B&B’s Darin Brooks (Wyatt) And Katrina Bowden (Flo) Dish About On-Screen Love, Off-Screen Double Dates And What Not To Eat Before A Love Scene
Soap Opera Digest: We know you met during Katrina’s audition process. What were your first impressions of the other?
Darin Brooks: Did I read with you in the room beforehand?
Katrina Bowden: Yeah, we read together in passing first and then went in to the producers.
Brooks: Right, which was great because I always like to run it with people beforehand because the audition process is always so nerve-wracking. I just wanted to make sure everybody was good with as many of the actresses as possible. There was one girl I didn’t get to read with but right away when I met Katrina, I thought she was a terrific actress. She was making choices that were great. I had a good feeling about it. Then, when we read for Brad [Bell, executive producer/head writer], she blew it away. She had the perfect essence for the character. She really captured the sweetness of this girl but there was a ballsiness to this character, too. She was throwing it back at me, which was fun. I enjoyed it.
Bowden: It was super-fun. Darin was so disarming and nice. Sometimes doing a chemistry read with another actor can be a little intimidating, but I felt comfortable with him right off the bat.
Digest: Since they have a past together, it was necessary for your characters to have an instant chemistry. Did you feel it then or was it something that you built over time?
Bowden: I liked him as soon as I met him. He was very easy to talk to and really welcoming. We became friends pretty quickly, so I think that helped make the chemistry you see on-screen better and come alive.
Brooks: Yeah, I think there was something there right away, and then getting to know each other over the past several months, yeah, I think it all helps. She’s super-open to talking about the scene and the characters and what’s going on between them. I think that’s a testament to her talent, as well. I think we come from good training and good backgrounds.
Digest: Do you socialize outside the
Bowden: Yeah, we go out on double dates all the time. I’ve become really good friends with Darin’s wife, Kelly [Kruger Brooks, ex-Mackenzie, Y&R], and Darin and my husband, Ben [Jorgensen], have become friends, too. So, we see each other outside of work a lot.
Brooks: Yeah, we’ve had several sushi double dates, which is great because who doesn’t like sushi? And we’re glad that we found two other people that love sushi as much as we do. Ben has actually helped us out with some photography, too. Ben does amazing photography work. He’s got a great eye, so he has helped us out with some shots for the baby and stuff.
Digest: Katrina, did Darin have any advice for you about doing your first daytime soap?
Bowden: Oh, yeah. Darin gave me most of the advice I received. He took it upon himself to take me under his wing and show me the ropes and make sure that I understood everything, because there is a bit of a learning curve if you haven’t done it before. He just made it so much easier. He made me feel comfortable in this new environment when I really didn’t know what anything was or how it ran or what to expect, so it was really helpful to have Darin there pointing me in the right direction and introducing me to everyone.
Digest: Darin, what did you stress to Katrina in the beginning?
Brooks: Just about the amount that we shoot. That’s something that people can get overwhelmed with, especially with a new character. I said that to Denise [Richards, Shauna], too, when she started. I said, “You’re going to have some days that are easy and some days that are going to be a lot of pages in one day.” I try to preface everybody with that information and tell them to just take it once scene at a time and we’ll keep truckin’ and we’ll get it done.
Bowden: Darin does a really good job of making sure that we all run lines and we get that time to rehearse, which I feel is super-important.
Brooks: Yeah, especially with the amount of stuff we do.
Digest: Speaking of Denise, how do you both like working with her?
Bowden: Well, Darin knew her already from another project and I just love her. She’s awesome. She’s so cool. She’s so down-to-earth. She’s so iconic so I wasn’t sure what to expect but I couldn’t be happier. I’m super-happy she’s with us.
Brooks: Denise and I go back to our BMS [BLUE MOUNTAIN STATE, 2010-11] days and it’s so fun to see her and work with her again. We haven’t had many scenes together, though. When she first started, we had a couple of scenes but I wish we could work more together. Obviously, she and Katrina have the mother/daughter relationship so they have more stuff together but yeah, the scenes I had with her so far, she’s always great and she’s super-fun.
Digest: When “Watie” split for “Wally”, some fans were happy, others not so much. What’s been the fan response to this new pairing?
Brooks: It’s a mixed bag. I have been through this before. Everybody will start to like a couple and sometimes it changes, but that’s a soap opera. It’s constantly moving and it ebbs and it flows, pardon the pun. It’s always something different. There are fans who love the Sally/Wyatt characters together and they’ve been pretty vocal but there are a lot of Flo and Wyatt fans out there. I don’t know if we have a name yet. “Flyatt”? “Wo”? “Wyo”? I don’t know … I hope it’s not “Flatt”!
Digest: Do you watch your scenes when they air and talk about them afterward?
Bowden: We haven’t really. I mean, I mostly watch them for my own personal, critical analysis that I do with myself. Or, I see if there’s something I can improve or if I think something works, but we don’t really go back and harp on it.
Brooks: I think we’re moving so fast that it’s hard to sit and critique it. I do the same thing. I love watching the show and seeing how I can improve and how I can make it better, but do we discuss it? Not really. I think we discuss more of what we’re going to shoot and what we’re planning on doing and hope for the best.
Digest: How was filming that first love scene?
Bowden: I’m just happy that my first one on the show was with Darin because he just makes me feel so comfortable. He’s so charming. It’s always awkward, but it felt less awkward.
Bowden: And also, Darin and I both come from acting backgrounds where we’ve done a lot of different things. We’ve done prime-time and films, and I have had so many uncomfortable, awkward scenes in my career that at this point, it doesn’t really faze me much anymore. Is that how you feel, too?
Brooks: Yeah! With a soap, it’s more technical. Like, okay, we have to move here and do this and move that body part there and keep this arm there, otherwise you’ll see this. There was a lot of that going on.
Bowden (laughs): Yes.
Brooks: I mean, I always make sure everybody is as comfortable as possible. I don’t want anybody to ever feel weird. I’ve heard horror stories of people taking advantage of those situations and that’s not cool. It’s a professional space.
Bowden: At the end of the day, it’s part of our job. I mean, it’s definitely a weird part of the job, but it’s part of the job.
Digest: It must help that you both have spouses in show business.
Bowden: Yeah. I feel like at this point in my career, Ben and I have had those conversations.
Brooks: Yeah, Kelly and I have, too.
Bowden: I’m sure in a perfect world he wouldn’t want that to happen, but he has no choice at this point.
Brooks: Kelly understands, too. It’s like, “Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.” The good part is that we all understand that.
Bowden: It definitely keeps you on your toes as an actor.
Brooks: Oh, wait, there’s one more thing! Whenever we have those damn shirt-off scenes and lovemaking scenes, I’m not going to eat a big burrito right before. First, because then I’m going to smell funky and that’s not good, but second, having a big burrito baby is not going to make you look good. You can’t have a big burrito baby in the stomach and do your thing. So, that’s hard. I’m like, “I need something to eat!”
Bowden: We had a day where we had a photo shoot and we all had bathing suits —
Brooks: Oh, God. Yeah.
Bowden: It was an all-day-long thing and by the end of the day, I was just eating anything that I could possibly get my hands on.
Digest: When discussing love scenes, I don’t think people think about the food aspect.
Bowden: Really? That’s all I think about when we’re doing those scenes.
Brooks: Oh, me, too! That’s the only thing we look forward to at the end, too. It’s like, “What are you going to eat afterward?” Like, “I think I’m going to get a rack of ribs!”
Digest: We’ll never be able to look at a soap love scene the same way again.
Brooks: Now you know!