Actor Robert Newman, 64, isn’t necessarily young, but he did get restless in his previous role. He suggested he’s just fine that playing Ashland Locke on The Young and the Restless has reached an end.
“I don’t know that I really thought of it that way; it was really more when the producer told me that they had decided to stick with the original plan. Which was to kill off the character,” Newman told Soap Opera Digest. “I know that the minute he told me that, I felt a sense of relief. Because even to extend for the second six-month cycle of the contract, which we’d put in as a possibility kind of thing.”
Why did he want to be off the show?
For Newman, wanting to leave LA and The Young and the Restless boiled down mostly to one thing: Family.
“Another six months in LA, I think, would have really, really taken its toll on me,” he said. “So I almost immediately breathed a sigh of relief because I don’t even know that I realized what a toll [being separated from my family] was taking on me. And then shortly after that, Kendal came out to L.A. for a week; right after she left, I just felt a deep sense of … I just went down, you know? Depression is too harsh to say, but I just sort of felt my whole self start to fall down.
“I just don’t think I realized how much it meant to me to have her there for the week, so once I wrapped my brain around leaving the show, which was one thing, leaving L.A. was a whole other thing. There are two bottom-line truths about L.A. One is that I don’t live there; I live 3,000 miles away. And the other is — and this is maybe going to offend people who live there — I don’t want to live there! I just don’t. I was born and raised there, I spent the first 22 years of my life there.
“When I left there to join Guiding Light and moved to New York City, I’ve never looked back. I’ve never thought to myself, ‘Gee, I really want to go back and live in L.A. again.’ The six months there really cemented that for me and for Britt. So, if there was a soap here in New York, I think it would be a no-brainer for me, but the added caveat of having to be so far away from my family and live in a city that I don’t care for … There was a lot going on there.”
For the record, it’s not just Newman who is leaving. Ashland Locke bit the dust at the end of last season. All that needs to be figured out now is what to do with the body.
Newman is playing nice.
As for Newman, well, he’s already gone.
“I really liked playing the character. I worked really hard to keep him from being a one-trick pony bad guy, you know?” he said. “When I approach a character, I am looking for the human being inside that character; whether it’s a good guy or a bad guy, I’m looking for the guy who is dealing with the same things that you deal with and I deal with every day, with hopes and fears and strengths and weaknesses.
“I do think that good people are capable of doing bad things and with Ashland Locke, I was really fascinated with the story of a man who’s done these terrible things in his life and is now trying to reform himself and seek redemption. I was very interested in that story.”