J Eddie Peck previews Cole’s upcoming story on Y&R.
The mystery of Nikki’s kidnapping on The Young and the Restless took a new twist when Cole Howard, played by J. Eddie Peck, popped up at the end of today’s episode. The character hasn’t been seen on the show’s canvas since 1999. Soap Hub caught up with Peck to discuss his return and the award-winning baby Eve storyline.
J. Eddie Peck: Restless Style
Peck can’t reveal much about his storyline, but the actor does tease, “It does involve Victoria [Amelia Heinle] and the Newman family, and it has a great deal of suspense and drama, and it’s very tricky.”
What prompted his return? Perhaps it all began when he reunited with his Y&R pals at the show’s gala 50th anniversary party in March. In August, he attended an alumni reunion with other Y&R and The Bold and the Beautiful actors. “I don’t know a whole lot,” Peck says. “I was told by one of the producers when I came back for the 50th that some conversations started to happen.”
He humbly offers, “I always felt Cole’s return was a good idea.” Peck is thrilled to be back in the daytime drama world. “I love the industry. It’s simply who I am. I’m a small-time guy. I love interacting with the fans. I want to see my daytime family every day. That soap medium gave me that. I’m forever grateful.”
The actor wasn’t sure what response he’d get from fans at the fan gathering in August, as he’d been off Y&R for decades. He was soon reminded that soap fans are fans for life. “When I came out and they introduced me, I couldn’t believe the reception I got,” he warmly shares. “I signed autographs till midnight that night.”
Together Again For The First Time
Since Cole moved to England to teach at Oxford, the part of Victoria was recast with Amelia Heinle — who just happens to be Peck’s former on-screen love interest from their time on All My Children when he played Dr. Jake Martin, and she was Mia Sanders. “They decided to try us together,” Peck recalls of the Jake/Mia pairing. He calls their chemistry “spontaneous” and “very natural.” He adds, “I enjoyed working with her very much.”
Remembering Baby Eve
Peck also fondly remembers working with Heather Tom (ex-Victoria; now, Katie, B&B). In one of Peck’s last storylines on Y&R, Cole and Victoria mourned their daughter, who died in the hospital shortly after her birth. That character, Eve, named after Cole’s late mother (Margaret Mason), is being discussed a great deal among soap fans on Facebook and other social media platforms. Time will tell if the show goes down this path.
“I was blown away by Heather’s work,” shares Peck, noting the actress’s performance in the baby Eve death story was a standout. “I’ll never forget the day baby Eve died. Heather had a whole page-and-a-half monologue. She nailed it word for word with a [Daytime] Emmy-winning performance. I was like, ‘Oh, my God, this woman never ceases to amaze me.’ I marveled at her all the time. She raised the bar for me.”