When James Hyde accepted the role of Jeremy Stark on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS, it was originally just for that one episode where he appeared in flashback scenes opposite Susan Walters (Diane). But then the soap brought back back on for some more shows to expand the storyline and the actor — originally best known for playing Sam on PASSIONS for the NBC soap’s entire run — really began to feel at home in Genoa City.
“I was getting to know everybody and it really felt like I was part of the family,” he recalled to Soap Opera Digest. “From the actors to the production to the people in the office, everybody has been so professional, generous, and kind. It became very bittersweet knowing that I wouldn’t be coming in anymore.”
In fact, when it came time to shoot his final episodes opposite Michelle Stafford (Phyllis), Hyde found himself really struggling with his imminent exit. “I was just kind of bummed that this was coming to an end and it hit me hard,” he confessed. “So I came in one day feeling off-kilter and I had scenes with Michelle. We got together to run lines and we ended up really talking.
“She was so sweet and helped me to get back on track again,” the actor continued. “From that day forward, I understood and accepted what was happening and everything was fine. By the time I got that last script, I was really excited because the Jeremy/Phyllis scenes were going to be electric.”
And those final scenes between Hyde and Stafford were just as powerful as he’d predicted. “It was almost like two psychos in the same room,” he mused. “It went from a threat, to lying, to almost a sexual encounter, to absolute craziness when Phyllis tried to run for the door and Jeremy stopped her.
“That was his biggest mistake because when you get between a mother and her children, she becomes practically superhuman,” Hyde added. “It was a real psychological and robust show to the end. It was a total enjoyment to shoot and now it’s RIP, Jeremy Stark.”