“The Young and the Restless” fandom is divided. Some viewers think that the recent revelation that Sharon (Sharon Case) altered Summer’s paternity test is a great twist, while others find her behavior totally out of character. Earlier this week, at the CBS party at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Los Angeles, I spoke with Josh Morrow (Nick), Steve Burton (Dylan) and Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea) about Sharon’s storyline, Phyllis’s departure, the show’s other paternity saga, and why, for Y&R viewers, patience is definitely a virtue.
Josh Morrow (Nick)
What is the impact of Phyllis’s departure from Genoa City on Nick? For better or worse, she was a huge part of his life for years.
Nick and Phyllis have this kind of ridiculous love for each other. Phyllis saved his life at one point. It’s tough for him for a couple of reasons. Obviously, he knows at the bottom of his heart that he’s doing something probably wrong being with Avery. You don’t cross that line with siblings. But he can’t help himself. He loves Avery. He’s really committed to her and, at the same time, he knows he’s hurting Phyllis. On the other hand, Phyllis has done some tough things to Nick. They’ve tried to be mature, and bridge this gap, but now that she’s in a coma, [he can’t.]
Sooner or later Nick’s going to find out that Sharon altered the paternity test.
Sooner or later is right. Sharon knows how much children mean to Nick. For her to do this, even though her intentions are to get Nick back and make their family whole again, it’s going to be really tough for him to accept.
Is there going to be an explanation for Sharon’s behavior and her visions of Cassie? Is she off her medication or did Victor actually go ahead with his plan to switch her medication?
I believe that will all come out, there is a reason for all of these things. Sharon’s not well. I think she and the other people who care about her need to get her healthy.
When he finds out what Sharon did, will he have compassion for her, or be angry that she put him through the wringer?
Time will tell. I truly don’t know. I don’t know what their plans are. I think Nick is a pretty understanding guy. He’s been through most of this stuff himself. This is a pretty awful thing to do to him because he loves his daughters so much, and for Sharon to take Summer away from him, that’s tough.
Nick lying about Summer’s original paternity test is the most immoral thing he has ever done other than his occasional infidelities, which were always impulsive. How does this change his character?
It was very uncharacteristic of Nick. At his core he’s a very good guy, he’s got a big heart. He does have an issue with monogamy because he just really likes women. So I was surprised, but I’m glad. It gave me something else to play. I relish the opportunity to do something out of character. This writing team and [executive producer] Jill [Farren Phelps], they gave me a chance to do it and it’s been so fun. We’ll see what happens. Nick’s pretty resilient. He’s got big shoulders. I think he can handle a lot. So he’ll accept the fallout and move on and try and make something of the situation.
Nick turned out to be right about being Summer’s biological father, but he played God with a lot of people’s lives. Will he and Jack ever be able to repair their relationship?
It’s completely unfair for Nick to do this to everyone, Summer included. You rationalize that after Cassie’s death he needed it for his own well being, but no matter how you slice it, it was the wrong thing to do.
The fans, as a whole, found Nick’s actions forgivable. But a lot of them are having issues with Sharon. What would you say to people who think Sharon wouldn’t do that?
I’d say just hang in there. Both characters are good people. They made some mistakes, but I think they’ll come out okay. Our audience is very forgiving for the most start. It’s a tough story to take because there’s a lot of dark variables. But if they hang in there and give [the writers] a chance to flesh some stuff out, I think everyone will like it.
Steve Burton (Dylan)
Poor Dylan is being duped by the woman he loves.
He’s not the sharpest tool in the shed right now.
Is his PTSD going to play a larger role in their storyline?
Yes. Good guess. Once you figure out who the dad is, and that’s revealed, I think the ball will drop and I think you’ll see a lot more of a darker side to Dylan than what you see now.
Can you give me any hint about the timeline?
It should be in the next four to six weeks.
How is he going to react when he finds out that he’s built his whole life around a lie?
You can only imagine, can’t you? This kid is everything to him, so once we figure out whose it is, if it’s not his, it’s not going to be a good situation for anybody.
Is there a chance that after he finds out the truth, he could forgive Chelsea?
That’s a tough one. I don’t know what kind of mental state this is going to put Dylan in, to even think about that.
How will Avery be involved in the fallout?
Avery (Jessica Collins) will probably be around for Dylan. Nick won’t like it but she’ll be around probably.
Dylan and Nick have a low-key rivalry.
If Avery pays any more attention to Dylan, I think we’ll have some problems.
Is there a chance that Avery’s doubts about Nick, now that she knows he hid the truth about Summer’s paternity test for years, will send her back to Dylan?
I think there’s a big chance.
When he first came to Genoa City, Dylan and Sharon were good friends. Now that her life’s a mess, will they reconnect?
I haven’t had a lot of scenes with Sharon, but I love working with her, so it would be fun.
Have you been following “General Hospital”? For a couple of days, Roger Howarth was playing Franco hallucinating that he was Jason. Did you see his performance?
No. I see on Twitter. People will post pictures of Franco and he’s acting like Jason. The thing some people don’t know is that I don’t watch the show anyway. I don’t like watching myself. I haven’t seen any of Y&R, I haven’t seen any of GH. So I wouldn’t really know how he’s doing. I like Roger as an actor, I’ve always been a fan of his. So I’m sure he’s doing great. I know he can play the heck out of Franco.
Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea)
Chelsea’s sleeping on a bed of lies right now, pretending that Dylan, not Adam, is the father of her baby.
It’s kind of like a ticking time bomb, this whole baby daddy drama. I can’t give too much away but I do have to say all the stuff airing in August to the middle of September, it’s so fun. It’s so juicy. I went home so exhausted from shooting last week because of all the drama. That stuff’s airing early September.
Do Dylan and Adam find out the truth?
Let’s just say, how long can this secret be kept? I don’t know. Things are discovered. I can’t say what, but it’s shocking and it’s not necessarily what you expect. But you will be surprised, and in a really interesting way. It’s an interesting twist. When I told people they were like, ‘Oh my God.’
It seems like she really has fallen in love with Dylan.
Yeah, she has. It’s so great, she’s finally found everything she wanted. She fell in love with Adam, too, but she found a man who she has a happy life with and treats her well, who she’s really fallen in love with, so you just hope that can stay and maintain. But with a lie this big, every day’s a risk. She does eventually have the baby, so every day the secret gets more and more clear.
Sharon and Chelsea, though, they don’t realize it … seems like they’re on a collision course. They both are manipulating people with paternity lies. They both loved Adam.
It is interesting how similar they are. Sharon’s a little more off her rocker, but she can’t really criticize Chelsea because she’s lying, too, and she’s hurting people in different ways.
How is the show going to change without Phyllis?
That’s such a good question and I don’t really know. We just have to focus on moving forward and making the show great. The end of the summer will be super exciting.
Fan reaction is mixed right now. Some people love the twist of Sharon switching the paternity test, some people think she would never do that.
I’ve never been a message-boards person. I never look because people can be so nasty. But Twitter’s a great way to find out what people like or don’t like, and when people say they don’t like a story, that’s totally fair. They’ve got their opinions. I think it’s so fun. When people saw the real reveal, about what Sharon did, they were freaking out on Twitter. It was so exciting. I think it’s an actor’s dream, and it’s making the show like, ‘Oh, you really don’t know what these people are capable of.’ That’s exciting and you want to watch more.
Who do you think is the right man for Chelsea?
That’s so hard. I can’t answer that. They’re both really great men and their relationships with Chelsea are really different. Her relationship with Dylan’s a beautiful thing. He really takes care of her. With Adam, there’s passion and excitement. I love working with Steve. We have so much fun together and laugh a lot. But I love working with Michael, too, and we really have some intense, fiery things that the fans get fired up about.