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He's Genoa City's newest hunk and he's certainly more than meets the eye. Ryan Ashton currently plays the role of Zack Stinnett on 'The Young and the Restless' and he's doing a superb job. 'Y&R' fans are intrigued and would love to get all the juicy details on his involvement in the sex trafficking ring. Soap Opera Intel caught up with the daytime newbie who dished on joining the CBS daytime drama, his sex trafficking involvement, upcoming projects and much more!
Ashton who is playing his first daytime role told us about being a part of such a hardworking cast. "A soap opera production schedule is like nothing else. The actors need to learn a lot of lines in a short period of time and do their best to get it right on the first take. That pressure can be intense. So I can’t tell you how comforting it was to walk on set my first day and meet the cast. Everyone was so warm and welcoming. You definitely get the sense that the entire cast is in this together and that they fully support one another. I know a little sprinkling of dirt here would be ideal, but the truth is that I feel like they welcomed me into their family with open arms and because of that I’ve been able to embrace the pressure and enjoy the rush and privilege of coming to work," he shared as he gushed about joining the CBS daytime soap.
But, what's really going on with Zack? He's obviously more than meets the eye. When we asked about Zack's real deal, Ashton shared, "Good question. Zack is clearly a complex guy. He’s capable of some dark, despicable things but I don’t think that makes him incapable of feeling true love. Whatever deep wound Zack developed growing up, he’s still working very hard to manage it. Unfortunately, for some of those he comes into contact with, his way of managing pain manifests in some truly terrible ways. To paraphrase good ol’ Mr. Rogers, “There isn’t anyone you couldn’t learn to love once you’ve heard their story.” Zack does bad things but that doesn’t mean I’m not rooting for him to find peace." And, he definitely has some connection to the sex trafficking storyline. When we brought it up Ashton couldn't say much more than a simple "yes".
We know fans are wondering what will happen when the truth of his involvement in the sex trafficking storyline comes to light, especially since he's with Abby (Melissa Ordway) and we also know how protective Victor (Eric Braeden) can be when it comes to his family. So, is Zack really ready to be on Victor's bad side? On that subject Ashton highlighted, "Is anyone ever prepared to be on Victor Newman’s bad side? Zack comes from very little, or “the school of hard knocks” as he says, and he feels like financial success is the answer to all of his problems. For that reason, I think he very much admires Victor—excuse me—Mr. Newman, for his drive and determination in creating his empire. Zack would hate to disappoint him. That said, Zack has been through a lot in his life, so whatever financial, legal, or even physical pain Victor could dish out, it might not compare to the cards that Abby Newman holds. Zack’s heart might be his true achilles heal and he’s been able to keep it guarded his whole life, that is perhaps, until he met Abby."
So apart from his current story, we were wondering if Zack has any other connections in GC, meaning if he has family there? "Who knows! It’s possible. Though, I do feel like Zack is a drifter— he packs light. Sometimes I think of him as the Harold Hill (to be clear, that's a The Music Man reference…the 1962 movie version…the ONLY version in my opinion ) of Genoa City. “Oh we got trouble! Right here in Genoa City!” Guess that would make Abby, Marian the Librarian. Okay, now I’ve got visions of Zack and Abby on a bridge singing Till There Was You. Sorry, what was the question again?", Ashton noted.
Since he's doing such a good job with the material he's given on the show, it would be good if he would stick around for the unforeseeable future. "What an honor that would be. Zack exists on very thin ice and it’d be a very steep hill to climb if there’s any attempt made at redemption. So, I don’t know what the future holds for him but I can tell you that I know well enough to savor every moment on set," he shared as he expressed his desires to remain with the show.
Besides his work on 'Y&R', Ashton has a few other things on the horizon that fans can look forward to. Of his upcoming projects, Ashton shared, "This Fall I’ll be doing a play called Map of Virtue written by Erin Courtney and directed by the great Mark Sitko. It’s produced by Barker Room Rep. They're doing some really cool work. Be sure to check them out. Virtue goes up in November in Los Angeles. And this Winter I’ll be shooting a comedy called Sweet Wisdom Tooth Prank that I wrote with some good friends from film school. Really looking forward to both projects."
So Y&R fans, what do you think is Zack's involvement in the sex trafficking story? Do you want to see Ashton stick around long-term?