An Age Old Tale

On January 14, Robin McGraw, the wife of Phil McGraw (both r.), who hosts the popular syndicated talk show DR. PHIL, will guest-star on BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL. Here, she discusses her first soap role, as well as her new book, What’s Age Got To Do With It?Soap Opera Digest: Are you playing yourself or a fictional character?

Robin McGraw: I am playing myself. I’ve never had so much fun. This is my first time of doing anything like this on a scripted show. I’ve done RACHAEL RAY and THE VIEW and those kinds of things, but this is my first on something like this.

Digest: Did you have to memorize lines?

McGraw: Yes, and I have never seen a script before until they sent one to me. They’ve written very closely to exactly how I feel, so I’m very happy to say the lines and be talking about my book on the show.

Digest: Tell us about your book.

McGraw: What’s Age Got To Do With It? is really my story about what I’ve done to take care of myself, and I’ve brought in a panel of experts for each chapter, such as What’s Fitness Got To Do With It?, What’s Skin Care Got To With It?, What’s Hormones Got To Do With It? They’re experts I believe in because I used them for myself.

Digest: Does that mean you’ll reveal how many candles were on your last birthday cake?

McGraw: On the cover of the book, I’m sitting on a 55, which is my age. That speaks volumes about my message and truly how I feel.

Digest: Why are you so truthful about a touchy subject?

McGraw: I’ve never had an age bother me. I loved my 20s, I met my husband and had my first son, but I wouldn’t go back there. I loved my 30s, when I had my second son, my 40s were phenomenal and my 50s are even better. I’ve actually had more fun with each passing birthday. So I wouldn’t go back a day. I’ve gone through menopause and raising my children, but I still feel like I felt when I was 35.

Digest: What got you on this health kick?

McGraw: I had a real big push toward taking care of myself when my mother passed away suddenly at the age of 58. I was only 32 years old and talking to her on the telephone and she said, “I feel funny.” When I asked, “What do you mean funny?”, she was already dead. No warning. I still get chilled about that because I can remember it like it was yesterday. She raised me and my four other siblings and took great care of my father, but she never took care of herself. She always put herself last. She didn’t go to the doctor, she didn’t have check-ups and here she died of a heart attack at 58. She deserves to be here, still enjoying her life and I decided I’m going to be here as long as I can. I wish I had been on her case more about that but I’ve learned from it.

Digest: How did this B&B gig come about?

McGraw: I had a meeting with my publisher a couple of months ago about launching my book and someone on my team said, “You should be on a soap opera.” That made so much sense because a lot of women watch the show and I think they can relate. My publisher put the word out and B&B said, “Absolutely. Come do it.” Everyone here’s been so kind and sweet and welcoming.

Digest: What kind of scene was written for you?

McGraw: I’m thrilled to have a scene with Jackie Marone. Jackie is paying the bill at Café Russe and I’m walking out and she says, “Robin McGraw!” So it’s obvious that we’ve known each other for years. She asks what I’ve been doing to take care of myself because I look so energetic. Then I get a chance to say something I’m passionate about.

Digest: Is your husband’s name invoked at all?

McGraw: No, it’s not! I was shocked! I really expected Jackie to at least ask, “Well, how’s Phillip?” but she doesn’t.

Digest: Are you really a longtime fan of the show?

McGraw: Oh, yes! When my youngest son was in preschool, I would pick him up, then come home and watch B&B. I don’t get to watch it that much anymore because we’re so busy, but I tuned in last week and got caught up on Ridge and Brooke. I can’t believe they’re still together! I met Katherine Kelly Lang [Brooke] out in the hall and she looks like she could be 20 years old! She’s beautiful.

Digest: Are you wearing your own clothes or something from the B&B wardrobe department?

McGraw: I’m wearing my clothes. I came here wearing this and brought a dress for the scene, but they told to stay in what I’m wearing. I understand that leather pencil skirts are in right now [laughs].

Digest: Did you have your hair and makeup done by the B&B staff?

McGraw: No, I did my own. I have done my own hair, makeup and wardrobe everyday for the DR. PHIL show. There’s someone to do touching up, but I do everything at home.

Digest: Will any of your B&B experience be shown on the DR. PHIL show?

McGraw: There are camera crews from the DR. PHIL show and also ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, so they’re going to show the footage of Robin being behind the scenes on B&B.

Digest: What does your husband think about your foray into soap acting?

McGraw: He’s really proud. When we first moved here, he had a role playing himself on FRASIER. He said, “You’re going to have a ball.” He was running lines with me the other night. He played Jackie and I played myself.

Digest: Did he diss you when you watched soaps all those years ago?

McGraw: No, never. I can remember when he got the call from Oprah and started a relationship with her because of that trial, he told me he needed to start watching her show. He works during the day so I got him watching OPRAH because I had already been watching her show and the soaps while I was raising the kids.

Digest: Would you recommend to your husband to show up on a soap?

McGraw: Oh, yeah. They have family issues on soaps all the time. Who better than Dr. Phil to come in to help?

Digest: Would you come back for another appearance?

McGraw: I already said, “Hey, I’ll come back tomorrow if you want me!” Maybe my next book will be, My Life As A Soap Actress [laughs]!”

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