Interview!

ICYMI: Jacqueline MacInnes Wood Interview

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Next year marks a decade since Jacqueline MacInnes Wood first stepped into Steffy Forrester’s designer heels and it’s been a perfect fit. “Time flies when you’re having fun,” she muses. Wood, who left B&B in 2013 and returned for the occasional visit before re-signing with the show in 2015, is now content to stay put. “I try my best to be extremely present in my everyday life,” she explains. “I believe as long as you’re a good person and you’re honing your skills and being the best possible version of yourself, things will work out the way they’re supposed to work out. We all have a path, and that’s the thing. I really want to be on THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL. I have this happy little life that I’m living. My schedule is absolutely incredible. I can travel the world. I’m very lucky. You can’t wish your life away. It all goes back to being as present as possible.”

Finding new beats to play with her alter ego is another reason Wood finds such satisfaction on the soap. “Steffy’s in such a transition, and just seeing her growth and where she has come from is pretty incredible,” the actress reflects. “She is coming into her own and I feel like she’s a woman now. She’s strong, and she’s not afraid to show her strength. I like that. And just as she was growing with Liam, Scott [Clifton, Liam] and I have grown together. We’re still learning from each other because he’s usually my main scene partner.”

COURTESY OF RUSSELL BAER

Wood is also excited to finally explore the smoldering attraction between Steffy and Bill, which dates back nearly a decade but went nowhere — until recently. “The ‘Still’ fans are loving this,” she enthuses. “When it first happened, we touched on it lightly. They were this hot, passionate couple but they weren’t even, really. They had a moment, but they didn’t have sex. But, there was just something there.”

She marvels that the potential pairing had such staying power. “I think it’s so amazing that this was a relationship that didn’t develop past a certain point back in the day but there were fans so devoted to ‘Still’ and wanted that pairing over the years,” Wood notes. “I still got tweets about it. Whenever Don [Diamont, Bill] and I had scenes together, even though Steffy was with Liam, we didn’t want to forget that history. There was always some kind of chemistry there. We really wanted to keep that alive between the two of them, so when I was reading where we were going, I was very surprised and very excited. All I know right now is it’s going to be an emotional roller coaster for everyone. I’m thrilled! Of course, I’m always going to be a Liam and Steffy fan but hey, this is fun, too.”

While she may be juggling men in her TV universe, in real life, Wood has been happily dating beau Elan Ruspoli for nearly a year. “We’re very in sync with each other,” she shares. “We push each other. We make each other better. I’ve found a little soul mate. He’s absolutely wonderful and I wouldn’t be posting all that stuff on social media if I didn’t think he wasn’t the one.”

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She was not looking for a relationship when they first connected, Wood reveals. “We met through my best friend Brian. We’d actually met at a few events just briefly, but I wasn’t in the right place. Then, we were set up. We had a double date, and I was not ready but of course, when you’re not looking is usually when you find it. I didn’t want to be dating. It was like pulling teeth to even get me to go out on this date, and we hit it off immediately.” Since then, the pair has been inseparable.

It’s been a time of happy change for Wood, who turned 30 earlier this year and is ready for whatever comes next as she journeys into a new decade. “I feel like life is just getting better and better and better,” she declares. “I really do. I didn’t think, ‘Oh, my God, 30!’ I don’t know why people freak out about getting older. That doesn’t bother me at all. Just like Steffy, I’m growing. I’m getting into my own, into who I really am. I feel like this is the woman I am, and it’s a very exciting place to be. I’m a lucky girl!”

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Just The Facts

Birthday: April 17

Hails From: Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Finding Forrester: She has played Steffy from 2008-13 and 2015-present.

She’s Taken: Wood is dating Elan Ruspoli, a rising star agent with Hollywood’s leading talent agency, CAA.

Will Travel: “There are a few places I have on my bucket list. We’re going to do Japan and after that, we’re going to Bora Bora and after that, I’m good for a while.”

Taking The Pit Bull By The Horns: “My baby girl [Sadie] has changed my life. I love being a voice for these gentle creatures. It’s unfortunate there’s the stigma associated with them.”

My Best Grrrlfriend: “I love Steffy’s rivalry with Sally. They’re two strong, feisty women who come from different backgrounds but are very similar. They’re both CEOs, which I think is important to note. They’re willing to speak up and they fight for what they want. I think that’s great.”

Semi Emmy: Twice nominated for a Daytime Emmy, Wood has yet to take home the gold. “I don’t let that kind of stuff define me. I don’t really think about it. I don’t need that kind of title. It’d be great if it happened but I’ve got bigger fish to fry.”

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Fly Away Home
Wood, who left and came back to B&B, had advice for TV brother Pierson Fodé (ex-Thomas), who flew the coop in September. “I told him like anything, you have to do what your heart tells you,” she shares. “When I left the show, I knew I wanted to take some time to travel. Pierson put that energy out there, and if he wants to work on other projects, I said, ‘Absolutely, go for it. You’d rather go for something than have a what-if hanging over your head.’ I completely understand. He’s young. He’s talented. Brad [Bell, executive producer/head writer] is so wonderful about those kinds of things, too. He’s incredible where he does allow you to work on other things. I swear, he’s like the only boss in the industry who encourages that. But, if you’re in a heavy storyline where you’re memorizing 50-80 pages a day, there’s no time to audition, so I completely get it. I was very supportive, with both him and with Rome [Flynn, ex-Zende]. I wish them the best!”

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