Recovering playboy Jack Abbott is living the proverbial good life on The Young and the Restless, but his escapades only prove that money, status and a dashing smile don’t always lead to happiness. Perhaps he should take a few lessons from portrayer Peter Bergman…
Since Bergman stepped into the role in 1989, Jack’s love stories have been fraught with love triangles, despair, madness and comas. He’s either been ensconced in heady family drama or left abandoned by his clan, and forever rides the line between conniving villain and heroic good guy. To top it all off, his nemesis Victor Newman has an annoying knack for outmaneuvering him.
As far as Bergman’s concerned, the more complicated it is for Jack, the better it is for him.
“I’m the luckiest person here [at Y&R],” Bergman crows. “They’re talking about Phyllis coming back, they’re talking about Adam coming back, they have me involved with Cady McClain (Kelly). I just worked with Sharon (Case, Sharon) today — great scenes. And Jack actually has something over Victor!”
Bergman’s referring to the fact that Newman Enterprises is responsible for VivaSurge, the drug that almost killed Summer earlier this year. Nothing’s come of it yet, but you can bet Jack’s won’t let it slide. Of course, Victor has proven to be a very difficult target, time and again!
It’s clear Bergman would like to see Jack win a round or two, but he’s not likely to take that request to the powers that be. The way he sees it, his job is to deliver what’s on the page, and that philosophy goes back to his years working under the show’s creator, William Bell.
“Bill didn’t need anyone to go upstairs and make story suggestions or help him with his job,” Bergman recalls. “Bill needed you to come up and say ‘Hello,’ every once in a while. That was always the feeling — it was never spoken, but I always respected it and frankly, even today, I respect it.”
While he’s hesitant to give story suggestions to the writers, Bergman does have his druthers for his character. “I hope that Jack always has Jabot, is a center of power on the show and is always surrounded by family,” he says.
These days, he’s also hoping to keep his non-daughter Summer close. “I hope the truth doesn’t come for a long time,” he says of Nick being Summer’s father, after all. “I hope Jack really gets used to her being his daughter. It will be devastating.”
Bergman revels in his characters heartbreak, because it makes for good story. It also helps that his life in the real world is quite different.
“I have a job, my children are healthy, my wife still likes me,” he says. “I have a great life.”
That life is centered on an island off of Newport Beach, CA, where Bergman lives with his wife of almost 30 years. “Mariellen and I love to get together with people to have dinner and do nice things,” he says. “And we always love being with our kids! They’re both in Los Angeles, now, out of college and working.”
Bergman’s son Connor made the move back this past Christmas. “He was away for eight years, so we’re very happy,” Bergman shared. “He’s a lawyer and he’s just getting set up here, so he’s doing contract review work to pay the rent and looking for a place to settle into. It’s a great thing.”
Meanwhile, his daughter Clare, who works in marketing and management, has become the family’s inside sports source. “She works in the sports world,” Bergman explains. “Our family is basketball family. We’ve had Lakers’ tickets for a long time. She knows a lot more than we know!”
In addition to hanging out with friends and family, Bergman enjoys “letting loose” and have a good time on his own, sometimes. For that, he looks to the ocean. “I’m down in Balboa Island, all the time. I do a lot of sailing, rowing and paddling,” he says.
His time on the water serves as a great work out, mentally and physically. “It’s really good for both,” he says. “It’s early morning, it’s calm as glass and I’m out there sculling, all by myself. No other boats are moving.”
If only Jack could find that sort of peace.
When is The Young and The Restless on TV? In Canada, The Young and The Restless airs weekdays at 4.00 et/4.30pt on Global TV
Where can I watch The Young and The Restless online for free?GlobalTV.com/theyoungandtherestless streams full episodes of The Young and The Restless online for free, or watch with the Global Go app on your iOS or Android mobile device. Episodes are typically posted the day after the initial on-air broadcast.