Eric Braeden Reminisces About 30 Years at Y&R
TVG: You celebrated your 30-year anniversary recently, what are some of your favourite Genoa City moments?
EB: The storyline that was a huge turning point in my career was when I asked Bill Bell to explain why Victor was who he was. And then one day, I looked at the script and I said, “Well, I’ll be damned.” It was around the time Michael Evans was still on the show as Douglas. Nikki was always trying to find out what really happened in Victor’s background. It was Christmas Eve when Nikki finally asked him. Victor revealed he was left at an orphan at the age of 7. That’s when I knew I wanted to continue acting on Y&R because I felt like I had finally touched the audience with my performance. The reveal humanized the character. I was sick and tired of the dehumanization that many actors feel when they play the bad guy. As you know, I’ve played a lot of bad guys over the years. So when a very reluctant Victor confessed to Nikki about the horrors he faced as a child, I loved it. My other favourite moment was when Y&R brought on Victor’s mother. When Douglas informed Victor his mother wanted to see him, Victor thought she was an imposter looking for money. Victor began interrogating her but then she said something only Victor’s mother could have known. When she left Victor at the orphanage, there was a hole in Victor’s sweater. Only she and I could have known that. That’s my all-time moment in the history of the show because I didn’t know how to play it. I thought, “Well, let’s go and just do it … ” What transpired onscreen was a mixture of anger and sadness. I loved how it turned out. No question. Later, Victor’s father appeared in the form of George Kennedy, whom I admire a great deal. That whole storyline rang very true to me as well.