For 25 of The Young and the Restless' 41 years, Peter Bergman has played the irrepressible Jack Abbott. Over the years, Jack has romanced dozens of women, repeatedly fought to preserve his family’s company and has been the yin to ruthless corporate raider Victor Newman’s (Eric Braeden) yang.
At the recent celebration for the soap's anniversary, Bergman revealed which woman he thinks could help Jack move on from Phyllis, why he hopes Jack doesn’t learn Summer isn't his child and his hopes for Jack and Victor’s rivalry.
Daytime Confidential: Forty-one is not normally a big anniversary year, but this was a big year at Y&R.
Peter Bergman: I’ve had a lot of cake in this building. We like to celebrate. I love fresh starts and we just had a fresh one.
DC: Will you go on the record to say that this year’s cake was better than last year’s?
PB: This year’s cake is definitely better than [last year’s] cupcakes. Way better.
DC: Jack is living the song “Girlfriend in a Coma.” When is he going to be ready to move on from Phyllis?
PB: I think Jack is struggling with that right now. He’s not sure. Is this pie-in-the-sky? Am I going to be traveling to Georgia for the rest of my life and that’s my love life? I think Jack’s really confused and torn and how much should I bank on Phyllis recovering?
DC: Who do you think could be a good new love interest for him? Hilary (Mishael Morgan) was an interesting dynamic.
PB: Hilary was an interesting dynamic, but Jack has a funny little fascination with Kelly. I’m not sure where they’re going with any of it but, I’m going to ride it out.
DC: Is working with the new Kelly, Cady McClain, an All My Children reunion?
PB: It was. It was a reunion. We’ve known each other for 25 years.
DC: The most enduring relationship on Y&R has been Jack and Victor’s. Why do you think it has outlasted every romantic relationship on the show?
PB: I think they are so improbable. Him from the other side of the tracks, Jack from the silver spoon. They fight for what they believe in from completely different perspectives. They fight as much as they love and I think that’s kept them alive.
DC: Was Jack responsible for the mystery blog that led Cane (Daniel Goddard) to buy Bonaventure Pharmaceuticals?
PB: Absolutely not. I think that’s just Victor. I think he is as guilty as Jack says he is. I think Victor’s the one who wanted to run this thing to the goalpost and Jack found out information and said, “I think you’re at the wrong goalpost.”
DC: There’s a ticking time bomb. Sooner or later Jack’s going to find out Summer (Hunter King) really is Nick’s (Joshua Morrow) kid. What will it do to him when the truth comes out?
PB: That would devastate Jack.
DC: Do you have any theories about when it’s going to happen?
PB: No. We’ve had a new turn in the story with Sharon’s (Sharon Case) [electro shock therapy] making her lose her memory. So I think it’s going to be hard for this to come out. The only other person that knows is comatose.
DC: Would you like the secret to be kept for years, the way paternity secrets used to play out on the soaps?
PB: Yes. I love working with Hunter. It’s a longterm arc. Love it. It’s a great storyline.
DC: We’ve had some nice visits from Traci (Beth Maitland) and Ashley (Eileen Davidson), but there still aren’t enough Abbotts in Genoa City. Will the show do something about that?
PB: We’ll have regular visits and we’re always working on that. I’m always working them and I think the leadership agrees, we need to have more than one core family on the show.
DC: What are you most looking forward to?
PB: The storyline I’m always looking forward to is, Jack has worked on not a level playing field for a really long time with Victor. I’m looking for the day Jack really bests Victor.
DC: Do you think it’s coming?
PB: It hasn’t come for 23 years. So maybe we’re on the cusp of change.