Ric has been steadily drawn deeper into the web of Zacchara intrigue — especially thanks to black widow Claudia. But Rick Hearst insists Ric is going in with his eyes wide open (and a plan of his own).
Soap Opera Weekly: Ric knows Claudia is just manipulating him, right?
Rick Hearst: Yeah. It’s not a big reach. It’s not that he’s got the wool pulled over his eyes about who Claudia is. That’s actually kind of what attracted him to her — the fact that she knows the game that’s played. She’s dangling that carrot of “You want me? You want certain things from me? You’re going to go do this for me.”
Weekly: And what he wants is sex?
Hearst: It’s a little bit more than “You do this for me, you get sex.” It’s not that sort of A+B=C for him. After the trial and getting Johnny acquitted, there was a point where he saw a little more into that family, and he understands dysfunction very well. So it’s a little bit more than [sex]. He’s still willing to play that cat-and-mouse with her, but it’s not that big of a deal for him. He doesn’t have to give up a whole lot to please her.
Weekly: Does she really delight in just causing general trouble?
Hearst: It makes her happy if she’s the one stirring the pot — especially if it’s Lucky, because there’s no love lost between those two guys.
Weekly: Right — Sam is a sore spot between Ric and Lucky. Why would Ric pass up a chance to stick it to him?
Hearst: Absolutely. And it’s easily done: “Hey, Lucky — how’s screwing Sam going? Good? Aw, great! Hey, listen, I had her, too! Goodbye, gotta go!”
Weekly: Where does Ric stand on Claudia’s brother, Johnny?
Hearst: He sees Johnny as being very naive at this point, and he knows what love is and how it will cause you to [ignore] the best course of action. He’s looking at the [Johnny/Lulu] relationship just like Claudia: Maybe it’s not the healthiest. “Yeah, I get it, you want to be with Lulu, but she’s got her own problems, buddy. You’re going to have to step off for a minute, maybe rethink this before you go forward.” The motivation is not so much superficial as sabotaging Johnny. It also plays into the fact that it strengthens his position within the Zacchara family.
Weekly: Is Ric still feeling the rivalry with his father?
Hearst: Yeah. He’s definitely his father’s rival, but Ric is mostly about making his own mark. Interestingly enough, he’s making his mark within a family that’s not really his family. Or maybe it could be someday — who knows?
Weekly: He doesn’t just work for the Zaccharas, he’s a sort of surrogate family member?
Hearst: Exactly. There’s a great deal of dysfunction, but he is absolutely accustomed to it, either being on the receiving end or causing it. He definitely shows more acceptance of it [from the Zaccharas] than he would from Sonny or his own father. It’s interesting that he’s found a unique place within the Zacchara family where he can make himself useful.