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Y&R’s Joshua Morrow Talks The Dark Side Of Nick & That Sexcapade With Phyllis!

Photo: CBS

When Nick Newman (Joshua Morrow) goes bad … he certainly does it with plenty of gusto! Over the last week, viewers of The Young and the Restless were left stunned when it turned out that this one-time do-gooder, turned heel, but not without purpose.  After constantly ending up on the short end of the stick, and after his father Victor’s (Eric Braeden) dirty machinations to take away Nick’s son, Christian, (yes, we know Adam is the bio-dad) and gain custody of the little boy for himself, Nick was left devastated vowing to not let anything like this happen again.

With revenge on his mind, Nick set out a plan that no one got wind of.  He leaked documents of Newman Enterprises … he masqueraded around town as the “dead” J.T. Hellstrom (Thad Luckinbill) … he opened his own company to take away his father’s business …  and that is just for starters.  Now back with the love of his life, Sharon (Sharon Case), once she was clued in on what Nick was doing their relationship seemed on the rocks.  So, what was Nick to do?  Have sex with Phyllis (Gina Tognoni)!  These two former lovers commiserate over their current relationship woes, while being turned on by how Nick pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes.

Michael Fairman TV sat down with Joshua Morrow, who we consider one of the true MVP’s of daytime drama, to dish on all the latest twists which have pulled Nick to the dark side.  In addition, what it means for the future in his relationship with Sharon, for that undeniable chemistry Nick has with Phyllis, and how that “J.T.” mask scared the pants off four women he cares about without him even knowing why!

Candid with that razor-sharp wit, here’s what Joshua had to say about what has gone down, and what’s to come!

So, things take a shocking turn when Nick has now donned a prosthetic mask that looks just like J.T …

JOSHUA:  Yes, this unbelievably non-creepy looking mask, too. (Laughs) 

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

However, are you and Thad Luckinbill the same height? (Laughs)

JOSHUA:  No, Thad is taller at least by an inch!  I did not think it was much of an issue, but it was very technical how they had to shoot that.  It was a fascinating process to watch.  Thad shot his scenes first, and then I came in and did mine.  They imposed my face onto his, and my face is longer and fatter.  Since Thad is taller, he had to stand with his legs spread a little bit to get down to my angle.  Then, I had to do my scenes in the angle he was originally staring at Victor with; which is why in a lot of the scene I was staying as still as possible. The way the scene was written kind of helped with what we were trying to do technically, in that; Nick was calm and matter-of-fact, and laying out his threat to Victor.

What was your reaction when they first pitched this story point to you that Nick would be masquerading as J.T. with a mask on?

JOSHUA:  I remember when Mal Young (EP and head writer, Y&R) first told me about it.  I just thought it was the most ridiculous thing.  I am like, “What?”  I didn’t know if it was going to work, but when we got down to it, I could not believe how incredible it looked on the reveal.  It was a real testament to our crew, Mal, and Patty Denney in make-up, and everyone who brought it all together.

Did you ever figure out how Nick knew where to get a prosthetic mask made to look like J.T.? (Laughs)  I was like, “Boy, is he resourceful!  Who knew that Nick Newman would know where to shop for this!” (Laughs)

JOSHUA:  I think he googled it! (Laughs)  It’s amazing what you can google!

I would have loved to have added in the scene where Nick is on his laptop thinking hard and typing away feverishly in the search field, “Where to get prosthetic masks.”

JOSHUA:  He would have to have found a way not to leak that.  People would come by at his work and go, “Why are you looking up masks, Nick?”  Meanwhile, he is getting multiple bids from the mask companies. (Laughs) 

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

When you watched the scene back; what did you think of it?  On top of that reveal, you then launched into this intense monologue.

JOSHUA:  I thought the scene was beautifully lit and the alleyway looked awesome.  Props did a great job of making it look seedy and dark.  It took a longtime to shoot.  A lot of people were caught up in what was actually happening, but if you add up in words how much I had to say, it was an unbelievable amount of talking.  It was essentially a five-page monologue.  I studied it so much and rehearsed it so much, that I was starting to lose my voice from it.  However, it worked and we did it in one take, which I was pretty happy about it. 

Were you and Eric Braeden joking between takes when it had to do with Nick and his “J.T.” mask?

JOSHUA:  We made some jokes initially, but because there was so much material, that whenever any of us has something like that to do with that amount of work, you want to try and be as professional as possible to let them get through it anyway they can.  Eric is obviously is a pro.  He understood what I was having to do. 

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

It was a great monologue you were given and delivered, especially when Nick pointed out to Victor, that in Victor’s eyes, Nick was his ‘underachieving son.”  Y&R has never really explored how Nick was not the shining bright star in the family that Victor wanted him to be, and how Victor heaped much of that praise on Adam, for he was more “Victor-like.”

JOSHUA:  Well, he was supposed to be the apple of his father’s eye, and that was what was so disappointing.  A lot of people have said that, and I don’t think you can fault Victor for that.  He had all these grand plans for Nick, but Nick has just flat out said: “I am going to do what I want to do.”  He has done that his whole life.  It’s not what his dad wanted.  It wasn’t that Victor was disappointed in who he had become, he was disappointed that Nick was not willing to accept the path that Victor planned out for him. I understood what Victor had gone through over the years with Nick.  In terms of the monologue, it was a great speech.  I thought it was well-written, and the fact that Victor has always been supportive of Adam as opposed to Nick, while Adam has done way more horrible things than Nick has.  Nick never really understood that.   I thought the scene worked, and it’s a really cool story to tell.  I get that a lot of people may not dig it, but this is the most fun I have had on Y&R, since they initially paired Nick with Phyllis.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Last week, many fans took to social media and were outraged going, “How can Nick do this to his sister, Victoria?”

JOSHUA:  I remember saying that to Mal.  I said, “I don’t have a single problem with any of this, but Victoria is his best friend.  She is this person that he will do anything to protect.  The two of them have gone to each other about everything.  So, how does he do this to her?”  Mal sold it to me by saying, “All Nick is doing is teaching Victor a lesson, and he believes that because Victoria is so close with him that eventually she will come to understand.”  Nick knows he is going to hurt her initially, but the hope is that he can sell her on this, and make her join him.  I was really hoping for a lot more scenes where they are heartbroken with each other.  Those would have been interesting to play, but Nick has been so driven in his plan, and that is a lot of what I have been doing, while Victoria is fighting on the other side.  We will see what happens, but there is beauty in conflict that hurts.  That is ultimately what this is going to boil down to.  Nick is not going to be too hurt by what is going on with his dad, but he should be demolished to see what his sister is going through.  Hopefully, they will touch on that.

It all comes back to Nick losing custody of Christian as the tipping point.  That was followed by a scene of Nick just looking in the mirror, which foreshadowed that a dark side of Nick will emerge.  So, what is Nick’s ultimate plan?

JOSHUA:  He wants to destroy Victor, even though he got his son back.  Victor crossed such a line with him.  After everything Nick had gone through with Christian and Adam, he realized that is father is not just controlling, but this is an evil bastard who would do something like this.  Nick made a vow, “I am not going to let him do this to anyone ever again that I care about.”  That is what it is rooted in.  That he wants to destroy Newman Enterprises that is just a side of it.  Nick just really wants to hurt his dad in the worst possible way, and you do that by taking the thing that matters the most to him … his business.  I don’t think Nick fully realized the scope of it.  He thinks he can just move everything over to his new company and lead the fight in that direction.  I don’t know how far he has thought ahead, but he knows what he wants to do right now, and how he is going to do it.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Does Nick feel “power” now?

JOSHUA:  Yes, and it’s a power rooted in the fact that; he still believes he is doing it on his own terms, and is coming from a good place, even though he can’t see the darkness that is slowly creeping in; which I think thematically is really cool.  That is; this fight to remain true to himself, but this pull to this dark element that his father is always preaching and really living. The question is: can Nick still maintain this path he wants to go on without doing what his dad has had to do?  That is what we will see play out.

Nick is now a man full of surprises.  Last week, we also learned that he has started his own company to go toe to toe with Victor … “Dark Horse”.  In the process, he is trying to sway family members to join him.  How is that working out for him?

JOSHUA:  His ultimate goal is to take Newman Enterprises, which was supposed to be this family run company; where everyone was participating, and bringing all their specials skills and qualities that they have, but it really just became that everyone is under Victor’s thumb.  Nick wants to do the same thing, but let people be who they are, and bring those things that you are good at, so they can be successful together.  He is trying to sell them: “Do this with me and I will let you be you, and you can go as far as you want to within the company.”  It’s very idyllic.  Now whether it’s doable, who knows?   Nick approaches everyone in his family to “Please join my side.”  It’s basically creating this line in the sand, that either you are with Nick, or against him.  It’s that simple. It’s sort of what Victor does, but Nick does it with a smile. (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

What about his mother, Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott)?  That puts her in a tough position to choose between the man she loves and her son.

JOSHUA:  Nick was really counting on Nikki to be on his side, but Nikki chose Victor.  Nick instantly thought that everyone would join him, and that is not the way it panned out.  I still don’t’ think he sees the errors in his ways, in the way he went about this, and that is probably due to his ego, and his drive getting in the way of that.  Abby (Melissa Ordway) joins him, and Noah, eventually.  No one else is his family does.  He thought Victoria would jump on it, but she says, “No.”  Victoria is finally promised Newman Enterprises and that leads her to say that, and that kind of sets up a cool conflict for Nick and Victoria moving forward as to business people and competing in the same space.  His main ally is Jack (Peter Bergman) and Jack is going to join Nick to take on Victor.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Are you concerned about the fan backlash to your character, who was always the “good guy”?

JOSHUA:  I don’t care that people don’t like it.  What I do care about is that they don’t give the story a chance and they make it personal if they say, “You are incapable of handling a story of this magnitude.” We are in the business of entertaining people, and sometimes it hits you positively, and sometimes it hits you negatively. Some of the best films I have ever seen, I couldn’t stand the way it was going down, but if it hits you, if it makes you think, if it makes you see people evolving, then it’s interesting, and that’s kind of what has happened with Nick.  It’s time for him to do something!  He has been sitting on Sharon’s couch and trying other businesses, but at his core, he knew it would eventually lead back down to something like this; doing something on his own terms, which is exactly what he wanted.

Let’s talk about Sharon.  Were you surprised that the show put Nick and Sharon back together so fast back in late March of this year, coming on the heels of Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan) leaving Nick?

JOSHUA:  I was really shocked.  But, we are all so unbelievably protective of our characters, and while telling these stories, we are trying to tell them as true as possible to them.  This happened so fast with Sharon that it felt to me like, a matter of convenience.  Melissa Claire Egan (Ex-Chelsea) left and created this kind of void.  At the end of the day, Nick and Sharon love each other, they always have.  It doesn’t not make sense to put them together.  I just thought the timing of it seemed quick and it kind of questioned what Nick and Chelsea were building towards; which I thought would have been an amazing situation.  However, when Adam was never around, it lost some of the weight that it would have had.  A lot of weight, actually, and then Missy decided to leave, which about killed me.  She turned into my best friend here.  I love her, and I completely supported her decision, but, what do you do?  You can’t just have characters running around alone all of the time.  Nick and Sharon will always find their way back to each other.  The timing and the pacing is completely up to the writers and the producers.  I will tell what ever story they want me to.

How did you feel about the arbitration scenes? I thought everyone was great in them from: Christian LeBlanc (Michael) to Eric, Melody, Sharon, you, and Lauren Woodland (Brittany). Victor and Michael went for the jugular delving into the mental state of Sharon. That ultimately played a major factor in Victor being awarded custody of Christian, and not Nick.

JOSHUA:  Weren’t those scenes good?  They seemed so real!

Then came the scenes where they take Christian from Nick.  Those were so incredibly sad, and watching you as Nick break down in tears is always heart-breaking.   It was one of your best performances.  How were those for you to portray?

JOSHUA:  It was sad, and it is very difficult to do.  Playing these kinds of scenes with these children hits me extra hard.  I love kids.  My whole life I wanted to be a teacher, or a coach.  My dad was a teacher.  I started to coach U8 Soccer when I was twelve-years old.  I love being around children.

Photo Credit JPI Studios

Why do you think that is?

JOSHUA:  I don’t know, but I like watching them, teasing them, and that’s why I coach.  I create these relationships with these little kids and they just mean so much to me.  I know at my core I was meant to be a dad, and a coach.  They bring these kids on our show, and you tell these very emotional stories, and you just fall in love with them. They are hard stories to tell when you remove kids from parents.  I have dealt with it now several times.  They are good stories to tell, well-written, hard to do, but I am always so impressed with the material kids are given – they are often very mature-type storylines, and to watch them tell them makes you swell with pride.  Now, that scene in particular with Christian, all that kid has to do is lay on my shoulder, and just that moment alone makes me tear up.  It’s like he could feel the magnitude of what was happening.  If you notice in the scenes we do, he rarely just lays on my shoulder and like melts into you, and that’s what happened in that moment, and it just crushed me.  As an actor, you are still trying to remember what you are doing in the scene, but it was hard to do   I love that little boy!  We would play in his the dressing room with trucks, and he sees me and he walks out and puts his arms out.  It’s not hard to peel him away from the teacher, and he just lays in my arms and talks. I love him, but I feel that way about: Hunter King (Summer), and Robert Adamson (Noah), and Alyia Alyn Lind (Faith), and Camryn Grimes (Mariah), too!  I truly treat them as if they were my kids, and if they need anything I would be there for them.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Right now, Sharon is not happy with this new Nick!

JOSHUA: Nor, should she be.

Of course, now there is major trouble in the relationship, right after Nick proposed to Sharon and she said “Yes.”

JOSHUA:  After this incredible move by Nick, she lights into him about it. He goes, “How can you not be happy about this?” (Laughs)  She just stares at him.  I love the balls of Nick to just say that!   It was just a subtle, great moment from Sharon. (Laughs)

Sharon along with Nikki, Phyllis and Victoria buried J.T. in the ground after Nikki smashed him with a poker.  Nick doesn’t even know this has happened and he is scaring the wits out of these women!

JOSHUA:  What Nick doesn’t know, and I am sure all the fans are screaming; is what all these women know.  They think that they killed J.T, and Nick has been essentially terrorizing them without knowing it with this dead body.  He doesn’t know what is going on.  He is like, “What is wrong with you guys?” (Laughs)  So, maybe when it all comes out, Nick will go, “Oh, maybe that wasn’t the best tactic I should have taken.”  Right now, they are staring at Nick like he has a second head going: “How can you put us through this?” The women are giving Nick “Halloween eyes”, and he keeps going, “I just don’t get why everyone has a problem with what I did.” (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Nick and Phyllis have sex after he pulls off the first part of his master plan.  So, how would you describe what happened that in essence beelines him to his old flame?

JOSHUA:  Well, it’s go-time!  At his core, he just loves to take his clothes off! (Laughs)  So … what happened was … everyone is not happy, of course.  Nick comes home and sees that Sharon has removed her ring.  She is not home, and he assumes she is not willing to forgive him, and she took the ring off, and it’s over.  So, he leaves and is assuming they are on a “break”.  Then, he runs into the ‘electric hotness” that is Phyllis, who always gets to Nick.  She is upset about Billy (Jason Thompson) and his gambling.  They are both not happy, and they have had a couple of drinks.  They go to their foreplay which is video games.  Nick and Phyllis have always related with video games.  They are talking, and I think what ultimately happens is Phyllis is turned on by the things Nick has done, because he had outlined exactly what he did to Victor.  Phyllis has a quality in her that responds to that.  She finds it very sexy that Nick would go to these lengths and the way that he did it.  It’s definitely not propinquity, but something happens.  So, they decide to have some good ole’ sex right on the counter on the kitchen.  Good place to have sex … it’s really comfortable. (Laughs)

How does Nick feel about it when they are done?

JOSHUA:  Nick is a lot of things, but monogamy is not his greatest quality.  He feels bad about it, but if you look at Nick and Phyllis’ history, Nick has generally turned to her when he in trouble, heartbroken, confused or sad, and Phyllis seems to pull him out of that with her body.

I foresee a lot of scenes of Nick and Phyllis dancing around what happened, shooting each other weird, or frightened looks back and forth between them, especially when Sharon or Billy are in a room with them. 

JOSHUA:  Yeah, they both understand the situation.  Nick loves Sharon, and Phyllis loves Billy. They both know it was mistake; a one-shot deal between them, and they agree to keep it a secret. 

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

But … it is really ever over with Phyllis?

JOSHUA:   It’s never really over with Nick and Phyllis, unless someone cuts Nick off in traffic when he is in the mode of: “I’ve got to go see Phyllis! She will help me!”  Neither one of them wants to turn the page on Billy or Sharon.  They make this pact, and they are going to try to move on and pick up the pieces.

Will Phyllis come over to work with Nick at “Dark Horse?”

JOSHUA:  He does approach Phyllis about coming over to work with him, and he says, “Remember, what we did with our clothes off?  Should we do that with suits and briefcases?” (Laughs)  No, but seriously, she declines.  Phyllis says she is really happy with what she is doing, and she also says, it’s not the best thing for them to be doing, since they just had sex with each other, and they are going to try and forget about it and move on, and that they should not be around each other every single day.  Phyllis is right. They should not be around each other every single day, because ultimately they will just start having sex again.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you think Nick getting custody of Christian back happened to quickly?

JOSHUA:  No, I don’t. Victor clearly had some other issues going on, but I don’t think you could make a believable case that Nick should not have this little boy.  No sane judge, no lawyer, would make that decision.  I think once cooler heads prevailed, and that Victor is not exactly healthy, they saw that Nick should raise Christian.

Does Nick know what is physically wrong with Victor?

JOSHUA:  He knows Victor is having some kind of side-effect from the stroke.  I don’t think he knows the extent, or that he is being treated by Dr. Nate Hastings (Brooks Darnell).

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Would that be a game-changer for Nick, if his found out his dad was very sick and fighting for his life?  Would Nick even care at this point?

JOSHUA:  Well, outlining the story it just can’t be this one note: Nick is going to destroy his father for the rest of his life. There has to be some way for them to reconcile. Maybe, it is over Victor’s health.  That would make a lot of sense to me.  I don’t know how it is going to all play out, but I don’t think it makes a lot of sense for Nick and Victor to hate each other for the rest of their lives.  Eric and I have such great scenes together, and there are nice moments when we are allowed to be father and son.  I love the story and I hope that they don’t cut it off, but the writers will have to come up with some way to bridge that gap.

They have to redeem Nick, too.

JOSHUA:  Yes, they can’t just let him be fingers in the air, and “I’m the man, and everyone else can go screw themselves.”  That being said, I am really looking forward to the struggle of that happening.  It’s a story I am looking forward to telling.

You always said in past interviews that you liked playing the hero.

JOSHUA:  Yeah, and even when I was young I wanted to be a fireman.  I was obsessed with the idea of rescuing people.  I just wanted to save people.   Nick does have that quality.  He does want to protect his family and fix things for everyone.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

However, it must be so nice and refreshing for Nick to have a dark side, finally!

JOSHUA:  It sounds crazy to say, but having some darkness to play is refreshing. It’s given me a whole new lease on life around here.  I am coming up on my 25th year on Y&R, early next year.  Six months ago, I was thinking “I am done at 25 years.  I just don’t think I can do it anymore.  It’s been a great run.  I’ve said everything I can say.”  But honestly, this story has given me a new energy about it that I don’t see that happening.

What did you think of: Nick and Phyllis having sex?  His motives for masquerading as J.T.?  Creating his own company to take down Victor?  Do you like the darker side of Nick? Have you enjoyed the performances in this storyline from Joshua?  Comment below!

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Tina
Guest
Tina

Nick and Phyllis need to stay away from each other. It’s obvious that nick belongs with Sharon and Phyllis really does belong with Billy, although I don’t think Sharon should forgive nick easily. Nick repeatedly crosses the line over the years with Sharon wear as Phyllis truly just made a terrible mistake. Phyllis and billy could and should overcome this.

Samantha
Guest
Samantha

I always loved phylis and Nick together

Ray
Guest
Ray

Love Phyllis and Nick together. They are the best. Love the old Nick but he is even better as new Nick that can stand up for himself and his family. Not Mal Young, Nor Amelia Nor Thad will ever convince me to believe JT changed over the years to be as he was to Victoria. Thad are Amelia are both Talented, Amazing performers but put in Outstanding jobs with what they were given; but in the end; anyone that knew these characters of Victoria and JT always loved them as a couple and could always see and feel their love… Read more »

James R. Poissant
Guest
James R. Poissant

The dark side of Nick was great until he had sex with Phyllis. That’s when I felt let down by the character. The names I was calling him when the deed was done can’t be printed here.

Karen
Guest
Karen

I have loved watching Josh play Nick’s dark side. His scene with Victor when he brought Christian’s things to the club was phenomenal. I am on Team Nick but I am furious with him for having sex with Phyliss. Hoping Summer is successful in her plot.

Kimmie Walter
Guest
Kimmie Walter

Nick needs to stay far away from Phyllis!! Philly is too hot to be messing them up!! Angst is one thing.. sick of the third party person in that relationship. Stay away from my girl Phyllis!! Let her be happy with Billy!! ❤️

Sarah
Guest
Sarah

Sex with Phyllis ruins Dark Nick for Me. I hope Nick and Sharon are able to work it out.

Ja
Guest
Ja

It’s all stupid, the newman’s have not been a family in forever god just let them be !! You keep sorry actors like tessa and Kyle and gloria and Jill they all need to go . You let the best go the last Adam that was on and Chelsea and the last Billy, sage , and Michelle Stafford you need to pay them more and fight to keep the greats !! The story line is getting way off script from the cliff hangers from ages ago . Lilly in jail really ? She has to pay cause no one does… Read more »

Tani Sterling
Guest
Tani Sterling

With all due respect to the writer, Gloria and Jill may have diminished roles, but keep them. They are some of the very best!

Annis
Guest
Annis

Love the new nick but why did he have sex with phyllis? You are ruining the storyline. Don’t let hilary leave the show.

JANIE
Guest
JANIE

I AGREE…..THE SEX WITH PHYLISS ON THE KITCHEN COUNTRY WAS SO UNCALLED FOR. JEERS TO THAT SCENE. HE IS ENGAGED TO SHARON. FOR ONCE LET NICK AND PHYLISS BE LOYAL TO THEIR SIGNIFICANT OTHERS.

Violet Lemm
Guest
Violet Lemm

First of all I have always loved Nick and Joshua Morrow. He usually can do no wrong ,in my eyes. Nick feels so strong about what he’s doing to Victor, which I am all for, but I am afraid it’s all going to come back to bite him in the ass! With very little family support, especially from the ones that mean the most,I think will bring out his so-called dark side, even more so, in trying to prove that he is right. I hope it works out, and Nick at least gets to keep Christian, if and when Adam… Read more »

bunnyluv
Guest
bunnyluv

I actually like dark Nick. Deleted the episode he slept with Phyllis, not a fan at all. I would love to see he and Sharon be a power couple.

Soapluv
Guest
Soapluv

Phyllis is a better partner for this stronger, tougher Nick. She can support him in business and emotionally a lot better than Sharon. I like this lighter, happier Sharon but, she’s fragile and convenient, not fierce and powerful. Nick does not have time for Sharon’s doubts and fears while he fights Victor. Either strengthen Sharon and make her a support to Nick or, give him Phyllis to work by his side and help make his company stronger like she did for Fenmore’s and Jabot. He needs more help than Abby and Noah and Jack who ALWAYS loses to Victor. Phyllis… Read more »

Jeanne
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Jeanne

It’s funny because you talk about how great Phyllis can be for Nick but nothing about what Nick can bring to Phyllis.
Basically the story of their relationship. Phyllis gave Nick everything and he gave Sharon eveything. Thanks but no thanks.

Phyllis and Billy are NOT done and I know they will reunite soon.

Ray
Guest
Ray

I’m with you. Phyllis and Nick. They need to bring Dylan back for Sharon. Nick with Phyllis can stand up anyway to both Victor and Nikki. A Good Man fighting for his life and Family needs a good Strong Feisty Woman by his side. That for Nick is Phyllis 100%. Sharon is weak, whiny and can’t ever make her mind up. I don’t think Nick nor Phyllis has ever gotten over the fun and love they shared together. Joshua is amazing, Gina is the very Best of the 3 actress to be Phyllis. More BEAUTIFUL, yet every bit as Scheming… Read more »

Celia
Guest
Celia

I don’t know, Ray..”.firstly, nuPhyllis does not depict the true Phyllis….albeit Michelle’s Phyllis was going towards the path of righteousness, a character does not change so drastically overnight. Gina Tognoni is not Phyllis no matter how TPTB try to mold her into the character. I remember perfectly how Phyllis’ and Nick’s relationship came to be….. through deceit and lies. Nick and Sharon ( a couple I have wanted together forever) should not remain together after what he did….but, picking up where he and Phyllis left off is a worse tragedy. I still cannot accept Gina as Phyllis……can’t stand nuPhyllis–I vehemently… Read more »

Momo
Guest
Momo

Nick has a long history of being a cheater. I had hoped he had changed, but apparently not. Sharon will not be happy! Billy shouldn’t be surprised. Phyllis cheated on Jack with him.

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Guest
Scott (ATWT Fan)

Joshua Morrow has been rocking this storyline. This is some Emmy-worthy material he has been given, so I hope he considers himself for an Emmy in 2019. He is a leading male and should be treated as one. My friend, who isn’t very pro-soaps, even says Joshua is a fantastic actor! I’m here for Josh getting to bring this storyline to life!

Ray
Guest
Ray

Yes. Josh is Great. Every time Sharon gets all falling into place, she starts whining and can’t stand on her own two feet. Phyllis needs a real man like Nick; Not a lying gambling man as Billy. The strong and the weak in Phyllis and Nick equals out to perfect mate. Nick can lean on Phyllis when he needs, she can on him, with Sharon, it is always about her. Nick and Sharon are Fun together. They Live.

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

People ride GH for its camp but a JT mask? Remember when Y&R told stories with class and very little props? I love the camp over at GH but on Y&R, I just dont recognize the show. Why? Besides the mask, Nick finally stood up to the Stache and he gets ridiculed by his Mom, Vickie sticks by Victor and Sharon runs like her hair is on fire! So Nick thinks Sharon left him so he runs to “The Smirk” for a night of disgusting sex! Nick CANNOT love Sharon. What a slap in the face to SHICK fans! Sharon… Read more »

Soaphound
Guest
Soaphound

Timmm, is it just me or does this Nate character always look like he’s trying to pass a gall stone? Guess his meager bag of actor’s tricks has already been exhausted. We need him why, exactly? And I agree the Abbotts have been treated appallingly. Makes me sad to watch my favorite family in tatters. You know you’re in trouble when you’re rooting for Kyle to unseat perennial weakling Billy. And Nick an Phyllis behave like animals..shame on them!

jaybird369
Guest
jaybird369

Soaphound…oh, I agree. To me, NuNate ain’t cutting it for me. BEYOND BLECH!!!!!

Later.

Vanessa
Guest
Vanessa

Nick and Phyllis were HOT AS HELL! I was so thrilled that they had sex. I can not wait to see them share knowing glances and looks.

I also love that Nick asks her to join Dark Horse.

Keep up the Phyllis and Nick interaction! That’s what got me to tune back in.

Soapluv
Guest
Soapluv

Amen and Hallelujah! Leave that boring, whiny Sharon and let’s have some Phick heat and winning for a change.
Some Billy and Summer forbidden sex and rock and roll is probably next up and I’m here for it‍♂️

Ray
Guest
Ray

Amen. Love my Nick and Phyllis Nick with Sharon is like being at deaths door.

dmr
Guest
dmr

Josh, your first reaction to the mask storyline and its reveal was spot-on: “most ridiculous thing.”

K.Morrow
Guest
K.Morrow

Nick (Joshua) is smart, witty, handsome & honest… (Is that all son?….Love dad)

Eve Walsh
Guest
Eve Walsh

I have also been waiting for a s/l that takes Nick in a new direction. There have been too many stories that are stale and underuse JM and his acting range. I agree the reunion with Sharon was forced; it seems like there are only two or three romantic possibilities for him-Sharon, Phyllis or his brothers castoff. Cast a new dynamic, challenging woman for him.
I like the show lately, esp Dark Horse and Hevon. I have watched for awhile and I love the families. Bringing back Malcolm and Adam could add to the momentum.

Meg. Reddekopp
Guest
Meg. Reddekopp

The omly thing I did not like was Nick and Phyllis ,I hate her .Although I love Gina Still miss her Kelly and every one from O L T L .but I cannot stand Phyllis near Nick .I found Chelsea boring with him ,I only like him with Sharon Didnt like him with Avery either l,Love Sharon with Nick and M M s Adam .Not Dylan ,Scott was fine Didnt Like Abby with Scott ,by I love her with Arturo,Anyway I do like Nicks story as long as they keep him with Sharon !

Violet Lemm
Guest
Violet Lemm

Loved the Fri show today, at least the part at T.O.T,T with the Newmans and Abbotts, especially Nick and Billy’s little push and shove, and Nick’s parting “shot” at Billy.I was really cheering him on. Billy is going off the deep end again, as Nick said, always ruining every good thing he gets his hands on. I really like Billy, and wonder why they always make him such a screw-up. He will get it for sure from both Nick and Phyliss, after he defiles their baby girl. That’s one little snowflake that melted a long time ago!

Yaya
Guest
Yaya

If they do Phick again, I am done. Phyllis is not strong, she’s just a psycho that has borderline personality disorder and Nick is histrionic. JM knows how to put his foot in it in an interview because from what I can gather, he really does not like his co-star Sharon Case, he goes over and beyond to praise his other female co-stars, he appears a bit delusional when he thought Chelsea and Nick had a great situation; they had no chemistry, Nick and Sage: absolutely no chemistry. Nick and Phyllis: no chemistry with high vomit rates. Nick and Avery:… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

Yeah, i don’t like how JM said he doesn’t care what people think…I agree he thought he had Chelsea were a great couple, on what show. They were so boring…….Sharon Case makes JM’s character relevant………The chemistry between Sharon and Nick is off the charts…All of Nick’s other partners are boring……I don’t know what the beef is between he and Sharon Case, everyone is talking about it..What’s his deal? I found Ph-ick sex scene disgusting, and deleted it..I was cheering Nick on for going after Victor until his disgusting sex act with Phyllis…Now I hope Victor wipes the floor with him…… Read more »

Yaya
Guest
Yaya

I do not know what the deal is because they (Sharon Case & JM) were close and vacationed together with his wife. I don’t mind dark Nick; I think that is a great idea and I do not mind an edgy Sharon, but I am sick of people listening to JM for storyline ideas; none of the work. I am tired of Mal; UK soaps are different from US soaps-he needs to get with the US program real fast!

juli
Guest
juli

Nick and Phyllis are a perfect match

Mary young
Guest
Mary young

To me nick is just as important as Eric Braden he has grown into the show as his son and sons have there own ideas about there futures so let this new side of nick grow a change is as good asa rest

JANIE
Guest
JANIE

FRANKLY I ABSOLUTEY THE NEW DARK SIDE OF NICK AND HIS NEW BUSINESS VENTTURE DARK HORSE. I HOPE HE FINALLY PUTS NEWMAN ENT. IN THE GROUND. I HAVE NEVER BEEN OVERJOYED WITH NICK…HE NEVER STAYED WITH ONE VENTURE FOR VERY LONG. NOW HE HAS A REAL PURPOSE IN LIFE AND I’M LOVING THIS STORYLINE. AS FOR NICK AND PHYLISS…..NO NO NO! PLEASE WRITERS DO NOT GO THERE AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!

Didi
Guest
Didi

People need to lighten the hell up on Josh. He’s an ACTOR. God forbid he wants good story. Just because he doesn’t want to be “sitting on Sharons couch” doesn’t mean he doesn’t love Sharon Case. He obviously does, I’m sure she is like a sister. But think about it. Their characters have been back and forth with each other for practically the whole 25 years he’s been on the show. Same story over and over. What would you feel like if you were in your job for 25 years and you never had new challenges? I wanted Adam to… Read more »

JKJ
Guest
JKJ

It’s time for Nick to grow up and not be so wishy-washy. Looks like he’s headed that way. Hope he finally gives it to Victor. Tired of Victor getting by with everything.

Donna
Guest
Donna

I think phyllis should go back to back. And back should find they made a mistake with the DNA results. Happens alot. He SHOULD be back at jabot with phyllis by his side and Billy exposed for his gambling and money loss and the jaboat!

ALEXA
Guest
ALEXA

The chemistry that Nick and Phyllis had was when Phyllis was played by the fantastic Michelle Stafford! I don’t see any chemistry at all between Nick and the current Phyllis! I would like to see Nick remain with “the love of his life” Sharon for awhile and see Phyllis back with Jack who I think is the true love of her life… I am enjoying the new smarter Nick and hope that he can succeed without being as ruthless, not caring who he hurts, egocentric and vile – like Victor! I want Nick to succeed because he is still filled… Read more »

Beverly Frame
Guest
Beverly Frame

I’ve watched Y&R since day one. It just gets better and better.

Mookie
Guest
Mookie

I love the darker side of Nick

Interviews

Y&R’s Brytni Sarpy Talks On Her Emotional Week of Scenes & The Fallout From Elena and Devon’s Break-Up

Talk about self-sabotage! Over the last few weeks, fans of CBS’ The Young and the Restless have seen how one decision, or moment in time, can have an effect on several residents of Genoa City, such as the case with Elena Dawson (Brytni Sarpy), after she had sex with her colleague Dr. Nate Hastings (Sean Dominic) … at the clinic they work at!

It all starts unraveling for Elena when her fears get the best of her thinking that the current-love-of-her-life, Devon (Bryton James) will fall for the sister of his late wife, Hilary, in the form of Amanda Sinclair (Mishael Morgan).  And thus sets the stage for a potential quadrangle, and perhaps … some baby drama?

Since coming to Y&R from General Hospital, actress Brytni Sarpy has been developing the character of Elena and playing her for all she is worth and then some in recent heavy-duty heart-tugging scenes where viewers saw Elena confess to Devon that she cheated on him with his cousin, Nate! Then later, she gets kicked to the curb by the man she loves, leaving her wondering, “What did I just do … and why?”

 

Well, Michael Fairman TV has some of the answers as we chatted with Brytni to get the lowdown and the insight on these pivotal moments in Elevon’s love story, and if there is even a future for them, or is it on ice for good? Plus, Brytni opens up about falling for her co-star and recent Daytime Emmy winner, Bryton James, and taping what would normally look like a red-hot passionate sex scene on the soaps with Sean Dominic, but having to do it under strict CDC Covid-19 protocols. Here’s what Ms. Sarpy had to say about it all!

Courtesy/CBS

You’ve got this big storyline unfolding now on Y&R.  Did you know when they brought on Sean Dominic that they were going to bust up  Elena and Devon?

BRYTNI:  Yes and no.  When Sean was first brought in, there had been another actor playing his role, so technically his character has already been on-screen.  So, I didn’t necessarily think it was going to cause any type of conflict, or a love triangle, or anything like that.  However, I think that there were little hints about it along the way in the writing, and our characters similarities in both being doctors.  The writers are pretty tight-lipped, so I only know things two or three weeks in advance.

Were you playing that Elena had this attraction to Nate for a while now?

BRYTNI:  There was a point where I decided to play it, and that is when I felt that it was in the material. It was when things got a little crazier with Amanda coming around and Elena being at the height of her insecurity about that, and her really choosing to only confide in Nate.  I think that kind of relationship and comfortability that she was finding and that dynamic of being at the clinic with Nate, and establishing that with him, she was not having with Devon.

Courtesy/CBS

Right, and so do you think once Elena knew Amanda was interested in Nate, she subconsciously stepped up her own interest in him?

BRYTNI:  No, I think around this time she was hoping for Amanda to date Nate, and she was asking a lot of questions and things to egg on that whole relationship.  I think in her subconscious she really felt like, “Oh good, if I can put these two together, then my fears about this woman who looks exactly like my boyfriend’s dead wife… that resolves that.”  I think for Elena it was just kind of putting them together.  It wasn’t about Nate.  It was about someone to occupy Amanda so that Elena’s insecurities didn’t have to come out and she didn’t have to worry about Devon, or anything with those two being together.

But didn’t Elena have a nightmare/dream about Amanda and Devon having sex?  Wasn’t she freaked out about Amanda being Hilary’s sister?

BRYTNI:  This was when she had already jumped down the rabbit hole of being insecure about what was going on about Amanda and Devon and how much time they were spending together and hoping that he didn’t fall back into those feelings he had for Hilary that he had just gotten through.  For Elena, I think it was a lot of PTSD; for her.  She felt the first half of their relationship was trying to get over Hilary.  Once it finally turned to a point where Amanda was spending a lot of time with Devon. and she had started only confiding in Nate and not Devon about how she felt, that’s when I think those insecure feelings came up, and her talking about it so much manifested into her dreams, and she set herself up for her own trauma.

Courtesy/CBS

So, you have to do this sex scene amidst Covid-19 protocols with Sean Dominic.  How was filming that scene with Sean because Nate looks at Elena, she looks at him, signaling they want to have sex right now, right there at the clinic, and then it cuts out.  Was it awkward filming it?

BRYTNI:  Yes, it was certainly awkward because his double was Bryton, so it’s hard to play that you’re cheating on a character with the actor who plays the character that you’re cheating on. (Laughs)

We are going to give you the Emmy right there for that!  (Laughs)

BRYTNI:  Right! (Laughs) Then in some of the scenes we are looking into each other’s eyes, and we appear to be close, but of course we are not that way.  So, I am staring up at a mannequin that it is at Sean’s eye-level, and he is staring down at a mannequin that is at mine.  It is not easy to try to sell that energy that is between two people in such an electric, heated moment, so it was definitely challenging.

Do you buy Elena’s rationale that they were on a euphoric high from saving Jared’s life at the clinic, as the impetus that leads her and Nate to have sex?

BRYTNI:  I don’t think she really understands what happened.  I think she is trying to put it together.  Right after it happens, she goes into that whole monologue about how, “I’m not blaming you, but this happened, and we were just coming down from a high.”  I think it’s just her trying to figure out why her emotions brought her to this place because I think this is one of the few times in someone like Elena’s life when she has acted without thinking or without forethought to the consequences.  I think she has just been exhausted with trying to battle her emotions, trying to be a doctor with a residency in a hospital, and then also trying to do as much work as she is doing at a clinic.  Then, coming off of an emotionally-charged partnership with Devon after seeing what he was going through with the ghost of Hilary for so long, and going back into this after finally having a calm and peaceful few months, it rocked the whole boat again.

Courtesy/CBS

Viewers have seen what played out over the last week and half, a lot of scenes were you as Elena are called upon to do a lot of breaking down, and crying.  So, how are those scenes to perform? Do you like those types of scenes, or are you like, “Oh, God! These are so soapy!”

BRYTNI:  For me, personally playing that, I think with all the tears and all of that, it’s been exhausting, because there are certainly levels of reality to this where I have to go for it to not be me just trying to emote on-screen, but actually feel the depths of what my character would be going through.  It’s a lot.  I’ve had a few migraines after work sometimes, but I do enjoy it.  I enjoy getting those emotions out.  I think that because of what I’ve established with her character for a little over a year, I’ve been building up Elena, and more importantly, building up her relationship with Devon.  I think to understand her actions, it had to come from a really solid place.  I don’t think she is ill-intended in any of her emotions.  I think she really cares about and wants to protect her partner, Devon throughout all of this, and then she finds herself unprotected and vulnerable in making decisions that inevitably do the complete opposite.  So, I think at the end of it, she really is disappointed in herself and also, she has just created this entire disruption of her life in the matter of a moment, and I think there is a lot of mourning, and there is a lot of guilt.  I just don’t think that it is intentional of her character to do something like what she did.  I think that for me to make it what it was… something that my character would do or did … it had to come from a real place that didn’t sit well with her, and it just happened, and she feels guilt-ridden.  It’s as serious as a character attempting to murder someone, or any other kind of character who would go to the extremes of who they are in their characteristics.

Courtesy/CBS

For you, since you are romantically-involved with Bryton James in real life, does that make it harder or easier to play?

BRYTNI:  I’d say both.  It makes it harder because it’s more real, but it also makes it easier because it’s more real.  These are situations that could at some point come up or have come up, and to put yourself in those positions, and to have him look at me the way that he does and to jeopardize something that real, to go to that place, is a dark place to have to portray.

… And then Devon throws her out! 

BRYTNI:  He does.

Devon tells her to leave the penthouse and he tells her to pack her stuff and go.

BRYTNI:  Rightfully so.

Courtesy/CBS

Doesn’t Elena deserve that reaction for her actions?

BRYTNI:  I think so.  She made a mistake, and she has to learn from it.  I think if there is any potential for these two to ever reconcile, there has to be space given, and there has to be understanding.  You can’t just pretend like everything is normal even though she is sorry.  Sorry isn’t a reason why and sorry isn’t proactive.  She has to fix the issue.

They brought Jared (Michael Maclane) back to be the catalyst that was ended up being the spark that ignited Nate and Elena’s passionate moment together at the clinic. What did you think of that plot point?

BRYTNI:  The point was actually, that it was a patient who they had invested in and cared about, and she was able to do something for this kid and save his life with someone who she has been leaning on, someone who she has had a shared connection with, someone who shares her perspective, and helped her through situations with Devon, and who has seen her ugly side and her insecure side, and it was a bonding moment, I guess, that they were able to save a kid’s life who they both knew added another layer to their relationship that caused things to go grey.

Coming up, it appears that Amanda is going to be instigating a lot of stuff, and Nate is going to still have feelings for Elena.

BRYTNI:  Yeah, I mean, it’s not over.  Now that the cat has been let out of the bag, they still have residual feelings.  I think Nate is starting to make it very clear why he went the direction he went.  I think he has more of an understanding of where his feelings lie and that they are with Elena.  I think with Amanda, maybe a part of her ego just got bruised, and maybe she wants to unearth the truth of all of this because she was kind of caught in the middle of it.

When you and Bryton are together in real life, are you rehearsing all of these scenes and playing all of the other characters in them?

BRYTNI:  Typically, we run lines together.  I have voices for everyone.  I have a Nate voice.  (Laughs)  I have an Amanda voice; I have a Lily (Christel Khalil) voice.

Photo: Sonja Fleming/CBS

You are in one of those interesting situations where you are with the person in real-life and in story.  I have talked to Bryton about this, but what was the moment when you knew it clicked with him? 

BRYTNI:  We certainly liked each other since day one just as people.  He was a great scene partner to do a screen-test with, very giving, just really professional, but just a down-to-earth nice guy. Then, just moving forward from that and working with him as my scene partner on Y&R, I think it was during our first group scene, it was the opening of Society, and we did a tribute to Neil Winters (Kristoff St. John), and that was the first time I had spent long hours on a Y&R set.  You’re with the whole group all day because you’re doing group scenes.  We just discovered and learned that we are both really goofy, and we were just laughing and talking about stories.  I think we found that we had a lot more in common than we would have realized… very similar pop-cultural references, and upbringings, and all of that.  From there, we’ve just gotten along really well, and it progressed.

Photo: Sonja Fleming/CBS

Back in late June,  there was this viral video of you jumping up and down when Bryon’s name was called as the winner of the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series during the 47th annual Daytime Emmys telecast.  What do you remember of that night with him?  You seemed more excited than he was!

BRYTNI:  Yeah!  I was really excited for him.  The year before – well, I didn’t know that it was our first date –  but,  I guess it was our first date at the 46th Daytime Emmys, because I honestly thought that Matt Kane (publicist, Y&R) had asked me if I wanted to go along, and apparently, Bryton had asked if he could invite me.  So, we spent that time together, and he was nominated that year as well and lost.  Cut to this year where Bryton is a person who I have actually worked with and have seen how he works, and after Kristoff’s passing, and just seeing the amount of work that Y&R put into it, and the time that they spent on those episodes, and how beautiful they came out, everyone deserved an Emmy for that.  It was really beautiful work, and it was really touching, and it was really true and honest.  I really thought Bryton deserved it.  I think he was just as happy.  He’s just more reserved than I am.

What do you want to see happen for Elena moving-forward?  Do you want to see more of her extended family pop up so she is a character who has more ties to Genoa City?

BRYTNI:  I do, I do.  A lot of the characters never know who their father is.  I’d love to know who that is. (Laughs)  Like when I played Valerie on General Hospital, she didn’t know who her father was either.  Things like that are interesting to play.  I’d love to start closing those little holes about her because that helps me.  It helps me to create more dimensions in her character and to make firmer choices, and give her somewhere to go, and it gives more richness in her story.  I would love to also cement her to the Y&R canvas if she has any relation to anyone else there.

Courtesy/CBS

There have been rumors that Elena will become pregnant.  What would you say to that?

BRYTNI:  What do I think of that?  I don’t know.  It could happen.  Crazier things have happened on soaps.  Will it be the classic, “Whodunit?”

You mean, who could be the baby daddy?

BRYTNI:  (Laughs) Yes, that would be interesting, and yes, I’ve seen those rumors, too.

Do you think Elena will fight and claw her way back to Devon, or do you think she is going to let it be? 

BRYTNI:  I think even from the scenes that aired this past week, you can see the extent of how sorry she is.  She is laying it all out there, in a puddle of tears, exactly how she feels even though she is not able to really understand why she did what she did, her sorrow is there.  I don’t think there is really much more for her to do as far as pleading to get him back until he is ready, if he ever is ready.  I think her respecting his wishes in the situation is probably the best thing that she can do at this point.

Photo: IG

Meanwhile, if you have any more romantic scenes with Sean Dominic, Bryton will step in, so you will still be in scenes with him, even if Elena and Devon aren’t together. 

BRYTNI:  (Laughs) Yes, that’s true!

So, are you rooting for Devon and Elena to get back together quickly?  Do you think she may end up in a relationship with Nate? What have you thought of Brytni’s performances in this storyline? Comment below, but first watch Devon tell Elena to move out!

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Interviews

Y&R’s Peter Bergman Talks On Dina’s Death & How It Will Impact Jack, His Final Scenes With Marla Adams & Taping During COVID-19

The Abbott family is reeling from the death of their mother, Dina Mergeron, who passed away from complications from Alzheimer’s disease at the end of last Friday’s episode; signaling the end of an era for Dina’s portrayer, Marla Adams.  In a pivotal and heart-breaking scene, Dina shares one last goodbye with her children: Traci (Beth Maitland), Ashley (Eileen Davidson) and of course, Jack (Peter Bergman).

Today, the drama continues as the Abbott’s grieve Dina’s death and its aftermath while they remember the life of their flawed mother. This puts Jack at the epicenter of the family, and like it, or not, the new head of the clan.  What does the future hold for him now?

Michael Fairman TV chatted with three-time Daytime Emmy winner, Peter Bergman, who has embodied Jack for over 30 years on the top-rated CBS Daytime drama, to get his thoughts on: how Y&R needed to handle Dina’s death within the confines of the coronavirus pandemic and its safety protocols, what he felt about playing those final scenes with Marla Adams and the significance of the ‘teardrop of love’, and a preview of what fans can expect in the coming days as the impact of Dina’s death will be felt by the Abbott children and extended family.

 

An actor’s actor, you can always expect a conversation with Peter to be forthright, candid and enlightening, and this one was no different.  Here’s what one of the genre’s absolute best had to share about the significance of this story and more.

How has it been returning to Y&R during the pandemic?  I bet you never thought in all of your years in daytime, that you would be doing your scenes socially-distanced, sitting or standing, so far apart from your castmates.

Courtesy/CBD

PETER:  Just getting back to work felt great, loved that.  I wasn’t involved really in romantic scenes at this point, so that I didn’t have to do.  So, all in all, I was very happy to be back, and socially-distancing didn’t really bother me at all, and then Dina died.  Doing that from six feet away was just awful.  You saw the limits at a time where not any of us could be within six feet of each other; where you would usually hold a hand, stroke a brow, and talk softly.  So, I think the writers did what they needed to do to make it work for Dina’s exit.  We are in the middle of COVID, in case anybody forgot, and so you have to ask, ‘Does America really want to watch an elderly woman die in the middle of the Abbott living room or anywhere else?’  So, we had to have Dina’s exit without looking at a dead body, out of respect for the times we are living in.  We had to do a strong, powerful, pivotal scene with our hands tied behind our backs.

Courtesy/CBS

It’s so interesting that you say that because that’s how I felt watching it, knowing what it would have been like, if Jack, Ashley and Traci would have been with Dina at her bedside, up till the end, for instance.  But all of that said, Peter, I got so choked up in your last moments with Marla.  Jack is just sitting there and Dina is telling him how much she loved him and you’re doing the thing that only Peter Bergman can do as the tears well-up in your eyes.  As we have talked about previously, my mom died from complications from Alzheimer’s, so these are always tough types of scenes for me to watch.  I am sure it was also for those in the audience, who have lost a loved one to this disease, many of whom reached out to me on social media following its airing.

PETER:  It’s got to be tough for you to watch.  I get that.

Photo: Ed McGowan/Plain Joe Studios

Yes, so I felt for Jack and Dina in the moment as a son and his mother.  But what did you think about how the scene was written, and what Dina was saying to Jack and his sisters as her final goodbyes to her children and their reactions to it?

PETER:  As written, something in this necklace triggers something in Dina that brings her out of a stupor, brings her out of the murk, the fog for a brief instant to tell the people who she cares the most about that she loves them in slightly different ways.  I have, with everything in me, a struggle to always add in there, “I have a complicated relationship with my mother.”  I’ve added that line in there so many times over the years, you have no idea.  It was a complicated relationship because by the time she dies, there is no kind of straightening that out, there is no kind of Jack looking for answers. The depth of what Ashley is feeling, what Traci is feeling, what Jack is feeling, were kind of lost because of the way we had to do it. The writers had to do it, so I’m not blaming anyone, but because of the way we had to do it, there was no, “Wow, why isn’t Ashley crying?  Why is she just so stoic that this isn’t touching her at all?” because she can’t go there. Traci feeling like she found her place in the family simply by Dina saying, “You’re the beating heart of this family,” and Jack, who is doing the right thing, “She should leave peacefully, she should leave feeling loved, we should all be here, we should give her nothing but love,” damn, this is complicated.  You couldn’t have any of those things.  .  Hopefully, some of that slid in there and we wedged some of those complexities into it, but it was hard to write a complex scene with the situation as it was.  We needed to get it done it one day.  We did not need to drag this out.  Again, were it not COVID time, sure, let’s drag it out.  Let’s spend some time on this.  People die.  Let’s watch the family process a death.

Photo: CBS

I just think of what it all means for Jack moving forward.  Dina basically tells him, “You’re in charge of the family. Look after the family.” That’s kind of where it’s been going for Jack this whole time.  I don’t know if that’s what Jack wanted, but that’s where he is ending up.

PETER:  Right!  That’s where he ends up, and you know, this has been a long time coming.  Dad dies, and it is pretty clear that he’s got to step up, and his mom comes into town, and she’s not just his mother.  She’s Ashley’s mother; she’s Traci’s mother, we’ve got to look out for her and give her the dignity and things like that.  Now, there is just no getting around it.  Jack is the head of the family.  That’s the way it fell.  Twenty-five years ago, was Jack ready to be head of anything?  Absolutely not, but I think enough has happened to Jack now: enough heartache, enough growth, enough introspection, enough losing people, that Jack might just be ready for this job.

Courtesy/CBS

When Marla Adams came back to Y&R 2017, and they started telling the Alzheimer’s storyline, it brought up such abandonment issues for Jack and rightfully so, about how a mother could just leave her family and children,  Throughout all that,  you did such poignant work.

PETER:  I wanted that to be in there at the very end.  One of the powerful parts in this whole thing is that Jack wanted to scream at Dina every bit as much as he wanted to hug her.  That was there for quite a while, and Jack had to kind of come to terms with, “Hey, you’ve been leaning on this excuse for quite a time.  She’s here.  She can’t do you any harm.  She feels bad about what happened.  What do you want, Jack?”

Photo: CBS

One of the highlights of this storyline was when Y&R explored the history and relationship between the siblings, Jack, Ashley and Traci.  We saw their younger versions as the show flash-backed to when Dina left John and the Abbott family.

PETER:  Between the writers and Peter Bergman, we built this story that the night that Dina left, Dad was upstairs with the girls, they were weeping inconsolably, there was no fixing it, there was no telling them that everything was going to be all right.  He didn’t want to lie to them and say she will be right back, he told them, “She’s not coming back,” and he comes downstairs, and Jack is fourteen-years-old, and a little confused, but decided to say to his dad, “Hey, can I help?”  He looks across the room, and his dad is weeping, first time he had ever seen that.  His father is weeping, and he said, “Jack, you’re going to have to help me with the girls.  I can’t do all of this,” and it changed Jack’s life forever.  Jack was a parent to Ashley for a good part of their relationship.  So, all of this stuff with Jack’s identity, all of the fighting with Ashley, all of the Jabot madness is Ashley finally getting to say, “I don’t need a father!  You’re not my father.  Stop talking to me like you’re going to fix things for me!  I’m sick of it.”  All done by Dina … all truly caused by Dina.

Courtesy/CBD

In my interview with Marla, she told me that at the end of her last scene, you and many others came back to the set to pay tribute to her.

PETER:  We did.  The show had arranged it, and Tony Morina, the executive producer, stepped out on the soundstage with a microphone, and Marla sat on the sofa in the Abbott living room. Tony began telling a lovely, lovely story about how far back his relationship with her goes because Marla and Tony wife’s, Sally Sussman (Ex- head writer, Y&R), also had a long-standing relationship.  Tony was just so grand and gracious in saying that there are some people who, if they weren’t an actor, they’d be this or that or the other thing, but that Marla was born to be an actress.  That’s what she is, and it was so generous.  I think she got three and a half years that she didn’t expect to get out of this.  It was supposed to be a six-month storyline, and four years later, she was still there, and it was a good thing for her, and a unique story turn for the rest of us.  It really was.  It was a powerful thing, and now the Abbott family has a new shape.  There are three adults there: Ashley has established her independence, she is not around as much, she is back and forth between Paris, and Genoa City, Traci is trying to be as supportive and kind as she can be, but essentially, Jack is in the big house by himself.

Yep!  Well, now we’ve got to find Jack a good woman.

PETER:  Yes, or a bad woman.

… Or a bad woman!  I’ll take him in a relationship with someone to stir things up.  I also hear coming up, there will be the reading of Dina’s will.  Is there anything you can tease about that?

PETER:  There is a will read, yes.  No one knows what to expect, and Dina … in the end… comes through for almost everybody…

Courtesy/CBS

Well … that ought to be good.

PETER:  Yep… really comes through for almost everybody, and you know, the Abbott children are wealthier, and all three of them are alone, and in no small thanks to Dina for that.  These are three adults who have been very unlucky in love.  Of course, this is the next challenge.  I don’t mean to assume that I have any idea of what you went through in losing your mom, but there is a point at which you also have to let go and say, “Okay, now it is just me, and what do I want to do with this life?  I’ve used this as a reason not to move forward for a good while.  What am I going to do now?”  I think the next turn in the Jack Abbott story comes pretty organically.  Dina’s death frees Jack to be just as alone as he has ever been.

No matter what Jack does, including the bad things, you always see the inner-pain that is very palpable within him, as you have portrayed him.

PETER:  Yes, but he really has grown in the last 30 years.  Jack is hungry for more right now, and he couldn’t really be that way with Mom in the house.  He didn’t have time for that.  Now he has all of the time in the world.  So, we’ll see what he does with that.

Courtesy/CBD

I understand there is a funeral for Dina, but it will be off-camera?  I guess, because of COVID, it is better that way.

PETER:  That’s true and it’s off camera, that’s correct.  What’s important at most of these things isn’t what happens at the gravesite, it is what happens at the reception afterwards, and that is also a fun turn.  So, they all agree as a family they are going to do it at Society, and they kind of close the joint and make it their own little party, and someone shows up who isn’t expected, and it throws a really, really different vibe into the whole thing, and everybody has to adapt.  It’s actually fun, what it turns into.  It turns into a memory fest with crazy stories of Dina.

Courtesy/CBS

Do you have a favorite moment, or memory, of a scene you played with Marla?

PETER:  I think I had a day where Jack tried to get through to her and tell her, “Do you realize the damage you did?  Do you realize?” and she wasn’t able to take it in, and he went to Traci, and he said, “I want to shake her.  I want to yell at her… and I want to protect her.”  I thought there was something just so rich about that.  That was my favorite moment, my favorite part of it, when Jack finally said, “She’s going, man.  We’ve got to get this conversation done now.  We’ve got to talk this through,” and he was too late.   She was too far along with Alzheimer’s.  She wasn’t up to it.  She couldn’t do it.

Photo: JPI

And now here is Jack; and his parents are both gone.  There is no Jerry Douglas or Marla Adams on the show as both John and Dina have passed on within the history of The Young and the Restless.

PETER:  Again, you were generous enough to share your own personal experience, but isn’t it amazing?  Wow, you’re the grownup now.  Isn’t it amazing?  That’s what the Abbott’s are going through: just what you went through.  There is no older generation to turn to for anything.  We are the older generation.  It’s powerful stuff, and I’m really, really grateful for anytime that Ashley, Jack, and Traci are together talking about those things, talking about, “Wow, okay, that just happened… where do we go from here?”  It’s going to be really interesting.  If you asked me, “Over the last 30 years that you’ve played Jack Abbott, have there been many times where you’ve thought, ‘I’ve got no idea where this is going!’”  I would say, “Yeah, right now.”  I’ve got no idea where we are going with this.

Courtesy/CBS

There has been much speculation that the “teardrop of love” necklace will lead Jack to a new romance, or some new adventure in his life.  They spent a lot of time mentioning it in short order, that it would seem it’s not just to bring Dina some closure.  What are your thoughts on it?

PETER:  I think it has legs.  I think you’re going to hear about it again. There is something in there, and I don’t know if it’s the teardrop’s magic charm or that its history is not what it was, or it gets stolen.  I don’t know, but I think we have spent enough time saying ‘teardrop of love’, that there could be a story there.

In Dina’s final moments where Jack brings her the ‘teardrop of love’, wasn’t it symbolic to her because it was her acknowledgement of having her family back together and with her at all times? There is a back-story to that piece of jewelry as well.

PETER:  The point of the necklace is, “This was when I was truly happy, when I had this necklace, when it is all back together,” and maybe we are to know something more about the teardrop…?  I don’t know.  So, this was a gift to her before Jack was born.  She wore it home from the hospital when she brought him home, but we don’t know exactly what year she got it, and we don’t know exactly what year she lost it.  It was stolen, and it was on the black market for a while, and Victor (Eric Braeden) was looking into it.  It was clear that it was very important to Dina.  So, Jack, against his own wishes, said, “No, I’ve got to do the right thing.  I’ve got to try to trace this thing down.  It clearly means something to her.  Maybe she is trying to tell us something.  God only knows.”  So, he did the right thing, not because, “I want to make Mommy happy,” but because he forced himself to do the right thing, to find the damn necklace, and to see what this is about.  Then, we saw the affect it had when he gave it to her.

Photo: CBS

It’s always good to chat and check-in with you during these key and historical moments in the life of the character of Jack Abbott.  There have been many throughout your time on Y&R, and it will be interesting to see where this goes from here.

PETER:  It will be, and I’m telling you, this is a real moment.  Normally, we just go from one story into the next, into the next, and this one has been hanging for so long that, “Okay, now that it is over, wow, what is going to happen to Jack?”  I’m just as curious as everybody else.

So, what do you think will happen next for Jack?  Did you reach for the hankies in Peter’s final scenes with Marla Adams?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Marla Adams Talks Her Final Scenes As Dina Mergeron, The Alzheimer’s Storyline, and Her Touching Farewell

Today on The Young and the Restless marks the end of the enduring run of Marla Adams in the role of Dina Mergeron. In story, Dina passes away from complications from Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a storyline that started four years ago when the CBS Daytime drama brought back the character and Adams; and one that has deeply affected many in the viewing audience who have also had their own personal experience of losing a loved one to this dreadful disease.

If you have not seen today’s episode yet, you may not want to read any further, but needless to say, make sure you have the hankies ready for Dina’s final moments with her children and how she leaves this earth, which will be remembered for quite some time to come.

Marla originated the role of the rich and spoiled Abbott matriarch back in 1983 and portrayed the role on and off for what amounts to five decades. Her classic scenes with Jerry Douglas (Ex-John), Eileen Davidson (Ashley) and so many more from the iconic soap, always made for great and complex stories.

 

With this her final airdate on Y&R, it also puts an exclamation point for Marla on an incredible daytime career having also appeared on: The Bold and the Beautiful. Capitol, Days of our Lives, Generations and The Secret Storm

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Adams in this very special conversation where she shared with us how it was to play these heartbreaking last scenes, the importance of the ‘teardrop of love’ necklace to the story, how Y&R gave her the most overwhelming and beautiful send-off, and her ‘thank you’s’ to all of you, who have been her extended family and are sad to see her go. She is one-of-a-kind …and now, here’s Marla.

Photo: Getty

Marla, I am so glad we have the opportunity to chat in this full-circle moment as you have brought the character of Dina to a close.

MARLA:  It’s such a joy to talk to you.  It seems like yesterday and an eternity as well.   I thought of you so much, and I remember talking to you specifically with all of the different interviews over the years, when I was at the studio.  But I will always remember the interview you did with me and Beth Maitland (Traci), my darling soul sister, and you talked to me about your mother who has since passed on from Alzheimer’s.  I’ll never forget what you had to say all those months ago

Photo: HallmarkChannel

Yes, and when as audience members we watch these stories unfold with characters we have loved, or watched on our screens for years, and there is a death, we feel connected to them as well.  And in this case, as a child who has lost a parent to Alzheimer’s, like many in the audience, you ask yourself first, “Can I watch this?” It hits very close to home, but I’m sure when people watch today’s episode of Y&R and see Dina pass away, they will be extraordinarily moved.

MARLA:  Oh, my gosh.  Wait until you people see Friday’s show.  I know they will be moved.  They should be!  I’ve got friends who I’ve already said to, “Get your Kleenex box out.”  It’s so beautiful what happens at the end of the episode.

Courtesy/CBD

How did you feel about playing Dina’s final scenes?

MARLA:  It was wonderful because it showed her lifetime of sorrow and regret, and what was so wonderful was the fact that the hero of the whole thing is the kindness and respect that she really did have for her whole family.  They had the most beautiful sendoff for me.  They sent me a limo!  I went to the studio, and dear Patti Denney (Make-up artist, Y&R) was there, of course with all kinds of makeup and everything else, and she looked like she was entering the ER room for Covid-19, because of all the safety protocols we must have.  It was unbelievable, the kindness that was served to me.  After we finished taping my final scenes, I came back to the soundstage and they totally surprised me.  Dear Tony Morina (executive producer, Y&R) and Sally Sussman (Ex-head writer, Y&R) were there, and Tony spoke about me, and so did my Y&R extended family and on-screen children: Peter Bergman (Jack), and Beth Maitland, and Eileen Davidson, and much of it was put on tape (see excerpts in video below).  Afterwards, Tony gave me beautiful flowers.  I was driven back home after this, and I felt really special, and it was just amazing to me. I had written Josh Griffith (Current head-writer and co-executive producer, Y&R) a ‘thank you’ for writing the show with his wonderful people, but I never heard back, but when I walked in my apartment, the phone was ringing.  Guess who?  It’s Josh!  He said, “I waited until I knew you would be home to thank you,” and I felt so lovey-doved up, I couldn’t believe it.  I want to read something to you that I received in the wonderful flowers that came the next day from CBS Daytime executive Margot Wain and others.  The flowers were so big that they didn’t fit on the bar!  The card read: “Thank you for bringing the amazing force that is Abbott matriarch, Dina Mergeron to countless fans of The Young and the Restless.  Your vast contribution to Y&R and CBS for more than five decades is unparalleled.  We are forever grateful for all you’ve brought to Y&R as both a consummate professional and a cherished co-worker.  All our best wishes.”  I was just so touched by the sentiments.

Photo: CBS

I also want to share something with you.  When it was revealed in the promo that came out last week that this would be your last show, I received so many notifications on social media, saying, “Oh, my God!  We love Marla!  You have to interview her!”  You are loved by the Y&R fans.  I hope you know that!  They’re sad to see you go, because you’re a legacy character to them, and soap fans have deep connections to characters that have been on their favorite soaps for decades.

MARLA:  Five decades!  My God!  I’m eighty-freaking-two.  I can’t believe it.

Courtesy/CBS

In story, Jack was on a mission to get the ‘teardrop of love’ necklace back to Dina before she died, hoping that she would have one last moment of lucidity and would recall it and it would hopefully make her happy.   He moves heaven on earth to get it, and does, and brings it to her and viewers saw her reaction. 

MARLA:  The necklace had never been anywhere before in story except recently, but I said to myself that I would play it ‘quietly and graciously’, because it made for such a beautiful moment for Dina with her children.

Courtesy/CBS

For Dina, the necklace was a symbol of remaining connected to her family and her children, even when she was not with them all of those years.  In your final scenes, Dina had these moments to say goodbye to each of your children.  Do you remember looking at Eileen, Traci, and Peter taping those highly emotional beats?

MARLA:  Yes, they were so there for me.  They are an extended family that is so precious to me, and playing this iconic character has been, too.  I remember when Sally Sussman told me a few years ago, “ I’m going to bring you back on The Young and the Restless, but you’ve got Alzheimer’s,” and I said, ‘What!?  You’re bringing me back so you can kill me off?’ and she said, “Oh no, it’ll be about a year.”  That dissolved into four years, and now five decades had passed and I was still on Y&R.  I am beyond grateful.

Courtesy/CBD

As an actress, was it hard to play Dina’s final moments when she goes to the light to join her beloved, John?

MARLA:  It was heart-wrenching for me.  In the story, Dina died when she went outside and to the front door of the Abbott home.  They did not tell me before-hand, and that’s why it was so wonderful.  I hope they came in for a closeup of that because I had no makeup on, it was beautiful, and then, Dina said, “Oh, John.”  I’ve done everything from movies, to daytime, to nighttime, to Broadway, but that was the iconic moment for me, to do this gig with wonderful, wonderful actors and friends, and to do this particular storyline.

Photo: CBS

It was 1983 when you first appeared on Y&R.  And through the years, Dina did not do such great things! She had an affair with Brent Davis who was the biological father of Ashley that caused such a rift between mother and daughter for years.  She abandoned the Abbott children and walked out on them and her marriage to John, and that’s just for starters! Dina was a complicated character. Did you love the fact that she could be very selfish at times?

MARLA:  You think?  That’s why I loved her.  Of course!  I can be very selfish, too.  You have to be selfish if you’re an actor, good God. (Laughs).

Courtesy/CBS

It was great that The Young and the Restless brought you back four years ago so that through the telling of the Alzheimer’s storyline that Dina was able to somewhat repair her relationships with her children.  Obviously, over the last many months the audience could not witness the more day to day progression and toll the disease took on Dina and her family in its final stages, but unfortunately with the way COVID-19 has affected shooting daytime soap operas, and all of our lives, including safety protocols, I am sure plans had to be altered,

MARLA:  Of course.  As an actress, this was the most important role of my life, and to have her final moments spread out in one day really is because of all of the fans who have been writing in and wanting to see Dina again,

Photo: CBS

People were rooting for you to win the Daytime Emmy back in 2018 when you were nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. That must be a nice moment to carry with you from playing Dina’s final storyline.

MARLA:  Yes, and I should have won!  Eric Braeden (Victor, Y&R) was furious. (Laughs)  He said, “What do you mean, darling, you should have won!  Goddammit!” He’s a wonderful man and a good friend.  He came to pick me up several times to go to the studio for my last few shows, and that’s the kind of mensch he is. So, I feel just so blessed and I feel great love and loss.  I would like Dina to come back as a ghost, but I have no idea, if that will happen or not. But if the fans would be interested in seeing Dina as a ghost … make sure to write in to the show and tell them!

Courtesy/CBS

Speaking of the fans that have followed you for decades on Y&R, what would you want to say to them now that Dina has passed on?

MARLA:  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for all of the love, the support, and the chance to play Dina out… and I’m thankful that you cared, and loved her, up till the end.

So what did you think about Dina’s final moments on today’s Y&R? Will you miss Marla Adams?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.  But first check out the special behind the scenes tribute for Marla, followed by The Michael Fairman Channel’s interview with Marla and Beth Maitland from Y&R’s 45th anniversary celebration referred to during the above conversation.

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B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood deliver the Power Performance of the Week as Steffy’s drug addiction leads to a confrontation and intervention by her loved ones with dire consequences.  Here is the last seven minutes that featured Emmy-winner Wood at her best. Leave A Comment

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