Melody Thomas Scott and Steve Burton
If you're going to reveal a shocking, 33-year-old secret, at least wait for November sweeps! Fans of CBS's The Young and the Restless know that drama-prone socialite Nikki Newman — played by Melody Thomas Scott — was impregnated by a creepy cult leader many years ago and gave birth to a son. Nuns put the baby up for adoption and Nikki only recently learned that the child has grown up to become stressed-out war vet Dylan McAvoy (Steve Burton), who arrived in Genoa City this year after a stint in Afghanistan. She has yet to tell him he's her spawn. TV Guide Magazine spoke with Thomas Scott about the big, volcanic reveal, coming Nov. 22. It's a doozy!
TV Guide Magazine: Why is Nikki so damn reluctant to 'fess up to Dylan?
Melody Thomas Scott: That's a mind-blowing piece of information to lay on someone. Nikki can't make herself go up to this man and say, "I'm 57 and I'm your mother and I'm just now getting around to telling you." She assumes he's going to say, "Get the hell outta here, lady! You're out of your mind!" And no one in Nikki's family knows. Like so many victims of sexual abuse, she is holding herself responsible. She is so full of guilt and shame.
TV Guide Magazine: And she doesn't think anyone will look upon the sad circumstances of this birth with compassion, not even her supposed soulmate Victor?
Thomas Scott: In her mind, this is the most shameful thing she has ever done.
TV Guide Magazine: More than getting crap-faced drunk and having sex in that seedy motel with Deacon?
Thomas Scott: Talk to any woman who has been sexually abused, no matter how long ago it happened. It is something you never get over. Unless you get a lot of really good psychological help, you feel shame. It wasn't Nikki's fault. She didn't ask for it. Still, she couldn't tell anyone. Instead, she tried to forget about it, go on with her life and never think about it again. I don't want to detour into my personal life, or the book I'm writing, but...
TV Guide Magazine: Oh, go ahead, promote that book! So you're finally getting your long-awaited autobiography done? Sign me up for copy No.1!
Thomas Scott: After long delays it's coming along very nicely — finally! I think in a way maybe this Nikki storyline kickstarted me. I have had my own experience in forgetting certain traumatic events that happened to me many years ago. It's something your mind does out of self-protection, so I completely get Nikki. [Laughs] I think I'm a very good choice to play this story because I don't question it. I totally understand.
TV Guide Magazine: Nikki is going to throw a big Veterans Day fundraiser (airing Nov. 11-12). Guilty conscience?
Thomas Scott: Of course not! [Laughs] Nikki is big in Genoa City society. She does charity events all the time. But she is dead-focused on Dylan when he's in the room or anywhere near her. Her eyes are always on him. I have to say it was one of the most emotional and rewarding days I've ever spent on the set. We hired the real deal as extras — Army, Marines, Navy, men and women from every part of the military and it really resonated with them when Nikki gives her speech about our veterans. They aren't real actors and had no idea what they were getting into when they agreed to be on Y&R, so I think they were surprised. There were a lot of tears.
TV Guide Magazine: So, then, you really like this Dylan plot?
Thomas Scott: I love this story! And I love the flashbacks they've used with me and Doug Davidson that go back to 1980. It was so unexpected. It's a very clever thing the writers did reaching into Nikki's history and it makes it even better that we actually have the old footage when Nikki and Paul were in the cult — and it's still the same two actors! [Laughs] Just when you think they've pulled everything they can out of Nikki's sordid past, there's more!
TV Guide Magazine: Give us some deets on the episode where Nikki finally breaks the news to Dylan.
Thomas Scott: She sets out to have a nice family dinner and tell everyone at once. She has the best intentions. But it all turns out pretty tragic.
TV Guide Magazine: She's telling Dylan at the same time she's telling Victor and the kids? Seriously? Don't get me wrong, it sounds like a fantastic must-see mess, but doesn't she owe Dylan some privacy?
Thomas Scott: Nikki thinks she has come up with a good way of having everyone informed in the kindest way possible. If it were me, I would think, "I can only go through his once. It's too emotional! Let's sit everybody down at the same time and get it over with." Nikki had intended to reveal the news privately to Dylan but that opportunity never comes up.
TV Guide Magazine: So does she do it after cocktails? Before the salad course?
Thomas Scott: [Laughs] Definitely after cocktails! Sadly, the only thing that would make the scenes better is if Nikki was drinking.
TV Guide Magazine: Oh, hell, if she was back on the sauce, she would have blurted this out weeks ago!
Thomas Scott: I know everyone wants to see Nikki drunk but it would have taken away a bit of the serious tone and we can't do that right now. But if anything could make her fall off the wagon, this is it! She wants to appear to be a fine, upstanding mother. In her mind, she has to prove to Dylan that she is a good person who loves him unconditionally.
TV Guide Magazine: This won't go over well with Nikki's other son, Nick, right? He hates Dylan.
Thomas Scott: She feels very badly about Nick losing Avery but not bad enough that she doesn't expect Nick to play nice and accept this man — not necessarily as a brother but still as a member of the family. She expects him to find a way to be civil. She wants everyone to be happy together.
TV Guide Magazine: The poor, delusional thing.
Thomas Scott: Hey, that's Nikki! She plans to incorporate Dylan into her family and into her world, in every way possible from now on. And, of course, this pisses off Victor who is absolutely right to be pissed. Wouldn't you be mad if your wife — your four-time wife — kinda forgot to tell you something this huge?
TV Guide Magazine: Uh, last I heard, The Mustache has no right to judge anybody when it comes to keeping secrets.
Thomas Scott: But he thinks he knows every single thing there is to know about Nikki, and to find out at this late date that he doesn't, well...this is big! I don't think there could be anything bigger. And he has a point. She has good reason to fear his reaction.
TV Guide Magazine: What's up with Nikki's MS?
Thomas Scott: Not much. It's mentioned briefly from time to time but it doesn't seem to be the focus of my story anymore.
TV Guide Magazine: It was so wrong to saddle her with that. What were the writers thinking?
Thomas Scott: When I first heard about it, the main point of the story was to inform the public that MS is not a death sentence, that people with MS can live their lives fully, and that it is controllable. Because really what else can you do? There's not much you can play there. Your hand can shake when you're drinking a glass of water now and then, but that's about it for drama.
TV Guide Magazine: We gotta discuss her new, hot doctor, Stitch!
Thomas Scott: He's adorable! I love Stitch!
TV Guide Magazine: Yeah, so do we! In fact, there's a large contingent of fans — with me as President — who want Stitch to be Nikki's long-lost kid, not Dylan!
Thomas Scott: Yeah, I did hear that. [Laughs] Who knows? Maybe that's coming. Nikki had cult twins! You never know. I think Sean Carrigan could believably play my son. I think he looks a little like me, probably more like me than Steve Burton does. But Steve is so adorable, too. I love working with him. That would be a hard decision to have to pick one over the other.
TV Guide Magazine: That's okay, I've got time.
Thomas Scott: I am not going to pick!
TV Guide Magazine: Well, are Stitch and Nikki at least going to have an affair? Now that would really put Victor's panties in a twist!
Thomas Scott: I'm not denying there's chemistry. Anything can happen, as we know. Don't forget that Nikki once fell in love with her gynecologist and married him. [Laughs] If she can do that, she can do anything.
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