‘Y&R’s Tracey Bregman & Christian LeBlanc on Lauren & Michael’s Unlikely Pairing
The Baldwins and Fisher families are taking center stage on The Young and the Restless this week as viewers are being treated to classic re-broadcasts while the show prepares to get back into production on new episodes.
On Thursday’s episode, Lauren Fenmore Baldwin (Tracey Bregman) shares the news with hubby Michael Baldwin (Christian Jules LeBlanc) that they’re expecting a baby (their son Fenmore, most recently played by Zach Tinker).
TV Insider chatted with Bregman and LeBlanc about this episode, the origins of their pairing, and what they might like to see happen when the show returns with original content. Read on for the scoop!
How are you doing these days?
Christian LeBlanc: I’m crossing Texas in my car.
Tracey Bregman: I’m in Nashville. I’ve been doing a lot of knitting and baking. I’m turning into Martha Stewart!
Have you been watching all these classic episodes?
Bregman: Yes. I have truly loved seeing all the classics. I had lost so many episodes that I’d saved in a fire. To go back and see everything we did has been wonderful. I’ve forgotten a lot of them. I ask wait…what is Lauren going to do next? I’ll remember a jacket I was wearing, but not always what Lauren did. Re-visiting the shows with actors we’ve lost – Jeanne (Cooper, ex-Katherine) and Kristoff (St. John, ex-Neil) – is such a wonderful experience. I’m just loving it.
What did you think when they put you two together? Lauren was unattached. Michael and Victoria (Heather Tom) were starting to have a thing, but then she left the show.
LeBlanc: It was a bit of a conniving thing Tracey and I did. Lauren would come over and make fun of Michael mooning over his ex-fiancé, Christine (Lauralee Bell). When Lauren walks in, she brings the sex. But she was directing it at me. We thought well, let’s go with this; we went to this frenemy thing a bit.
Bregman: Christian and I were working together because Kevin had a crush or obsession with Lauren. That’s how the friendship developed between them, but we wanted something more, to be together on the show. I went and talked to Jack Smith [then, co-executive producer/head writer] about it. He wasn’t up for it. We thought maybe we’ll just play it anyway. Then, he saw it, said we were right, and proceeded to write us this beautiful love story.
LeBlanc: It fit into the storyline so well. Michael had been alone. That was his story. It’s nice when they find a reason why Michael did hide his past. In real-life, I have a huge family, and then the show came up with a wonderful reason why Michael hid his family. Kevin’s obsession with Lauren brought Michael into her life, but what sealed the deal was that Lauren saved her brother when hew as in jail. Michael was going to sell everything he had [to get him out]. Lauren, instead, paid the bail. That was a key, the key, I feel.
Later, they gave Michael a mother, father, and stepfather to share why he may not think the best of women, but Michael changed [because of Lauren]. There were so many gifts. They have layered on and kept it consistent.
Who was helming the show when Lauren became pregnant?
Bregman: It was Lynn Latham [executive producer/head writer]. We saw the original scenes in which Lauren told Michael she was expecting. We felt it could have been different.
LeBlanc: We read the script and Lauren and Michael were elated, which, of course, the characters were, but it was an interesting development. We decided to talk about it and Tracey went to Lynn.
Bregman: Christian brings up a great point – we weren’t in our 20s. I had a grown son. [Laughs] Lauren had had a bad experience with baby switching! Michael had had a horrible stepfather. We felt we wanted to explore those emotions. Even though there was that elation, we wanted to explore other parts of how they were feeling.
LeBlanc: Lauren’s line was ‘We’re happy…’ Tracey played it as ‘We’re…happy?’ She made it a question and that made it funny. That was the game. It wasn’t two people all young and happy. These were two people who had been to rodeo.
For the actors reading this, how married does one have to be to the punctuation in a script.
Bregman: Pretty close. I wanted to add that Lynn Latham personally wrote those scenes.
LeBlanc: She sat on set and listened to us. We don’t always get our way, but the scene was changed to our benefit. Our show is such an ensemble piece.
Lynn also let me have a pregnancy belly. Christian loved the belly button of the belly. It looked so real and you could see the camera men not realizing I had a pregnancy tummy on and they were like, ‘Oh. Tracey really let herself go.’
LeBlanc: I had a fetish with that stomach.
Bregman: You did!
LeBlanc: Tracey wore no makeup while having the baby and she looked like a 12-year-old. She was stunning. They made her take everything off.
Bregman: I wouldn’t stay stunning. I was having words with [then executive producer] Ed Scott. He was like take your lipstick off. I said, “You don’t think I gave birth in real life without lip gloss on?”
Are there any other classic episodes you’d like to see? Lauren and Michael both had some wicked pasts.
Bregman: I’d like to see the first Danny Romalotti (Michael Damian) concert. Those were fabulous.
LeBlanc: I’d like to see that. I want to see [the concert where] Christine (Lauralee Bell) [danced] with her backup dancers. I’ve seen pictures.
Bregman: The first [concert] we did with just Michael [Damian] and me was amazing. I wish we could find that.
LeBlanc: There’s always Michael breaking through the wall into Christine’s apartment [back in 1993]. The crew made that show with all the technical aspects.
We may be running out of time for classic shows. Are you looking forward to getting back to work?
Do you ever remember a time like this before in daytime?
Bregman: I don’t. I don’t remember ever having time off like we’ve had.
LeBlanc: There were preemptions during the O.J. Simpson trial, but that didn’t affect production.
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Christian, fans who follow you on social media are wondering — what color will your hair be when we see Michael again?
Bregman: Yes, what color will it be honey?
LeBlanc: I don’t know. Tracey you like it, right?
Bregman: I love it!
LeBlanc: My dad’s hair was sliver/white. This was as much of a shock to me [as it is to my followers]. It works for me. Lauren would have something to say about [Michael being gray]. I’d get the show’s approval before [making any changes]. I think Michael Knight [Martin, General Hospital] looks amazing. Max Shippee (ex-Graham) looks amazing. Lauren’s a fashionista. She’d either go along with it or not.
Bregman: Oh, Mommy’s not going gray, honey. No, no. [Laughs]
LeBlanc: Lauren could say your hair looks great. If Michael were to ever go gray, it could be from Lauren encouraging him or discouraging him.
What would you like to see happen when you go back?
Bregman: We need a caper!
LeBlanc: Something like The Thin Man movies. The writers gave us the gift of one of the longest, uninterrupted marriages in daytime. There’s the seed of Michael’s the disciplinary and Fen’s a momma’s boy.
Bregman: We need our Zach [Tinker] back [as Fenmore]!
What would you like to see happen next?
LeBlanc: I think if anything ever happened to turn Michael dark again. That would be interesting. To have Lauren and Michael be in opposition.
It’d be interesting to see Lauren…
Bregman: Be a bad girl again.
LeBlanc: I’d like to see that. I’ve never really seen Lauren be bad.
Young and the Restless, Weekdays, CBS