thoughts on both reprising Cameron and how social media played a big role in the success of Teen Wolf.

This is your second reunion with Y&R this year – you and your wife Susan Walters (Diane) attended the show’s 50thAnniversary gala in March.

Linden Ashby: Yes. How cool is it that the show has been on for 50 years! We had fun that night. Y&R knows how to throw a party.

Sending that bottle to Sharon (Sharon Case) was such a Cameron Kirsten move.

Yes. Cameron is a sophisticated bad guy. He’s very smart and is pretty much one step ahead of most people. He’s a very successful business person. He doesn’t do things that aren’t well thought out.

How did your return to the show come about?

[Executive producer/head writer] Josh Griffith called me last year around this time. He said he’d love to do this storyline, [but] I couldn’t do it. I was doing a movie and had another one lined up and then, I was going to direct a movie. It didn’t time out. He called again this year. I was like, “Yes! It works this year. Let’s talk.” He told me what he wanted to do. I was like, “Sign me up. Let’s give them something to talk about.”

Can you preview his return?

Cameron doesn’t play mind games. He hits Genoa City with the accelerator to the floor. I told Josh I’m not interested in seeing Cameron be redeemed. He wants what he wants. I don’t think we’re going to disappoint.

I recall Cameron being a very physical role. Are you ready to tumble this time around, too?

I come from a fight background. We continue that this time. I fight with Joshua Morrow [Nick] a bit. He’s such a great athlete. I forgot how big he was! Nick Newman is physically [expletive] fit.

In addition to being a fighter, Cameron is very charismatic. Why do you think Sharon was so attracted to him at one time?

[Wryly] I would think it was because he was played by a devilishly handsome actor. Seriously, he’s a very successful guy. He’s intelligent, charming. Then, Sharon found out things about him that weren’t so great. There was a natural attraction between them. But what do you when you find out the person that you’re with wants to beat you senseless? Cameron is incredibly dark and messed up. Sharon didn’t expect those things about him.

Cameron gets paroled?  

Yes. He’s been in prison for 20 years. Kidnapping and murder and what not.

You said earlier you’re not interested in redemption for Cameron. So what does he want to accomplish?

I know exactly what Cameron wants, why he’s doing exactly what he’s doing. His intentions are pure, but his intentions are also incredibly [expletive] up. The guy is not right. It was such a treat getting to work with Sharon again. I’d do it again. If I’d known how much I was going to like it, maybe I’d like a little redemption.

You reprised your role as Sheriff Stilinski in Teen Wolf: The Movie, which dropped on Paramount+ earlier this year. What was it like getting back into his skin again?

It was so easy. It was like coming back to Y&R. Many people on shows say, “Oh, we’re like a family,” but we were! We were together for seven years. I watched those kids grow up. It was easy getting back into that role. Honestly, they paid me to hang out with people I wanted to hang out with anyway. Hopefully we did something that made a lot of people happy. [Sherriff Stilinski] is such a different character from Cameron Kristen. There are no similarities between them.

Linden Ashby in 'Teen Wolf: The Movie'

Curtis Bonds Baker/MTV Entertainment

I recall Teen Wolf being one of the first shows to effectively utilize social media. Viewers felt they had a connection to the show and its cast even when new episodes weren’t airing. Did you partake in all that?

I did. I was told [after I joined the show] I needed to start Instagram and Twitter accounts. It was — and is — a great way to communicate with people. I found that I really enjoyed it. Teen Wolf has such a great fans. I got to know a lot of them through social media. The younger cast members really knew how to use [social media from the start]. I also got into it and I liked doing it. I liked having a back-and-forth communication. I liked them knowing me as Linden and me getting to know them. I don’t know how the show did it, but it ran a very effective social media campaign. I went along for the ride and enjoyed getting to know people.

We [had] a huge convention following as well. That show had a profound effect on people. It was really beautiful. It was. The connection between Teen Wolf and the fans was real. People who watched interacted [through social media] with one another. People asked me if it was ever weird but, knock on wood, I never had an ugly interaction with fans of the show. It was really nice.

The Young and the Restless, Weekdays, CBS