Soapside: Advocate 's Guide to Daytime
BY Michael Fairman
July 30 2009 12:00 AM ET
John Driscoll's Chance of a Lifetime
This past February, soap fans were moved to tears as Guiding Light 's handsome young hero Coop Bradshaw, was killed off, having sustained injuries in a fiery car crash that set the stage for some of the most riveting drama in the show's history. But Guiding Light 's loss was The Young and the Restless's gain when Bradshaw portrayer John Driscoll nabbed the role of Phillip Chancellor IV, who now goes by the name of "Chance." The character (who had not been seen since he was a tot) recently returned to Genoa City from his tour of duty with the military in Iraq. For months online reports were full of speculation. Would Chance be gay? Would he be involved with Rafe?
In a preview of Friday's exclusive Advocate.com interview with Driscoll, he had this to say about those rumors.
"I was trying to do some homework before I started on Y&R. One of the soap websites said there might be a budding relationship between Mac, Chloe, and ... Rafe? And I said, 'Rafe. What? That does not sound like a female's name.'" [ Laughs ] This character has been gone such a long time they don't know what his sexual orientation is. Is he gay, straight, what's the deal? I thought, You know what? If it's going to play that's way, that's OK. As an actor you are always looking for the next challenge, and I don't find anything taboo behind it. I played a gay character before on a short-lived series called The Book of Daniel with Aidan Quinn and Ellen Burstyn on NBC. I actually worked opposite Christian Campbell, formerly of All My Children, where he played Bobby Warner. We had this romance on the show, and if the series had not been canceled, you would have seen the budding relationship between our two characters. It was really funny doing double duty while I was doing Guiding Light. During the day I was having bedroom sexual scenes with a female, and then at night on set in bed with a man. It was crazy. I needed a couple of drinks!"
Recently we learned that Chance is a virgin and denied he was gay. Yup. He has never had sex with a girl. The character makes references as far as females go to say, "I have kissed a lot of girls. I just think I have not found the right one. I am sure she is out there." Driscoll weighs in on Chance's virginal ways and if this could really mean something else. "Honestly, who knows? As of right now they are playing him as if he is not gay. At this point, Chloe [played by Elizabeth Hendrickson] is the object of his affection, and he is attracted to her. Chance respects her, and there is a spark and energy between them."
And on today's pivotal episode of Y&R, Chance's wayward dad, Phillip III (Thom Bierdz), tells his son that he is gay, marking the beginning of the exploration of a gay father and his biological son, another first for Y&R. Driscoll shares his thoughts on Dad's on-screen revelation.
"First off, it's a great story. I think it would be a lot more emotional between the two characters if they had more history and something to pull from like, 'How can you lie to me?' But there hasn't. So you can't play the betrayal just yet. So he is gay, OK. But if he hurt Nina, Chance's mom, that is when he would get upset. Chance questions how the relationship between Nina and him went down. How did he cover it up? Was there anyone there? Did he have any relations with a man during that time period? His father said no. He used alcohol to cover up the pain and to hide everything. So for Chance and his mentality, a person is a person. I am sure Chance dealt with that in the military ... finding out that guys were gay, and that's fine. We will eventually see that connection between the father and his son as they rebuild their relationship. To find that point where you can look at each other and being able to say, 'I love you for being my father. Despite what you have going on in your life, or your sexual orientation, I love you for who you are.'"
Soap Soul Mates Launch Pod Cast!
I spoke with Roger Newcomb, the creator of We Love Soaps , about his latest venture. He and two buddies and soap associates, Michael Goldberg and Damon Jacobs, have launched a very gay-friendly soap podcast, We Love Soaps Radio. Yes, the three are all friends of Dorothy.
Newcomb says. "You could not put us back in the closet. We are bringing the perspective of the gay men to soaps and we are doing it very vocally, and during our discussions, even though we may not be talking about the gay characters, it comes out. It's hard for it not to, especially discussing the gay story lines, and we do talk about gay issues. Damon credits former Daysof Our Lives star Patsy Pease for helping him come to terms with his sexuality in regards to some of the adversity he faced. He was treated very poorly and she was treated very poorly and he was inspired by her character of Kimberly on Days and Patsy's battles as well."