It's truly the beginning of a new chapter for The Young and the Restless' Adam Newman (Mark Grossman), who spent most of the year trying to prove that he is a changed man and is now seeing the fruit of those efforts in the form of a renewed bond with his Newman family members. He's finally getting along with his siblings, he's not on the outs with his father, and -- to the surprise of viewers who have watched Adam do a lot of brooding over the past couple of years -- he's actually cracking a smile here and there!
Some of the character's recent happiness can be attributed to his blossoming connection to Sally (Courtney Hope), who's a breath of fresh air for Adam after the demise of his relationship with Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan). But could forging ahead with the spicy Spectra derail Adam's progress in becoming a better person? And will he even truly fall for Sally when it's clear that he's got lingering feelings for Sharon (Sharon Case)? And what about Chelsea?! How will her return to the canvas play into Adam's romantic future?
Soap Central spoke with Mark Grossman to get his thoughts on Adam's complicated love life, as well as what viewers can expect during Victoria (Amelia Heinle) and Ashland's (Richard Burgi) wedding -- an event that Grossman teases could change the Newman family dynamic forever.
Soap Central: Before we get into all of the Adam drama, I have a fun question for you. Your lovely co-star, Michelle Stafford (Phyllis Summers), started a Fun Initiative on social media in which she asks fans to do five fun things for five days in a row. If you were to take part, what five fun things would you do?
Mark Grossman: The first thing that comes to mind when I think of things I enjoy, I'd probably go hiking. Is that lame? [Laughs] I'd go hiking, I'd go see a movie, maybe go to the beach, I would take a road trip somewhere, and I would listen to old music that I haven't listened to in a while.
Soap Central: All fun things! Thank you for answering that. And now, to get into the stuff for Adam -- this has been such a big year for him. He has been working really, really hard to redeem himself and become a better man. Where do you think he lies in that progress at the moment?
Grossman: He's in a better place than he's been in for a while. He's had quite a journey since I've been on the show, with the A.J. stuff and going to such extreme measures. Things are calming down, and he seems to be getting along with his family better, which is really nice. The [drama] between him and Nick [Joshua Morrow] has cooled off, and even with Victoria, things with her are warming up a little bit, which is nice. Adam and Victor [Eric Braeden] seem to be getting along; they're working together and nothing too bad has happened -- yet! Victor has been pressuring him to go after Billy [Jason Thompson], and Adam has been reluctant to do that because he's trying to walk a straight line and turn over a new leaf and be the man that in his heart he knows he can be. And now he has this dynamic working with Chloe [Elizabeth Hendrickson] and Sally, and that's new for Adam.
Soap Central: It's new beginnings all around for him, because he's also on the verge of something romantic with Sally, which has been an interesting connection.
Grossman: Yeah, they've been doing the Adam and Sally stuff, and that has been really nice because it's kind of a blank canvas for Adam. I love the Adam/Sharon and Adam/Chelsea relationships, and there is so much history there, but when they wrote Adam and Sally, I thought, "Oh, well, this is really nice, because it's a clean slate for Adam." And that is always exciting, to have the possibility to create something new and see what happens. It's been a lot of fun.
Soap Central: Adam was recently very clear with Sally about how he views their connection, and he told her they are not in a relationship. Where do you think that's coming from? Is he concerned that her troublemaking ways will derail his attempts to become a better man?
Grossman: I think he sees a lot of himself in her, and obviously they have a lot of similarities -- they're outcasts, but he admires her drive and determination. But there is that dynamic of Adam technically being her boss. They ended up kissing at the Newman Media thing, and it was kind of like zero to hundred. He felt he needed to put the brakes on it, because he and Chelsea just split up, and Connor is always the most important thing to Adam; he will always try to do what's best for his son, and I think things between Adam and Sally just happened really fast, and he just needed to take a couple of steps back. They end up going to the wedding together and they end up kissing again, but he's really trying to take things slow, because there have been a lot of things that have recently changed in his life. So, he's just taking his time and making sure [this is where he wants to go]. If he's going to get into another relationship, he's got to be all into it. Because again, all of this is coming on the heels of him and Chelsea splitting up. But it's been really fun, the Adam and Sally stuff. On paper, the characters have a lot in common, and I'm excited to see where it's going to go.
Soap Central: You touched on Adam still trying to move on from his and Chelsea's relationship, and even though he has been clear with her about things between them being over, there's no doubt that they are always connected. Plus, the writers have left the door open for Adam and Sharon, as well. Where do you think Adam stands with both women at this moment?
Grossman: Adam and Chelsea will obviously always have that connection; they have Connor, and I don't think that door will ever be shut. And the same thing with Sharon -- there has been so much stuff that they've written in the past couple of years teasing Adam and Sharon, because they have so much history. It really comes down to what the writers want to do, but no matter what, Adam will always care deeply for Sharon and Chelsea. There's so much conflict with those relationships and so much history, and now, they're bringing Sally into the mix, as well! I don't know what the writers want to do -- it's ever changing. [Laughs] At times I think we're going down one path, and then it turns out that we're not, so I'm always trying to fill in the gaps and rationalize, "What are we doing?! Where is Adam's heart right now."
Soap Central: I mean, what a lucky guy though! He's connecting with women left, right, and center. Every man's dream.
Grossman: Yeah, it's ever changing. Obviously he cares deeply for Sharon and Chelsea, and now we have this new thing going on with Adam and Sally, and who knows -- maybe this will be another really important romantic relationship for Adam in his life. Maybe it's just what Adam needs -- or maybe it will be something that makes him realize where his heart really is. We'll see!
Soap Central: What has it been like for you to work with Courtney Hope?
Grossman: It's been great. She's such a professional, and we have had a blast. It just felt so easy when we started working together, and we've really enjoyed it. We're always excited to get our scripts and see what happens next. It's been a lot of fun.
Soap Central: We know Adam and Sally will be making a bold move right before Victoria and Ashland's wedding this week. What can you tease about what happens in Tuscany?
Grossman: Sally is very adamant about trying to get Victoria to wear her wedding dress and Adam reluctantly agrees to take her with him to the wedding, because he admires her drive and determination. So, they go, and when all of these people get together, there is going to be some drama. Billy seems to really want to stop this wedding, so, I guess we're going to find out if Sally can convince Victoria to wear this dress and if Billy is going to throw a wrench into the wedding! If Billy does do something drastic though, it will hopefully bring the Newmans closer together and they will unite to go against Billy.
Soap Central: What was it like for you to film the wedding scenes, where there were a lot of cast members coming together for a big event? We haven't had many scenes like that in the past year and half because of COVID!
Grossman: They're some of the most fun scenes, when everyone gets together. When we have downtime, everyone is just laughing and having a good time. And the set they built was really beautiful -- I really enjoyed it. But we always have a lot of fun whenever we have big stuff like that. I feel like the last one was the Top of the Tower party for Victor's 40th, where there were a bunch of people that came together. I love that stuff. It can be a little hectic! But it's fun when everyone gets together. One person gets to laughing and then the whole group is cracking up, and we're like, "Alright guys, we've got to be serious now!" [Laughs]
Soap Central: This group scene sounds a bit different, because as you said, Adam is getting along with his family, which is a whole new experience for viewers! Adam and Nick have been quite brotherly lately, so, what do you think about the new bond that they've forged?
Grossman: I think it's nice, because you're right: we don't get to see it that often. There is always an underlying tension between them, but the fact that they've been able to sit down and have conversations and not be at each other's throats all the time, it's been a nice change of pace. And I've enjoyed the scenes with Joshua a lot. But it's not going to last forever! The dynamic between the two brothers, butting heads all the time, is great [for story]. Right now is just a cooling off period, and when periods like this come, I just take advantage of it and lean into it. And me and Victoria have had some nice scenes lately where she appears to potentially be open to tolerating Adam a little bit more. [Laughs] There was a scene recently where I made her laugh, and she seemed like she caught herself, because she realized that Adam made her laugh; it was a really nice moment. So, it's been fun. They've been writing a lot more lighter material, almost like comedy stuff, and it's been nice to see Adam smile. It's been pretty heavy-handed since I've been on -- which I love! I love Adam's edge and I think that's one of the great things about the character -- but right now, with everything going relatively well in his life, I have been just leaning into the idea of Adam being happy and things being relatively okay for the time being.
Soap Central: We recently did an interview with Amelia and I asked her about Victoria and Adam's relationship. She was of the opinion that they will never be able to come to a place that perhaps Adam and Nick will or could. Do you agree with her?
Grossman: Yeah, and I think it's because they're both very, very competitive. Nick has never really wanted to be part of the biz that much, and Adam and Victoria are similar in that regard, where they both really want to be the top dog at Newman. So, that's the big difference between those relationships; Adam and Victoria are always going to be vying, being like, "Look at me, daddy! I'm the most reliable sibling." They both have that ruthless thing when it comes to business.
Soap Central: Despite that, do you think Adam still feels protective of Victoria? I mean, take the wedding, for instance. There's all this shady drama with Ashland and his past, so, if things get messy, could it actually be something that brings Adam and Victoria closer?
Grossman: If somebody from the outside is messing with the family, it's instinct for Adam to want to step up and help his family. So, yeah, that could be something that could bring Adam and Victoria a little bit closer, if he did look out for her and help her. Even though it's this tough relationship where we're always at each other's throats, moments like that make Adam step up, and if it happens, maybe Victoria will have a little revelation about him.
Soap Central: You did a previous interview in which you stated that there are times when you feel more connected to Adam and times when you feel less connected to Adam. Where do you stand with him now, and why does that change for you?
Grossman: The storyline changes so much, and the ebb and flow of that [can affect the connection you feel to your character]. I really love the character of Adam so much -- he's a great character. We all have stuff in our own lives, drama in our own families, and I just have always loved the dynamic with Adam and Victor. A lot of guys know what it's like to have a tough relationship with their father, so, I've always enjoyed those scenes. Talking where we are right now, with these lighter moments, I've really enjoyed them, and I've allowed myself to lean into it. I like the edge and the darkness that Adam has; as an actor, it's really fun to play. But I'm enjoying the lighter moments, as well.
Soap Central: We're seeing a new side of Adam, and that is especially interesting because he's a character who's been on the canvas for so long. They're digging into a different side of him, which must be fun for you to explore.
Grossman: Yes, one hundred percent. That's what I'm really trying to say, is that I've enjoyed this new side of Adam because he's had such a big chip on his shoulder and has been so vindictive since I've been playing him. People aren't all bad, and I haven't really had a chance to play Adam being happy, so, I've had a lot of fun trying to explore this new side of him. As an actor, it's been a challenge to try not to judge my choices and just be like, "This is okay." Because sometimes I'm like, "Hey, I think I'm getting out there too far!"
Soap Central: Too far as in you think you're being too light?
Grossman: Yeah, there has been some comedy stuff, and I feel like I've maybe leaned into some goofiness too much. Maybe I'm just being too self-critical! But it's been fun.
Soap Central: With romantic relationships, different partners bring out different elements to your personality, and Sally can be pretty funny -- she's zany and wacky. So, it makes sense that that would influence Adam in a way, too.
Grossman: Yeah! It almost seems like she brings that side out in Adam, because she's quirky and kind of goofy. I've enjoyed seeing that happen.
Soap Central: In closing, I'll say that I'm really looking forward to seeing how things progress with Adam and Sally, but most of all, I can't wait to see if Adam can actually stay on the straight and narrow!
Grossman: Probably not! [Laughs] We'll see how long it lasts.
What do you think about our interview with Mark Grossman? Are you enjoying the blossoming connection between Adam and Sally, or would you prefer for Adam to reunite with either Chelsea or Sharon? Do you like seeing the lighter side of Adam and watching the character get along with his family, or do you miss the darker version of Adam? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.