The coronavirus pandemic has certainly affected all of our lives and it’s no different for our favorite soap stars. The Young and the Restless star Peter Bergman looks back and reflects on how life changed — and he tells Soap Hub all about it in this exclusive chat.
Peter Bergman Talks About Life
You must have been relieved when The Young and the Restless returned to production?
I’m THRILLED to be back to work. I have to admit, leaving out the coronavirus, the break was delightful —- time to read, exercise, nap, and eat too much. It’s the longest time I’ve been without work in 42 years. But I missed the cast, missed the fun of making a scene work, and missed the rhythm of a workday.
Did you keep in close touch with any The Young and the Restless co-stars during that time?
I kept in fairly close touch with everyone that I regularly work with. A part of every day was picking up the phone to call or text someone. Michelle Stafford [Phyllis] and I spoke more while we were away than we do when we’re working.
What have you learned about yourself these past few months?
I learned one surprising thing during the whole COVID-19 quarantine – I’m better at relaxing than I ever imagined. I’ve always been a man who needed a schedule, a project, a goal. Whether I’ve just matured or it was the time of year — all of spring into summer— I was very good at filling a day with simple things.
What are you most looking forward to when things get back to normal?
When things go back to normal – if things ever go back to normal – I can’t wait to sit in a nice restaurant with [my wife] Mariellen and enjoy a nice meal.
What was your last fun night out, before it all came crashing down?
Our entire family is basketball crazy. We were all at the last Lakers home game before the pandemic blew the season apart.
Changing gears, what TV show would fans be surprised that you never miss?
We caught up on a lot of television during the pandemic of course. The Tiger King, Succession, Ozark, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Great, Little Fires Everywhere, McMillions, The Hack, Chef’s Kitchen. There’s a lot of good stuff out there.
What is your favorite sport?
Tennis was always my favorite sport to play. Those days are long gone now….my knees will have none of it. I loved playing basketball. I was never that good, but I loved the game. My knees have had something to say about that too. In terms of watching sports, our entire family is basketball crazy.
Is there anyone you’ve always wanted to meet?
I’ve met three of the four people I always dreamed of meeting: James Taylor (when we both were guests on The Rosie O’Donnell Show), Aretha Franklin (backstage at the Emmys), and Joni Mitchell (in a wonderful fun slightly drunken encounter in Toronto). I never met the fourth on my list….Nelson Mandela.
Most people consider it a job they couldn’t or wouldn’t do, but you’d like it?
I don’t think many people dream of a job waiting tables, but it was a job I loved. It was an acting opportunity. You find out right away whether they want to be charmed or if they’re looking for a butler who efficiently serves and then disappears… then you give them the character they need. I was always busy (I worked in some really successful NYC restaurants), always anticipating (a good lesson for the rest of life), and always rewarded before I said good night to strangers who I helped have a great night. That’s a nice way to make a living.
Are you a great cook?
I am not a great cook. My wife Mariellen IS. The one thing I’m good for in the kitchen is Sunday Breakfast, something I’ve been in charge of for decades. I’m famous for my slow-cooked, thin-sliced bacon. Added to the plate with eggs – any way you want them – and toasted English Muffins, and you’ve got Peter’s Sunday Morning Best.