The Ties That Bind

Y&R 's John Driscoll talks about playing the son of a gay father, his character's sexuality, and being part of one of daytime's royal families.

BY Michael Fairman

July 31 2009 12:00 AM ET

After four years on Guiding Light, John Driscoll's lovable dreamer Coop Bradshaw died after a fiery car crash, sending many soap fans for the nearest Kleenex box. The actor became a fan favorite in one of daytime's newest "cougar" story lines when Coop was paired with the much older Beth. While that plot line stirred some controversy among soap opera conservatives, that was nothing compared to John's latest daytime adventure.

In one of the most eagerly awaited soap opera entrances, John landed the key role of Phillip "Chance" Chancellor IV on the number 1 rated soap, The Young and the Restless. Once word spread that Driscoll was coming to the series, the Internet became abuzz with speculation that Chance (who has been serving in Iraq) could be a love interest for Rafe, Y&R 's first gay character. But then things got more interesting with a gay ol' twist. Suddenly, out actor Thom Bierdz returned to the series to reprise the role of Chance's dad, Phillip IV. Bierdz's role this time was a gay version of the eldest of the Chancellor men, setting the stage for Y&R to explore the relationship between a gay father and his son coming to terms with their relationship. On yesterday's episode Phillip spilled the beans to his son about his big secret, thus setting up the story for more drama ahead.

So where does Chance's orientation lie? Well, from all accounts it looks like Chance is headed for a romance with the spunky Chloe, played by Elizabeth Hendrickson. Advocate.com chatted with John Driscoll exclusively about his soap past, present, and future and being part of Genoa City's most famous, now-controversial, family.

Advocate.com:You were so memorable as Coop on GL. The end of his story was so sad. Coop was dying in the hospital and Justin Deas, as his dad (Buzz), delivered an amazing performance too. Buzz had to make the decision to pull Coop off life support.John Driscoll: That was tough to play. I love working with Justin Deas. He is such an amazing actor. Justin kind of helped show me the ropes in learning daytime. That's what they wanted to tell, with the end of my story and knowing it was the end of my contract. As well as my story being the catalyst to bringing back a beloved character, Phillip Spaulding.

Coop was so endearing to the fans. Did you realize the impact you had as the character toward the end of the run? I knew fans really liked him, and the Cooper family is who people love to root for because they are the underdogs. Between the writing and the story lines they gave me, I am just so glad that my character was appreciated and loved as he was. I wanted to give 110% to the fans. When people look back at the history of Guiding Light and all the different characters, I hope my name comes up when they talk about the memorable ones.

How do you feel about the end of Guiding Light ? In the greater scheme of things, everything comes to an end, and nothing is forever. You know what, I am glad I could be a part of it, and it's sad. They had it for so long, and I hope they tell a really good exit story line, and I don't want to cheat. So I don't want to call my friends and find out what's happening.

We were all thrilled you came to Y&R. How did this come about? I had finished Guiding Light and was enjoying my time off. After I finished taping the scenes of the explosion of the car that precipitates Coop's death, I was going to catch a plane to fly overseas to see my family in England. My sister, her husband, and their kids live there, outside the London area. And strangely enough, that is where my character on Y&R was supposed to be living for the past umpteen years of his life.

Tags: television

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