For the upcoming Forrester Creations/Jackie M fashion show duel on August 12, 13 and 14, Melissa Rivers (daughter of caustic comedienne Joan Rivers), Alan Thicke and Jim J. Bullock will serve as celebrity judges. While Rivers will be playing herself, the other two actors are reprising characters who have already appeared on B&B (Thicke as talk show host Rich Ginger and Bullock as flamboyant event planner Sergei.) Digest chatted with all three following a day of shooting that was much shorter than the day before, when the cast didn’t leave until almost midnight! Melissa Rivers
How was your experience?
“It was fun and everybody was nice. I’ve never worked on a soap before and it is a very different animal for sure.”
Have you ever watched soaps before?
“Oh, here and there.”
How did this gig come about?
“They just called and said, ‘Do you want to do it?’ I was available for the two days they needed me so, why not?”
You had quite the long day yesterday.
“It was a long, long day, but I’m so used to weird hours during awards season. On the Academy Awards weekend, I don’t sleep until Monday night, so for me, weird hours are just part of the deal.”
Any surprises about working on a soap?
“The only thing is they don’t have craft services. There’s just a snack area. After I was in hair and makeup, I said, ‘Okay, I’m going to run to craft services,’ and they said, ‘Ooh… we don’t have that.’ I called my mom and said, ‘They don’t have craft services,’ and she’s like ‘What?!’ So that’s the only thing I had to wrap my head around. It’s not that I mind going and getting my own food, but I’m just used to having food around. I can usually make a week of meals from the craft services table. I can horde some of that stuff for my dressing room too. I grew up eating from craft service tables.”
What does your mom think about you working on a soap?
“She hopes it leads to a full-time job.”
Would you come back to soaps for a longer stay?
“If someone wanted to give me a part in daytime and I could do it, absolutely. For someone who has a family, it would be a great job.”
Do you like playing yourself?
“I would’ve loved to play someone else but I do a lot of cameos and a lot of other shows so I get it. It’s sort of part of being a part of pop culture.”Alan Thicke
What’s it like being back as Rich Ginger?
“I like it. I’ve actually worked in this building for a long time. I wrote for Glen Cambell‘s show around 1973. It was my first network gig in this country. The building hasn’t changed that much. The commissary is still in the same place.”
Were the long hours yesterday grueling for you?
“Yesterday was like Apocalypse Now, there was so much going on. The director and the crew had their hands full but it was easy for us.We sat most of the day and listened to Jim J. Bullock. He had us in stitches all day. It was a lot of fun.”
Do you like your character?
“I do like him. I haven’t seen enough of his life to know where he’s going and what his strengths and weaknesses are, but he seems to be vulnerable to things that make him very interesting.”
Would you come back?
“Are you kidding? Sure. The [fictional talk show format] worked for Garry Shandling. There’s obviously a lot of stuff that could go on around Rich’s set. We used to say years ago that nobody cares about [the behind the scenes of] show business and that is such b.s. now. The reality shows have made everything so familiar and we’re all attuned with what television can do.”
Does Alan Thicke care about fashion?
“I’m not as vain as I should be. A lot of times I see myself in a picture on a red carpet and I think, ‘Why do I look like that? I should’ve cut the hair.’ I can’t say that I’m a clothes horse but I do know when I look good in a picture or if I want to turn the page.”Jim J. Bullock
Were you surprised when B&B called?
“Oh, God, yeah! The last time I was here was in 2005.”
How did your return engagement go this time?
“I had more fun. I felt more comfortable and more secure and more accepted and more liked. This feels like a second date. When they asked me back, I thought, ‘Oh, they like me!’ ”
How did you fare with the long shoot yesterday?
“It was so much fun! It was definitely a long day but we had a great time. We were all laughing.”
Did you get to that point where you’re so tired that everything is funny?
“Yes, and you start seeing ponies. But everything was fine because there were no divas or bad attitudes and the three of us got along great.”
Have you worked with Melissa or Alan before?
“We all have a history together. I’ve been in the business for 30 years so you end up working with everybody. I worked with Melissa on HOLLYWOOD SQUARES and I was on Alan’s talk show, THICKE OF THE NIGHT, plus we’ve done charity events together over the years.”
Would you come back to B&B?
“Oh, sure, but I think the three of us made a terrific team. They should bring us all three back together. We could be a Greek chorus.”