By: Deanna Barnert
On The Young and the Restless, Colleen Zenk’s Jordan and Hayley Erin’s Claire kidnapped Nikki and ran booze directly into her veins, and that was just the beginning of what they had in store. With Melody Thomas Scott thrust back into playing the victim, Nikki and the Newman clan survived their harrowing abduction… but are they actually safe and sound?
“I would have been so disappointed if the story had been over when the Newmans walked out of that lake house,” Melody Thomas Scott admits. “Blessedly, no, it is not! In the next few weeks, you’ll see that the terror has been intensified. The threats of Jordan are not over, by any means.”
Whatever these psychotic newcomers have in store for Nikki as she and Victor approach their 40th wedding anniversary, the recovering alcoholic will also have to work at getting sober again after having had her sobriety ripped away from her.
“There are certainly signs of her struggling greatly,” Scott teases. “She tries to deal with it on her own…. but that usually doesn’t work out very well.”
Melody Thomas Scott on Taking Center Stage, Again
Before Nikki was whisked away from Genoa City by her not-so-sweet new assistant Claire, Scott was warned a dark turn was coming. Though she wasn’t given details, she was told someone would be terrorizing her character in a storyline reminiscent of Barbara Stanwyck’s Sorry, Wrong Number or a Hitchcock film.
“I didn’t know the reason why, but I don’t ask questions – I’m just happy if somebody tells me anything because we usually walk around knowing nothing,” Scott cracks. “It sounded interesting… and not long after, it started showing up in scripts. I thought, ‘Whoa, this is serious!’”
Y&R’s leading lady was thrilled to find herself thrust back into front burner story, yet isolated with two brand new players – As the World Turns’ beloved Zenk (ex-Barbara Ryan) and General Hospital Emmy-winner Erin (ex-Kiki), who also played Abby Newman from 2008-2010.
“I can’t say enough good things about either one of them,” Scott gushes. “Of course, I had the benefit of getting to know Hayley a bit better – because she was ‘the perfect assistant’ for a weeks and I fell in love with her. She’s a wonderful human being and such a great actress.
“And then to have Colleen come in?” she continues. “I mean, who is luckier than me? It’s been a dream.”
Melody Thomas Scott is Drunk on Nikki’s Drama
Scott’s run on Y&R started almost 45 years ago with Nikki’s father trying to rape her, and as longtime fans know, that was just the start of her problems. We can’t count the number of times she mourned Victor believing he was dead – and this is hardly the first time she’s been kidnapped.
Some actresses are turned off by playing the victim or damsel in distress, but Scott is not one of those performers. In fact, she loves it – especially when the peril is this dark.
“All of it is great fun,” she says of acting, “and this particular storyline is an unusual category of fun.” But for Nikki, of course, Scott’s recent “dream” storyline has been more of a nightmare.
“In the beginning of all this craziness, being held captive, Nikki had no idea what the hell was going on,” Scott reminds. “It was a fun way of introducing this dark, eerie story where she figures out about the vodka being pumped into her.
“That, of course, is heart-stopping because of her past with alcoholism,” she adds. “It was such a great addition to the story because this is the kind of story that would send her back to the bottle – whether it’s in her veins or not. She’s terrified.”
To bring this round of drama to life, Scott didn’t just go makeup-free: The actress who usually gets glammed up to play Nikki was instead glammed down.
“All they had to do was make me look as bad as possible – just throw some bags under my eyes and mess up my hair, and I was ready,” Scott recalls. “So that was a welcome break from the rigors of glamorizing every morning.”
Don’t, however, suggest it was brave of the 67-year-old to let Nikki – and herself – go onscreen sans makeup.
“I keep hearing the word ‘brave,’ which I think is kind of silly,” Scott explains. “As you saw, I have no vanity about such things, but it’s not bravery. It’s simply wanted to play the reality of the situation. It takes the viewer out of the story if you see this glamorous makeup and hair being played when it’s not realistic.”
Melody Thomas Scott’s Big Y&R Reveal
As Nikki was fighting to get free and talking to visions of Victor and Claire, her captors lured her family to the house and revealed their warped motivation for destroying the Newmans – but Scott had no idea what was going on with Victor, Nick, Victoria, and Cole downstairs.
“We all have the option to read full scripts, but if Nikki doesn’t know, I don’t want to know,” Scott says. “It might affect how I play something, and I don’t want that to creep in.”
That means that when Nikki finally came down those stairs with Victor, Scott was in for quite a shock. “I get down there, and Nicholas has a big slash across his chest, everybody’s been poisoned, and they’re all dying,” Scott recalls. “It was shocking.”
Amid all the drama, Scott reveals she, Eric Braeden (Victor), and their onscreen family had their usual fun between takes. confesses. “We always find a way to cut up no matter what”, she confesses.
It’s a good thing this family of Y&R veterans know how to lighten up between takes, because Jordan is not done with her reign of terror against the Newmans. Jordan was committed to making sure the holiday season was less than merry for the Newmans – and not only will the nightmare follow Nikki into the new year, but it could last all the way thru to Nikki and Victor’s 40th anniversary in April.
“There’s much more to come,” Scott promises. “I don’t even know what the future holds for Nikki. I just know this is not anywhere near over – and I can’t wait!”