While the once-closeted man on OWN’s addictive “The Haves and the Have Nots” spent much of season two coming into his own by finally coming out, telling off his meddling and self-serving mother, Veronica (played deliciously by Angela Robinson) and bedding hottie Landon (Kristian Kordula), he has also taken a step backwards in season three as he once again has put his love and devotion for straight man (but gorgeous) Wyatt (Aaron O’Connell) before anything else.
And, Jeffrey may be taking on a new role soon no thanks to his mother, who paid young Melissa (Antoinette Robertson) to seduce him. Yep, Melissa now says she’s preggers!
As you can guess, the new season of “HAHN” has been amazing after only two episodes and Gavin Houston, who plays Jeffrey, talked to me recently to tell me his thoughts on why Jeffrey can’t let Wyatt go, what’s in store for his relationship with Landon, his mother and Candace (Tika Sumpter) and how he also shares some of the fans’ frustrations about his character.
I have to say “The Haves and the Have Nots” is probably one of my favorite guilty pleasure.
Gavin Houston: Oh, that’s fantastic. I remember when season one first started it had, I think, a premiere like 1.7 (million viewers) and then recently we just broke the history for OWN having the highest rated premiere ever.
So it's just amazing and it's catching on and there are "Have and Have Not" parties. So, it's been amazing and people are loving it and trust me there's more to come. I'm so excited about what you haven't seen that I know is coming! You don't even know, don't even know. You poor child.
In the broad sense, what is Jeffrey's journey this season? I know he's not over Wyatt even though he's got Landon right there in front of him!
GH: I think that is a part of his journey. I think one of his biggest things is standing up to the big bad wolf, the ice queen! He’s done it before and came out to her but of course there’s a pull of wanting to be loved, wanting to be who they want him to be. So he goes both ways in that way, but I think now he’s got more of a pull to who he truly is than on her side. I think there’s going to be huge things happening with that as well as his alliance with Candace. That’s the one person he can always be himself with. He has a great friendship with her, and I think their connection leads to a lot of trouble for Jeffrey. It’ll be interesting to see his journey, but again, like I said, he’s on his own. He’s doing it and he has the love of his father and he could care less about what his mother thinks.
He's going to find his way. There's going to be a lot of trips and falls along that way and a lot of paths that get crossed, as well as he still has the whole Quincy situation to hash out because of that interaction they had. So, there's a lot of links and branches that are going to kind of be flushed out through these next few episodes that are coming.
Is his mother going to let Jeffrey go or is she going to still be trying to pull at him?
GH: I don’t think she’ll ever let go of him. I think she’ll just get better with how she does [it]. I think she’s a master manipulator. I think you just find better tactics to get what you want but it’s a different type of thing when someone is hip to your game, which I think in a lot of ways he is.
Obviously, for it to work on him now it's going to have to be even stronger. For her to have stronger tactics means she's really going to have to do something to him to get him to do what she wants. I think it's going to be interesting when you see how it all works out, but I don't think anything is going to melt the ice queen.
I surely hope not because she's so good at being just awful. I mean, Angela is amazing in that role.
GH: She’s so good at it and I would just say that she is so fantastic in person and so the opposite [on screen] but she’s so wonderful at it that I think people just get better. They almost accept a good challenge. I think [Veronica] is kind of impressed with him standing on his own two feet but she still holds all the cards in her hand and there’s always going to be that conflict going on.
I keep thinking that Jeffrey just having come from this woman, he's probably learned a lot from her that maybe he can utilize. Will we see that at all?
GH: Of course. I think now you’ll see so many more colors of Jeffrey that might even explain why he was the way he was and why he was concealing who he was. I think that we’re going to see a lot of his mom in him because he has that as well as the soft patient side of his dad. So it will be interesting going forward just to see how both sides can both be his ally and his worst enemy in him coming to his own, coming into his own self and who he wants to be.
How do you characterize his, I guess his love for Wyatt?
GH: I think his love is genuine for him. I don’t think it’s an obsession, an addiction or anything. I think he genuinely loves him and the main thing is that clearly it’s unconditional. So even though the condition that he would want to be able to be with him…even though now he realizes maybe that it’s not in his future or maybe it is and maybe it isn’t…I think he’s almost accepted it and he still loves him and he still wants to protect him. So I think that love is because they grew up together. That love is strong and it’s beyond that and I think he’s even big enough to put aside certain things, possibly, maybe even just temporarily, because his love for him is just unconditional.
It’s similar to Jeffrey’s mother’s love for Jeffrey, isn’t it?
GH: It is and that’s why I think in a twisted way…it’s like no villain ever sees himself as bad. They see themselves really passionate about what they want. So I think in some ways she wants the perfect life for him but what she’s envisioned as the perfect life and she thinks that by doing what she’s doing she’s protecting him, she’s bringing him back into the mold of what she thinks his life should be, which is just a controlling manipulative way of a distorted love.
What about Landon? He’s so good for Jeffrey but obviously he’s not going to put up with what Jeffrey’s going through.
GH: I think Jeffrey actually appreciates certain things about Landon so I think that’s also a constant with him. You know how you can meet the right person at the wrong time? T0here’s always going to be that inner conflict with Landon because I think Landon’s always been great to him and always treated him great but I think in some ways he doesn’t trust Landon for some reason and he’s still getting pulled, of course, by Wyatt.
I think it's going to be interesting how he deals with that because I think part of him knows that Landon is good for him, like Landon would be the right situation and someone who is almost just like him…but everybody likes a little challenge. I don't know if Landon will work out for him because he still has his eyes on Wyatt.
Here's the scene from last week's episode when Melissa told Jeffrey and Candace that she's pregnant. Is it true?
How has it been for you playing Jeffrey at this point? He definitely has come a long way since that first episode and the first season!
GH: Especially with what I know is still coming for you. It’s been great in the sense that the evolvement of being in the shadows, so to speak. Missing shirts and just staring at someone. At least now there’s a little confidence, there’s more ownership of who he is.
Sometimes I'm reading the script and I go, 'he says what!?' and it's so funny but sometimes you just want him to kind of stand up for himself in those situations. He's more confident and more outspoken but then in other situations, especially with his mom, he's like that little boy, that little child again. So in those instances it's frustrating for me [and] when fans are frustrated, I get it. I was the first one who read it! I said the same thing!
So it's kind of interesting to play him and there's a ton more colors coming out that people would not have expected from Jeffrey. That's all I'm going to say. Like they say, it's about to go down.
“The Haves and the Have Nots” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on OWN.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.