The Bold and the Beautiful’s, four-time Daytime Emmy Award winning actress, Susan Flannery (Stephanie Forrester) spoke with TV Guide for an exclusive preview of next week’s 6,000th episode of the CBS series. The soap decided to mark the milestone by having Stephanie a stage four lung cancer survivor stage an intervention with the help of other cancer survivors, including Desperate Housewives Kathryn Joosten, to help Nick Marone played by Jack Wagner, deal with his cigar smoking addiction! Flannery, herself a cancer survivor discusses the opportunity her role has given her to bring medical and social issue to light! Here are a few exceprts!
Flannery on if she had any trepidation tackling stage four lung cancer on-screen as Stephanie: “Brad first called me about it last summer. He’d originally thought of giving Stephanie colon cancer — which is the kind of cancer I was diagnosed with — and he wanted to make sure I wouldn’t take offense or have a problem with it, which was very sweet of him. I said, “Whatever you want to do is fine with me.” But then I think he did further investigating and decided to make it stage 4 lung cancer after learning there might be a way one could survive something like that. Of course, he then threw in the brain tumors…so who knows? I don’t know if Brad will kill Stephanie off or if she’s going back under the knife — I never ask him about story. It’s my belief that actors should stay the hell out of that. But wherever this is going, I know I’m in good hands.”
Flannery on her thoughts of having her alter-ego Stephanie talk to real-life survivors as well as her discussion with the homeless in past episodes: “Yeah, I guess it all came out okay. I was concerned about repeating that with the 6,000th because we have real cancer survivors interacting with fictional characters. Kathryn Joosten and Zheng Cao, who has a stunning voice and sings with the San Francisco Opera Company, are wonderful women and really got into it. I think their scenes are going to be very effective. But we also had cancer survivors [who are non-performers] interacting with us. They had very moving stories but I’m not sure they made the connection as well. We’ll see. That’s the beauty of editing, isn’t it? The whole thing is very brave and innovative, a very interesting experiment. I think Brad might be riding a wave toward a new way of making soap operas, with reality being interjected into scripted drama. And of course it’s good to get out the word that smoking is bad. [Laughs]“