Tristan Lake Leabu joined the cast of “The Young and the Restless” in 2016 in the role of Reed Hellstrom when that character was aged from childhood to adolescence. This year he earned his first Daytime Emmy nomination for Best Younger Actor for his performance. Will he win on his first try? The winners will be announced on April 29, but they’ve already been decided in the drama acting categories by blue ribbon panels that viewed sample performance reels. Watch Leabu’s submission above.
In his first scene Reed is discovered by his grandmother Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) after Reed ran away from his father JT (Thad Luckinbill) to stay with his mother Victoria (Amelia Heinle) in Genoa City. Nikki doesn’t approve of Reed’s impulsive act, but tells him, “I’m very happy that you’re here, and I know your mother is too.”
But maybe Nikki spoke too soon because the very next scene begins with Victoria saying, “Do arraignments always take that long?” after Reed’s court appearance for drunk driving. Reed fights back against his angry parents, insisting that he only had “one beer, maybe two.” But Victoria ultimately tells Nikki about Reed’s run-in with the law, and Nikki sits her grandson down for a heart-to-heart about her own alcoholism and the danger Reed is putting himself in by drinking recklessly.
Will Leabu win Best Younger Actor with this performance against Lucas Adams (“Days of Our Lives”), Rome Flynn (“The Bold and the Beautiful”), Casey Moss (“Days”) and Hudson West (“General Hospital”)? Let’s consider the pros and cons.
Leabu’s scenes cover a broad spectrum of emotions, from the warmth of his reunion with his grandmother to his rebelliousness against his parents, and finally his penitence when Nikki opens up about her drinking problem.
Substance abuse storylines are often popular with awards voters. Anthony Geary (“GH”) and Eric Martsolf (“Days”) also won Emmys in recent years for playing characters struggling with addiction.
Leabu has the shortest reel in the category at under six minutes, so he may not have enough time to wow Emmy judges with his performance.
These scenes don’t give the actor any grand displays of emotion or catharsis to play, so the reel has limited impact relative to his competitors who submitted scenes involving revenge, suicide, and loss.
Much of the emotions in these scenes is expressed by Leabu’s on-screen parents and grandparent. His closing scene with Nikki especially is more a performance showcase for Thomas Scott than it is for Leabu.
It has been more than a decade since “Y&R” won Best Younger Actor. The show’s last victor was Bryton James in 2007. Will its drought continue?
Be sure to make your Daytime Emmy predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see how their shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on April 29. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 Daytime Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our daytime TV forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.