Break out the bubbly! Nikki Newman, the hard-luck heroine played by Melody Thomas Scott on The Young and the Restless, has killed three people, married 11 times, battled pills and booze, worked as both a stripper and a hooker and even spread VD. Yet somehow she has managed to remain a pillar of Genoa City society. How does she do it? To find out, TV Guide Magazine sat down with Thomas Scott, who joined the CSB soap exactly 35 years ago Thursday. She shared with us her favorite, wildest, most trashtastic Nikki moments and we have clips to go with them that you won't believe! Check 'em out below.
TV Guide Magazine: Why is Nikki still so damn fascinating after all these years?
Thomas Scott: Because she's driven purely by her emotions. One writing regime wanted to make her a senator, which was ludicrous. The viewers don't want to see Nikki be a feminist or take a job. They want to see her stay home and have personal problems and suffer like crazy. [Laughs] And they looove to see her drunk!
TV Guide Magazine: Nikki's on marriage No. 4 to Victor [Eric Braeden]. Why does she continue to put up with his toxic BS?
Thomas Scott: It's an unexplainable, chemical thing and it's her greatest downfall. She loves him more than she wants to love him and, on especially bad days, she really hates that she loves him. Listen, the women out there would love to love a man that much — only without the lying and the secrets and the abuse. It's complicated. Eric and I really look forward to the Nikki-Victor arguments, much more than their lovey-dovey scenes. Those are fine and dandy but nowhere near as interesting. But the fans always want the make-up scenes, no matter how ugly and vicious the battles may get. They hope for that magical moment where Nikki and Victor just let their troubles go and have a hot night of sex.
TV Guide Magazine: Let's face it, Nikki and The Mustache are a mess. But a fantastic mess.
Thomas Scott: Their whole life together is just one long sequence of disasters. [Laughs] Oh, God, I will never forget that Bill Bell storyline where Nikki was dating this guy Rick Daros, who was extremely jealous of Victor. We were on location out at some beach somewhere for a scuba-diving remote and the script called for Rick to shoot Victor through the d--k with a spear gun. So there's Victor collapsed on the ground and Nikki is down on her knees in the sand going, "Victor, Victor, come back to me!" And there's an arrow in Victor's d--k sticking straight up in the air. [Laughs] I don't know what Bill was thinking!
TV Guide Magazine: What tragedy hasn't befallen Nikki that you'd someday like to play?
Thomas Scott: Oooh, I'd love to have her to go nuts. Stark-raving, rubber-room bonkers! I want Nikki to be in a psychiatric ward drooling. Wouldn't that be fun? I'd also love to do an aging story. Nikki is so into the vanity thing. Me, I don't give a s--t. I went on The Talk when the theme of the day was no makeup. But Nikki would freak at the very idea! As the years have passed, she has become an aging vixen — two words that don't even belong in the same sentence — so I'd love to do a story where she starts to get very concerned about her looks, where she's checking herself out in the mirror and really hates what she sees. Maybe she has plastic surgery? That would be so her.
TV Guide Magazine: What do you really think of Nikki? The truth!
Thomas Scott: Oh, I absolutely adore her but I wouldn't want to be her. She has no girlfriends! It's so important for Nikki to be rich and glamorous. She's like one of those Real Housewives of Wherever, those bitches who need to be the most beautiful and have the most money. I wouldn't even have lunch with her. But you know what? Nikki wouldn't want to have lunch with me, either. [Laughs] I would utterly bore her!
Here are Thomas Scott's picks for the Six Most Outrageous Nikki Moments:
1979: Nikki becomes a model, not realizing she's really working for a call-girl ring. Her first john dies of heart attack. "Things got worse when Nikki's husband, Greg, found out what she'd been up to and divorced her immediately," says Thomas Scott.
1981: Nikki is introduced to Edward's mother — who is in an urn! "Like Norman Bates in Psycho, Edward had his mommy issues," the actress recalls. "He wanted to marry Nikki or kill them both in a murder-suicide." But there was a happy ending: "Edward strapped a bomb to himself and exploded."
1987: Determined to break up Victor and Ashley, Nikki fakes a fatal illness. "She even had a fantasy about being dead," she says. "I loved getting inside that coffin with the lid shut! Hey, how many people can say they've done it and come out alive?"
1990: Nikki gets liquored up and takes off her evening gown before the posh crowd at the Colonnade Room. "Once a stripper always a stripper," says Thomas Scott, whose character used to take it off for pay back in the '70s at the seedy Bayou club.
1998: After wedding Dr. Joshua Landers and getting shot by his presumed-dead wife, who was disguised as a maid, Nikki "dies" and goes to the light. "There are two morals to this story," she notes. "Never hire a maid without references and never marry your gynecologist!"
2004: Nikki and her frenemy daughter-in-law, Sharon, search the sewers of Genoa City for a dead body. "It was a horrific day at work," Thomas Scott remembers. "We had 20 live f--king rats on the set! I hated it but it was a huge hit with the fans. It was very Lucy and Ethel!"
What's your all-time favorite Nikki moment? Share it with us!