Red TV: Redaric Williams in the Spotlight
Q&A with the Detroit native who plays Tyler Michaelson on 'The Young and the Restless'
Soap opera star Redaric Williams is hot—red-hot.
Nicknamed "Red" after his skin's scarlet hue, the Detroit native is from the "wrong side of the tracks" as the conflicted character Tyler Michaelson on The Young and the Restless.
Williams' well-proportioned 6-foot-2 frame was built for college football superstardom, which was his plan at the University of North Texas, where he majored in business on a sports scholarship. But after injuries forced him to quit athletics, he left school and moved to New York to pursue acting.
Since his debut on Y&R in November 2012, soap fans have swooned that he's the sexiest man in daytime drama since Shemar Moore. (He's already mastered the smoldering bad boy stare.)
This fall, expect to see Williams, 32, find potential love in character Abby Newman (Melissa Ordway)—but, in true soap fashion, there are no happy endings and impending drama will leave viewers seeing red in more ways than one.
Is it true you started acting at the age of 11?
My mother was always an advocate of keeping kids busy. I was involved in all kinds of things and acting was one of them. She got us to audition for a Canadian kid show (Hands Up! Hands On!), and I got one of those roles. I think as a kid you are just kind of having fun, but it laid a foundation.
And you graduated from Denby High School?
Yes! It's kind of strange being in the entertainment industry, because it seems almost everyone from Detroit went to Cass (Technical High School). I've traveled far and wide, and I always seem to bump into people from Detroit. At first I thought it was a good thing; then I recently realized it is a mass exodus. It's kind of sad. People have a preconceived notion what the city is about, and it's a beautiful place that has a rich history.
You can talk until your face is blue about something, but until people experience it for themselves they are not going to know.
Where did you hang out when you lived in Detroit?
Oh man, I was kind of into the riffraff stuff when I was young.
So, you were 'young and restless'?
(Laughs) You know, Belle Isle, Chandler Park. Belle Isle, that was like the area. Park the car. Hang. Try to get girls' phone numbers. And that's what we'd do: hang out in each others' basements, go to Belle Isle and Chandler Park or go to nightclubs. We were underage, but yeah.
For new The Young and the Restless watchers, tell us about your character Tyler Michaelson.
My character is not the typical for The Young and the Restless. He is kind of a wild card as far as the show goes. He's from the "wrong side of the tracks," if you will, and has a rough background. He was a graffiti artist as a kid. But he's well-rounded in that he turned it around to have a career.
That was my start on the show, coming to Genoa City as the brother of character Leslie Michaelson (played by Angell Conwell).
It's funny. He is kind of like a younger version of myself. There are things in the script that I am reading that I would not necessarily do when I was younger. I am reading the script like, "Oh man, he's doing that now?" But it's a fun character to play. He's definitely not predictable. He's an ever-changing character.
How does Tyler bring the drama, besides frequently being shirtless on screen?
The drama comes from him being unrelenting in his decisions. He does not regard consequences. His sister gets him a job, and he's working very closely with Christel Khalil's character, Lily. And she's married. But he gets the desire right away, very much attracted to her, and lays his cards down to see her response. She is physically attracted to his character and that's enough for him. And he pursues her. It creates drama. He's very impulsive. The shirt-off stuff doesn't hurt, either.