B&B’s Scott Clifton And Darin Brooks Talk Fatherhood On-Screen, Off-Screen and Under Quarantine
Soap Opera Digest: Scott, your son, Ford, turned 4 last month and Darin, your daughter, Everleigh, will be 9 months the day after Father’s Day. What has it been like raising your children while in quarantine?
Scott Clifton: Because our kids are in such different stages — Darin and I actually had this conversation a couple of weeks ago — I was like, “Dude, is it really hard for you with Everleigh being quarantined?” and he was like, “Well, no, not really, because she’s still a baby. It’s not like she’s going stir-crazy and wanting to go outside and play.”
Darin Brooks: Yeah.
Clifton: So, it’s not the same thing, and Darin’s baby, Everleigh, is an amazing and happy kid — and then I was thinking for us, “Oh, my God. This is the worst possible age for this to happen. Ford is 4 years old, and lis- ten, [wife] Nikki and I are Olympic-medal, TV-watching, do-nothing pros. So if it weren’t for having a kid, this whole quaran- tine thing, because we live such a privileged, lucky lifestyle, this would be party time for us. We’d stay at home all day. It’d be like a rainy day schedule.
Clifton: Just Netflix and chill, but Ford needs stimulation. He needs exercise. He needs to think and be mentally active and he needs to be educated, so that has become our job. Thankfully, we don’t have to actually home- school him because he’s not old enough for that yet, but it’s like our house has turned into preschool. And it’s exhausting. It’s hard. We’ve talked to so many other parents who are going through the same thing, where we feel like we are failing him. We feel like we can’t be doing arts and crafts all day long. We don’t have the materials. We don’t have the energy. We also have to keep our house clean and do all these other chores, so it feels like we’re being neglectful. This is why parenting experts and child psychologists are coming out in droves saying, “Hey, parents. Relax. Kids are resilient. It’s going to be okay. You’re not neglecting your children. Everyone feels the same way.”
Clifton: So, it’s nice to know that. Darin, do you have anything to add to that? What do you think? What are your thoughts on the topic?
Brooks: Look, I don’t envy your position. That’s got to be hard because Ford is in that stage of the learning and the talking and the conversing and the walking and the moving. We’re certainly not there yet. Everleigh is just saying, “Mama” and “Dada” and all that stuff. It’s a super-fun time. I love it to death.
Clifton: That’s awesome. That’s a great stage.
Brooks: She’s sitting up. She hasn’t crawled yet, but she is on the verge of crawling.
Clifton: That’s awesome.
Brooks: But, the one thing [wife] Kelly [Kruger, ex-Mackenzie, Y&R] and I have talked about with this whole pandemic situation is, we don’t want her to be afraid of people.
Clifton: Oh, right.
Brooks: It’s like, the first months of her life, she has been home. Kelly was here with the baby for her first couple of months [while he was going to the B&B studio], but then this thing happened, and it has been months…. One day, Kelly’s mom came over to drop some stuff off from the store and she had her mask and her gloves on because she works in a doctor’s office, and she was standing outside the door. She was staying 6 feet away, outside the house, and we opened the door so she could at least see Everleigh, and like I said, she had the gloves and the mask on, and Everleigh started crying and she turned around and grabbed onto my neck because she didn’t realize what was going on.
Brooks: So, Kelly’s mom took off her mask and her glasses and she’s like, “It’s grandma! It’s grandma!” and Everleigh turned around but it’s those moments that are tough, because we don’t want Kelly’s mom to be heartbroken by that, too. So, we’re dealing with that type of stuff where it’s like, “When
are we going to be able to bring her out? When is she going to get to meet and play with other kids?” When the quarantine is lifted, I’m sure Kelly and I aren’t going to bring her out in public anywhere for a while, either.
Digest: Darin, when you became a father, did Scott offer you any advice?
Brooks: Well —
Clifton: Believe me, nobody wants parenting advice from me. In fact, if I ever do offer it, don’t listen.
Brooks: Nah! Scott has always been very supportive. Mostly, we just talk about how great it is tobeadad.
Digest: Scott, you’re a dad in real life and in reel life. What’s it like playing a father of two girls on the show?
Clifton: I love it. They are just so adorable. I think Ford was, like, 2, when baby Kelly was born, so it was fun to revisit that “baby period” at work, all the cooing and making them laugh. And right after that, baby Beth came along, so it’s been lots of fun.
Digest: Darin, do you think it’s time Wyatt became a dad?
Brooks: At some point? Sure, why not? But where we left things when the show went off air, that may be a while. Wyatt’s got enough going on in his life right now.
Clifton: It’s so funny to see Wyatt in that position, torn between two women, since usually that’s Liam’s job.
Brooks: I think it must be something in the Spencer DNA. It’s just inbred in us, I guess.
Digest: How do the Spencer brothers feel Bill is doing as a father these days?
Clifton: Well, better than in the past couple of years. At least he’s not sleeping with Liam’s wife or blowing him up [in the Spectra building demolition, both in 2017], so that’s a start.
Brooks: Yeah, they’ve all had their differences but I guess Wyatt’s gotten off pretty easy when it comes to his dad compared to Liam.
Digest: When he gets a little older, what advice would the Spencer boys give their youngest brother, Will, when it comes to their father?
Clifton: Um, “The world is populated enough; you don’t need to spread your seed”?
Brooks (laughs): I think Liam and Wyatt would both say, and agree upon saying to Will, “Don’t ever listen to Dad.”
Clifton: Yeah. “Never listen to Dad about anything — except maybe money, but that’s it.” Brooks: Yeah, money or hurting people or fun stuff like that.
Digest: What do you think Liam and Wyatt would give Bill for Father’s Day?
Brooks: That’s a good question.
Clifton: Maybe Liam would buy him some really expensive whiskey or scotch, except what he’d do is pour it out and replace it with flat Diet Coke.
Brooks: That. Is. Amazing.
Clifton: That would be a fantastic gift, I feel.
Brooks: That’s what we actually drink on set.
Clifton: It’s true. Anytime you see whiskey or scotch, it’s just flat Diet Coke.
Brooks: That is perfect. I think Wyatt would get Bill … I’d probably say maybe a Rolex, just something expensive. It always has to do with money with their father. It’s never about love.
Digest: Scott, any ill feelings that Wyatt would splurge for a Rolex while Liam’s gift is flat soda? That’s quite the disparity.
Clifton: It’s unconscionable. Listen, there are two kinds of gift-givers in the world. There are the people who give you the gift that they think you would want.
Clifton: And then there are people who give you the gift that they want you to have.
Clifton: Those are two very different types and Liam, I feel like, would say, “Guess what, Dad? I donated to Doctors Without Borders in your name! Happy Father’s Day. And, it’s tax deductible, Dad. You like that, right?”
(Clifton puts down the phone momentarily, murmurs softly, then returns.)
Clifton: I’m sorry. My son just walked in and in a very sweet voice he said, “Daddy, you’re taking so, so long.” He’s like, “I don’t know why you’re taking so long.”
Digest: Oh, he’s a real trouper!
Clifton: I said, “I know, Buddy, but thank you. You’re being a very good boy and I appreciate that.” He’s ready for a well-deserved nap.
Brooks: Aren’t we all?
Digest: Well, I think that’s the perfect way to wrap up. You guys go back and hang with your kids.
Brooks: You know, Tom, just to address your first question, that’s really the best thing about being under quarantine — getting all this quality time with our kids.
Clifton: That’s true. As I said, it’s not always easy, but this is time we’d be missing out on if we were working all the time. Luckily, B&B has a great schedule so it’s not like it’s a hardship or anything, but I do love getting to hang out.
Brooks: True. Our playtime together is always, like, the best part of my day.
Digest: That’s so great! Well, thank you for your time, and we wish you both Rolexes over flat soda this Father’s Day.
Clifton: Can’t we have both?
Brooks: Yeah, right?
Digest: Well, keep us posted!