The genuine joy Hartley feels about playing the Newman who plays by his own rules almost leaps off the screen at you. “…I think Adam is the best role on television right now,” he told Fairman in the interview, excerpted on Fairman’s website.
Of Adam, Hartley says, “He’s a lover and a fighter, skewed 60/40 at any given time,” an astute description of where Hartley has taken the character of Adam. For example, in a recent episode, when the whole family meets to decide how to approach Victor’s first day in court, he enters as martyr-Adam, willing to take the helm at Newman Enterprises to achieve a win-win scenario for the whole family.
But, when this plan is met with sarcasm and skepticism from his siblings, he turns quickly into angry-Adam, laying into his frequent sparring partner, his brother, Nick.
Hartley has played Adam for less than two years now, but he’s managed to put his own, indelible stamp on the character, even after some fan favorites, like Michael Muhney, played the role for several years in the past. And you can plainly and easily see why Hartley was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for the 2016 Emmys.
His performance of an anguished father who lost a baby, of a son with an immensely powerful and complicated relationship with his father, of a man pulled in a thousand directions—to his wife, to his father’s company, to the Newman family as a whole—has been layered, moving, and pitch-perfect, raw but never over the top.
The 2016 Daytime Emmy Award winners will be announced May 1st. Will Hartley win? And do you love where Hartley has taken the character of Adam Newman?