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Catching up With THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS’ Michael Damian (EXCLUSIVE)

While THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS’ Danny Romalotti has been traipsing around the world on tour, portrayer Michael Damian has been doing a bit of globe-trotting himself. In fact, High Strung: Free Dance is the fifth movie that he’s shot in Bucharest, Romania, alone. Damian’s 2016 film, High Strung, was such a hit that dance enthusiasts clamored for a sequel. So they’ll be happy to hear that Free Dance will hit theaters in December. The new film brings Jane Seymour back as conservatory instructor Oksana but focuses the story on her daughter’s quest to land a role in a Broadway dance show and the struggle of its young choreographer to bring his dynamic vision to fruition. “It was over a year and a half from when my wife, Janeen, and I started writing the script to when we completed post-production,” Damian revealed to Soaps In Depth. “We have a lot of fun when we write together — we play movie scores and pop songs in the background, and I’ll make her get up and dance for inspiration.”

High Strung Free Dance

In the film, choreographer Zander is “so consumed with his vision for the show that he has crushes,” said Damian. (Photo Credit: JoBee)

Casting for the film, which also tells the tale of an ambitious pianist who joins the production while falling into a love triangle with its lead dancer and choreographer, took place in Los Angeles, New York, London and online. “We had all these dancers following us on social media and wanting to audition,” Damian offered. “So we really opened it up — we’ve got dancers from all over the world in this new movie.”

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE guest judge Tyce Diorio headed up a team of real-life choreographers for the film, with results that will leave viewers gobsmacked! “We have hip-hop, contemporary, ballet, Bollywood, jazz, popping/ waving, tap, heels and Broadway,” Damian previewed. “And one of the new and exciting aspects we brought to the sequel is that there are five high-powered songs actually performed on camera.” Asked why he’s poured his heart and soul into the production, the visionary explains, “We want to give our young audience something to inspire them when they get out there and go for their dreams.”

The Young and The Restless Phyllis Danny

“I loved working with Michelle Stafford,” he recalled of Danny’s ex, Phyllis. “She always brought her A game!” (Photo Credit: Paul Skipper/jpistudios.com)

It’s been five years since Danny returned to Genoa City for Katherine’s memorial service. Might he ever do so again, perhaps for another family reunion? “Danny could definitely come back,” Damian says, grinning. “But he’s gotta come back and do something wild!”

For more on what your favorite Y&R alums are up to now, keep reading the CBS edition of Soaps In Depth magazine!

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