Peter Bergman: Hello, Again

Former ALL MY CHILDREN star Peter Bergman — who played Dr. Cliff Warner from 1980 to 1989, before assuming the role of Jack on YOUNG AND RESTLESS — has been having a lot of fun “reacquainting” himself with his old alma mater via Genoa City newcomers Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe) and Billy Miller (Billy). The two actors portrayed Frankie/Maggie and Richie, respectively, on the ABC soap. “They are both people who have worked there and come to Y&R with a great work ethic and a great sense of discipline,” says Bergman. “And I happen to think they are both terrific actors.”

Soap Opera Weekly: The three of you never worked together on AMC, right?
Peter Bergman: No. I never worked with them on AMC, but we all have similar proud memories of working on a show that had a very disciplined cast. It’s very impressive.

Weekly: Is that one of your fondest memories of your years on AMC?
Bergman: I have so many fond memories of being there. I can definitely tell you that, say what you will about Susan Lucci, she was a professional in terms of preparing, knowing her lines, hitting her marks, and doing the job, so that anyone around her felt, “If she’s not going to be a diva, I’m not going to be a diva.” We all kind of agree she is quite an example for everybody in New York.

Weekly: Have you, Elizabeth and Billy gotten together, sat down and chatted about the Pine Valley experience?
Bergman: We haven’t gotten the chance to sit down as a threesome. Individually, I’ve talked to both of them about life in New York, life on AMC and the transition of moving out to Los Angeles; its difficulties, and how long it takes you to get over it all. It’s been fun catching up, hearing about their lives in New York, and how they are adapting to Los Angeles. It’s wild being the seasoned expert on this transition.

Weekly: As the “expert,” have you given them any pointers about adjusting to West Coast life?
Bergman: Yes. I told them both the object of the game is to live near the Pacific Ocean. I learned this much too late. Elizabeth already has it handled. She’d gotten a convertible Volkswagen and is living at the beach right now.

Weekly: Did you know Elizabeth and Billy were both from AMC right off the bat?
Bergman: I knew Billy was from AMC, and the first time I saw Elizabeth’s work, I thought, Who is this girl and why does she look so familiar to me?

Weekly: Did you realize you’d seen her on AMC?
Bergman: Yes. Elizabeth is quite good. She’s just terrific and she’s brought out good stuff in Cane. It’s funny — she and I auditioned the guys trying out for Billy. Elizabeth was so good in the auditions, I stopped watching the guys a few times. I was in the room when she was reading them, too.

Weekly: Well, it’s obvious you are quite impressed with Elizabeth. What are your thoughts on Billy as the new Billy?
Bergman: He is sensational. I knew that after the first time we worked together. It’s a scene where Jack is in New York, meeting with his sisters and waiting for Billy to get there. He is Jack’s pièce de rèsistance. He walked in and [the way he delivered his line] spoke volumes. It was wonderful…clever, smart, economical and told so much [about the character]. He’s a lovely actor