Y&R's Peter Bergman On What's Next For Jack

Though Y&R’s Jack has been dealing with his personal life, his portrayer, Peter Bergman, points out that his character is in an unprecedented position. “Jack’s an island,” the actor sums up about Jack living in solitude at the Abbott manse. “With the exit of Kyle and Summer, there’s no reason to even put up the Jabot set. While Jack has lots of connections in Genoa City, on a daily basis, he’s more of an island now than in the entire time I’ve played him. It’s going to be interesting to see where this goes.”

Although fans have been clamoring for the writers to perk up Jack’s love life, Bergman isn’t so sure that’s a necessary step to take for story direction. “It doesn’t really fall into, ‘Jack meets woman, falls head over heels, and tries to make it work,’ ” he explains. “Instead, Jack is at a new chapter, where he’s not going to play the romance games. He wants to say [to a woman], ‘We’re adults now. This is who I am and you be honest with me.’ Whether there’s anyone in Genoa City who can do that or not remains to be seen.”

As we now know, Jack has never gotten over Phyllis, which is a plot point that Bergman is pleased has been revisited. “I’ve got to say, I thoroughly enjoy playing these scenes with Michelle Stafford [Phyllis],” he enthuses. “She’s a terrific actress and Phyllis loves this man in the deepest way, but she more than once says, ‘I don’t know what to say.’ I love having scenes with that much at stake. They were married almost 20 years ago and it went for seven years, off and on. These are two people who know each other inside out. No one in Genoa City knows Jack better than Phyllis. So, to have scenes where Jack blurted out feelings, the most is at stake because it’s with Phyllis he did this with. So, as an actor, it’s fun to play.”

Although Bergman believes Jack has finally come into his own as the family patriarch, he’s positioned at a challenging crossroads. The actor adds, “Of course, I love the mischievous, manipulative Jack, but there’s something kind of sweet and interesting about spending so much of your adult life not making the mark when you’ve set your father as the standard, and after so many years, suddenly realizing, ‘My God, I’ve completely taken my father’s place in this family and it turns out, I’m better at it than I thought.’ In all those wild, crazy years of being John Abbott’s son and him now gone, Jack has had to grow, which is kind of a fun story to tell. I like that part of Jack’s redemption.”