Y&R's Michael Mealor and Hunter King on "Skyle" Return

Michael Mealor and Hunter King have similar sentiments about reprising their roles as Y&R’s popular Kyle and Summer. “It’s like going back to high school after summer break,” he smiles. “You’re excited to see everybody and all of the stress washes away for a little while. You walk in and it’s nothing but fun and joy and happiness because it’s like coming home.” King adds, “The days have gone by so slowly since I was last there but as soon as I stepped into that building, it felt like yesterday. I have so many friends between the crew and the actors, so it felt so nice to be back.”

The fan favorites, who are part of Victoria and Ashland’s wedding gathering, were especially happy to reconnect with so many co-stars. “I love group scene days,” King gushes. “I know they’re long and exhausting for everyone involved, but I think they’re so much fun because you get to work with people who you usually don’t get to work with. I kept saying all day long that I was getting paid for just hanging out with my friends. It was a blast for me.” Mealor notes, “I really hoped that I would at least work with Jack [Peter Bergman] and Nick [Joshua Morrow]. If I’m going to be there, I want to see everybody, so it was really fun that it was for a wedding. I don’t care what the story is, I’ll go back, but it’s more about the family that Y&R has created, so it’s a lot of fun to see everybody.”

Still, there was some initial awkwardness. “I’m someone who doesn’t like to be in the spotlight, so when we were called to set, pretty much everybody was already there because they had just shot scenes for the rehearsal dinner,” he explains. “So, we walked out there and everybody was like, ‘Yay!’ I was kind of meek and said, ‘Hi, everybody.’ ” As for King, “I agree with Michael — I don’t love being the center of attention — so it was a little uneasy when everybody was like, ‘Hey! Look at those two!’ It kind of felt like when a crowd of people sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to you and you don’t know what to do with yourself [laughs]. But in 20 seconds, we were old news and it was back to business as usual and it felt normal again.”

Since leaving Y&R, King has kept busy. “I went back to school,” she shares. “I’m taking an accelerated math class that’s only six weeks long, but next quarter, I’ll be taking a lot more classes. As of right now, my major will be psychology. And hopefully, I’ll be working that in with acting, but I’m in the pursuit of learning as much as I can and constantly growing as a person. Depression is something I’ve struggled with for years, so I’m passionate about finding ways to not only help myself but others in that way. That would be extremely rewarding for me. I also went to Europe for a while and I’m also auditioning but I feel like I’m at a weird crossroads in my life of, ‘What do I want to do next?’ I’m just taking it day by day of exploring what options are out there for me. I have a lot of things brewing, so it’s about finding out which one is the most interesting to me.”

Mealor is taking a more laid-back approach. “I moved and have been hanging out with my dog,” he chuckles. “I’m auditioning here and there, but only for things that mean something. Not that I have a bunch of money saved up and I can go on without having a job, but I’ve been acting for so long that I decided that whatever I do next, I want it to be fun. I don’t want it to be, ‘I need a job so I’ll just do this.’ Other than that, I’m discovering what my life looks like at this point. I’m trying to find a routine because I had been working so much that I don’t know what my hobbies are anymore. So I’m actually enjoying the time off.”

Both actors appreciate how the “Skyle” fans have clamored for their return. “For me, they’re truly inspiring,” Mealor marvels. “Something we did resonated in their hearts and that’s such an amazing thing to me because that’s the goal when you’re telling stories. Hunter and I had this job to tell a story that could touch people and I’m grateful that we succeeded. For months there was an outpouring of constant comments and messages after we left that was truly incredible. I was only on the show for three-and-a-half years, and I haven’t seen any comings and goings that really had this response. Not to toot my own horn, but to give praise to the fans.”

“Honestly, the fan support was so touching,” King picks up. “As actors, there’s only so much that we can do and we really rely on the writing to propel us into great story. Summer and Kyle have had such a great love story over the years and a majority of fans were really rooting that they would get their happy ending. I have so much respect for what the writers have done with our characters and I have so much love for the fans for all of the support they’ve shown us over the years.”

The duo confirms that they would be open to making more visits. “Of course I would love to come back, I miss playing Summer,” King enthuses. “Y&R will always have a huge place in my heart. I’m not sure exactly what the future holds and how often I’ll be back, and how often they want me to come back, but I’m always open to coming back. I love the show and the fans so much. I feel so grateful to have the opportunity to play Summer, so we’ll see what happens.” Mealor concludes, “I love everything Y&R and it’s just so much fun to go and act with these people again, so of course I’ll always be back when they call.”