How is Trevor St. John doing in the role of Tucker McCall so far? We’re grading the recast on his performance, so don’t forget to add your score in the poll below!
When it was first announced that Trevor St. John had joined the cast of The Young and the Restless (Y&R), viewers knew they were in for a surprise. The CBS soap refused to say peep about the mystery role, leading some fans to suspect he’d be a recast.
Many onlookers argued that the actor would be a wise choice to replace Robert Newman as Ashland Locke. Others guessed Eric Vanderway. Even though everyone suspected that St. John would play a bad guy (due to his prior role on One Life To Live), nobody ran with the idea of Tucker McCall.
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Well, surprise! St. John is cast as a radically de-aged McCall, after Stephen Nichols portrayed the role from 2010 to 2013. Needless to say, viewers had a hard time wrapping their heads around St. John, 51, replacing an actor who’s twenty years older!
Alas, St. John has done an impeccable job of swaying that skepticism after only a few weeks in the role. From the moment he landed his helicopter in the midst of Summer and Kyle’s ceremony, Tucker has had all eyes on him – and that’s exactly the way he wants it!
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Despite his memorable entrance, however, St. John isn’t watchable because he’s flashy – quite the opposite, in fact. His mannerisms are insular, not grandiose. He rarely projects his voice, often mumbling instead. St. John also looks down during much of his dialogue, fiddling with napkins or sham pillows as he talks.
Does St. John do this because he’s pretending to show remorse for his past betrayals? Or, does he behave this way because he’s indifferent to the social graces of Genoa City’s elite? Perhaps it’s both, or neither – with St. John, it’s hard to tell.
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It’s the strange energy St. John brings to each scene that makes Tucker unpredictable; so much so, the actor acknowledges that even he doesn’t know what he’ll do in a scene.
Describing how he’ll never “become acclimated” to the pressures of daytime television, St. John recently revealed his approach to acting. “The volume of material and pace of shooting really makes it feel like a tightrope walk in a windstorm,” St. John told Soap Opera Digest.
“The thing is, you can either embrace it or fight against it. I’ve decided to embrace it,” the actor continued. “The painter Edgar Degas said, ‘Only when the artist no longer knows what he is doing can he do good things’. Well, I hope he’s right, because every time I walk onto the set, I’m totally clueless.”
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There are signs of St. John improvising all over the place. When Tucker stepped away from Jack (and briefly exited the scene) to take a closer look at the Abbott estate, or when he imitated Ashley’s flailing arms, these felt like unrehearsed eccentricities. Frankly, he’s fun to watch.
All in all, St. John is the ideal person to bring Tucker back to Genoa City, because his acting style has an element of chaos to it. Tucker’s presence was already set to unnerve everyone in town, strictly because of his past actions. But St. John’s curious approach to the role is making that tension palpable, as he riffs off of co-stars who don’t yet know his style.
St. John is winning viewers over with his inscrutable charisma — a quality that Richard Burgi (the original Ashland Locke) had, before his sudden firing. Will head writer Josh Griffith do a better job of crafting this business tycoon?
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Does Tucker really want Ashley back? Is he truly ashamed over falling out of touch with Devon? Audiences don’t have a clue – and that’s a refreshing change of pace. Clearly, Tucker’s scheming something with Audra Charles, his undercover agent at Chancellor-Winters. But is he still the greedy narcissist everyone assumes?
Mr. McCall may be playing his cards close to the vest, but that doesn’t mean viewers haven’t seen some range from St. John. The actor recently showed Tucker’s vicious side when Diane insisted she’d fulfilled her end of the bargain. With wild eyes and a tight sneer, St. John made it clear that everything isn’t “fun and games” to his character.
Who cares if Tucker found the fountain of youth? St. John’s irreverent take on McCall is a welcome upgrade on Nichols’ gruff rendition. But what do you think of his performance so far?
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