Actor Tyler Johnson chatted with this Greek-American journalist about “The Young and The Restless,” and his love for the craft of acting.
Walt Disney once said: “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” An individual who was able to make his dream a reality is actor Tyler Johnson, who stars in the No. 1 daytime drama, The Young and The Restless, on CBS.
He portrays the character Theo Vanderway. “What I love about Theo is that he has yet to reveal himself up to this point,” he said. “I find Theo to be mysterious, even to me, at certain moments. Theo’s defense mechanism is the antithesis of what I am trying to achieve in my own life, so it’s fun to play with that. It is interesting to create that character.”
“Theo is exciting, ambitious, and potentially ruthless,” he said with a sweet laugh.
Johnson is thrilled to be back on The Young and The Restless filming new episodes for the show’s loyal viewers. “I am ecstatic to be back doing what I love,” he admitted. “I feel deeply privileged and deeply honored. I am tremendously grateful.”
He enjoys playing the current storyline on the daytime drama opposite Lola (Sasha Calle) and Kyle (Michael Mealor). “Sasha [Calle] is such a giving actress. Working with her is a calming experience for me. I really enjoy the chemistry that I have with her. Sasha’s eyes have deep wells that you can fall into, in the best way,” he said.
“Working with Michael [Mealor] is great, he is amazing. He and I are very similar while still being absolutely opposite. We have a trust and a respect for each other. The rivalry that we have is all in good fun and humor for the show, and we really enjoy it at this point,” Johnson said.
When asked how he handles being dialogue-heavy on the show, Johnson said, “Honestly, I have a tremendous amount of respect for every actor on set. For me, the dialogue isn’t even the hardest part, it’s about making that dialogue really meaningful, so I spend hours on that.”
“I try to be word-perfect on their dialogue because the writers put so much time and effort on it so I want to do it justice,” he added.
On life in quarantine, he said, “I have been doing as well as one can do. I got a puppy and that helped tremendously. Quarantine gave all of us the opportunity to focus on what is important. Also, I had more time to meditate and reflect on the man that I want to be.”
He is extremely thankful to be a part of the Abbott family on the show. “That is just incredible and I can’t put it into words,” he said. “I am really taken aback every day when I come to work and see what my colleagues are bringing to the table. That inspires me to bring it as well, otherwise I am doing them a massive disservice.”
The hit CBS soap opera The Young and The Restless has been renewed through 2024. “What an honor and what a vote of confidence that is. We are really lucky,” he said.
On being an actor in the digital age, he said, “We are in an incredible time of transformation. A lot of people are fearful about the way the industry has been changing, but I know that people are really optimistic about the future of digital media and storytelling. The more content is out there, the better the quality is for the viewers.”
For young and aspiring actors, he underscored, “You need to love it. If you truly love the craft, there is no stopping you. I don’t see myself ever getting away from the craft.”
Johnson feels that he is a better actor at this stage of his life. “There is no better classroom or place to learn the craft of acting than in daytime. I have such respect for everybody in daytime, past or present, and the people that have spent their entire careers there.”
While looking back in a rearview mirror, over the last five years, he acknowledged that he sees “a lot of striving towards self-actualization.” “For me, striving for self-actualization is the definition of the word success. It’s striving for the desire for more, whether it’s for yourself, your community, your family, or the people around you,” he said. “For me, it’s not about the destination, it’s the journey to get there, and that truly resonates for me.”
“Every time, I see a person jogging on the street that’s a successful person, or somebody studying from a book, that’s another successful person,” he added.
Regarding the title of the current chapter of his life, Johnson responded, “Metamorphosis.” Ironically enough, he shared that he is a fan of the novella, The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka. “That’s one of my favorite books of all time and I love Gregor Samsa,” he said.
If he were to do any track and field event, he revealed that he would do hurdling. “When I was a kid, I ran the mile, but these days, I think the hurdles would be a lot of fun,” he said. “As my second choice, I would try the pole vault, that sport looks fun.”
He offered the following inspiring words for people during the quarantine: “Hang in there. We are all in this together. This is not an easy time for anybody. Rather than closing down your hearts, let your hearts swell, and feel the passion for your fellow men and women. You are choosing love or fear. I hope the whole world comes together at some level.”
“For every Theo fan, I want to extend the most genuine ‘thank you’ on the planet. Theo is not the easiest one to get behind, but if you get Theo, in my opinion, you are getting something unique and I really appreciate that,” he concluded for his dedicated fans and followers.
For more information on The Young and The Restless, or to stream the show online, check out the official CBS website.