May 27th, 2008  |  Leave a comment

THE HEATHER TOM INTERVIEW – THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

HeatherTom.jpgBy Michael Fairman

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TV SOAP:
Were you surprised at your nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress?

HEATHER:
I was very surprised.  I really wasn’t expecting to be nominated this year.  I had some good material towards the end of the year.  I am excited, and I think it will be a really fun night, and I was grateful for the nomination.

TV SOAP:
What scenes did you submit for Emmy judging?

HEATHER:
I had scenes in the jail cell with Patrick Duffy (Ex-Stephen), where I say to him, “I am sorry for accusing you of shooting Stephanie.”  And the other scene was from the show before that, when Katie was very emotional with her dad.

TV SOAP:
You have been nominated many times!

HEATHER:
A lot!  This is my 12th nomination, which is fun.  But, I have only won twice.  So, I have lost a whole lot. (She laughs)

TV SOAP:
How did you decide, or settle on what tapes or performances to submit?

HEATHER:
I think it was not terribly difficult for me this year, because I knew the one show with Patrick would be the tape I would submit.  It was just the two of us in a room.   I thought it was well written and I loved working with him.  I thought it was some of the best work I had done.  The other show was more difficult, because the story was not about my character.  So, I was part of it, but more supporting.  But, as we all know, being in the supporting category does not mean anything. (She laughs)  I had three scenes at the top of the show, and in the rest of it I was in the background.  I thought it was kind of deadly.

TV SOAP:
So much has been written and rumored about this year, that many judges did not bother to watch all the DVD of the performances of the pre-nominated actors and actresses, and that it was a popularity vote.

HEATHER:
My feeling about it is: if people get the DVD’s in their homes and they are watching them, I don’t know how much I buy into the whole popularity thing.  Also, I don’t know how anybody is going to sit through some of this.  I was on the Emmy committee in New York, and was a big advocate with doing away with the two-show reel.  I think you should be able to pick scenes from any show and show a range of the work one does over the past year. You are supposed to be judged on what you did over the whole year.   I have four scenes on my tape where I don’t do anything.  So, I thought I did not have a chance in hell! (She laughs)

TV SOAP:
Were you judging an acting category this year?

HEATHER:
I volunteered to judge and wanted to judge, but I was told I was not needed.  Well, what does that mean?  I thought OK, they picked someone else to judge a category that may or may not have the same sensibility.  I don’t know if there is a perfect system, and trying to find out what’s fair.  I sat on the committee before.  I have a big mouth, and I like to put my two-cents in, and they patted me on the head.   But hey, I don’t have the biggest track record with winning an Emmy, so you may not want to listen to me.  (She laughs)

TV SOAP:
Where were you when you found out you were nominated?

HEATHER:
I actually was on a hike with my dogs, and did not have my phone on.  I did not find out until I walked into the make-up room at “B&B,” and everybody was saying “Congratulations”.

TV SOAP:
What do you think of the other gals nominated in your category?

HEATHER:
I have to be honest.  I thought from “B&B”, Jennifer Gareis’s (Donna) work this year and last year has been great.  It’s the best work I have ever seen her do.  I look at Gina Tognoni (Dinah, “GL”) and I think she is a fantastic actress.   I think every time she works she is great.  I look at Tracey Bregman (Lauren, “Y&R), and she has a great body of work.   Every year there is someone who gets robbed of a nomination, too.

TV SOAP:
Now the rules have changed this year.  There is no second round of voting and no second round of having to submit other episodes of your work.  The winner is already known, correct?

HEATHER:
That’s right!   Now, you submit your shows and the winner is already figured out.   So, the person with the highest votes was already established as the winner and will be announced on June 20th.

TV SOAP:
Now, let’s talk about the tragic heart transplant story of your character, Katie, and the suicide of her brother, Storm.  Did you have any idea this was coming up?

HEATHER:
I had no idea.  William deVry (Ex-Storm) told me it was going to happen.   Honestly, I was very afraid of this story.  At the same time, I said I was going to trust Brad, and it is going to be written in a certain way.  They are going to have two very strong viewpoints on the suicide situation.  I think they did a really good job with that.

TV SOAP:
So, your biggest concern is the topic of suicide and justifying it to help someone you love?

HEATHER:
The suicide part was my biggest concern, because it was not like he just died.  He committed suicide.  I think it’s a tough topic to deal with, and to deal with it in a responsible way.  I actually think the thing I’m most proud about is that they have given these characters very strong viewpoints on the subject.  The Donna character thinks it’s a gift and a sacrifice.  That’s within her character, and still a valid point of view.  And the fact that the Katie character would say, “I don’t know how anyone can call anyone a hero for doing this to themselves!”  That’s very much in her character.   I think they have made it so there are defensible viewpoints, because you don’t know how you would react to something as horrific as this.  There is nothing pretty or happy about something like this.

TV SOAP:
Another part of the issue is, that sometimes people feel suicide is their only answer.

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HEATHER:
One of my girlfriends’ brother committed suicide, and you are never really the same after that.   I think at “B&B” it’s a little different, because Katie and Storm had more of a father/daughter relationship than a sibling relationship.  Perhaps it could be justified that a father might consider doing this for his child.  The biggest thing I wanted was to make sure this was not something that we glorified.   I think making it a martyr-type situation is a dangerous place to go.  I am glad they gave Katie a strong angle; “Not only are you alive, but you caused the situation and your brother killed himself because of you.”   I ‘m glad she is going to have a very tough time with it.   Normally, I can go home and shake a story off and live my life, but I would come home from these days of taping and just go to bed. Back to Katie, I think it is changing her.  I think they have allowed that to be played, and it allowed it to be ugly and unresolved.  The story does not get tied up with a neat little bow.  I think that’s kind of nice and interesting. Hopefully, people want to watch it.

TV SOAP:
What did you think about the sudden departure or firing (as rumored) of William deVry?

HEATHER:
I don’t think it had anything to do with William, whatsoever.  It was storyline-dictated, and I hate losing someone like him, because he was very talented.  He brought a lot to the show.  I can’t second-guess why they do what they do.  I think people were upset and people talked to Brad Bell (exec. prod. and head writer, “B&B”) about it.  I think Brad had an idea of what he wanted to do, and how he wanted to play this story.  He wanted it to be somewhat controversial.  This was the most difficult storyline I have had to play, and for me, that’s saying something! (She laughs) It was very difficult, but we all knew as the actors, we had to step up to the plate, and we have.   I think Katherine Kelly Lang’s (Brooke) work has been gorgeous!   I think everyone did an amazing job, from the way it was directed and lighted, and with the special effects.

TV SOAP:
What do you think is next for Katie?  Heating up a love triangle?

HEATHER:
Honestly, there is a lot going on.  They are playing out the Nick/Bridget/Katie triangle.

TV SOAP:
Do you think the relationship will work out in her favor?

HEATHER:
I love working with both of those actors… Jack Wagner (Nick) and Ashley Jones (Bridget).   I have an interesting chemistry with Ashley as two females on the show, and I think it’s an interesting dynamic with the three of us.  So, I like the way they are going with it.  I am waiting to see how they are going to develop it.  I think with Katie’s new heart, I would like to see more spontaneity from her.  She always holds herself back.   She is always guarded and very careful, and very pragmatic.  Maybe this is the opportunity for her to jump in and be more impulsive.  Getting the new heart somehow gives her a new lease on life, but it’s a process.   It’s not going to happen over night.  She thinks, “I have this one life and what am I going to do with it?”

TV SOAP:
You have been busy working to support US Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

HEATHER:
I have been on the road for Hilary Clinton and have been campaigning for her in Texas, California, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.  I am very optimistic.  I believe the best democratic nominee is Hilary Clinton.  I am a Democrat and I will vote for that candidate, but experience matters to me.  With the mess that we have here in the US, we need someone who can get things done and who understands how the system works.   I don’t want someone who is on a learning curve.  I think Barack is a great speaker and very smart.  One day he will make a great President, but I think not now.

TV SOAP:
You always have one of the most beautiful dresses on the red carpet at the Emmys.
What is the process you go through to decide on the chosen “one”?

HEATHER:
I am actually flying right now to New York to meet with someone to select my Emmy dress.  I have a woman in New York who helped me out last year.  She goes to all the fashion shows and picks out all the couture dresses, and has them on loan.  I will see a variety of designer dresses before making my final choice.

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