Y&R’s Joshua Morrow (Nick) And Hunter King (Summer) Talk About Their Real- And Reel-Life Relationships
Soap Opera Digest: Hunter, you sound like you’re sick.
Hunter King: I am. I’ve got a bad cold.
Digest: And you were sick the last time we talked.
King: I know.
Joshua Morrow: I call her “Outbreak monkey” because she’s always getting sick, then passing it around on the set.
Digest: Hunter, do you have a nickname for Joshua?
King: The all-endearing S**thead. That sums him up.
Morrow: I probably earned that.
Digest: Hunter, you told me that when you were coming back to Y&R after being gone for almost two years while starring on LIFE IN PIECES, you tried to keep it a secret from Joshua. Why was that?
King: I wanted to pull a massive prank on him, like hiding in his dressing room. I always say that but I never get around to it.
Digest: Joshua, how did you ultimately find out that your prodigal daughter was returning?
King: You mean his favorite daughter.
Digest: Of course.
Morrow: Rumors are always flying about and I knew that she was this unbelievably talented and beautiful young woman —
King: Wait, what? Did that record?
Digest: Oh, yes.
King: Good. I want a copy of that. Keep talking, Josh.
Morrow: Anyway, we were obviously always pulling for her to come back and when I found out, I was so happy. Also, selfishly, it gives me something to play. Summer is so special to Nick because she came when life was so flippin’ crazy and scary for him. He and Phyllis had this magical baby who was somebody for him to protect and love. I love the relationship they have now because Summer can be a difficult young lady. Like I am with my own daughter, who can also be a bit of a handful, I can find both humor and comfort in that. My little girl can do no wrong in Daddy’s eyes and that’s how Nick looks at Summer. So, it just gives Nick a lot of possibilities, and being around Hunter is like the light in the day.
King: Oh, my gosh, stop it. You’re gonna make me cry.
Morrow: Don’t get used to it … Anyway, I’m dreading the day when she says, “Well, I’m going to be a giant movie star now and I’m leaving you all despite your love and affection for me.”
King: I’m glad he has such high hopes for me.
Digest: What was your reunion like?
King: When I walked up to him, I was hoping to catch him off-guard because he would be expecting a hug and I wanted to flick him in the throat.
Morrow: We used to flick each other in the throat before a scene. It was a game with us and we’d try to sneak one in on the other person.
King: But it didn’t work that time, so it ended in a giant hug.
Morrow: On her first day back, I didn’t know how she was coming in, like trying to jump out of the shadows like a ninja and get me, so I was ready. When she tried flicking me, I blocked her, like full Ralph Macchio style.
Digest: Joshua, what changes did you see in Hunter as a person?
King: Oh, no.
Morrow: The biggest compliment I can give her is that she didn’t change. When you have a certain level of success like she’s had, you’d expect that it would have some giant, weird effect on you, but she’s still this little person we all adore. You wouldn’t know that she’s crushing it on two shows. At work, I’ll never speak to her like I’m speaking about her now.
Morrow: I really, really care about her, and Camryn Grimes [Mariah] will attest to this: I will keep picking on her like crazy. There are only three people I do that to and that’s Hunter, Camryn and Aly [Lind, Faith]. They are like my daughters. I would give them a kidney if they asked.
King: Aww, I’d give you a kidney.
Morrow: Hunter, trust me when I say this, nobody wants your kidney because you’re the Outbreak monkey.
King: It’s the thought that counts.
Digest: Did you see any changes in her as an actress?
Morrow: Not really. Sitcoms are a completely different medium. It must be hard as a young, beautiful and talented woman to be taken seriously all of the time in this town, but at the end of the day, talent reigns supreme and Hunter is good. She can do any type of role.
King: Thanks, Josh.
Morrow: But I don’t think you could play a pirate.
King: Yeah, that’s where I would max out.
Morrow: She’s like ingénue and businesswoman but we’d have to draw the line at pirate. I just don’t think you have those skills, but don’t give up! Someday you could!
King: I’ll put that on my to-do list.
Digest: Did you feel a different father/daughter dynamic with your characters after Hunter’s extended break?
King: No, I felt that we picked up where we left off. The fact that I tried to flick him in the throat was like no time had gone by. He did say, “It’s great to see you, but where’s your sister Joey?”
Morrow: I like to make sure Hunter feels a distant second to her sister. Those King girls are a riot.
Digest: Hunter, what do you appreciate about Joshua?
King: I love his spirit. He’s such an easygoing guy and he likes to make work fun. He doesn’t take himself too seriously and he always knows how to put a smile on people’s faces. There’s no one who can make the crew laugh like Josh does. He brings such a fun energy to the set. I can be having a down day and Josh knows how to turn that around. He’s the life of the party.
Digest: Joshua, what do you appreciate about Hunter?
Morrow: She’s a beautiful person, inside and out. When I come onstage, I want everybody to think, “Oh, okay, this is not going to be a downer.” When my time on that show is done, I’ll never leave with any trophies, but I would like people to say, “You know, that was a pretty good time.” It’s stressful so I want everybody to have a little fun, and Hunter is lighthearted and funny. She’s got a great sense of humor, even though she’s giving everybody Lyme disease, Ebola and the bird flu. She’s amazing. We all look out for her and we care about and wish her well with whatever she’s doing. She’s got it together, she’s one of the good ones. I hope she stays forever because she can be the future of this show if it’s something she wants.
King: Man, oh, man. I love you, Joshua.
Digest: Joshua, does it ever worry you that your daughter may act out like Summer?
King: Ooh, I think you’ll give him a heart attack with that question.
Morrow: Yeah, I won’t be able to sleep tonight, so thank you [laughs]. My daughter is already a pistol [at age 6] and she acts very similar to what I can only imagine would be like a real live Summer. We’re crazy close but it’s hard for me to say no to her. Parenting my daughter is way more difficult than it ever was with my knucklehead sons just because of the mental game that’s required. With my boys, I can just say, “Let’s go hit some balls,” and they’re like, “Yeah, let’s go!” But with my daughter, I’ve got to do the dance and sometimes that dance is long and hard. Daughters are amazing but they’re a whole other ballgame.
Digest: What was the most memorable scene you shared with each other?
Morrow: It was the scene where I went on social media and posted, “Hunter just won an Emmy today,” and she did. Do you remember, Hunter?
King: Was it the paternity stuff?
Morrow: Yeah, I had to tell you that Jack was your dad, and you were just a showstopper that day. I went home and told my wife, “This girl will go as far as she wants.”
King: I loved that scene but I couldn’t have done it without Joshua.
Morrow: I just had to look sad. You carried that scene.
Digest: Hunter, do you ask Joshua for fatherly advice?
King: I complain to him about stuff.
Morrow: She did ask for advice a couple of times and I put on the father hat but we’ve grown very close over the years and it’s definitely more like a friendship because she’s a young woman now. But there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for her. If she needed me to bail her out of jail, I would go get her. I would even drive to LAX on a Friday at 5.
King: You would really do that? That’s bigger than getting me out of jail.
Morrow: Yep, I would do it.
Digest: Joshua, do you approve of Hunter’s choice for a husband?
Morrow: I’m so happy about that. I’ve known Nico [Svoboda] for a long time and he’s such a great dude. I remember when somebody told me, “You know Hunter and Nico are dating, right?” I was like, “What??!!” Then I said, “Of course!” To me, it’s a match made in heaven. I’m so glad that Hunter has Nico in her life.
King: I knew from the start that Joshua was a fan of Nico. The first time he and I talked about Nico, Joshua was super-happy and super-excited. Nico is such a love bug and I don’t think there’s a person in the world who would say, “Hmmm, I don’t know about that one….” But when Josh approved, I felt like we had passed a test and everything is cool.
Morrow: Hunter had asked me a few times about other guys that were hanging around before Nico. I knew they were not for her and I told her that in no uncertain terms. When I found out about her and Nico, I was thrilled! You just want your daughter to find a guy who’ll treat her with the respect she deserves and will always have her back and be supportive. Nico is that guy. He’s exactly who I would’ve picked for her. I’ll drive to LAX on a Friday for him, too!