Justin Hartley and Melissa Claire Egan Preview the Big Adam Reveal on ‘The Young and the Restless’

Melissa Claire Egan and Justin Hartley

Spoiler Alert: A bottle of bubbly and some hot sex on the couch in daddy’s office can leave a guy feeling pretty darn cocky. On the July 13 episode of CBS’s The Young and the Restless, Gabriel Bingham (Justin Hartley) is so jazzed over his good fortune—he’s now CEO of Newman-Abbott Enterprises and he’s just made love to the beautiful Chelsea Lawson (Melissa Claire Egan)—that he stands before a portrait of Victor Newman (Eric Braeden) and cavalierly blurts out his most gobsmacking secret: He’s really the nefarious, supposedly-dead Adam Newman, Victor’s son and Chelsea’s husband. And Chelsea overhears him! What do Egan and Hartley think of the crazy way this long-awaited reveal happens? We arranged a gabfest with the two stars to find out!

Thanks to some brilliant cosmetic surgery, Gabe has been able to keep his true identity a secret for months. Why would he blow it now? Is this a cry for help? Or one of those O.J. Simpson-Robert Durst situations, where the criminal gets busted for the goofiest of reasons?
It’s not like Adam is carrying around all this guilt and the weight of it becomes too much. He has no guilt. He’s pulled off the coup of the century and is done in by his own confidence. Victor is in jail and Adam has everything he’s been wanting–Chelsea, their son, the company. Yeah, he’s technically interim CEO but he has flushed that “interim” word down the toilet. In Gabe’s mind he is CEO. He’s running the show. But his Achilles heel is his need for his father’s acceptance. He can’t help but gloat over his revenge in front of Victor’s picture. “See, Dad, I am good enough! People like me!”

You don’t think this happens because Adam, on a subconscious level, needs to end this charade?
Not really. Life is exactly the way Adam wants it. His best friend in the world is Gabriel Bingham. He doesn’t need to be Adam Newman anymore. He’s completely thrilled to be Gabe.

But it’s not like Chelsea has left the building when he admits he’s Adam. She has only left the room to pee, or do whatever. Seems like he’s looking to get caught.
In a way, this is sort of like when murderers get away with it and then go to jail for tax evasion. Or like what happened with O.J. Simpson. Not to compare Adam to O.J., but you know what I mean. Someone can be extremely good at hiding the truth, and then there’s a hiccup. It’s so ironic.
Hartley: After Adam gets caught, there’s a choice he can make. He can try to get out of it by saying, “Hey, Chelsea, I was just making a joke!” And he sort of starts to go down that road but then he doesn’t. He chooses in that moment to not give Chelsea an excuse, and I think it’s because of his love for her. Enough is enough. He realizes that as good as everything seems to be with their relationship, it is still broken at its core.
Egan: And the only way to fix it is to come clean.
Hartley: We’ve all been in that position where we’ve lied and then the truth comes out and at first you’re, like, “S–t! That sucks. I am such an idiot!” But then you’re going, “Whew! It actually feels good to get that off my chest.” But Adam also thinks he can fix this. He thinks he can fix anything.

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How does Chelsea react to the news?
[Laughs] She freaks out like a psycho!
Egan: At first she’s confused. “Why would you say something like that?” There are a lot of emotions going on at once—so much shock and confusion—and then she goes on the defensive. “No! You can’t be Adam. I don’t believe you. They found the body!”

She’s been hugely suspicious of Gabe’s behavior lately, especially his obsessive knowledge of Adam and Victor and Victor’s kids. How can she not know something is extremely funky here? Is she in denial?
A lot of strange things have been going on with Gabe but she’s certainly not wondering, “Are you my dead husband?” [Laughs] It’s not the first thing you think about, not even in Genoa City, where people are always coming back from the dead. And Chelsea was the last one to give up hope! Long after everyone else accepted that Adam was dead, she was still denying it. “I know he’s out there somewhere!” She’s also been feeling a very strong chemistry with Gabe, a connection that definitely reminds her of her connection with Adam. But, still, she doesn’t go there.
Hartley: While it’s a little creepy that Gabe has done all this Internet research, he’s admitted to Chelsea that he’s obsessed with Adam because he was a successful guy who had it all. Basically, Gabe has been painting himself like a cyberstalker. He’s been copping to this embarrassing thing hoping it will throw Chelsea off the trail. [Laughs] Who would admit to being a sick, creepy bastard if he didn’t mean it? And it works. It does take the heat off him.
Egan: In those first moments, she’s all about trying to embrace the fact that Adam is alive. But then all the questions start coming, like, “How could you lie to me about Delia?” In the episode after the big reveal, a lot of her questions get answered.
Hartley: There is nothing quite like the feeling of being betrayed. It makes me emotional just thinking about it. It’s something that’s almost impossible to get over.
Egan: It’s so true, and that’s why these scenes really play well.
Hartley: I never say this about my stuff: This is worth watching.

This puts Chelsea in quite a pickle: Does she reveal to the rest of Genoa City who Gabe really is, or will she clam up and become guilty by association?
At first, she wants Adam to confess to everyone, take responsibility for his actions and be a real father to his son, Connor. Then she starts to think about everyone this news will affect and some of the terrible repercussions. For example, Billy can’t get Delia back. Do we really want to open those wounds again? So she does agree to keep quiet…but we’ll see what happens.
Hartley: If this gets out, there will be a lot of unhappy people in Genoa City. Some will want Adam dead—for real this time.

And some are going to want the name of that plastic surgeon! Speaking of that surgery, how come Chelsea didn’t ever recognize Adam below the waist?
[Laughs] That’s the question people ask me the most. “Doesn’t Chelsea recognize his penis? What’s wrong with her?” I don’t know what to tell you, except that it’s possible to have vaginal reconstruction so maybe Adam had everything overhauled.

Prediction time. Where will Adam and Chelsea be one year from today?
I love working with Melissa but, from Adam’s point of view, getting everything you want might get boring. If that happens, I would hope they’d split apart but then find their way back to each other again.
Egan: You never want your character to be happy on this show. You want to be cheated on. You want to be lied to. Everything you wouldn’t want in real life, you hope for on a soap. That’s where the drama is. But I can’t see them being apart anytime soon. Despite all the lies, Chelsea can’t resist Adam. And that’s a problem. She can’t escape him. She can’t say no. At the end of the day, they’re still madly in love with each other.
Hartley: And he would do anything for her.

Chelsea may cut him some slack now, but what’s going to happen next time he’s caught fibbing? How many more chances does this guy get?
Gee, thank you for that.
Egan: But it’s true. He can’t keep lying like this. Chelsea is onto him so he better watch out! There’s going to be a lot of tension going on in Adam Newman’s head. And body. And penis. [Laughs] But it’s hard to be mad at him when he’s so damn cute!