Kristoff St. John, Mishael Morgan and Bryton James
Going up? Daytime's hottest and juiciest mess — the Hilary-Neil-Devon love triangle on CBS's The Young and the Restless — is about to take a turn for the worse (and by that we mean best!) thanks to a fateful elevator ride. Mishael Morgan, who plays the just-married Hilary, gave TV Guide Magazine the torrid dish!
TV Guide Magazine: Why did Hilary wed Neil (Kristoff St. John) — a man nearly twice her age — when she clearly has a thing for his son, Devon (Bryton James)?
Mishael Morgan: She's truly in love with Neil! Let's face it, Hilary's got daddy issues. Her father wasn't there for her growing up and now here's Neil, loving and respectful and supportive. This is her ticket to happiness.
TV Guide Magazine: And she really believes her attraction to Junior will vanish because of that ring on her finger?
Morgan: That's Hilary! She thinks she can flush those feelings right out of her system — quickly and easily. Right now, this all feels like a dream and she's riding that wave.
TV Guide Magazine: That's not all she's riding. On July 3, Devon is alone with Hilary in an elevator and he makes his play.
Morgan: Hilary instigates it. She pushes the stop button and wants to have a rational conversation with Devon about why he tried to ruin the wedding. She's not expecting him to take this opportunity to say, "I love you and you love me." It scares the crap out of her.
TV Guide Magazine: And then? Spill it!
Morgan: It gets really close to a kiss but Hilary hits the stop button again — this time accidentally with her behind. The doors open and Neil is standing there.
TV Guide Magazine: So we can expect Hilary and Devon to hook up soon?
Morgan: Just when she thinks she's made up her mind and wants Devon, she's thrown a curveball that no one — not even Hilary and certainly not Mishael Morgan — ever saw coming. It's huge!
TV Guide Magazine: Hilary came to Genoa City hating the Winters family and pulled all kinds of crap on them. She even tried to get Neil, a recovering alcoholic, to fall off the wagon. Funny how things turn out.
Morgan: Back then, it was the furthest thing from my mind that Neil and Hilary would one day be together. I did think the show might redeem her at some point, but this? [Laughs] Never saw it coming.
TV Guide Magazine: Were you worried Hilary might be less interesting if the writers cleaned her up?
Morgan: Yeah, I was a little concerned about that. I loved coming onto Y&R as a villain, something I don't get to play much. I'm usually cast as the good girl, the longtime girlfriend. But Hilary can always go back to being underhanded. She still loves making snippy comments to Lily.
TV Guide Magazine: Weren't you a big Y&R fan before you got this gig?
Morgan: Yes! I was crazy about this show — my mom was watching it before I was born — so I knew all these characters extremely well. It was surreal to suddenly find myself in scenes with them! When I first met Kristoff St. John, I was totally star-struck and tears came to my eyes, which was kind of strange. [Laughs] Now I'm playing his wife and I see that he's just a hilarious goofball and so different from Neil. He's a normal guy!
TV Guide Magazine: And, now, you are officially a soap diva. On July 8, there's an episode where Hilary and Lily get into it at the GCAC and you end up in the drink. The rite of passage!
Morgan: Yes, there's a big blow-up fight and Hilary gets pushed into the swimming pool. She's been trying to take the high road with Lily and getting a lot of abuse. I don't know how long it'll be before Hilary snaps but it's going to be very fun to play when it finally does happens.
TV Guide Magazine: Don't get me wrong — this all sounds trashtastic — but there are viewers who really detest catfights and claim they are demeaning to women. Thoughts on that?
Morgan: I can see where those people are coming from. Lily and Hilary are definitely catty and childish, but I used to love those old Y&R catfights between Jill and Mrs. Chancellor where they'd really go at each other. It's drama. It's entertainment. That's why we watch TV, for relief and escape. And, hey, if this happened in real life — if your arch-enemy married your father — I can see how things might get physical!
TV Guide Magazine: Y&R's African-American actors, three of whom have won Emmys for the show, have often gone years without a truly great storyline. Does this return to the front burner feel like a real, solid, here-to-stay thing? Or might it all go away again?
Morgan: I certainly hope it's here to stay, There was indeed a period where there was a lull on this show for the African-American cast members and I feel so honored and blessed to be a part of what's going on now, and to be causing a little bit of a s—tstorm. It's about time! Look at what a phenomenal thing it's been to have Kerry Washington starring on Scandal, one of the biggest hits on TV. The culture is moving in that direction and it's great that Y&R has jumped on the train and is giving us a chance to do what we've been hired to do. People are ready for it!
Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!