THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS’ Kristoff St. John weighs in on the tension between Neil, Dru and Carmen, and how Dru’s recent meltdown affects Neil’s affairs.
Soap Opera Weekly: What’s your take on the Dru/Neil/Carmen triangle?
Kristoff St. John: Neil felt the relationship with Carmen was basically innocent. How he could justify that, I don’t know. He’s had major feelings for her and has fought against them. It goes back to the court of King Arthur. Lancelot has to fight his demons about Guinevere, knowing that she’s married. Neil’s situation is the reverse. Neil is married and he’s not going to step away from his marriage and conduct himself in that manner. He never has.
Weekly: How did Dru’s tantrum at the N.V.P. gala and her destruction of Carmen’s entire wardrobe affect Neil’s resolve?
St. John: He was more saddened and upset by the freak-out than angry. His wife pretty much lost all sense of reality and the pain of the separation affected her more deeply than he realized. She’s lost her mind. It’s been fun to watch what Victoria‘s (Rowell) done with the character and the mental breakdown. It was like Dru to the ninth power. But Neil’s observance of this puts him in a critical state. While he was getting on with his life, his wife was going down a dark chasm. His fear is, “If I take this impending divorce from my mind into reality, will this woman survive?” That’s a lot for Neil to feel responsible for.
Weekly: This all goes back to Malcolm being Lily’s real father. Is that something they can get past?
St. John: Neil can definitely get past it. As in all long-lasting relationships, you hit some bumps in the road and hopefully there’s a way to work them out. This bump has to do with betrayal, because of Dru’s lies about Lily. It also has to do with mistrust, because of the constant scrutinizing Dru has put Neil through since she came back from Europe and found him being friendlier than he should have been with Carmen. I don’t think these are relationship-busting issues. Evidently Neil did, but at the end of the day, he’s going to realize that he and Dru have a great love affair.
Weekly: If you could give this couple a piece of advice, what would it be?
St. John: Go to therapy and stay there for as long as you can, until you resolve your differences and your issues. Sometimes it takes a third party to come in and help solve the problems.
Weekly: What about Neil’s feelings toward his brother?
St. John: That’s unresolved. Truly, the brunt of Neil’s anger fell on Drucilla and it should have been directed toward Malcolm. Dru was supposedly under the influence of cold medication. His brother was being a dastardly cat and it’s time to pay him a visit. There’s a lot of storyline that could have been played out with Shemar‘s (Moore, Malcolm) return, but unfortunately that didn’t occur. Because they couldn’t get him, Neil had to direct all this pent-up aggression, anger and rage toward his life partner.
Weekly: With so much up in the air, what would you like to see happen for Neil?
St. John: I’m a fan of the fact that I’ve got a secondary storyline now, with the jazz club [opening Oct. 23]. I can see into the future a bit: characters showing up for little parties, business meetings and what have you. The show’s very interesting and colorful right now. It is obviously changing by the day and sometimes by the minute. If you miss a couple of days, you might miss storyline arcs that are very short. It creates an interesting array of storyline moments and characters have a lot more depth and layers. There’s more at stake. People are also [having sex] more. But I’m still not!