Three weeks short of his first anniversary with the show, Hearst was released from his contract. “I was on the set with Mindy (Clark, who played Scott’s girlfriend Faith Taylor). After we were done with our scenes, I still had three more to do. But the stage manager told us Al Rabin (Days‘ supervising executive producer) wanted to see us in his office,” Hearst relates. “It was very quiet, unusually quiet. Just as Mindy and I were sitting down, I looked him dead in the eye and knew exactly what he was going to tell me. It was the most terrifying feeling just to know, all of a sudden, you’re going to get axed. He did a lot of explaining why, but I was angry. I felt we didn’t get a fair shake. After he told us how much longer we had left, I stood up and said I had to got finish my scenes. He had absolutely no idea I still had scenes to do. When I went downstairs I was numb, but I couldn’t let it affect me, it wouldn’t have been fair to the other actors. A month later I was gone.”
Since his termination came just weeks before he was supposed to get married, Hearst wasted no time finding another job. “I was auditioning like crazy,” he admits. “I screen tested for Linc Lafferty on As the World Turns, which Jim Wlcek got. I remember meeting Jim in the audition and saying to myself, ‘He’s going to get it. He is Linc.’ Then this part came up on GL. I went and auditioned two times, and they flew me to New York for a screen test. Two days later I got the call. It was a Tuesday, exactly a week and four days prior to my wedding. I just said, ‘Oh, thank God!’ and immediately called my wife, who was in Dallas getting ready for the wedding. She let out the biggest yowl I’ve ever heard — really crazed. She was [probably thinking] ‘Thank God! We’re not going to be broke.'”
While GL frantically tried to reach their newest cast member, Hearst took off on his honeymoon. “I told everybody, ‘I’m going on my honeymoon. I’ll be in Paris. But I’m going to be incommunicado. Don’t try to reach me.,'” he states. “When I got back home [to California] I had all these messages. Four days later I was on a plane to New York by myself — heck of a way to start a marriage. For the first three months we were married we were apart more than we were together. When she was finally here we were very tentative, but we [eventually] settled in — obviously, since three months later we were making a baby.”Hearst became a father for the first time when Nicholas Charles made his debut this past June 26. “It’s the most amazing, spiritual, uplifting, frustrating thing I’ve ever experienced,” he says of his latest role. “It’s nothing like I expected. It’s harder and easier… Some days, when he gets gas, it’s crazy for me. We try to do everything for him — hold him, bounce him up and down, burp him, bicycle his legs — but he still cries that non-stop piercing ‘I’m in pain and I don’t know how to express it cry,’ and I feel like just putting him down and banging my head against the wall.
“But then there are other days when it just seems the most natural thing,” Hearst muses. “He cries, I talk to him and he calms, and it just seems like I always knew how to do this. It’s amazing.