January 3rd, 2013  |  Leave a comment

The Heather Tom Interview – The Bold and the Beautiful

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

To say that 2012 was a whirlwind of a year for The Bold and the Beautiful’s Heather Tom would be putting it mildly.  In June, Heather won her first Daytime Emmy in the Outstanding Lead Actress category for her work as Katie Logan Spencer.  Tom had previously won in the Supporting and Younger Actress categories, making her the first performer in Daytime Emmy history to win the gold in all three major acting fields.

Then in October, Heather and her husband James Achor became parents of their first child together, a son, Zane Alexander.  And in addition to that, Heather and James have been developing a new home renovation television series that is soon to have its debut.  But while all of that was going on in Heather’s personal life, there was crisis after crisis for her on-screen alter-ego on B&B!

Katie developed a severe case of post-partum depression after giving birth to baby Will!  So much so, that she took off and abandoned her husband Bill (Don Diamont) and could not care for her newborn baby!  Meanwhile, while Katie walked away from all her responsibilities, Bill was getting too close for comfort with Katie’s big sis, Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang)!  From there, things really took a turn following the death of Brooke’s closest friend, Stephanie (Susan Flannery).  You see, through grief and a growing attraction to Bill, the duo kissed, which will now play havoc on Katie’s life, especially since Katie just returned home to her married life after conquering her baby blues!

On-Air On-Soaps caught up with Heather Tom to fill us in on all the baby news, and developments in her real life and her fictional life, and to get a preview of what is to come as the storyline heats up in 2013 between Katie, Bill, and Brooke!

MICHAEL:

Heather, as we are sitting here with you, you are wearing a bathrobe, having just been on set doing some sex scenes in lingerie!  It’s kind of shocking that you are already doing love scenes so soon after returning to B&B after just giving birth in real life!  Wouldn’t you say?

HEATHER:

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

I can’t remember the last time I had to wear lingerie on a soap.  And honestly, this is bizarrely mean to do to a new mother! (Laughs)  I did not think Brad Bell (EP and head writer, B&B) was this vindictive, but clearly he is!  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Clearly, you must have pissed Brad off somehow! (Laughs)

HEATHER:

It was only six weeks ago that I had my baby.  Apparently, I have another one coming up after our holiday break.  I have three weeks to lose fifteen pounds!  I am convinced ten of them are in my boobs!  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

On-air we saw Katie bolt from her relationship with Bill and go on the run, and sort of become MIA.  Was that storyline set up to facilitate your maternity leave?

HEATHER:

No, I was still pregnant.  Actually, it was only ten days from the time I gave birth till the time I came back to work at B&B.  They gave me a week off because I thought my due date was October 15th, but as we all know that does not mean anything.  I actually did not give birth till October 28th, so I was a week and half late.  I was home at that point, going, “Please God. Let this happen soon.”   The show actually took another dark week because I gave birth on a Sunday.  I was supposed to go back on Tuesday and I said, “Well, that is not going to happen.” 

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

How was it for you at the time, as an expectant mother in real life having to play a very dark emotional story of post-partum depression?  Was it difficult?

HEATHER:

No, if anything it was the complete opposite.  I treated it like a catharsis.  I was already so hormonal.  So I thought, “Well, I will just go to work and cry all day long, and then I will feel better when I get home.  So, it actually worked out pretty well.  I also kind of feel, and I don’t know if this is my own projection, but I kind of feel like I got it out of my system, because I have not had any baby blues.  From what I know from my friends, every woman I know has had some form of hormonal depression afterward.  It would be anything from: “I feel a little bit depressed,” to “I can’t get out of bed.”  I really haven’t had anything.  I was very concerned about that as I am a hormonal person and an emotional person.  Maybe, I just got it out of my system here on set.

MICHAEL:

The scenes where Katie would look at the room she was in and see it as filthy dirty, and crooked and haunting, was almost too much to take for the audience.  We all could only imagine how it was for you to play those scenes, being a mom-to-be in real life!

HEATHER:

I am just glad that I did not have to do any pushing scenes, and that Katie had a C-section!  I am glad that it wasn’t a story where Katie did not like her baby, or love her baby.  It was that Katie loved her baby so much that is why she had to do this.  I think that would have been harder to play that I don’t want him.  I have had friends on other shows where they have to play storylines like that, or play upset that they are pregnant.  I remember One Life to Live’s Kassie DePaiva (Blair) when she was pregnant with her son J.Q.   In the storyline, she had to play and say, “I don’t want to be pregnant.”  That would have been a lot harder to play than what I ended up playing.

MICHAEL:

To clarify: what you were playing as Katie that started all the craziness? The audience saw that Katie had her heart condition and literally died from it, but came back from that and survived!  Was then Katie’s overwhelming concern that she would not be there for her child?

HEATHER:

Courtesy/CBS

The main thing was that Katie was convinced that she was going to drop dead at any minute, and that was in combination with what she had just gone through where she “died”, and then the C-Section.  The hormonal changes you go through while you are pregnant are something that I cannot even describe, and on top of that she had major surgery, and then dying.  She had all these pretty traumatic things happen one after the other.  Katie was then so messed up emotionally and hormonally.  I think that is where it came from where she thought, “I can’t bond with him.  Because if I bond with him, I am going to end up leaving him and it’s going to be horrible for him.  So I am doing this for him.”  It’s a twisted logic, but it made sense to her.

MICHAEL:

Did Katie really believe Taylor (Hunter Tylo) had her best interest at heart?  Every time Taylor would open her mouth it seemed like bad psychiatry that she perpetrated on a fragile patient!

HEATHER:

I think at this point, she does.  Taylor keeps telling Katie things which will give her a heart attack! (Laughs)  She has had three heart attacks, and then Taylor goes, “By the way …” (Laughs) Taylor is a terrible therapist! (Laughs)  Taylor then basically breaks patient confidentiality with Steffy, and then blurts out to Kate that Bill and Brooke kissed!

MICHAEL:

Did Katie believe Taylor when she informed her that Bill and Brooke kissed?

HEATHER:

I think she didn’t believe Taylor, but then Katie goes and confronts Bill and Brooke about it, and they don’t hide it from her.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

When you, Don Diamont, and Katherine Kelly Lang found out the storyline, where it would now be a Brooke/Bill/Katie triangle, were you concerned that the integrity of your characters would be blown to smithereens?

HEATHER:

I loved what they did!  I think it kept the integrity of the characters in tact, because it was such a crazy situation, and because it was Katie’s impetus.  She was kind of manipulating the situation, and so they kind of have plausible deniability.  I actually wished they had gone further and really solidified them as a couple, and then had her come back.  But I think the storyline got so depressing.  They were like, “Let’s wrap up this. We can’t take this anymore with Katie rolling around on the floor!” (Laughs)  I am hoping that if they continue, they will continue very slowly and have the story make sense.  I think the things that Katie is still going through does make sense, and it would cause friction between Bill and Katie.  Brooke can be there without being the aggressor to keep her integrity in tact.  So that way, if the marriage breaks up, it’s something that happens, not something that is pursued on Brooke’s end.

MICHAEL:

When Brooke and Bill arrived back on the scene together after Stephanie’s passing, there was Katie with baby Will in her hands, excitedly waiting to see her hubby.  Katie was so over-bubbly … and even, dare we say, annoying!  Were those scenes hard to play?

HEATHER:

I was kind of playing her kind of manic at that point!  Now it was like the pendulum struck the other way and she took her happy pill and was like, “Hello! I’m here!”  It was a little over the top.  I think we can make a case of being a little maniacal at that point.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

Armed with the knowledge of Bill and Brooke’s kiss, Katie confronts her husband and her sister on the lip-lock!

HEATHER:

Yes. They tell her pretty much that it won’t happen again, which means it will happen sooner rather than later.  Although it hasn’t happened again, yet, so I don’t know.  Katie and Bill are going to continue to have issues.  Having a child has changed her and changed her priorities, and I understand this.  She married this man who is this daredevil guy who lives life on the edge, but she is now dealing with, “OK. We have a child.  I don’t want to raise a child by myself.  My time is limited by the nature of my medical condition.  I don’t want my kid not to have parents.  So I want you to be here, but changes may need to be made to our lifestyle.”  We will see how that all plays out.

MICHAEL:

Your former long time acting partner on The Young and the Restless, Scott Reeves, just got let go on General Hospital.   Many are saying, including Daytime Confidential’s Wishful Casting suggestion, that they would love Scott to come on to The Bold and the Beautiful as Taylor’s bad seed brother, Zach Hamilton! What would you think of that?

HEATHER:

That would be awesome!  I would love that!  I would be all for that.  I think it’s time for Katie to start having other avenues, rather than Bill always being the one to have other avenues.  That’s just my thoughts.  But, I have not talked to Brad Bell about that yet. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

It’s Daytime Emmy submission time here in the U.S to be considered for the 40th annual honors.  You are the defending champion for the Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series category!

HEATHER:

I can’t believe it!  I have no idea what to submit.  I honestly have just started watching the episodes of the post-partum storyline.  That is my stuff for this year, so we will see.

MICHAEL:

How did you come to choose the name “Zane Alexander” for your real life little bundle of joy? 

HEATHER:

Before I knew I was having a boy, I dreamed it and I woke up and his name was Zane.  I liked that.  It kind of turned out that my husband James’ grandfather’s favorite author is Zane Grey, and he grew up outside of Zanesville, Ohio!

MICHAEL:

Now wait a minute! When you played Kelly Cramer on One Life to Live, wasn’t the name of your child, Zane? 

HEATHER:

Yes, and I forgot about that!  Maybe it was some subconscious thing, but James can never know about this! (Laughs)  Yes, it is true.  Zane was the name of Kelly’s last child on One Life to Live.  I think I blocked it out because fans were telling me my baby’s name was Zane, and I would go, “No, No. My last baby was Ace!”  And they would go, “No … the last baby!”   I was so pissed off at that time the way they were writing my character out that I totally forgot about it.  Now it’s embarrassing that I named my child after a soap character.  Again, James can never know! (Laughs) When we shot that in New York, that was my last day at work on One Life, where Kelly named the baby, and that was right before she and the baby Zane moved to London.  As far as my baby’s middle name, Alexander is James’ middle name and he wanted to use that.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

How is your husband James with your new baby?

HEATHER:

He has been better than I would have ever dreamed.  I fall in love with him more and more every day, because he is so good with the baby, and eager to be involved.  James is really hands on, and more so than I ever thought he would be.  It’s awesome and great!

MICHAEL:

What has thus far been the best and worst part of motherhood?

HEATHER:

The best part is that Zane is smiling right now.  Every day he becomes more alert and he is very into everything.  I don’t think I will ever get bored with that.  The worst part was we had a traumatic birth, where he had fluid in his lungs and he had to be in an incubator for five days.  It was not something that was really dangerous.  But of course, as mother, you don’t know that at the beginning.  The doctors told me, on a scale of 1 to 10, we are at a 2.  It was the most stressful five days of my life.  I do not want to go through anything like that again.  It was just horrible.

MICHAEL:

When you think of your dreams and hopes for Zane, what are they?

HEATHER:

Oh gosh.  I think if I can instill a work ethic in him, then I will have done my job.  I think that will help him in all aspects of his life… in his relationships at work, friendships, and otherwise.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Danya Morrison/Shandrew PR

So what happens if teenaged Zane comes to you and James as says, “Mom and Dad, I want to be an actor!?”

HEATHER:

And then …. I kill myself! (Laughs)  Or, if he says, “I want to play a guitar for a living!” James is a musician!  Honestly, it’s all bad. (Laughs)  We are totally screwed on all levels.  Hopefully, he will rebel and say, “I want to be an accountant!”  A doctor would be awesome! (Laughs) Or, I am hoping he will rebel and go, “I am a science nerd” That is what I am hoping!

MICHAEL:

James and you have been working for quite some time on a new home renovation series that will show off your collective interior design prowess!  Any news on when fans can expect to see it?

HEATHER:

The tentative airdate is April 13th on HGTV.  We just finished doing pick-ups for all six episodes.  They are cutting it together now and it’s called Renovation Unscripted.  This is what I did while I was pregnant! (Laughs) It was a ridiculous amount of work, but I think for the viewers it’s going to be super fun to watch.  I am very excited of the projects we did.  I think it’s some of the best work James and I have ever done in terms of home renovation.  The transformation’s you will see were pretty awesome, and James and I were able to do what we wanted to do with the spaces, which was great!

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

What is your New Year’s Resolution for 2013?

HEATHER:

Yes.  I make the same one every year, which is: “No Parking Tickets!”  I did really well the first part of 2012, and then really blew it the last part of the year.  I have spent many thousands of dollars in the past on parking tickets.  But, what I will say, the new automated meter with the credit card makes it a lot easier to not get tickets, because I never had change.  I mean, who carries around change? (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Since you were at the tail end of your pregnancy, were you able to come to B&B to say goodbye to Susan Flannery as she exited the series?

HEATHER:

I wasn’t.  I was there her last shooting day, but I was not there for the big farewell party day on set.  I should have gone, but I was thinking, “Oh no.  I can’t go.  I am going to have a baby and be in labor.”  I also should have gone to Scott Clifton’s (Liam) wedding! I was basically at home screaming at my tummy going, “When are you coming out? (Laughs)  I think as far as Susan Flannery leaving, that is something she wanted to do. Susan will be sorely missed, but I think her presence is felt whether she is actually here physically.  I am sure she is not going to sit around and do nothing!

Courtesy/CBS

MICHAEL:

In closing, what should viewers be on high alert for coming up for Katie in the coming months?

HEATHER:

That is a good question.  I don’t think she is going to be an emotional mess.  I think she and Bill are going to have some issues.  Being a mother and going through childbirth has had a profound change on her that I don’t think is out of the norm.  But, I think it’s going to throw a wrench into things when it comes to her relationship with Bill.

  1. IVEL says:

    What an awesome actress and her smile is beautiful. I have been watching Heather since she was Victoria on the Y&R. To go back to work so soon, is amazing.
    Great interview!

    Reply

  2. Judith says:

    I first became aware of Heather Tom when she played Victoria Newman on Y&R, and her enormous talent was very evident. When she became Katie Logan on B&B, I marveled at how she was so flexible, and not even a tiny bit of Victoria came thru’ in her performance of Katie. No matter with whom she shares a scene, Heather is the one whose ability shines.

    Reply

    Christine replied

    That’s a really nice thing to say, Judith, and I agree.

    I always love when an actor can move from role to role and not resemble the previous character. That is the mark of a true actor and Heather is one of them.

    Reply

  3. Edwina babb says:

    Liked very much. Would like a little more of what might be coming up especially with Hope and Liam.

    Reply

  4. Christine says:

    “I also kind of feel, and I don’t know if this is my own projection, but I kind of feel like I got it out of my system, because I have not had any baby blues. From what I know from my friends, every woman I know has had some form of hormonal depression afterward. It would be anything from: “I feel a little bit depressed,” to “I can’t get out of bed.” I really haven’t had anything. I was very concerned about that as I am a hormonal person and an emotional person. Maybe, I just got it out of my system here on set.”

    First I want to say that I LOVED this interview. Becoming a mom in 2009 and then again in 2011, I can relate to everything that Heather has. I wanted to comment on her quote above in case this gets back to Heather or any other mom who feels the same. I NEVER had any baby blues or anything like it through either of my pregnancies nor anything all the while I was postpartum. I am a terribly hormonal person to the fact that I believe I am estrogen dominant due to the migraines I get. I was very surprised that I did not have some sort of hormonal problem after giving birth, but I was just elated at being a mom and that my boys were healthy. I may cry at the drop of a hat, but I guess I was otherwise hormonally normal after giving birth. My sister-in-law did have the baby blues with her baby for about a week but she also had trouble with her milk coming in too.

    I really feel for any new mom who suffers with post-partum depression and I applaud Heather for tackling that storyline … while she was pregnant no less. What a task to be given.

    Thank you again, Michael, for a great and very honest interview.

    Reply

  5. Beacon says:

    She’ll always be Victoria Newman. It’s as simple as that.

    Reply

  6. TnT 2.0 Forever says:

    Great interview! Thanks Michael!

    Reply

  7. Joanna Maria says:

    Thank you Michael, fantastic interview. I love Heathet Tom. She is amazing woman and actress. I am waiting for her next Emmy. All the best to her and her family.

    Reply

  8. Scott (ATWT Fan) says:

    Excellent interview, Michael! Loved hearing Heather’s thoughts on Katie’s depression. I always felt like they should have written Katie out when she gave birth to Will, and then brought her back when she had finally given birth. But we wouldn’t have gotten beautiful acting from Heather during Katie’s PPD. It’s pure Emmy Gold!

    As for Scott Reeves joining as Taylor’s brother and potential love interest for Katie, I think that would be really interesting to see. I’d love to see that happen! We got our Brad/Victoria re-pairing, now we can get our Victoria/Ryan re-pairing. It’d be interesting.

    Reply

  9. Pamela B. Tutt says:

    Hi Heather~
    Congratulations on your new baby he is so yummy! I miss you on Young and the Restless and thought you’d be Victor Newmans daughter FOREVER! But anyway I loved you on Y&R but I like you on B&B . I just wish that the writers would have let Hope enjoy and relish in what Steffy stole from her. I am so angry that the writers couldn’t let her (Hope) be happy she is so genuine and she deserves it. When no one else paid Liam any mind when he came to town as Bill’s son Hope welcomed him to town and made him feel welcome only to have him end up with the likes of Steffy………..I hate to watch now :( Is your real life baby playing Katies baby on the set???????

    Reply

  10. Diane Mraz says:

    Hi! Heather!
    I enjoyed watching you on the Young and the Restless; and I enjoy watching you on the Bold and the Beautiful. You are a fantastic actress; and you seem so down to earth. I wish you all the best. Take Care.

    Reply

  11. Dorothy Ferguson says:

    Hi Heather , enjoy watching you perform as Victoria on Y&R and now follow you as Katy. congratulations on your big win.

    Reply

  12. Eliza says:

    Heather Tom is an amazing actress and I finally found a place to say it!!!

    Reply

  13. Diana Bayardo says:

    Is Katie Logan’s baby on bold and beautiful her baby in real life??
    He really looks like her and anxious to know if he is. He is so adorable.

    Reply

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