The soap shocker of the week had former DAYS fan fave, Stephen Nichols, replacing William Russ in the new role of Tucker McCall on Y&R! Russ had only aired a few weeks and already the soap decided to make a switch. In a great interview out today with TV Guide Magazine. Nichols lets us in on how the quick recast happens, what we can expect from his “Tucker” and his thoughts on the demise of Patch and Kayla! Here are some excerpts!
Nichols on how he stepped into the role with a chance phone call from the shows execs: “I tend to be a very lucky person. My wife reminds me of that all the time, and this is yet another stroke of good luck, especially because the call came from Y&R. Every actor who works on soaps flips channels in his dressing room and every time I landed on Y&R I’d find the acting to be fantastic. I wasn’t laughing at anything. Nothing seemed hokey and stupid. The production values were great. The writing was better than most. And now, on my first day here, I picked up my scripts and could not believe it. There wasn’t one sentence or phrase that was hinky, nothing I felt had to be fixed, and that’s really refreshing. There’s total organization at Y&R. The characters are solid, and the stories are character-driven from what I can tell. And all the actors are exemplary. There isn’t a weak link in the whole bunch and I’ve never done a show where that’s been the case.
Nichols on filming scenes as Tucker: “I had some great scenes today with Jess Walton [Jill] and Jeanne Cooper [Kay] and Daniel Goddard [Cane]. Tucker is coming in to take away everybody’s toys. I really like this guy. He did not come from money but rather he’s a self-made success, a regular guy who can tend bar and shoot pool and talk s–t with anybody. He’s very unassuming in many ways.”
Nichols on being dropped by DAYS with on-screen partner Mary Beth Evans, along with Deidre Hall and Drake Hogetyn in late 2008 and early 2009: “It was unfortunate. But I have to say that from the moment I came back to that show I could see it was in disarray. It just seemed to be really schizophrenic. Nobody had a real vision or thru-line as to what was happening with the stories and the characters. The show was all over the place. So I knew from the get-go that we might not last. Mary Beth and I had a talk about that right at the beginning. We were like, “We better not get too comfortable here. This could end at any moment.” That’s how crazy things were. Plus, with the economy and the budget being cut, it didn’t look good. Ed Scott came into the picture [as executive producer] and morale went up and all the actors were happy, but then there was another [executive producer] change. It was all about politics and personalities and dollars and cents. They fired four expensive people and that’s the reality. I did not take it personally one bit.”