It’s a big week for CBS’ The Bold and the Beautifu1! On Friday, January 23rd, the show will air a very special original retrospective featuring the cast and notables to honor the series 7,000th episode milestone! But before that on Thursday, January 22nd, long-running series star Katherine Kelly Lang returns as Brooke after three months away from the canvas. In story, Brooke left for Milan … and in real life Katherine ventured to Italy during her hiatus from the soap to appear as a celebrity contestant on the Italian version of the hit ballroom dancing competition series, Dancing with the Stars.
On-Air On-Soaps caught up with Katherine last week at CBS at the dedication ceremonies of Stage 31, which is now known as the Bradley P. Bell studio, and as B&B marked the occasion of their 7,000th episode achievement. Katherine shared her thoughts on this important event in the history of the series, what she hopes will happen when Brooke returns on-screen and becomes fully engulfed in story, and we discuss the way that she was treated, or shall we say mistreated, at the hands of the judges of DWTS Italy, something that the savvy KKL fans have been following on social media, right along with us.
Always one to give a 110% percent in all of her endeavors on-screen or off, we’re glad to have Katherine back with us on the CBS Daytime drama to see what will befall Brooke next! Here’s what she shared during our conversation below.
7,000 episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful … and your boss Brad Bell’s (executive producer, and head writer) speech was so touching as he addressed the cast, crew, his family, the press, the network, and those in attendance. Were you choked up like the rest of us?
KATHERINE: During Brad’s speech I started to tear up when he was talking about his father Bill Bell having the stage across the way dedicated to him, and now he has one across from him at CBS for The Bold and the Beautiful. Brad was so cute and emotional and usually he doesn’t let himself get like that … it was a nice speech! And the speeches from his wife Colleen Bell, and Angelica McDaniel (CBS Entertainment Senior Vice-President Daytime) were great as well. It was a beautiful moment for Brad and for our show.
You and John McCook (Eric) have been here the longest, and from the very beginning! How does that feel knowing the show in which you have been with since the start has reached this milestone, and you have been such an integral part of its success?
KATHERINE: It’s nice and feels good, and I like it! I have to pat myself on the back for that. (Laughs) It’s been a long time, but it doesn’t feel like it, or that has it has been forever. However, when you say 28 years that’s a long time. But, it’s really exciting to be a part of it, and the show keeps getting better and better.
So, when did you start working back on B&B after your return from Italy?
KATHERINE: I started back to work two weeks before Christmas.
Once this whole situation with the judges went down on Dancing with the Stars Italy, where you were treated so appallingly, were you just ready to come back and just jump right back into work on B&B?
KATHERINE: Oh, yeah! I was so ready to come back. I didn’t understand why they would want to bring an internationally known actress, and a star that they love over there and then … just demolish her. It’s a reality show, and I get that. But I have to say, it felt inhumane the way they were treating me, and not just on the stage, but within some parts of the production. Everybody who worked on it was very nice though such as: the VIP’s, and the dancers and their partners. They were all terrific.
I saw video clips where you would have this earpiece on, and they were translating to you what the judges were saying in English. And there was the injured leg incident, which the judges had a field day with, and slammed you for it!
KATHERINE: Yes. They ignored the injured leg. I had talked to the producer and she said, “Don’t worry. We will take care of your leg. We will play it up and the judges will feel bad for you, and they will understand and give you a little break.” I said, “OK, because I really don’t want to push it and tear it more.” Then she said, “Well, just go get a cortisone shot.” She wanted me to do that so I don’t feel it, or feel the pain when I dance. And I am thinking, “Why would I not want to feel it, and then I end up tearing my leg, and I would wind up having to have surgery?” So I said to her, “I am not getting a shot.”
Did they understand that you are very athletic in real life? You do ride horses, and are a triathlete.
KATHERINE: I said, “I do Iron Man races! This has never happened to me. It’s you guys, and the way your are doing business here, and the production.” Many people were injured during the course of the show. One guy got injured and had to pull out. I tried to pull out, but couldn’t because of the contract. I was concerned. I am athlete, and I truly did not want to injure myself further. I am still frustrated by the whole experience. I was eliminated, but then had to come back in and train on a Monday to learn a whole new dance to get back in. And even if you are eliminated, you are still dancing every week to get back in, and then when you get back in, you are competing against people who have been in the competition the whole time, and their dances are just getting better and better. I just couldn’t move my leg very well, and I would favor it. Then, I got back in and got disqualified again! Then, once myself and others were out of the competition completely, we then had to still learn group dances. So, I was still practicing 3 to 5 hours a day. It was crazy for three months. So, I couldn’t wait to get home.
It seemed the judges were gunning for you from the start, but that also seems part of how they do the Italian version of DWTS, which is very different than the American version.
KATHERINE: It started on my very first dance, and then I hurt my leg, and the judges almost got worse. They didn’t bring up my leg, and so I had to bring it up, and then when I brought it up, it was like, “Well, she is trying to play the sympathy card!” No, I really tore my leg! Let me show you my leg muscle! (Laughs)
What were the Italian fans reaction to you and what happened on DWTS?
KATHERINE: They were so upset. They said, “Please don’t let this show be a reflection on the Italian people and what Italy really is, because we know you love Italy, and we hope this doesn’t spoil your feelings about Italy.” And honestly, it did. When I got back to the United States, I said, “I don’t want to go back.” But now, I am suppose to go back to do a movie this month! (Laughs) So for that, I will go back! (Laughs) You know the nice part of being in Italy during Dancing with the Stars was that I got some alone time with my boyfriend Dom (Dominique Zoida), and my daughter Zoey, who is living in London. She would come over to Italy on weekends to visit, and that was so nice.
In your absence on B&B, the characters have been shaken up quite a bit, and the canvas has changed somewhat.
KATHERINE: I think things like that are great, and help break things up so we don’t get stuck in a pattern. When Brooke went off the canvas, it allowed other people to sort of switch around, and they could tell different stories. By the time I came back, everything was all turned upside down and different (laughs), but that is good! I thought it was great, because it also helps my character go in a different direction, because I also felt that Brooke was spinning her wheels.
Coming up, do you think viewers can expect big story ahead for Brooke?
KATHERINE: I think so! Brad Bell has been announcing that he has something in the works for Brooke that is the biggest and the best stuff for the character ever. I am like, “Bring it on!” I am excited and I can’t wait. I hope it’s something crazy, or different, or something I have never done before, instead of bouncing back and forth over a man. I mean, that can be a secondary story for Brooke, but I want her to have her own story that is not about a man – the man can be somewhere down the line. I mean like, down the line! (Laughs)
What did you submit for the Daytime Emmy Pre-Noms this year? Was it when Brooke got drunk and talked to the portrait of Stephanie at the Forrester mansion and admitted, that yes, she was just, “A slut from the valley”? (Laughs)
KATHERINE: I did. I submitted that scene and the one before it where I am talking to Bill (Don Diamont) about how Katie (Heather Tom) was with Ridge (Thorsten Kaye), and Brooke was very upset by that. Then, I had the scenes where I was drinking the wine, and then she goes over to the Forresters, and then she gets drunk drinking the vodka. So, it’s from that scene to that scene where Brooke passes out on the floor.
Maybe, Brad will make Brooke an alcoholic!
KATHERINE: I would love it, and I think it would be fun to play. It’s tricky too as an actor to play that. Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki, Y&R) plays that very good. My favorite show is Shameless and William H. Macy is so good as a drunk! When talking about that, he says, “I don’t do anything, I just do it.” But watching people like that does help inspire you. My fear with that is that you do have to sort of overact to make it work, but you still have to make it seem natural.
Do you think when it gets back to Brooke and a man, do you think it should be … Brooke and Bill? Brooke and Ridge …or … Brooke and someone new?
KATHERINE: I think she should be alone for awhile. I hope she doesn’t have to play those feelings, and say, “Screw men! Forget it … they are not worth it!” (Laughs)
So B&B fans, looking forward to Brooke’s return? What do you hope is her next big storyline that you think would be exciting and different? Will you be watching B&B’s 7,000 episode celebration? And, what did you think about the way Katherine was treated on DWTS Italy? Comment below!