December 4th, 2009  |  Leave a comment

The Sarah Brown Interview – The Bold and the Beautiful

Sarah Brown

© JPI Studios

In another great casting coup for the Daytime Emmy Award winning drama, The Bold and the Beautiful, last month Sarah Brown joined the cast as the mysterious Sandy Sommers, who is the surrogate to Nick and Bridget’s baby.  Sarah, no stranger to winning awards, (she has won three Emmys herself for her role as Carly on General Hospital) is firmly planted in a top secret storyline that insiders say is beyond spectacular.  As more time plays out viewers will learn what is really going on with Sandy and her connection to others on the B&B canvas.  In this revealing TV SOAP Australia interview, the actress talks about landing the new role, the beginning of Sandy’s unraveling, and gives a glimpse to how she is crafting the physical and emotional life of her new character.

A true acting chameleon, Sarah had just finished up her second time in her soap career on General Hospital as the psychotic Claudia Zacchara.  During November on US television, one day Sarah got clubbed to death as a mafia princess, and the next day she was in a trailer park playing a seemingly down-trodden young woman on B&B.  It’s all in a day’s work for this dynamic and fearless talent.

This TV SOAP Australia feature will appear an upcoming issue of the publication.  If you want to see more TV SOAP Australia interviews click here!

MICHAEL:

How did this come to pass that you ended up on B&B?

SARAH:

My contract with General Hospital was going to be up in January 2010 but they had written my character of Claudia out.   When they told me that the character was going to be exiting, someone heard that Brad Bell was interested in contacting me!  It was literally 48 hours at the most.  I was honored and flattered.  I was like, “Yeah, I want to talk to Brad Bell!”  I think there was an initial thought, “Will she talk or think about doing another soap?” and they said, “Brad Bell wants to talk to you.”  My mom had been a Y&R fan growing up.  So I saw the show and am familiar with the Bell legacy and the family’s work and thought, “This is really cool!”  I think I was watching Y&R one day when I went, “I want to do that,” and I remember watching Heather Tom when I was very young playing Victoria Newman.   I remember thinking, “I can do what she does.  I want to do that.”

MICHAEL:

So then did you always know you wanted to become an actress?

Sandy and Whip

© JPI Studios

SARAH:

I really didn’t, but a lot of my friends in the 7th grade were getting into it, and it was until the 9th grade where I could take an elective and I thought, “Well, a lot of my other friends are taking drama,” and thought that was cool.  I was a gymnast and very sports oriented and doing that after school.  So, I thought I would give it a try.  I gravitated to it, and my teacher said, “I should look into it, and you are really good at it.”  She told me of The High School of Performing Arts. People were responding to me in that way and I could make them laugh.  I liked experiencing that, and I could remember all the lines of everyone in the cast!  This is something I did not know I could do.  It was easy for me to improv, too, and I went home to my Mom and said, “This is really cool.”

MICHAEL:

“Sandy Sommers” was an interesting choice of name for your character, but then we learn her real name is “Agnes Jones”.  What did you think of these first names for your new character?

SARAH:

It was in Brad Bell’s head that I was going to be called Sandy Sommers and he was gracious and wonderful about it and brought me into the process.  That name was not as locked down as the ideas for the character were.  He was offering me different names, “Agnes” as well.  But I really like the name Agnes.  I remember Bob Guza (head writer, GH) saying to me, “What did you think of the name Claudia?” and I said, “I love it.   It’s sexy!”  So names are important to a character.

MICHAEL:

On GH you played both Carly and Claudia… a tough as nails woman.

SARAH:

She is a broad, not a woman.  I am a broad. There is something in me that people pick up on and put me in those roles, and I am happy in those roles. Whenever I am given the opportunity to play the girl next door they don’t come to me for that.  They come to me for, “Yes, I have a problem when I come to the door, and even if I look like the girl next door there is something else going on.”  I don’t know what this is about. Maybe it’s because I was a gymnast and played football when I was a kid, and there was fighting spirit that comes through in me. Sandy is not a fighter.

MICHAEL:

Sandy seems, at this point, almost afraid of her own shadow.

SARAH:

She is very timid to me, and even has food delivered to her trailer where the grass does not grow.  She is not trying to get anywhere with her life and that is what is really sad.

Sandy with stuffed animals

© JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

You went from mafia princess to a trailer park?

SARAH:

Hey, I am an actress, I live for this.  I like to change.  I cannot be the mafia princess for many, many years.  I know that. I know the fans of mine know me better than to think I would do something beyond the point where I got stale.

MICHAEL:

Sandy
had this array of stuffed animals all over her trailer when you first started on the show.  What was that about?

SARAH:

I don’t know why there were so many stuffed animals in the trailer.  I remember on my first day that the character has to evolve, and so if you don’t have the luxury of rehearsal time to go over things with your director or your producers it’s all by the seat of your pants.  So, it’s not something that was not addressed, but by the time we arrived on set there was a lot to do. I felt that it wasn’t something that I had any information about so I let it be.  For all I knew it’s going to come up in further stories.   Brad wrote it and planned it.  I stepped in and was the actor with the words, and so I did not see the need for that many stuffed animals, I will be honest.  I think it was overlooked, to be honest.  (She laughs)   I would say, “Can we remove this? This is destroying my mojo!”  I mean there were canned foods placed in certain areas of the trailer that just did not seem realistic to me. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Agnes/Sandy’s story involves being the surrogate for Nick and Bridget’s baby.  Did you do research for the role surrounding surrogacy?

SARAH:

I always do research, and there is a good book on the subject.  I have met people who have gone through this and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, “Y&R”) is expecting a baby via surrogacy this month.

Christmas group

© JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

How is working with Nick and Bridget, Jack Wagner and Ashley Jones?

SARAH:

These two are great!  I have got to say, it’s a wonderful group of actors to work with, and it’s different.  It’s not a mafia or Sopranos-type of show, and it’s not a crime show.  There is not a lot of crime, but there is a lot of heartbreak and dealing with families who have very complicated relationships with each other. That is fascinating and interesting. I know that Bridget and Nick have been together on again and off again a really long time, and I have a great time with them.  I feel that the plot thickens and I think we make a good group, the four of us, which includes Rick Hearst (Whip) too.  I think the current story is fun for me, and when I watch actors who are challenged and pulled in different directions, the audience likes that.  They think, “My actor is being challenged. Let’s see if they can do it.  Can they pull it off?  “

MICHAEL:

So much was made of two daytime dynamos, Susan Flannery (Stephanie) and Sarah Brown on the same show.  Will there be a Stephanie/Sandy smackdown anytime soon?

SARAH:

There will be no smackdown in the immediate future, but they definitely put us in proximity, and you will see that. You will be so excited and happy.  I work with her and I see her daily.  Susan is the Queen Bee and I am floored by her.  My first day of working with her was awesome!  She is revered and a wonderful actress.  I love Alley Mills (Pam) too.  I have been a fan of hers since “Wonder Years”.  It did not dawn on me till I had the best night with Alley.  I was hanging out with her at the International Women’s Courage and Journalism Awards, and we yapped and I loved her.  I come to work the next day, and I say, “Alley, why do I feel like you are my mom?  I feel like I know you forever!” Then it occurred to me, “Were you the mom on Wonder Years?  OMG!”

MICHAEL:

So will the audience want to root for Sandy?

SARAH:

She is an enigma.  I totally think people are going to root for her. And, it’s not like root for her like she is this victim.  She is definitely coming forward with some things in short order that are potentially very jarring for all parties involved.  It’s been a great month playing that material.

Nick and Bridget and Sandy

© JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

Sandy is at a photo shoot of Owen and Jackie’s and when flashbulbs go off and just by being there, something happens to her….

SARAH:

She has a panic attack and storms out of the room, and potentially losing Nick and Bridget’s confidence because it’s such a shocker, because she is pregnant with their child. They rush out of the shoot wanting to talk about maternity wear, and lets hangout, and have lunch, and Bridget wants to get to know her, the way that a woman would want to know somebody that is carrying their child.  It’s got to be so nerve-wracking!  In this situation you are carrying someone else’s child and the other woman has complete lack of control.

MICHAEL:

I see a triangle coming between Nick, Bridget and Sandy.

SARAH:

With a pregnant woman?  Let’s see…. maybe.

MICHAEL:

You won three Daytime Emmys as Carly Corinthos on General Hospital.  Where do you keep those?

Sarah and Jordan

© JPI Studios

SARAH:

My Emmys – I have a grand piano in the middle of my living room and there is a big book shelf there, and funny enough it’s the same book shelf that is in Susan Flannery’s office.  I have them where I can see them from the piano.  I like to look at them, but at the same time, you know I won these for Carly and that was such a long time ago that it might be good for my own psyche just to put them in my own bookcase.  Keep them out but out of the way, so I can aspire to new heights all the time.

MICHAEL:

Of all your victory nights, was there one that was most memorable?

SARAH:

Yes.  I thought I was going to deliver my daughter right on stage.  I thought my water broke right on stage.  I was 8 months pregnant so flying from LA to NY was a big deal and I walked the red carpet, and it was extensively long and it was hot and humid.  I remember thinking, “Oh my God. I am going to pass out right here on stage.”

MICHAEL:

On GH, when you came back as Claudia and worked opposite of Laura Wright, the new Carly was that strange?

SARAH:

Yes for sure. There were funny moments when I first met Carly on camera and I go, “You look really familiar?” (Laughs)  I have to say when I came in Laura Wright had already been there for four years and she knows her Carly.  And I am so far away from Carly now.  People say, “I would love to see Sarah Brown come back to play Carly,” but they wouldn’t see the same Carly.  I am a completing different woman now than Carly. I have no regrets giving up the role.

MICHAEL:

You went from dark hair when you started on B&B, then went to your blonde hair again. What is the story behind the color change?

Sarah Brown

© JPI Studios

SARAH:

I came to B&B with dark hair because I was shooting both shows at the same time.  So there was an overlap, and so Brad figured out a tricky way to do this.  So I changed my hair color after I was done with GH.  Brad wanted her to have this Sandy blonde color.   I went to my hair stylist/artist and he did it up for me.  I love the color now.

MICHAEL:

Have you ever ventured to Australia?

SARAH:

Yes.  I have been to Sydney for two weeks, when I was pregnant with my daughter Jordan.  I went on a month vacation from GH and I went there in 1997 and stayed at a beautiful hotel right on the Sydney Harbor directly across from the Opera House.  I went to the zoo in Sydney, and I went to the Blue Mountains.  I took a helicopter ride where you touch down in the mountains.  You see all in these woods and this gorgeous territory and land everywhere.  I saw different animals and wild life. There was a moment when I was sure we were going down because helicopters and heights are not my favorite thing.  It was an incredible trip to Australia.  It’s so much like LA but backwards on the time. When you first arrive you are knocked out from the long travel distance.  I saw Kool and the Gang in Australia. They were playing in the hotel, and it was awesome.  Coolest thing ever!  I would go back.  It’s fabulous and a great place to visit.

MICHAEL:

You are huge on Twitter!  Are you addicted to tweeting? (Laughs)

Sarah and Maurice

Courtesy/ABC

SARAH:

Yes, I love Twitter.  I think it’s really fun.  I see the benefits in Twitter and I like the idea of everyone being connected. Twitter is like the matrix and the fact that you can reach out with a typed sentence. You can reach out to people all over the world and they get back to you. It’s information traveling that freely and quickly.  I went one by one to my cast members at GH and said, “People like this. They want to hear from you.   They want to be in touch with you.”  In a way, it’s funny how the paparazzi have harassed the celebrities and this is a way that celebrities take the fun out of that, because they are the ones dropping their own gossip about their own lives instead of letting someone take them away from their private moments. They can put their private moments out there, and create their own image, which is with personal and private moments with the fans.  You can share bits and pieces with them and share your own pictures.  So maybe now they won’t be stalked by their “Stalkerazzi’s.”  It would not be such an issue in the future.     It desensitizes celebrity life a bit.   I am a really digital person and have been working in digital editing for 9 or 10 years.  I like being able to snap my finger and have an immediate connection.

MICHAEL:

When you were leaving GH to come to B&B, what did your cast mates say?

SARAH:

Everybody was wonderful and gracious going, “You are going over to a rival show! What are you doing?” (Laughs) No, everyone was congratulating me and happy I had a place to go.

MICHAEL:

Will you miss working with former GH leading man, Maurice Benard (Sonny)?

Sarah Brown

© JPI Studios

SARAH:

I will miss Maurice, but I have other projects and endeavors that I look forward to bringing him into in the future that I have talked to him about, outside of GH and into eternity.

MICHAEL:

In closing, if we could tease the viewers what can we say? Sandy is going to be….

SARAH:

She is going to be up a creek very soon.  She is going to have her back-up against the wall in a scene that comes up really quickly here.  She already does with Whip, and she is going through a lot chaos and the audience is going to get a very quick Agnes/Sandy 101 in the coming weeks!

  1. toptim says:

    I just love her I think she is so great at everything she does
    Great interveiw I still love her best as Carly

    Reply

  2. fawnrescue says:

    love her I still think shes the best Carly too!!! Love the interveiw wonder what project shes talking to Maurice about??

    Reply

  3. toptim says:

    love her/ will miss her but she will be great at anything she does
    love the interveiw

    Reply

  4. Doe says:

    Sarah Brown really gave a great interview. Michael, you always have such great rapport with your actors. She alwys gives and gives in her performances. That’s why she is always in demand. I believe she should be on a night time series. I have seen her guest starring a couple of times. Michael, your new site is exciting and very attractive. Carry on…..

    Reply

  5. waldo doe says:

    I’m excited about Sarah’s new character and love seeing her do something different.

    Reply

  6. Anne says:

    Loved Sarah as Claudia she really did one awesome job with such a complicated character. Sandy looks like she could be just as complicated… Sweet.. Sandy just needs more airtime.

    Reply

  7. zena says:

    I don’t understand for the life of me why interviewers have such difficulty remembering to ask Sarah about RICK HEARST! I mean COME ON! That to me was the greatest link/surprise for me when I found out that she was coming to B&B, the chance to get back into that fantastic working relationship she has with Rick. I’m glad that she so graciously remembered to add his name in herself.

    Too bad that Sarah/Rick are portraying cousins, because I would have loved to see that relationship explored.

    Ah well, the rest of the interview was good, and I’m really loving Sandy’s mysteriousness. Rock on Sarah!

    Reply

  8. Sarahjbrown1fan says:

    I love Sarah Joy Brown she is an awesome actress and she really inspires me to do better in my life. I pray that I get the chance to meet her someday! I miss my girl Claudia but I will be her #1 fan rooting her on at all she does. Love ya SJB!!! :)

    Reply

  9. maria says:

    I would have really liked to see Rick Heart and Sarah Joy Brown’s charcters on B&B be love interest. I think that GH missed the boat big time when they decided not to make their characters really love interests. Iam however excited to see these two back onscreen together. I think they have such great chemistry together as actors. Iam looking forward to watching Whip and Agnes relationship devolope even if its not a romantic one.

    Reply

  10. SarahIsNumber1 says:

    Sarah is amazing!!! Enjoying her s/l better on B&B!!! I think it’s a much more enjoyable show in general.

    Reply

  11. Karen says:

    Good interview Michael :) She’s doing great on B&B, her and Rick have a great dynamic.

    Reply

  12. kiana says:

    Sarah is so awesome! She seems soo nice and she can take on any challenge anyone give her! love her! Miss Claudia always will haha

    Reply

  13. emmi says:

    I adore sarah but her character on the show is lack luster :(

    Reply

  14. Dmitri says:

    I will miss DOOL’s Madison, played by her, when the character leaves the show. Brady is her soulmate!

    Reply

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