Soap fans can look no further than the recent 11,000th episode broadcast of The Young and the Restless for a future Daytime Emmy-nominated performance.
That’s because Y&R’s long-running cast member Kristoff St. John (Neil) broke viewers hearts when Neil came face-to-face with his dying mother for the first time in decades. Neil’s mother, Lucinda, was played by Star Trek legend, Nichelle Nichols. In their two-person scenes, Neil learns why his mother abandoned him as a young boy all those years ago. For Lucinda had her own demons and battle with the bottle, just like Neil did years later.
On-Air On-Soaps Michael Fairman caught up with St. John during last week’s Y&R 11K episode on set celebration at CBS Television City where he found out how it felt for St. John to tape those heavy emotional scenes, and what it meant for him personally.
When discussing the actual filming of the episode, where Neil comes to visit his dying mother, Kristoff revealed: “I was a hot mess that day. I didn’t think up that part of the story, but the story was mine. I was estranged from my own mother from the time I was 4- years-old. I had met her again at 24 and talked to her once or twice then, and didn’t talk to her again until 20 years later, and she lived for six months after I found her. So, I never got the closure that I wanted with my own mother by actually going to see her right before she passed. So the scenes with Nichelle were very much that. I had the closure with Nichelle that I should have, and could have had, with my own biological mother.”
St. John went on to say that after the cameras stopped rolling, following the dramatic on-screen mother and son reunion, that the waterworks did not stop there: “That was one of those rare occasions as an actor where I could not stop crying after taping, and Nichelle just held me for a long time. I just know when I finally came up for air, she was staring into my eyes and she said, “Are you OK?” She also said to me several times, “That was beautiful … your beautiful” I put it right back on her and I said, “It’s because of you. You’re beautiful.”
Watch Kristoff talk Neil’s heartbreaking scenes and being part of the ensemble cast of The Young and the Restless as they celebrate yet another milestone in the iconic show’s history after the jump. Then share your thoughts on Kristoff’s scenes with Nichelle Nichols, and the personal impact it had on the actor himself in the comment section below!