The Young And The Sexless
By Nelson Branco
Currently, three daytime soap operas feature breakout super queer couples: All My Children's Reese and Bianca; As The World Turns' Noah and Luke; and Guiding Light's Olivia and Natalia. Now The Young and the Restless, is the latest drama to straddle the pink bandwagon. Eager to convert more fans to the gay side, last month Genoa City's trusted legal eagle character, Rafe Torres, played by 24 year-old Yani Gellman, came out in an unusually subtle scene.
You may have seen Gellman before ' he's previously been in horror flicks like Urban Legends: Final Cut and in 2002's Jason X. And teenage girls fell in love with the actor when he starred in 2003's The Lizzie McGuire Movie. Most recently, he has been cast in the Canadian series Monster Warriors, which should be enough to arm Gellman with the armor to fight Y&R's evil Victor Newman.
As Rafe Torres becomes more entrenched in the canvas of the soap, sources tell Out that an unusual love interest -- could it be straight Newman heir, Adam? -- is on the horizon. Moreover, there are rumors that Phillip Chancellor IV (played by former Guiding Light heartthrob John Driscoll) may squire the briefs off the workaholic. Or maybe Rafe will find himself in the middle of love triangle with both characters?
We caught up with Yani to dish what it's like working on his favorite soap opera, playing gay for pay, and if Y&R plans on showing Rafe getting it on with another Genoa City male.
Out: Welcome to the daytime gay-waves! The Young and the Restless boasts a large Canadian cast, and you're from Toronto.
Yani Gellman: I am! We have a little Canadian contingent on our set. I consider Toronto my home. I try to visit every three months and visit my family and friends. I was born in Miami, and after my parents broke up I moved to Australia, then Spain with my father, and then to Texas for a short while, and then Toronto. And now I live in Los Angeles.
Whew -- You get around. Did you watch Y&R before joining the cast?
I did with my sister after we got home from school. My sister is a die-hard Y&R fan. She'd always make me watch with her. I stopped watching it for a long time, but when I booked this role I got sucked back into life in Genoa City.
Literally. As a fan it must be surreal to be walking around The Newman Ranch.
It hasn't been as weird as I thought. It certainly was for my sister. She came down to visit the set and she had a blast. She couldn't believe we were on the Y&R set ten years after we fell in love with the show.
Is Rafe Torres a recurring role?
Yes, it is.
You're 24. Yet you're playing a lawyer! Discuss.
[Laughs] Rafe is very fresh out of law school!
Rafe obviously blew one of his professors!
[Laughs] This is definitely one of the first adult roles I've played. It's been a little bit of challenge. Ironically, I attended University to become a lawyer before the acting bug bit me. This Y&R gig is a dream come true -- in more ways than one. The legal situations Rafe is assigned is something I can relate to, so the dialogue comes easy.
When you auditioned, did you Rafe was gay?
I didn't know. All I knew was that he was a young lawyer. I was on the show for a month or so before the producers called me in for a meeting to discuss the direction they wanted to take Rafe, and I was cool with it.
Is your family cool with you playing gay?
Yeah! They're all happy. I have a lot of friends in the gay community, and a couple family members who are gay. Everyone's really proud to be a part of this experience because it's quite the landmark role. And it's about time.