Christian LeBlanc talks playing Big Daddy in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, The Young and the Restless and more. Learn more here--->>
Photo: Lesley Bohm
The three-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning Actor Christian LeBlanc initially had dreams of becoming a doctor. But when he left his home in New Orleans for New York City, a new dream, a dream of becoming an actor was born. In the early days of his career, LeBlanc starred on In the Heat of the Night and As the World Turns, which was his first daytime gig. His acting credits also include several guest appearances on popular television shows such as Cheers, Perry Mason, and Gabriel’s Fire. And of course, he is widely known for his longstanding role as Michael Baldwin on the soap opera The Young and the Restless.
In addition, LeBlanc has appeared in the web series: Venice the Series, Grove the Series, Fumbling Thru the Pieces, and The Stafford Project. On stage, he has starred in Ladies In Retirement, and more recently LeBlanc was in No Orchids for Miss Blandish, The Catonsville Nine, and Appearances to the Contrary.
Last year LeBlanc took to social media to share the exciting news that he had landed the role of “Big Daddy Pollitt” in the off-Broadway production of the Tennessee Williams classic “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” The show production was initially set to run at the beginning of 2022 but it was rescheduled several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Subsequently, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof took to the stage and completed its critically acclaimed five-week limited engagement which began on July 24. The production is the first off-Broadway staging of the play greenlit by Williams’ estate. The story is set in Big Daddy’s plantation home in the Mississippi Delta and it examines the relationship between the wealthy, misogynistic, and domineering tycoon and his family.
Soap Opera News had the opportunity to speak to LeBlanc while in the midst of his phenomenal run as Big Daddy. If you don’t know, chatting it up with Leblanc is a fun and lively time to be had! We spoke to him about the opportunity to star in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Young and the Restless, and we rounded our chat up with “LeBlanc’s faves.”
“Coming back to New York has been a full circle moment. My first acting job was here and then to return for this play and this role has been nothing short of amazing. It’s my first performance on the big stage since the 90s. And I tell you, it’s been a whirlwind. I did some shows for The Young and the Restless, and then had the pleasure to present the award for Best Lead Actress at the Daytime Emmys to Mishael Morgan who was the first African-American to win the award. What a great moment it was. And then the next day I was on a plane to New York to do the show. Prior to our arrival, everything had been done online. I hadn’t ever touched, seen, or smelled these people until I landed here. You get here. You’re in rehearsals. It’s go time with only two and half weeks until opening night. It’s been crazy. One morning I woke up to a billboard of me in Times Square. Like I said, it has been a whirlwind.
I was thrilled when I landed the role of Big Daddy and the entire experience has been awesome. I was given some freedoms not to change the script but freedom in my portrayal. The show chose modern casting which created a modern version of the play. The casting sort of liberated me. It was also cool because I always play much younger than I am but Big Daddy is close to my age. I am discovering things about myself. What a gentle and kind way to be introduced to yourself as an older actor, to play such a great character close to my true age. I had a photo shoot and I was like no makeup? I had a ball. It’s all been such a revelation. And to have a billboard in Times Square? It only upped the ante. Life is full of unintended consequences that become consequences. My long grey hair was a consequence of the pandemic. Who knows if the director or the producer would have even noticed me or given me a second thought as a brunette!”
November 2021 marked LeBlanc’s thirtieth year anniversary on The Young and Restless. The show celebrated the milestone with a special episode honoring LeBlanc and Michael Baldwin in January of this year. LeBlanc spoke about the milestone and what is next for Michael. “I can’t say what it meant to be honored by the show. I loved the way they wrote the episode with Michael being at a crossroads, in this midlife crisis regarding what he wanted to do. Do I still want to be the DA? Is it time to move on to do something else? Michael’s wife, Lauren (Tracey Bregman), was right there by his side trying to help. Judith (Gloria), Greg (Kevin), Elizabeth (Chloe), and Lauralee (Christine) were all there. I couldn’t have asked for more. What’s next for Michael? I would say most definitely more escapades with Michael and Victor. Eric is a joy to work with. Sometimes we can barely keep a straight face in scenes. What else is next for Michael? Who knows, but the show always manages to surprise me.”
Before concluding our interview, we asked LeBlanc if he had a message for his legions of fans. "I wouldn’t be here without the fans. They have been so supportive of the play. As an artist, there is no greater gift anyone can give me than for them to pay their hard-earned money to see me work or to support a charity that I do. It is extremely humbling. And also, the support from the fans who have watched me all these years on The Young and the Restless. I don’t take any of it for granted. A big thank you to everyone.”
If you haven't seen Cat On A Hot Tin Roof yet, please check it out!
Interview by: Angela Ryan-Duncan
Written by: Kenyan Smith