In the midst of his tenth year fighting Criminal Minds, Shemar Moore holstered his weapon to come home to The Young and the Restless. For just one day, Moore got to slip back into Malcolm Winters’ shoes and share the stage with his first onscreen family, again.
“This has been a treat. This is crazy. It’s been surreal and wonderful,” Moore raved, his head still spinning at the end of the day. “It’s the same couch! It’s the same bad coffee! It’s the same dressing rooms! And a lot of the same faces.”
As enthusiastic as he was, Moore almost didn’t make it back to Genoa City. During his commute to set in August, he went into autopilot and almost drove to his day job — er, should we say primetime job? — instead. Thankfully, he caught himself just in time to merge onto the right freeway. (Only in Los Angeles!)
“In that moment, I was like, ‘Holy smokes. I am going to be on The Young and the Restless. I’m really going to do Malcolm!'” he recalled. “Then I got a mixture of nerves, excitement, nostalgia. ‘What is this going to be like?’ Just pulling up, walking in the building and seeing The Price is Right wheel… everything is a little different but the same. It was a little [sings Twilight Zone music].”
His butterflies were not about working with his daytime family, however.
“I knew we were going to dance, like we always did,” he said. “This is where my career began. In the beginning, I got paid to fall on my butt every day. Mr. Bill Bell took a chance on me, and I was smart enough to know what I didn’t know. I got into class, I worked with a coach and I worked with Kristoff St John (Neill), Victoria Rowell (Drucilla) and Tonya Lee Williams (Olivia) and then years later, Christel Khalil (Lily) and Bryton James (Devon) came along.
We had this nice core group and I learned how to act, built a name for myself and got bold enough to be able to take risks. Otherwise, there would be no resume, let aloneCriminal Minds. To come back here was a chance to play with Kristoff, Christel and Bryton.”
It was also another chance to thank his onscreen big brother. “When I first came to the show, back in 1994, it took a couple years to get my bearings, my voice, my breath and my confidence,” he said. “Kristoff was a big part of that. I told him today, I’ll always be grateful for how he embraced me when he didn’t have to and helped lead the way so I could find my way. That’s why this is home.”
Family member Rowell, of course, was not at “home,” but strangely enough, Moore actually ran into her just days before taping. “I was at a random pool party in Malibu and she’s standing out on the balcony,” he marveled. “It was wonderful to see her. She’d heard about my return and said to tell all those guys, ‘Hey.’ I said, ‘I wish you were there,’ and she said, ‘I think I’m dead.’ And that was that. But I heard she fell in a river, so maybe she fell in the same river in Africa I fell in!”
Not everyone gets a chance to come back from the dead, let alone a chance to drop in to just “play” for a day. But don’t let Moore’s excitement fool you: Coming home wasn’t all fun and games.
“I shot two episodes in one day — Thank God it wasn’t three!” he admitted. “It was tough when I was here. If this is the pace they keep now? And they do that much material? We’re doing seven to ten pages a day [at Criminal Minds]. At The Young and the Restless,you’re doing anywhere from 15 to 45 pages. People can say what they want about soap operas, but you gotta work. The amount of material you have to own and make real, it’s really a trick.”
Moore admitted he could have used a little more time learning his lines, this time around, but he had no trouble re-finding his rhythm with St. John.
“By about the second or third take with Kristoff and that same furniture, it felt like, maybe not yesterday, but a couple months ago, I was doing this,” he shared. “We didn’t have to practice. We just had to get the words right and it fell into place. It’s always been like that.”
Moore still relies on his soaptastic dialogue muscle as a primetime actor and has a reputation for being a quick study at Criminal Minds, but after a long day of flexing back where he started, he was feeling a bit sore.
“I’m going to love going to work going tomorrow to do my six lines that I get to say 40 times each!” he cracked.
He was also looking forward to bringing back a report on his day in Genoa City. When word of his return first got out at Criminal Minds, he was surprised by reactions from a few crewmembers.
“Let me get this straight: We’re here at Criminal Minds and you’re ecstatic that I’m going to The Young and the Restless?” Moore recalled with a laugh. “They really were. ‘That’s my soap!’ They see me every day, but they can’t wait to see me on The Young and the Restless.”
Moore’s makeup guy, Dane Johnson, is also a Y&R fan, which means Moore often gets a chance to catch up on Genoa City while in the chair. He was up on all the big turns, including Neil’s newest family love triangle with Devon and Hilary.
“Everybody’s doing everybody in Genoa City,” he quipped. “Some things never change.”
In preparing for his return, Moore didn’t, however, focus on the work done by his recast (and real life pal) Darius McCrary or the fact that Malcolm last stormed out of town after it was revealed Neil was actually the father of his new baby, Moses.
After ten years away from set, Moore let the script fill him in on where Malcolm is today.
“The sense I got is that life has happened for him, so he has matured,” Moore said. “Family is everything to him, even though he’s a runner and doesn’t always face up to his problems. But he’s growing up. Malcolm’s a lone soldier, running the world — obviously he has to be, because I’m off doing what I’m doing. Now his brother is in a bad way. He just wants to connect with Neil and give him perspective. Neil was always the rock. Here’s Malcolm’s chance to be the rock for him.”
Malcolm gave his newly blind brother some tough love and then left town again, but the door remains open for a return. It’s a headline used countless times before, but yes: Moore is ready for more!
“Will I come back and do a contract in three years? Probably not,” he said. “But if I can moonlight and come play with these guys, I’d be more than happy to. Wherever I’m at in my career, if Kristoff and the gang are here and I’m asked to come play with them? In my heart, this is my first home. The politics and the business, that’s out of my hands, but I’m willing to play whenever the stars line up.”
When is The Young and The Restless on TV? In Canada, The Young and The Restlessairs weekdays at 4.00 et/4.30pt on Global TV
Where can I watch The Young and The Restless online for free?GlobalTV.com/theyoungandtherestless streams full episodes of The Young and The Restless online for free, or watch with the Global Go app on your iOS or Android mobile device. Episodes are typically posted the day after the initial on-air broadcast.