Interviews Soaps

The Young and the Restless Star Zach Tinker on Shock Daytime Emmy Nomination, Potential Romance for Fen and Love of Trash TV

Zach Tinker
Photo courtesy Zach Tinker

That’s incredible! That really echoes a lot of what people say about veteran actors taking in the newer actors on these shows. I think it’s a really great feeling for everyone in the soap opera community to know this.

More than just my parents! To even go further, the whole crew and cast have made me feel so at home. I’m hesitant to say this but if they didn’t make me feel as comfortable as they did, I don’t even know if I would have gotten this nomination. From day one, I felt like I could be comfortable performing and just being my genuine self, which made the acting and scenes that much easier to work with. 

You have to read the room and energy especially when you’re doing something — like you’d mentioned before, that makes you very vulnerable and open. 

In that vein, this is your first time on a soap opera, right? I’m guessing it was pretty hectic to learn the ins and outs of that. 

(laughs) Oh yeah, oh yeah!

How was that? How many scripts a day did you have to read through?

Well, the first week was my hardest. I found out I booked the role the day before I had to start filming. 

(laughs) Oh, wow…

Yeah! I had to maybe 20 pages of dialogue the day before. I was just kind of thrown into the water. The more you do it, the more you get used to the style. 

It’s like muscle memory!

Yeah, it’s the best practice I’ve ever had as an actor. You really only ever get one take. If you mess up, they’ll take it one line back, count you down and then you go right back into it. It really makes you drop the ego of wanting to be a perfectionist and just being in the moment instead. 

I’m thankful to have this opportunity because I think it’s no coincidence that so many soap stars go on to become big Hollywood stars. It’s some of the best training you can receive. It’s akin to going to the gym every day, working the acting muscle consistently. It just makes you that much better.

So now that Fen is pursuing music full time, many fans want to know do you also have any interest in music?

Yes, very much so! Music is a pretty big part of my life, specifically songwriting. I admire a lot of the people on the show who are way more talented than I am when it comes to music. With acting you get to draw from past experiences or relationships to inform your performance but with music, you can do it any time. You can release and express yourself with your own words. 

It’s an amazing art form even for people who don’t want to sing it. Even just writing poetry or lyrics is very therapeutic. I’ve had a lot of recent things that have happened in my life where songwriting and poetry has allowed me to get through some of the emotional stuff I’ve had. It’s acted as therapy for me, I should say.

It’s like another way of saying the things you want to say but aren’t sure you can say, so you write it. You’ve also come full circle, finding your way into another form of writing that you love.

(laughs) Exactly!

Just a few more quick questions! You have a lot of new projects coming up from movies to short films. Is there one you’re most excited about?

There’s a few things! I did a movie called Saturday At The Starlight, I’m not sure of the exact release date but a bunch of really talented people are in it. Denise Richards, Booboo Stewart, Abigail Breslin. A lot of amazing people are in it! It’s a really quirky, prom night comedy that I’m in love with.

I did a pilot with my friend Jake called Flat Dad about a couple who have a kid at about eighteen. My character runs away and comes back into the kid’s life ten years later. I have a short that I did years ago but it just got released called Star of Eros. Which just got nominated for an award at UTA. 

Congrats!

Thank you! I’m very, very proud of it. I’m excited about how it turned out.

I just had my episode of You’re The Worst air which is an FX show. But right now, all I can think about is The Emmys. I keep picturing the day of and wondering what’s gonna happen. (laughs)

It’s getting closer and closer, isn’t it?

Oh, it’s flying by!

So, in my research, I found that you were a big fan of trash reality TV — same. I’m right there with you.

I am, I am. 

Do you have a favorite episode of My Strange Addiction?

Oh my gosh, there are too many to choose from. The man who makes love to his car is a classic. 

Yeah… very, very weird.

There’s a woman who eats her husband’s ashes which is a harder one to watch. You feel very sad for the woman. There’s a woman who drinks her own urine. I mean, the list goes on.

But right now my poison is a show called Love Island!

Wait a minute… 

Have you watched it?

just started watching it! It’s so interesting!

Season One is a little weird because they hadn’t figured out the perfect balance of how they worked the show, But Season Two through Season Four? I sat down and watched ten episodes straight. I’ve lost so many hours of productivity to Love Island, it’s depressing.

Once you finish Love Island, you should definitely check out Terrace House on Netflix! It’s a Japanese reality show about single people who move into a house together to find love. It’s very slow, very polite but so engrossing. It’s like a weird character study because everyone is so hyper realistic.

I’m onboard. As soon as you said a house of people interacting with each other, you had me. That is Love Island and I’ve discovered that is my kryptonite. 

Love Island is like Terrace House heightened to the highest degree. You should check out the latest season for sure.

Oh boy, you just turned me onto something that’ll take a week out of my schedule. 

Since you were on Law & Order:True Crime, are you also into true crime as well? A lot of our team members here at TV Source love it!

Oh man, I am obsessed with true crime. Most of my true crime has been coming from podcasts because I haven’t had much time to sit down and watch anything. So when I work out, I listen to podcasts. 

It’s very weird listening to stuff about murder when you lift weights. It’s a weird way to do it. There’s one called Cold about Josh Powell but I don’t wanna spoil anything, Root Of Evil is incredible, the third season of Serial!

I’ll check them out! We’re all true crime buffs here too. 

So finally, we’re surely rooting for you for the upcoming Emmys as we’ve discussed before. Do you have any final thoughts, anything you’d like to say to the community at large? 

Speaking to the fans, I expected the reaction to the recast to be a lot more difficult. The fans from day one were very receptive to me and made me feel like I could be myself, supported me and my representation of Fen. Along with the cast and crew, the fans have made me feel so comfortable like I’m able to do this character justice. 

I just want to thank them all for giving me the chance to carry on the legacy of Fen and supporting me in doing that.

I think a lot of new actors can get intimidated coming in because fan reactions can be very, very strong and soap opera Twitter can be a very, very tough place.

(laughs) Yes, it is!

Everyone’s been very welcoming to you, but I think it goes in turn. You’ve been super welcoming to the community. It goes hand in hand. We all can’t wait to have you back and to see what happens with the Emmys!

I’ve got my fingers, my toes, everything crossed.

About the author

Coryon Gray

Coryon Gray joined TVSource Magazine as a staff writer in October 2014. Prior to TVSource Magazine, he's written for and moderated Asian entertainment blogs and forums. On top of writing duties, Coryon is also a panelist for the TVSource Podcast and Soap Countdown Podcast.