Quick Take With Michael Mealor

Digest gave a big Thumbs Up to your current story — that Kyle is a dad — for being his first adult story. Do you concur? “Thank you for that and I have to agree. I think the writers have done a great job with Kyle as far as the stories they’ve given me since I’ve been on the show. However, they’ve always toed this line of ‘Is he an adult or is he not?’, and it seems that has been confusing at times, but I feel that we’ve finally made it on the other side of that hurdle of bringing Kyle into adulthood. I do consider this as the first mature story for him, which is really awesome.”

How has that affected your performance? “It’s made me rethink how I play Kyle. A lot of the storylines in the past have been arguments and misunderstandings that have led to Kyle coming from a place of selfishness, which turns into a whiny kind of response. So now I have to consider another approach because there’s a child involved. How is Kyle going to handle this? He can’t be a jerk because he has to think about other people outside of himself for the first time in a long time. Now, he’s coming at this from a man’s perspective.”

While still leaning into Kyle’s reckless past, and now his chickens have come home to roost. “That’s what my own dad said when he found out about this [chuckles]. It’s really about Kyle coming to terms with who he was when he was so immature and only thinking about himself. What he’s struggling with right now is, ‘What kind of man does this make me?’ It’s an interesting dilemma for him.”

This time Kyle is going up against Ashland Locke, a businessman who is more than twice his age and quite ruthless. “Right, and whenever Ashland and Kyle are in scenes together, Ashland is always trying to knock Kyle on his heels but there’s stuff coming up where Kyle’s confidence begins to shine through, and he gets to go head-to-head with Ashland. It’s a really fun change of pace. As father and son, Jack and Kyle only see each other as equals in the moment, so having that same man-to-man dynamic with Ashland has been really cool for me to play.”

Summer also gets to show some maturity in this storyline. “Yes, it’s been a coming-of-age story for her as well because she gets to grapple with, ‘What does this mean for me and my future with the man I love?’ Kyle and Summer have committed to making their relationship work by taking the time they need because they want to get it right. This also seems like the first time that their communication is on a level that they may actually get it right. I really think Kyle is surprised and relieved with Summer’s attitude to go through this with him, but she can be a loose cannon sometimes so Kyle is still a little worried about that.”

Since Kyle has yet to meet his son, does fatherhood feel real to him? “I believe it’s something that still seems surreal to Kyle. He hasn’t met or even seen the kid in person and he hasn’t seen a DNA test proving he’s the dad, so there’s got to be an aspect of, ‘Is this really true?’ I think he wants it to be real, but I’m sure there’s doubt in his mind, that Tara could be wrong. Still, Kyle does have a big sense of family and he’s thinking, ‘I’ll fight for anything Abbott and this kid is Abbott,’ so this will be an ongoing struggle for him.”