Quick Take With Galen Gering

How would you describe the dynamic between Rafe and Ava? “They share a sense of loss, so I think that they’re maybe trying to fill a void that may exist at this point in time. I don’t know if Rafe is as aware of it as Ava is; she’s recently lost her son and is coming to terms with what a bad parent she was and why, and that self-reflection is really drawing him in. If you look at them like a couple of pieces of a puzzle, they’re fitting together at this time. I don’t know if he’s looking at it like a serious thing but he’s really developing feelings for her. As different as they are, he’s been attracted to women that were the opposite. That was certainly the case with Sami and with Kate. I think that Hope was probably the closest in terms of their personalities; obviously, that didn’t work out.”

Is Rafe aware that Nicole is jealous? “I think to a certain degree, and it’s amusing to him considering the fact that she’s the one who thrust Ava into his house. Rafe is like, ‘What, you’re jealous? What’s going on here?’ But I think that he’s looking at it like, ‘Are you jealous of our friendship? Do you not think we should be together? Is she not right for me?’ You have these feelings that come up and I think that’s how he’s interpreting it. It would seem totally out of left field that Rafe would be like, ‘You don’t want me to be with her because you want to be with me.’ That’s not even where he would want to let his mind go at this point in time.”

If Nicole was single, could he have feelings for her? “Yes, definitely. In fact, one could argue that there were times they did have these feelings, but they were with other people. Because they really never went down that road, it’s hard to say, but I definitely think he sees her as someone he really cares about, and those feelings can move forward in different ways, but again, he doesn’t even want to think about that right now. All he wants to do is try to help Nicole and now he’s got this thing with Ava, so that’s enough. But there are definitely some feelings that will jump in there and then Rafe has to pause for a minute and think, ‘Why are you feeling that? That’s different. Wait, stop.’ He doesn’t want to even let himself go there. You know how if the car goes veering into another lane, you’re like, ‘No, no, get back over there.’ I think that’s where he’s at. He doesn’t want to complicate things on that level.”

Sami is also back on the scene. What was it like to work with Alison Sweeney again? “It’s like when you haven’t seen a friend from high school who was your best friend and you’re thinking, ‘What’s it going to be?’ and you have all these thoughts in your head and then you’re like, ‘Oh, my God. It’s the best.’ Sami is such a little troublemaker and it just sets up well for someone like Rafe, who is so by the book. There’s conflict but he loves her so dearly in spite of everything.”