May 22nd, 2009  |  Leave a comment

THE HEATHER TOM AND JACK WAGNER INTERVIEW- THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

heatherJackMain.jpg

-Breaking Up Is Hard To Do-

This week on The Bold and the Beautiful, Katie makes a decision about the future of her strained relationship with Nick, and it looks like it’s the beginning of the end for this duo, which over the past year has endured so much tragedy and little triumph.

Two of soaps most recognizable and respected performers, Heather Tom and Jack Wagner, brought viewers some dynamic moments as Katie and Nick, including Katie’s heart transplant and the aftermath. In fact, it was Brad Bell who chose the special episodes of Storm’s suicide and Katie’s receiving the gift of life as his choice for Outstanding Drama Series for Daytime Emmy competition. His decision paid off with a nomination.

TV SOAP sat down inside Heather Tom’s exquisitely decorated dressing room (Yes, she is an interior design consultant in her spare time) with her and her co-star, Jack Wagner, for this moving and bittersweet interview, as two top notch talents reflect on their work and the realization that they won’t be working so close anymore….or will they?

Here’s Heather and Jack!

TV SOAP:

First off, congratulations to “B&B” for getting a nomination for Outstanding Drama Series, and it’s for the Storm suicide/Katie heart transplant episodes that you two were a part of! What did you think of those shows?

transplant.jpgHEATHER:

I thought those were really amazing shows, and we took the time with it. I think Cindy Popp, who directed them did a beautiful job. Everything came together, the writing, the music and the lighting, made it a great show. I think we have a great shot this year. I think they were really emotional shows, too. Even if you don’t watch our show, they were interesting and you could get into them.

TV SOAP:

If we go back to the beginning of what drew Katie and Nick together, Jack, why do you feel Nick was so supportive of her in the first place?

JACK:

All relationships that have chemistry are about two people who don’t like each other and that’s how we started out. Our characters were a little bit at odds with each other, and because of a tragedy…in this case, a heart transplant… it drew them together. That’s where the magic started, and Nick was in a heroic position to be there for a woman who was really empty.

TV SOAP:

Then, didn’t Nick take Katie away to an Island, and isn’t that where you ‘made love’?

HEATHER:

Unbeknownst to any of us… (She laughs)

JACK:

That never happened on-screen!

sexonbeach.jpgHEATHER:

We did some flashback stuff, and honestly we had no idea. I was not playing in those scenes that we had sex, just the complete opposite of that! Then all of a sudden, Brad Bell (executive producer and head writer, “B&B”) called me one day and said, “By the way, remember when you guys went to the islands?” And I go, “Well that kind of changes everything I have been playing for the last few
months!”

JACK:

It kind of goes to show as actors, that this was “off-camera sex”. I remember Heather and I going, “What are we going to do here?” And we kind of tracked in our minds, will it work or not? And it did work. We could have been ultimately covering the fact that they had been intimate. So, that is what worked and was justifiable, but it was backwards how it happened, so we shot it out of sequence.

TV SOAP:

On “B&B” it’s known that story direction can change quickly on a dime. How did you adjust your performances?

katejacksheets.jpgHEATHER:

I am not sure it would have made any difference on how I played it, because I wouldn’t have wanted to tip my hand, no matter what. As an actor, I do give myself secrets even if they don’t have anything to do with anything, but that would have been a fun secret to have. Even though I would not have wanted to play that for the audience, I think that pretty much changed how the audience perceived it. As an actor, I would have been playing more subtext, and on this show you have to be open to all of the twists and turns. It can always go off in some new direction.

TV SOAP:

When we last spoke, Jack, you referred to Nick as “The Seed Man” because he was sleeping with and/or impregnating almost every woman on the show.

JACK:

I just show up at work and say, “Hi, will you marry me?

HEATHER:

And apparently he is very fertile!

TV SOAP:

The relationship is taking a turn now, and we are seeing the dissolution of the Katie and Jack pairing. Heather, in your words, why has Katie been acting so insecure?

breakup.jpgHEATHER:

I think Katie feels residual guilt. She did this thing to her best friend that was awful. While she loves Nick and she wants him, I think she feels its stolen goods and it’s a little tainted. He is back at work and he is working with Bridget, and she knows he still has feelings for her. I think anyone would be insecure in that situation.

JACK:

I agree with Heather. Where people agree they have crossed that boundary, and they go through the initial rush of passion these two went through, all of a sudden you are left with a dose of reality and its kind of an understanding. We did not get to play out a whole lot of drama here, and to answer that other question to make a quick turn like that, (which I think Heather is great at) is a real challenge as an actor. That’s why it’s a play a day. You can’t get ahead of yourself in this medium, and that’s the challenge

TV SOAP:

Now that “Breaking up Is Hard to Do”, do you hope these two will remain connected, or do you think they will fall by the wayside like other soap couples who pretend their past never existed?

HEATHER:

I am hopeful they can maintain some of their history, and not throw it under the bus, and try and forget that it ever happened. There were a lot of good things that came out of it.

JACK:

It’s about the commitment of the writing. Once I started working with Heather we could do anything we want. We can be funny…we can cry together….

HEATHER:

And I felt that, too.

prom.jpgJACK:

We connected as actors. We have never really talked about it, but we did not over- rehearse. We knew our lines. The beauty of working with Heather is that it is so rich and she has a gift, and it’s so unexpected. That is what is so great about working with a talented actor. It just is there, and she has it all…. comedy, drama, and passion.

HEATHER:

Also, it was easy to do with an actor you really trust. I think that was there with Jack from the start. We had mutual respect and trust, for sure. I was really excited to be working with Jack. I felt an immediate camaraderie. You have to trust that the actor you work with is going to throw the ball back at you. I never for a moment doubted that we could play
with each other and throw each other
curveballs.

JACK:

I think they will go back to this sometime in the future. Brad has a tendency to write that, but again, you never know.

TV SOAP:

What worked in the storyline?

HEATHER:

I have to say; when I read it I was hesitant about it. But, I thought the prom worked, and was really pretty. I liked a lot of our earlier material when there was a lot of nice banter and throwing the darts. Up until the “sex on the beach” thing, I thought it was going in a nice direction. We will see what happens for them in the future.

JACK:

Hers was an underlying defiance, and my character is defiant. So, when two defiant characters butt heads, which they did, and for the time he was asking her with tears in his eyes on the beach, “Please take the pills. I can’t stand to see you in pain,” out of that came their lovemaking where they finally surrendered to each other. I think that is what worked, and they challenged each other. It was fun to watch and play. And these are challenges for an actor, when you look at a script and go, “This is going to look so stupid!” Quite often on daytime, I have to say the things I thought wouldn’t work, did work!

emmys.jpgHEATHER:

I would have to agree with that, too. It’s like when I see something and go, “Are you kidding me?” And then it actually works pretty well. Even the flashbacks with the zits on my face, which I was HORRIFIED having to do, was just awful, but I thought it was just funny.

JACK:

I learned from working with her, the more she bitches and moans on set, I know it’s going to be magic! If she is bitching and moaning, it will be awesome!

TV SOAP:

Will you go to the producers with issues if there is something you don’t feel is right for the integrity of your character, or if there is something you feel completely ill at ease doing?

HEATHER:

I did take issue with the flashbacks and the pimples. Ultimately I lost, and I was wrong. They write the show and we do our jobs, and I have to trust what they write.

JACK:

Through experience, as far as acting, you get better as you get older with more life experience. For me, when something doesn’t work, I have to come in with an option. You can’t go in and just say, “This doesn’t work.” You have to go in with a “What if?” and some other idea or two. “For me…would you consider this?” I no longer do the type of thing where you would call Aaron Spelling and say this and that, and then have him say, “You know, we can find someone else to play that part!”

TV SOAP:

Heather…in a few words describe Jack?

HEATHER:

I would say he is really smart. I think that comes across at how he approaches the role and in his work, and working with the other actors. Jack is really trustworthy. The most important thing for an actor is that they are in this 110% with you. I would say he is trustworthy outside of his work, too. I would think that applies to his whole life.

TV SOAP:

Jack, tell me about working with Heather.

hugonbeach.jpgJACK:

This will be on a critical note, but positive. When Heather is unconscious, she is the best actress on a daytime. When she removes herself, she is without a doubt the most talented person on daytime television. We always have a tendency to be conscious when we work so fast, and a lot has to do with speed sometimes, but I feel so honored to have worked with her …

HEATHER:

Same here….

JACK:

She makes things fun and she makes things sad, which I like to feel everyday. I also would like to say; I did not know what episode was nominated for Drama Series for the Emmys. And so, congratulations Heather, because for her not to get nominated (and I think she should have been nominated for that performance) is a bit shocking to me. I remember that period of time. There was a block of a month where Heather had about 40 pages a day, and she had five three-page monologues. So by the end of it, I built a noose and we would walk around rehearsal with it and say, “Who’s going to work with Heather today?” and hang ourselves because all we did was listen and look. The show will probably win an Emmy, because she is awesome.

losingbaby.jpgTV SOAP:

Heather, you are always pregnant in the storyline of each soap you have been on. You have miscarried, had your baby stolen and/or switched, and I could go on. It seems like the soap gods don’t want you to have a baby and play the soap mom.

HEATHER:

I have had a baby stolen and one who died. I am childless in real life, as well. The only thing this time was I was hoping that it would go on a little longer and it would be fun if Katie was flaunting her belly, but she lost it so quickly. Rubbing the belly, “Baby wants a cupcake,” I was looking forward to that, but “No!” (She laughs)

TV SOAP:

Jack are you looking forward to the next chapter in Nick’s life?

JACK:

I always look forward to the next chapter. I embrace it. But, it’s hard not to take things personally because you really do get personal with these actors, and when they go in different directions it feels sad. I am sure Heather feels the same way. In your career you enjoy working with actors who do comedy, actors who can cry, and different storylines are fun. Some storylines are not so much fun. You embrace it and you have to learn to let it go.

TV SOAP:

What do you think about some other leading ladies on “B&B”, namely Ashley Jones (Bridget) and Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke) who are pivotal to Nick’s story?

HEATHER:

I really liked what Ashley and I were doing. At the end we seemed to have a little more bite to us. I don’t think that is going to continue because they have seemed to sanitize that out of our characters. What I love about daytime is there is a built in history. This show has been on for more than two decades, and you have that to draw on where you don’t in primetime shows. There you have to build your own history. Here at “B&B” we have our own history, let’s use it. That is what I find exciting with the other characters on the show, and with Katherine and Ashley. We try to find those places.

bridget2.jpgTV SOAP:

Nick has been a man going back and forth to different women…..

JACK:

It’s been a weird couple of years for me on the show. I thought the chemistry between Heather and Ashley was interesting, and then the way they would embrace and then go about cat fighting. I thought they brought a new youthful energy to the show.

HEATHER:

I thought all three of us were good together.

JACK:

I agree with Heather. It just did not have enough history. You go through Bridget, Brooke and Taylor on this show, and they seem to go back to that and they will go back to this because it worked. It has some fun energy. I just remember that Nick was pretending he wasn’t there when he saw two women fighting. A man always wants to get out of the room. So it was those uncomfortable feelings, as the man in those scenes, that I know worked, because I felt so uncomfortable.

TV SOAP:

Jack, who is the ultimate love of Nick’s life?

JACK:

brooke.jpgI would love to say, I knew. I would say they are heading towards Bridget being his ultimate love, but I just don’t think that is the case. I think they are going to have to get back to Brooke one day. They keep touching on it and going away. I think their super couple here is Ridge and Brooke. But, I think Nick made an impact with Brooke and every time those two touched, the storyline crossed and something happened. So,
to not get back to that some
day, the audience would be
robbed.

TV SOAP:

Recently, Don Diamont has started on “B&B” as Bill Spencer Jr. Heather, you knew him from your days together on “Y&R”. How do you think he will fit in here?

HEATHER:

I am thrilled and happy he is on the show. I think he will make a great addition to the show. I think it will be interesting to see what could happen with Bill and Katie. So, we shall see. It will be interesting now, because you have the Nick character that is the hero character, and you have Bill, who is sort of the anti-hero. So it might be dynamic!

JACK:

I have not worked with Don, but I think having any male character on this show besides me is a mistake (laughs)

heatherJackFinal.jpgTV SOAP:

And now, the most recent male casting buzz has Rick Hearst reprising his role as “Whip” Jones later in June. How do you feel about Rick coming into the fold?

JACK:

All male characters, other than Nick, are a mistake, thank you. (Laughs again)

HEATHER:

I am thrilled. I have kind of had a crush on him since his Guiding Light days.

TV SOAP:

I could see “Whip” and Katie together, easily. I want to suggest it.

HEATHER:

Yeah, I have already written the email, but apparently he won’t be whipping it out for Katie anytime soon. But you never know!

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