In an absolutely fabulous interview out this morning with TV Guide, Joanna Johnson (Karen Spencer) admits publicly that she is gay and reveals that details and emotions that led her to keep her sexual identify under wraps during her many years in daytime soaps.
As many know, this week on The Bold and the Beautiful viewers and members of the Spencer family will begin to find out that Karen is a lesbian, and she has partner, too. Enter, Daytime Emmy winner, Crystal Chappell in her new role as Danielle. Here are a few riveting excerpts below from the feature!
Joanna on “officially” coming out, making her the only performer in daytime to do so publicly: “Daytime is a whole different world than primetime or theater or film. There’s a greater intimacy between the viewers and the characters. They think you are your character. And that creates a lot of fear. Fear of rejection. I was so worried I wouldn’t be employable as an actress if people knew I was a lesbian. Or that I wouldn’t be believable in romance stories. I had to deal with a lot of self-loathing. After I started playing Karen, I remember doing a fantasy scene that showed what life would have been like if Caroline had not died of cancer. She was married to Ridge and had two kids and a wonderful life. When we finished shooting, I ran to my dressing room and just cried and cried because I knew I was never going to have that kind of life. And now on B&B we’re finding out that Karen is married to this great lady Dani (Crystal Chappell) and together they have raised her daughter Caroline (Lindsey Godfrey) So times have certainly changed. I guess that’s why I’m ready to open up. It feels weird and wrong to play this revelation about Karen’s life and not talk about my own.”
Joanna’s initial thoughts when she found out that B&B’s head honcho Brad Bell was going to make the character of Karen, gay. “When Brad Bell called and pitched the story I was kind of thrown. I just said, “Oh.” And there was this very long pause. Then I said, “Where’d you get that idea?” He laughed. I laughed. And I said, “Just make sure you get me a hot wife.” And he did!
Joanna on how her working relationship is with Crystal Chappell: “She’s straight and she’s more comfortable playing gay than I am! When we first met up at the show we had to shoot some photos — vacation-type snapshots of Karen and Dani to put on the mantel — and I felt kind of nervous and awkward. I think Crystal thought I was a little crazy but when I explained that I hadn’t yet come out publicly, she got it and has been very lovely and supportive. ”
So what do you think of Joanna Johnson publicly coming out? Do you think more actors in show business should not be fearful of coming out as well? Or, do you think it would change your perception of them when watching them portray their characters on television or in film? Are you looking forward to Joanna and Crystal’s storyline kicking off this week on B&B? Let us know your thoughts!