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.



Is Chance disappointed that his dad is gay? He is, but not because he is gay. He respects him for that. What he is disappointed in and thinks is, You weren't my role model growing up. You weren't there for me. So those are the walls Phillip has to break down. Once those are broken down, I think it's going to go back to understanding, "OK. You're gay. So what does that mean for our relationship?"

It's refreshing to see a gay father and son relationship explored on daytime. It's a first again for Y&R. It will be great to eventually see that connection, for the two of them to accept each other on all levels and be able to move past that and help rebuild. They have to find that point where you can look at each other and be 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." For Phillip III, he just wants to be accepted and loved by his family for the poor choices he made when he was younger.

How is working with Thom Bierdz (Phillip)? Thom and I shoot the breeze. Thom always wants to know if I am getting acclimated to L.A., and I tell him I am lost all the time. It's been easy to talk with him and to figure out our story. I know the show is putting a lot of emphasis on it, because of how controversial it is and what big expectations they have for the story line. I really enjoy working with him.

How do you feel when people refer to you as "one of the daytime hunks"? Are you OK with that? I am. It's a title and it's a part to play, and if that is what they refer to me as, that is fine. I am not going to lie -- I am a huge Harry Potter buff.

Are you admitting there is a "nerdy" side to you? Oh, God, yes! There is a nerdy side to me. I grew up playing video games. I have a quirky side to me, where I tell stupid humor, make faces, and tell jokes. It's not always so serious where I've got to look a certain way and go to the gym. No. I will polish off an entire Papa John's pizza! I have Papa John's on my speed dial.

Do you have gay friends that you hang out with? If so, do they ever comment on what Y&R is doing with the telling of this story line? I do have gay friends. My mom works for the airlines and works with the flight attendants. A lot of them say, "I just saw your son on Y&R. We think it's great what they are doing." A lot of them commented on my role on The Book of Daniel by saying, "I am so glad he is not afraid to portray this kind of a character. That he can look at a role and not be jaded and feel that if he takes it on that he is going to be typecast." As far as Y&R, they are happy to see the dynamic between father and son. As you said, there are a lot of people for years that had trouble with their family accepting them. My gay friends have told me it was not always easy for them growing up. They said, "We hid it because we did not want to go through the turmoil, both for our parents and for ourselves." To have this reversed on our show and the turmoil through the father's perspective is extremely interesting.

In closing, what can we look forward to from Chance? He will be very open-minded and most likely caught off-guard too.

Tags: television