Last week, The Bold and the Beautiful celebrated its longest-running cast members; Katherine Kelly Lang and John McCook. The duo have played Brooke and Eric for 30 years, and given viewers countless memorable performances. Atop the CBS Television City Helipad, the cast and crew gathered together to honor these iconic B&B actors as part of the series month long 30th anniversary festivities.
Daytime fan favorite, Thorsten Kaye (Ridge Forrester) chatted with On-Air On-Soaps following the speeches, hugs, and tears for his castmates to share: his thoughts on them, and his time working on the CBS Daytime sudser as Ridge #2.
Currently on B&B, Ridge may soon find himself in hot water with Brooke and Eric, due to his seemingly growing attraction now to Eric’s wife, Quinn (Rena Sofer). So, the stage is set for fireworks with stalwart Kaye smack dab in the middle of all the action.
Since our last conversation with Thorsten, daytime has mourned the loss of All My Children and One Life to Live creator, Agnes Nixon, who Kaye reveals holds a special place in his heart having played characters on both her shows, as does he fondly recall another AMC legend, the late Eileen Herlie, (Ex-Myrtle).
Self-effacing, candid, and often retrospective, here’s what Thorsten had to say about all these icons he has had the opportunity to share some screen time with, and more.
You were just in Australia last month taping episodes for B&B’s 30th anniversary celebration. How was it? I saw all the fun pictures with the cast flying Qantas!
THORSTEN: Australia was fantastic. I had never been there before and Qantas Airlines really took care of us. What a great way to fly! It’s one of those flights that you don’t want to end, because the moon is out there, the bourbon is coming, everyone is friendly. No one is pissed off. It was a pretty cool experience.
We are celebrating Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke) and John McCook (Eric), 30 years as the longest running and original cast members of B&B. What can you say about working with each of them?
THORSTEN: John is an (bleep). So, we can start there. (Laughs) Seriously, John McCook is my favorite person here, because you can sit down with him after work and have a cocktail in his room. It is nice for me, and coming from Europe where every theatre has a bar – this theatre has a bar, and it’s John’s, and not everyone is invited. He says they are all invited, but they are not. (Laughs) The thing about Kelly, to me, is she is prettier now than she was 30 years ago. I don’t even know how that happens. I saw pictures of her back then, and I am like, “yes, she is pretty.” But now, she is just this sexual being, and she is so kind, and so lovely. I think that obviously comes across in the camera.
How has it been playing the Brooke and Ridge relationship with Kelly? Has it been hard to portray that relationship for you, being you are the second Ridge?
THORSTEN: It may be hard for her. But for me, I am just showing up and hanging out with a beautiful woman. For her, she just has to pretend that this fat older guy is actually somebody she wants to be with. (Laughs) She always gives 100%, and I know that is a cliché, but it’s true. There was never a moment where I felt she wanted the old guy back (Ronn Moss). Whether she does or not, I don’t know, but she sure is up to working with me and is completely committed, and I love that.
Have you loved the opportunity to work with Rena Sofer (Quinn), or were you like “What is going on ? Quinn and Ridge making out?” (Laughs)
THORSTEN: There is a lot of, “What is going on?” still. Sometimes, I am missing the why, and you kind of have to make that up. But it’s easy to play that you fall for someone like Rena. She’s hot! But it’s hard to fall out of love with someone enough to then look somewhere else. So you have to just put that down to a character flaw.
Are you enjoying your run on B&B now that you have been here awhile?
Are you still commuting back and forth from the east coast? How is your wife OLTL’s Susan Haskell (Ex-Marty)?
THORSTEN: Yeah, I am, and that’s challenging. Unfortunately I don’t think that can last forever. I’m just too old. I can’t do it, it hurts! (Laughs) Susan is good and we miss our family time together, and every time we turn around our kids are getting older, and that’s unfortunate.
What were your thoughts on the passing of All My Children and One Life to Live creator, Agnes Nixon? Were you close with her, since you played Zach Slater for many years in Pine Valley, and before that, Patrick Thornhart of Llanview?
THORSTEN: I had a great relationship with her, and she was such a smart lady.
And of course, there was your other favorite lady, the great Eileen Herlie (Ex-Myrtle, AMC). What a wonderful on and off-screen relationship you formed with her!
THORSTEN: Ah, those are my ladies. What Eileen had and what Agnes had, and my friend Dorothy Bridges had, they had stories of a time where I should have lived. The golden time of Hollywood where actors where actors, and there was no Twitter, and no one got caught eating pizza at someone else’s house – it was just the magic of it. I miss that. I think Agnes writing, and Eileen’s ability to tell a story, and Dorothy’s storytelling, they remember that, and the glamour and the innocence of what that was. I love them. I still have Agnes’ cell phone number in my phone and I can’t erase it. I have Dorothy’s and Eileen’s numbers, too. These women understood the human condition more than anyone else. Eileen talked about an actor named Sir Laurence Olivier, and John Gielgud, and Richard Burton, and to just sit with this woman, and allow her to speak freely and speak quietly, and just listen … I miss those times in a selfish way. I just miss all of them.
If your current storyline comes to a head, can you see yourself and Mr. McCook having an on-screen showdown?
THORSTEN: I could see a showdown with John on-screen. We had others before. I don’t know if that is the basis of the story we are telling, but I would hate to not work with him. So, I would rather fight with him on-camera than not work with him at all.
So, what did you think of Thorsten’s comments and remembrances on working with Katherine Kelly Lang, John McCook, Rena Sofer, Eileen Herlie, and portraying characters in both of Agnes’ Nixon’s beloved soap operas? What do you hope happens for Ridge romantically? Should he end up with Quinn, Brooke, or someone else? Share your thoughts below!