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article imageEric Braeden talks 'The Young and The Restless', 12,000 episodes Special

By Markos Papadatos     Dec 1, 2020 in Entertainment
Veteran actor Eric Braeden chatted with Digital Journal's Markos Papadatos about "The Young and The Restless" on CBS celebrating its 12,000th episode, and being on the show for over four decades playing Victor Newman, the patriarch of the Newman family.
On celebrating this milestone, he noted that it does not feel any different. "Without the fans, we would not be anywhere. It's a mutually beneficial relationship, we owe the fans everything because without them we would not be on the air. Also, the fans wouldn't watch us unless we were good."
"In this medium, doing a soap opera, I've learned how very important fans are, and I've learned the real reason that we are in this profession: to entertain people. When you do primetime or film, you get less of a feeling of that because you do it in an isolated way and then you are never really in touch with your fans afterward," he elaborated.
"I have learned in this medium how important it is to do a good job for the fans. Everything I do is for the fans, really. Be honest and be good at what you do, and you get immediate feedback, and I am eternally grateful. I really learned to appreciate what I do by doing a soap," he said.
"There are three or four generations of fans that are watching us. It takes my breath away every time I go out and there are thousands of people that are appreciative. Now, I know why I am doing this: I make people happy and that's a wonderful thing to do," he added.
This past February, The Young and The Restless honored him with his own tribute episodes in celebration of his 40th anniversary on the hit daytime drama. "That was very nice. I appreciated it a lot," he said. "The art director did a really wonderful job."
Actors Eric Braeden and Melody Thomas Scott of  The Young and The Restless
Actors Eric Braeden and Melody Thomas Scott of 'The Young and The Restless'
Sonja Flemming, CBS
He complimented his luminous onscreen acting partner, Melody Thomas Scott, who plays his wife, Nikki Newman. "I love Melody, I think we know each other well, and it has been wonderful all of these years. We are both very fortunate," he said.
Braeden also paid tribute to the late but great Jeanne Cooper, who played the iconic role of Katherine Chancellor. "I loved working with Jeanne, she was a character, and we had a lot of laughs together," he said.
"I also think of Kristoff St. John a lot," he said. "Kristoff was a good friend, a good man, and we miss him a lot on the show. We really do."
The Young and The Restless won the 2020 Daytime Emmy Award for "Outstanding Drama Series," and it has been renewed through 2024. "That feels very good. I am very grateful for that," he said. "What goes into the success of the show involves so many people, it's truly a company effort. Compliments to the writers, actors, directors, producers, the sound people, and the list goes on and on."
He opened up about life during the quarantine. "Actually, it is not that bad. I read a lot, I am working a lot and at times, it nice for things to be quiet," he said. "The quarantine has given us a pause to reflect on our active lives, and it gives us a pause to listen to science. Hopefully, it will encourage rational thinking."
"We need to wear our masks and be six feet away, and not have any parties right now," he said about life during the pandemic.
When asked what skills he developed during the quarantine, he said with a laugh, "To have the masks nearby and the hand sanitizers nearby."
He underscored his gratitude and admiration for "the frontline workers that work tirelessly every day and often don't get paid much." "When you really look at a hospital staff, and the staff at senior homes and retirement homes, I have great respect for them, especially the first responders," he said.
Braeden noted that filming new shows in the CBS studio hasn't been that bad either. "We can't hug each other, we can't be close to each other and we need to keep a certain distance. Overall, we are doing very well," he said. "We wear the masks before and afterward and we do things with great care and caution. So far, the company has been very conscientious about it and that's why we are able to film."
Regarding the title of the current chapter of his life, Braeden responded, "Defiantly Young and Restless." "Not yet old and reckless, which means that I am defiantly young and always restless," he added.
Actors Eric Braeden and Melissa Ordway of  The Young and The Restless
Actors Eric Braeden and Melissa Ordway of 'The Young and The Restless'
Howard Wise, JPI Studios
Braeden expressed that he has enormous respect for Greek civilization and history. "The Greek civilization has contributed so enormously to our lives and to western civilization and to everything we know, it's extraordinary from mathematics to physics to geometry to philosophy, to the theater, to music," he said.
He shared that his son, filmmaker Christian Gudegast, has been writing great scripts. "I think he is also finished with writing Mafia X," he said. "He writes on two or three scripts at a time, I don't know how he does it, but he has an ability to compartmentalize. He is going to be busy for the next 10 years at least."
On his definition of the word success, he responded, "Success is reflected in ratings and what we do. That means obviously more people are watching, and that is a success. On a personal level, success is to live as good of a life as possible, and to make as many people happy as I can."
For his The Young and The Restless fans and supporters, he concluded, "A deeply felt thank you. Stay tuned. It's continuing in an interesting way. Thank you. I also agree with the fans when they say that we need to get some of the veterans back on the show and have them more in the forefront. Beyond that, to live in this country and to know that we are going through a difficult time and we will overcome this difficult time."
To learn more about The Young and The Restless, check out the official CBS website.
For more information on Eric Braden, follow him on Twitter and on Instagram.
Actor Eric Braeden of  The Young and The Restless
Actor Eric Braeden of 'The Young and The Restless'
Sonja Flemming, CBS
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