“I love to watch him play around with different expressions, discover what his hands are for, how quickly he can smack himself in the head,” Hearst laughs. “I want to make sure I don’t ignore any moments in his life, because before I know it, they will be gone and we won’t be able to get them back. I didn’t want that to happen with Nicky the way it happened with me and my father. We had a lot of time slip past us. I want to make sure my kid’s got my full, undivided attention and every bit of love and support, so that whatever he wants to do, he can do.”
Fast on the heels of Nicky’s birth (actually less than 24 hours later) came another monumental event — a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Younger Actor. Hearst admits this one-two punch threw him for a loop. “I was really ready to explode,” he admits. “If I had let it all go [at the Emmy ceremony], I would have been a sobbing mess up there. It was a very triumphant feeling when I won, but I was numb, completely numb. So many things had happened, so many changes that had really set me on my ear. When that much stuff is coming at you, be it good or bad, you don’t know how to deal with it.
“Success, a lot of times, is just as hard to take [as failure], it really is. After I got off the stage I realized I had forgotten to thank God,” he continues. “I’ve definitely had a charmed life. All I could say when people congratulated me on both counts was, ‘Thank you. I can’t ask for anything more. I think I’m going to die tomorrow.’ Somebody asked me how I felt, and I said, ‘Hey, I’ve got nothing to complain about and everything to be thankful for.”
Immediately after the Emmy ceremony, Hearst hurried back to the hospital and his wife, brandishing his award. “I’m walking through the emergency room with this Emmy in my hand, and the security people were just looking at me like, ‘Oh, my God, he has a weapon,” Hearst laughs. “I went up to maternity, and there was Nicky sitting in her arms. They were both pretty much out, and I said ‘Nicky this is for you and Momma.’ It was overwhelming.”These days, however, Hearst is not quite so overwhelmed. “Instead of running away from things I’ve been afraid of in my life — like commitment to a family, a spouse, what you’re doing at work — I’ve been trying to tackle them lately,’ he states. As for what he’ll be tackling in the future, he can only theorize. “I’ll probably stay with GL for the extent of my contract and however long they want me after that. Of course, I’d like to branch out and get into films, but I really just want to work. I have very simple needs. I just want to raise my son, be good to my family, get my black belt [in karate] and take everything that comes at me and try to do what I can with it, whatever that may be.”This interview originally appeared in the September 10, 1991 issue of Soap Opera Weekly.