Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman) probably has felt like Sisyphus pushing a rock up a hill as he’s tried to get his family to come around and accept polarizing Diane Jenkins (Susan Walters). And now, he’s had enough! Will The Young and the Restless couple getting married finally prompt the Abbott clan to be nicer to Diane? Find out tomorrow (Friday, July 28) as the two set out to get hitched in a civil ceremony.
Jack’s family, especially his sister Ashley (Eileen Davidson), has reason to be unaccepting of Diane even though she’s the mother of Jack’s son Kyle (Michael Mealor). This goes back to Ashley walking in on Jack having sex with Diane shortly before he was set to marry innocent Patty Williams (then, Lilibet Stern).
Sure, Jack wasn’t initially happy last year when Diane popped up alive after being thought dead. Since then, he’s chosen to give the former Jabot model another chance. And while some of Jack’s family members may not be pro-Diane, he certainly is – and Bergman is a big admirer of Walters. Read on to get the scoop from the three-time Daytime Emmy-winning Bergman, who is nominated once again this year for Outstanding Lead Actor in Drama Series for his Y&R role.
How might Jack marrying Diane send a message to his family that they had better finally accept her into the Abbott clan?
Peter Bergman: Jack wants everyone to fold. He feels that they have to. His feelings for Diane are notgoing to change. They’re getting married and his family is going to have to treat this seriously. Diane’s not ‘auditioning’ for anything. She’s got the role.
Soaps are known for supercouples – Bo (Peter Reckell) and Hope (Kristian Alfonso) on Days of our Lives; Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) and Ridge (Thorsten Kaye) on Bold and the Beautiful; and, might I point out, Cliff, played by you, and Nina (Taylor Miller) on All My Children. But has Jack ever had an OTP (One True Pairing)?
I believe Jack had that with Phyllis [Michelle Stafford) but that blew up on him not once but twice. I read somewhere that we can only truly have our hearts broken once. There are plenty of painful relationships after that but that first heartbreak [is the most painful]. Jack is going into this marriage with a heart that’s been broken.
Why now is Diane “the one”?
There are so many reasons. Jack is making up for some terrible things he did in the past to Diane and others. [With this union] he feels he’s bringing his family together, which means the world to him. Kyle’s mother and father living together under the same roof? That means a lot to Jack.
Marrying Diane is a return to what he’s comfortable with. He grew up with people like Diane. Diane’s father was a member of the country club that the Abbott family belonged to. They speak the same language. It feels comfortable to give Diane another show. People change. They grow. Jack’s a witness to that. For him to hold [his own change] with any pride, he hasto be more forgiving with others. This marriage [to Diane], Jack feels, will be forever. He has no reason to ever want anything more.
Diane, when played by Maura West (now, Ava Jerome on General Hospital), was killed off over a decade ago. We saw the body. So bringing her back stretched credibility. But the payoff was getting Susan Walters back and seeing this story play out.
I’m a giant Susan Walters fan. I just think she’s interesting and exciting to watch. We still don’t know at her core who Diane is. She’s floated out a lot of possibilities.
What is about Susan’s performances as Diane that are so watchable?
You can put Diane in a room with somebody who loves and trusts her and Susan plays loving and vulnerable. Put her in a room with three or four of Diane’s enemies and they’rethe ones who are outnumbered.
There’s no word yet on when the 50th Annual Daytime Emmys will be broadcast. But you are nominated for the 24th time as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. What’s on your reel?
I have a scene on it with Diane when she first came back. We were in a home in Los Angeles and Jack let her have it over the pain she’d caused. The second part of my reel has a scene in which Phyllis barges into his office and starts to spread her poison. Jack had had enough! He goes ballistic on her. My favorite line on the reel is when Jack tells her that Marchetti is a subsidiary of Jabot and he says, “I am Jabot!”
The Young and the Restless, weekdays, CBS