March 2nd, 2012  |  Leave a comment

The Heather Tom and Don Diamont Interview – The Bold and the Beautiful

Photo Credit: Kathie Hutchins

The Bold and the Beautiful’s Dollar Bill Spencer had certainly taken things way too far in the past, and has made some very questionable and unethical decisions when it comes to family, relationships and business.  But, this most recent power play took the cake!  In an attempt to keep his son Liam married to his former flame, Steffy, he cunningly made sure a fraudulent diagnosis was made about Steffy’s medical condition after her injury in Cabo!  However, Bill’s wife Katie got wind of the deception and was willing to blow Bill’s deceit sky-high, except he took drastic measures to make sure the info wouldn’t come out.  So what’s a hubby to do?  Lock his wife up in a tower!

On-Air On-Soaps caught up with two of your favorite daytime performers, who you first came to know on The Young and the Restless, and then fell in love with all over again in their more recent roles on B&B.  Heather Tom (Katie) and Don Diamont (Bill) sat down with us to talk about the complexities of playing their feisty on-screen romance, and clued us in if Steffy would indeed be the ultimate spoiler in their relationship… or, could it be something else that could eventually tear them apart?

There is no doubt after talking with them, that as far as Heather and Don are concerned, they are having the time of their lives, and both concur that they have the best scene-partner anyone could ask for.  So read below as we go inside the minds of the explosive Spencer clan with the Daytime Emmy Award-winning actress, and one of soaps all-time heartthrobs!

MICHAEL:

B&B fans were in for a shock when Bill decided to lock up his own wife. It was sort of a twisted house arrest when he kept her prisoner in a tower to keep her from revealing his deception!  Female viewers of the show have always loved Katie, because she tells it like it is.   But what happened here?  She seemed to go right back to Bill after being in lock-down? (Laughs)

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

HEATHER:

I hope I am empowering women, except you’re right, she always goes right back to him!  I think that is the part of it … that these two have always had this push and pull and the appeal of that.  And even though it is stroking his ego, what is she going to do?  Go date the bus boy?  She is ruined, done!  (Laughs)  Honestly, she understands who she married. And it has never been about Katie “walking out”.  It was not about that.  It was to alter his behavior in some way.  I just feel like it’s going to take a lot for her to walk away from this relationship, but that does not mean she isn’t going to call him on his crap.

DON:

She knew full well who she married when she married him!  It’s like the ying and yang of who this guy is, and all that he is, that is so attractive.  There is the flip side of that where he is a very challenging personality, and she is going to try to manage that, and she loves him!  And, he loves her!

HEATHER:

There is a part of me after this whole tower incident that was concerned, because after it was all done, like five minutes later, we were having sex and everything was cool! (Laughs) So, hopefully viewers will catch the show where it is more about, “What can I do?  I love him!”  I have said this.  And, it’s more of, “What are you doing?  Do you really think Liam is going to be cool with this?”  It’s saving him from himself.  Hopefully, I can maintain that moral strength without looking like a doormat.

DON:

I think she has done that and shown enormous strength.

Photo Credit: Kathie Hutchins

MICHAEL:

What about Steffy?  Doesn’t Bill still carry a torch for her?

DON:

That is a different kind of love.  In Steffy, as I have always said, Bill sees a reflection of himself and there is nothing Bill likes more than himself.  It’s that kind of attraction. Steffy feeds his ego and some his behavior as well.  Katie is the voice of reason and his conscience, and the angel.  She appeals to the goodness in Bill.

MICHAEL:

When you initially saw the scripts that had Bill imprisoning his own wife in the tower, what went through your minds?

DON:

I think initially when I heard about it I was concerned, because throwing her in the tower you walk a fine line with Bill Spencer, and anything that smacks of physical abuse or domestic battery.  He is not redeemable at that point and so we have to stay away from that.  So we called Brad Bell (executive producer and head writer, B&B) who then said, “No Don.  It’s going to be romantic and hot, and it’s going to be great.”  (Laughs)  Then the script came and did say, “Bill grabs Katie by the arm…”  So, we worked all that out to make it all more Harlequin Romance than OJ Simpson! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Heather, did you have reservations on playing the material?

HEATHER:

We are always very conscience of going right up to the line without crossing it.  I think that’s what Brad wanted.  We still wanted it to be fun, even though it was heightened drama.  We wanted it to be fun to watch and I think it was. There were some light and humorous moments in the midst of the crazy drama, like throwing me over his shoulder and then he has a speech where there is just my butt   …

Courtesy/CBS

DON:

…  I am talking to her ass … (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Viewers did not know till the next episode where Bill exactly took her!  He just threw her over his shoulder and whisked her away… somewhere!

HEATHER:

Right, and we actually got to shoot at Brad Bell’s house, which is beautiful and gorgeous, and that is always fun.

DON:

My back was out to where I could barely stand.  I wanted to moon Heather, which I did, but I started to laugh and it dropped me to the floor!

HEATHER:

With his pants down around his ankles …

DON:

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

… Then, idiot that I am, I got myself back up to do it again and I started to laugh again and it dropped me to the ground again!   You can see on the air shows when I come out of the house to chase her, you can see I am walking a little weird.  I could not stand straight and could barely walk!

MICHAEL:

What does Katie think now of Steffy?  Where is she at with that?

HEATHER:

I think Katie realizes that Steffy did not have anything to do with this one particular incident. (Laughs)  Listen, Steffy and Katie are never going to be friends, and she is never going to want Steffy in her life.  She is more than willing to have Steffy out of Liam’s life, and that is her ultimate agenda.  Ultimately it may back fire on her.

MICHAEL:

Sides are clearly drawn between Bill and Katie of where they see Liam and Steffy’s relationship!  How can Bill be OK with his son being with Steffy instead of himself?

DON:

We went through Katie’s heart problems, and it made Bill keenly aware of Katie and how good she is for him.  Certainly Steffy marrying his son makes her off limits to Bill.  So that is helpful.  Bill actually believes Steffy has the attributes to compensate for Liam’s weaknesses … the woman behind the man.

MICHAEL:

And Katie wants Hope with Liam, because Steffy is so appalling?

HEATHER:

Courtesy/CBS

Yes, but I also believe Katie believes that Liam and Hope are meant for each other.

MICHAEL:

Since you have known each other since Y&R, when the two of you knew you were going to be paired romantically on the show, were you nervous?

DON:

I remember the first time watching Heather on camera and going, “Wow. What a gifted kid!”   I also thought she was wonderful.

MICHAEL:

So, there was no trepidation that you would be playing on-screen lovers?

DON:

No.  In fact, they looked at doing it with us as Brad and Victoria.  Then when Heather left, I did that story with Amelia Heinle (the current Victoria, Y&R)!   So when I was coming to B&B, I don’t know if Brad Bell had any idea who he would pair me with, because initially it was going to be Donna, played by Jennifer Gareis.

HEATHER:

I was campaigning for it.  Jeanne Cooper, (Katherine, Y&R) was being honored by AFTRA and Adrienne Frantz told me that night that Don was coming to B&B!  So at the dinner I texted Brad, “Put me with Don!”  And I don’t know if that made any difference really or not…

DON:

Courtesy/CBS

Well as my story moved along, I saw that it looked like they were moving towards Bill and Katie, and I was so happy.  There is nobody I would prefer to work with than Heather.

MICHAEL:

We hope this will be a couple that will last and not break every ten seconds, like many couples on B&B!

HEATHER:

In B&B terms, we have been married for 25 years! (Laughs)

DON:

I think Brad does feel that way, and I know he likes Bill and Katie.

HEATHER:

I think its more interesting to try to struggle to be together.  Who knows whether they succeed or not, but in my opinion it is more interesting to watch the struggle and the fight than having them just cut and run at the first sign of trouble.

DON:

They are great real couple and it works in a visceral way!

HEATHER:

I also like that they have kept us together as long as they have.  I like the fact we don’t implode, then get back together, then implode.  I think if and when we do break up it’s going to have to be something really big, and the stakes are going to have to be really high. That is a more exciting path to be on than this circular pattern of getting married, divorced, and getting married, and divorced.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

MICHAEL:

When you saw Heather do her outstanding work in the more recent heart storyline, what did you think?  It must have been amazing to be a part of those scenes and to watch her work in those?

DON:

I know what is coming with her!  When I watch the air shows I can be a viewer at that point, and it’s different than being in the scene.  She is brilliant, I will say that.

HEATHER:

I have to say likewise for Don.  He has been given some amazing material and he has just taken this material and run with it.  It’s such a testament to who he is as a person and an actor.  He has defined this character that is very unique and is a force!  I can’t imagine working with anyone else!

DON:

And it’s a testament to Brad also that he gave me the outline of who this guy was   He gave me the leeway to flesh him out and make him who he is.   I don’t know if this is exactly what he saw. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Bill and Katie have really become very integral to the show and now there are even  more Spencers being added to the mix!

HEATHER:

I like that they are building the Spencer family.  Now the niece is coming on the show, and anything that fleshes out the Spencer family is a really good thing.

DON:

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

It’s my take and my belief, and I have built this in the subtext of Bill, it is that we have talked about Bill Sr., and the abandonment issues and the contentious relationship between them, and how that has affected him, but what we have not addressed what is at the heart of Bill’s womanizing nature and objectification of women into his forties!  Katie kind of reels him back in, but his tendency is to be dismissive and objectifying. Generally, with that type of guy, it’s a mother issue.  I have that story in my head of what she was like, and what made Bill angry, and a womanizer, and also where that anger that lives in him comes from.   I think that is important to flesh Bill out even further, and that will also, of course, give Katie insight into Bill, at least on camera that we have not addressed.  I think Katie has brought it up, but Bill has just shot it down.

MICHAEL:

If Bill cheated on Katie with Steffy would she actually leave him?

HEATHER:

I think that would be the bottom line, but you never know.  It might be interesting to watch someone battle back from that.  A lot of couples battle back from that, but I think it would be more interesting to watch them do that and fail than wipe out the marriage.

MICHAEL:

Ditto, Don?

DON:

I think somewhere in the back of her mind from the beginning Katie has thought, “This is going to be at times absolutely hellish, but I am not going to walk away.”

HEATHER:

Courtesy/CBS

She does not want to try to corral him, and for him to not be who he is.  She likes that he is a powerful, strong man.  She does not want him to be some whipped pansy.  That is not who she married.

DON:

Early on when I was on the show and Bill had scenes with Donna, a concierge came to the door and gave him something.  As she left the scene, and I put this in, I bend down, because she was kind of a cute girl.  I just watched her go, and that is not who he is anymore.  The Steffy pull is different than that.  Bill is not just “a dog” anymore.  That has changed.   He is not a dog, and he is not looking to get laid, and compromise their relationship over a piece of ass.  I think Katie is secure in that.

HEATHER:

Steffy just pushes every button she has, and every insecurity. That is just the way it is.  I like that dynamic.  I like when they play it and I miss it when they don’t have it on.  I think it’s fun to play and it’s fun to watch.

MICHAEL:

What would you say about working with Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy) and Scott Clifton (Liam)?

HEATHER:

I love the Spencers!  I love working with Jacqui, and the chemistry works both ways.  It works with chemistry between a man and woman sexually on a soap, and it also works between rivals.  I think we have really good chemistry together.  We go head to head and both of us try to win our points.  One person does not always have to be right and one person does not have to be wrong.  I think that one person does not have to be the winner.  I think as far as Scott Clifton goes, I think he is wonderful and a wonderful part of the Spencer clan.  When all of us are in scenes together, you know the ball is never going to get dropped.  It’s a great group.

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

DON:

The growth in Jacqui from two years ago when I started on this show is fantastic!  I would not have known two years ago if Jacqui would have had the chops.  She did the bitchy stuff really well, but the subtleties and the emotional stuff…

HEATHER:

… Lately, she just comes from such a place of pain and you just know it.  She is amazing.

DON:

It’s great!  That is why she can get away with being that bitch now, because you see the vulnerability in her.  It used to be, “I’m just bitchy.”  Now that she is bringing out that emotional depth to it, it’s taken it to a whole new place, because you cannot work opposite of Heather and not bring that to the table.  If you don’t bring that to the table you are chewed out and spit out, and it never works.  Jacqui’s growth has been astronomical over the last few years, and that is what made it work. As far as Scott, he is so great.  He makes great choices, and he has great clarity of who his character is. The dynamics between father and son and the contrast works.  The chemistry we had from day one was all very real. That is what I like so much about the Spencers.

MICHAEL:

They are one soap opera family that is never boring!

HEATHER:

We are not nice!

MICHAEL:

People don’t want to see nice on television!

Photo Creditl: Kathie Hutchins

HEATHER:

We are not nice, but we are not despicable.  I think there is somewhere between nice and despicable.  I think that is where we live, and I like that.

MICHAEL:

Don, if you were to tell me three words to describe working with Heather, what would they be?

DON:

She is funny.  She is together. She is gifted.

MICHAEL:

Heather your turn, three words or so to describe working with Don.

HEATHER:

I was going to say funny, too.  I think the one thing I admire is his loyalty to his family, and how much he is a family man and a father.  So, I would say, loyalty.  I would also say talented.  I feel we got so lucky with his character and what he has done here. I was at a point before he came on the show where I was like, “I don’t know where they are going with Katie.”   I truly believe the reason I am on the canvas is because he is here.

MICHAEL:

Heather won last years’ Outstanding Supporting Actress at the Daytime Emmys.  Scott Clifton won last year’s Outstanding Younger Actor at the Daytime Emmys, and, B&B won for Outstanding Dramatic Series.  Don, were you kind of thrilled that your show and your acting partners won some of the top prizes?

DON:

Courtesy/CBS

Let me tell you something, when I was fired the day after thanksgiving after 21 years on Y&R that was such a huge and traumatic and painful situation.  Then when Brad created this new character and told me right off the bat, “I really have high hopes for this character,” I felt this pressure.  It was like, “Whew! I got a job!  Great!” Then it was; “Now I got to make this character and bring this guy to life that Brad envisioned, or with within 13 or 26 weeks I could be moving on again!”  So having said that, Brad gave me the opportunity, and he won his Emmy.  And what I told him was; the year I started on Y&R your dad, Bill Bell Sr., won the Emmy.  The year I started with you, you are going to win the Emmy.  So you are going to win the Emmy and I will take credit for that one. (Laughs)  Of course, I am being tongue-and-cheek.  So we won and Brad yelled to me, “You are my lucky charm” as we are leaving the stage.   So I don’t know if I ever won an Emmy, if I would feel more elation than I did for him on that night, because the opportunity his father gave me in the mid-80’s was tremendous.  I lost my dad and my brother very early on during my time with the show, and Bill Sr. was very paternal with me.  That was not necessarily difficult, but it struck something in Bill and we had a beautiful relationship all those years.  Then Brad gave me this opportunity.  I fully understood that “Wow, what huge shoes to fill!  To be the son and take over the legacy!”  Brad’s dad has all those Emmys up in his office, and so just to get one it had to mean so much to him.  I really got that.  It was no different seeing Heather win, even though she has been nominated a thousand times before and won.  I said to Heather, “You are going to win.” I completely believed that and I completely believed Scott Clifton was going to win.   I also said, “If she doesn’t win, I want to see what does win”. I was elated and it was incredibly gratifying that that she won having been Mrs. Bill Spencer, and then Scott being my on-screen son.

MICHAEL:

Speaking of the Daytime Emmys, this year new voting rules have been instigated to try to level out the voting process and make it more fair with the actors having to submit only a short two-minute reel as an example of their work to get a pre-nomination.  Was it hard for you to find a two-minute gem, and what do you think of this new process?

HEATHER:

Oh Gosh!  It was horrible for me to have to find a two-minute reel.   I second-guess.  I sleep on it and I wake up the next day and I go, “No!”   So it was awful.  I think the new concept of voting may be an improvement.  I decided to put myself in Lead Actress because I said, “What the hell!”  What I will say is, I watched all the Supporting Actress clips, and Gina Tognoni (Kelly, OLTL) submitted a two minute thing that was unfreakin’ believable!  I would not have not seen that scene if it wasn’t for this voting process.  I would know Gina is a great actress, and I have always known that and she has done great work, but I would not have necessarily seen that and gone, “Wow”!   There is something to it.  But then you think, “Are you really going to be judged on 2 minutes of your work?”   We will have to see how this all works itself out.

Photo Credit: Kathie Hutchins

DON:

I am in lead actor category for consideration, and it was not hard for me to choose my scene.  I don’t know what the right system is, because again, I have never been nominated.   And this takes you back to the way the pre-nominations were previously with the show nominating the actors, because those people know your body of work through the year.  I also see where that can create a popularity contest, because if you are not liked, you won’t get in.  As Heather will tell you, I have never been known for shaking hands and kissing babies.  Would that come into play, maybe?  I think it can’t hurt if you are well known, and if you have relationships with people.  That is why politicians walk around and stop in cities doing what they do.  Having said that, I don’t know what voting system for the Emmys is perfect, and this one does at least says, “Ok. I am not familiar with this persons work, so let me see them.”  I think as in my case, people may know I play the cock-sure Bill Spencer on B&B, but they have not seen the work.  So this gives them an opportunity to check it out and perhaps change their perception on an actor and their performances.  If I got nominated this year, absolutely then, this is the best system ever! (Laughs)

 

 

 

  1. So_Superflous says:

    I’m interested to see how the Spencer’s come into there own as a family unit with Karen and Caroline coming in. I Love Bill and Katie but still want more of Steffy/Bill/Katie to kinda going their love.

    Reply

  2. BETTYEJ says:

    After reading the first thing that HT said was enough for me. I see why the males run over these weak women on this show. Because they let them.

    Reply

  3. Leah says:

    I’m a Bill and Steffy can myself, but I really enjoy this interview. Two phenomenal actors!

    Reply

    Leah replied

    Ugh! I meant “fan” not “can” haha

    Reply

  4. sandy says:

    I think Bill and Steffy have better dynamics, i love HT but they make the women in this show so weak, unfortuneatly, they have written Katie that way too…

    Reply

  5. Mandy says:

    Thanks! Love Bill and Katie! Don and Heather seem so down to earth have fantastic chemistry. “Batie” are definitely my favorite B&B pairing and I love reading that Brad Bell loves Batie as much as I do <3

    Reply

  6. Sheila E. Hollingsworth says:

    I love Katie & Bill together, they are sooo goodlooking!!!!! He needs to stay true to Katie cause she can give him all he needs, what else could he ask for! I get sooooo mad at Liam & Steffy & Hope, why do they need to TELL everyone their business, just do it then they can know AFTER the fact!!!!!!! Love B&B hope it doesn’t go off the TV like others did.

    Reply

  7. Mitchell says:

    Bill and Katie are by far my favorite daytime couple! What a delightful interview! Don and Heather have done a great job making me believe two such opposite characters can make a perfect couple. The fact that Bill and Katie are so different makes the couple more appealing.

    Reply

  8. Giulia says:

    They’re are horrible together and KILL is the worst couple of daytime

    Reply

    Toni D replied

    I agree! Not only has their chemistry DIED and NEVER been resuscitated, they represent the WORST kind of relationship! I’ve loved Heather Tom since Victoria Newman on Y&R, but COME ON! She comes across like a PATHETIC, WHINY DOORMAT! She complains that her husband does ALL this stuff then she turns around and FORGIVES HIM?! REALLY?! THIS is what a STRONG woman does… when a man puts his EX before at EVERY GIVEN OPPORTUNITY, but it’s not surprising that he shows her no loyalty since she shows him NONE!! She is who she accused Steffy of being when she was hassling her through the blood clot fiasco! A PATHETIC woman hanging onto a man who doesn’t love her!! PUH-LEASE!!
    It would be one thing if she was DOING something to work on rebuilding what SHE initially helped BREAK when she kept running away when he would heel–I mean do what she thought he should! SHE SAID IT–she thinks she’s supposed to be saving him from himself!! Look at the “blood cot” situation, a REAL woman would have WALKED on him or if she STAYED, proven her loyalty by NOT telling on her husband… If I married to a man like that–which could ONLY happen if I was a soap character cuz I’d have beat that A$$ a LONG time ago and taken him for ALL he was worth–I would NEVER have STAYED with ANY man who could do that to ME… BUT if I DID STAY there is NO WAY I’d give him and his secrets up!! Loyalty to spouse… WHERE IS THE CLEAVING?! It’s like a game for her to see if she can keep her marriage AND get her neice a WIN against Steffy even AFTER she sabotaged his relationship between him and his son!! WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH HER?! She’s TWISTED!! Not as twisted as $Bill, but it’s expected with him cuz he always WAS… Katie’s just another HOgan family HYPOCRITE trying to play the golddigger game better than that SKEEVY big sister of hers!! I’m SICK of the HOgan Half Hour and am ONLY holding out for the Stephanies, and $Bill who at least are ENTERTAINING in their soapy insamnity!! HOPEFULLY, the NEW Caroline Spencer is NOT like the LOWgans just cuz she’s blonde!! Or it’ll be just ONE MORE REASON to fast forward… or skip the episode altogether!! Will Bell EVER get over his LOWgan obsession and show some BALANCE!!

    Reply

  9. Joanna says:

    I love Bill and Katie. They are such a powerful couple. They have the best chemistry and romance! I want to see more of them. They need more airtime and a new story! Great interview! Thank you Michael Fairman.

    Reply

  10. allison says:

    I love bill and steffy they are the best couple on the shower

    Reply

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