You can go home again — though you might be in for a shock. On Wednesday, Sept. 10, Criminal Minds star Shemar Moore returns to the daytime soap role that put him on the map 20 years ago, Malcolm Winters on CBS's The Young and the Restless. The two-episode experience left Moore, who left the show in 2005, stunned and pretty frazzled. He told TV Guide Magazine all about it.
TV Guide Magazine: Back to the old suds grind, eh? How'd it go in Genoa City?
Shemar Moore: It was both wonderful and scary. It was the same set, same furniture, same parking spot, same bad coffee — and a whole new, crazy way of working. Y&R moves so much faster now than it did back in my day. They handed me 42 pages of dialogue and gave me six hours to shoot it. I was, like, "Holy s--t!" Actually, I used a few more expletives I won't share with you. Seriously, 42 pages! It takes Criminal Minds seven days to film that much material! It was very flattering to be invited back — Y&R will always be my home — but, man, those people worked me.
TV Guide Magazine: Word is, the request for you to return came right from the top.
Moore: Yep, right from [CBS Entertainment president] Nina Tassler. I got a phone call from her out of left field one day and, when the big boss calls you like that with a request, what do you say? [Laughs] You say, "Yes, Ma'am!" So the politics of it all were pretty easy. You know, for years I heard, "Shemar, don't go back to Y&R because it makes a statement that you're only a soap actor!" There's such mud, such a wrong perception of what soaps are all about. I don't mean this to sound all Hallmark card-y, but I owe Y&R everything. I owe Kristoff St. John [Malcolm's brother Neil] everything. He supported and embraced me at Y&R when I was brand new and raw and just a deer caught in the headlights. [Y&R creator] Bill Bell is the one who took a chance on me, and now he's up in Heaven. I didn't know if the current brass even knew about my time on the show.
TV Guide Magazine: Ever go back and watch your early days on Y&R?
Moore: [Laughs] I can't bear it! And not just my early days — my early years! I was just horrible. I was saying all my lines in this high-pitched squeal — "Neil! You don't understand! I didn't mean to screw your wife! But I got needs! She just looked at me funny and said, 'C'mon, baby!' And I really, really wanted to be 'baby' that day. So I screwed her. I'm sorry. But I got needs!" I don't know what the hell was going on with my voice. I don't think my balls had dropped yet.
TV Guide Magazine: So Malcolm is back in town because Neil has gone blind? Please tell us it's not all lovey-dovey between those two and that there's still some friction.
Moore: They're still going head to head like in the old days, trying to fight through those demons that have always kept them at odds. Malcolm is always seeking his brother's respect. He just wants that big brotherly hug, but Neil doesn't trust him because of their history. Still, deep down, there's a lot of love there. The story has the family bringing Malcolm in to talk to Neil, who is being really hard-headed and doesn't want to let anyone help him. He has not come to grips with the possibility of being permanently blind and how that will affect his new marriage and his career. [Laughs] I probably shouldn't say this, but I think Malcolm comes back a little too preachy — 42 pages worth of preachin'! The audience is gonna be, like, "It was good to see Shemar but, damn, he wouldn't shut up!" It's a good thing Malcolm doesn't know that [Neil's adopted son] Devon is getting it on with Neil's wife. [Laughs] He'd have to go another 42 pages...and then knock Devon around a bit.
TV Guide Magazine: Is it true you needed to rework the script?
Moore: The original script did not pay enough attention to the Winters family history — they had us discussing all this more recent stuff Malcolm didn't know anything about — so I got on the phone with Kristoff and we worked out a few ideas. We then went to speak with Mrs. Phelps [executive producer Jill Farren Phelps] and expressed our concerns and she was great. We were able to get in some great references to the past that I think the longtime audience will really appreciate. I hope and believe the fans will like what they witness, but I think they're going to wish that many other questions and topics had been addressed. But, hey, the silver lining is that Malcolm can always come back to Genoa City because Shemar would love to come back. [Laughs] Just as soon as I de-stress!
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