Winsor Harmon is set to reprise the role of B&B’s Thorne, a role he has played on and off since 1996, beginning on Tuesday, December 5.
His comeback began with a simple text. “I was actually sitting on the couch and my phone dinged,” the actor recounts. “It was B&B asking, ‘Hey, Winsor, what is your availability for working?’ It just came out of left field and was the last thing that I was expecting, so it was quite a surprise. I said, ‘My availability for B&B has always been available.’ ”
Harmon made an appearance last year, but for a dream sequence. “It was [about] Brooke and her men, which was great to be a part of,” he says. “I have to say, it was a lot of fun. Kelly [Katherine Kelly Lang, Brooke] was great and it was great to see Jack [Wagner, ex-Nick] and John [McCook, Eric], Don [Diamont, Bill] and Thorsten [Kaye, Ridge]. We really haven’t worked that much together, but I have to say we had some really nice scenes and it felt very comfortable, like we have been brothers forever. I like working with Thorsten; I’m a fan of his.”
Harmon agreed to come back despite not knowing what the story would be about. “They didn’t tell me anything,” he explains. “[But] it was great timing for me because I was set to do an independent film, which just completely fell apart with the writers’ strike. I had really been looking forward to doing this movie. It was going to be about a five-month shoot and the writers’ strike just killed it, so the B&B gig was just a perfect timing thing, where it was like one door closes and then all of a sudden another one opens.”
The film project falling though wasn’t the only work-related disappointment Harmon has experienced in recent years. “The Covid [production shutdown] cost me a pilot for a sitcom,” he reveals. “It was shooting in Florida and I booked it but because of the Covid situation, they would not even allow me to be on set. I had to quarantine for seven days, I think it was, and the producer said, ‘We don’t have that much time. We gotta get this thing shot.’ So they used someone else. A sitcom was something I’ve always wanted to do because I love comedy. When I was on B&B, I used to have some pretty good one-liners that I thought were fun, but I never got to really explore comedy and it’s something I’ve always loved.”
Stepping back into the hectic production pace at B&B was “scary”, Harmon confesses. “When I got the shooting schedule and [saw] what we were shooting, I was like, ‘Holy mackerel, really?’ I was nervous about being able to retain all of this information — getting on set, getting your blocking, knowing your cues when there’s a bunch of people in the scene. I was used to doing three pages a day for the last six years and you just forget how grueling the daytime schedule is. I mean, it’s by far the hardest medium out there. So when I got the first seven scripts and was looking at all of them, I was like, ‘My God.’ But you just gotta take your MCT brain octane fuel oil and start studying [laughs].”
Since Harmon now resides in the Santa Barbara area, he also had to contend with a long commute. “With the early call times, my day started at 3 a.m.,” he shares. “I had an hour and 30 minute drive to the studio and that’s without traffic. I would leave every morning around 4:00 and get there about 5:30, 30 minutes before my call time. The drive in was nice, because I’m a morning person anyway, so it gave me time to think about the day and the scenes and stuff like that. The hardest part was the drive home. It can take two hours and 20 minutes to get home every day. The afternoon commute is always a nightmare, but it was worth it.”
When the actor stepped back onto the B&B set, it affirmed for him that he’d made the right decision. “It was great because I walked straight into makeup and there were some new faces but [makeup artist] Christine Lai was still there and so were the guys in the control room, and of course seeing Kelly and the actors, there was no anxiety or anything like that. It wasn’t like going to a new show and being there for the first time and feeling nervous. I fell right back into it and it was great seeing [Supervising Producer] Ed Scott again. I’ve always loved working with Ed.”
Harmon hopes Thorne might stick around this time, noting, “We’ll see how the audience reacts and I think things will start popping in Brad’s [Bell, executive producer/head writer] head and he’ll start writing for Thorne again.”
For a refresher on Thorne’s comings and goings through the years, click here.
Life Is But A Dream: Harmon’s Thorne popped up in Brooke’s (Katherine Kelly Lang) dream last year.