Soap Opera Digest: Can you believe that March 23 marks 30 years of B&B? Does it feel like 30 years?
Katherine Kelly Lang: No! It’s hard to believe. I mean, after a while, the time just goes, and it’s really hard to keep track. I try not to pay attention to that part. From 20 to 30, I really don’t know what happened. It’s all a blur [laughs].
John McCook: It actually feels like 10 or 15 to me. I know I’ve been here a long time and it has been a large chunk of my career, but it doesn’t feel like 30 years. I can’t wrap my brain around that, so for us to be able to celebrate this is a great privilege. To be my age and still be doing this show and have the future that’s bright, and strong ratings all over the world, I just keep looking forward.
Digest: How does it feel to be the sole remaining original cast members?
McCook: It feels good. We’re very proud to still be here. Neither one of us had any sort of debate [about leaving] at the 25-year mark, when it seemed to happen for Susan [Flannery, ex-Stephanie] and Ronn [Moss, ex-Ridge] and it became a point of debate for them within themselves. Susan decided to retire from the show and I totally respect that. Ronn decided to move on, too. It was really wonderful to watch Brad [Bell, executive producer/head writer] and the writers circle the wagons at that point, and instead of seeing that as a crisis, they looked at it as an opportunity to prune the tree back and begin some new growth, and I think they accomplished that very well.
Lang: While it is kind of sad, it’s still a nice feeling to be here and be a part of BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL with John because we’ve had such great stories through the years, so that’s fun. But besides cast, there are a lot of people who work here — from the upstairs office to the producers to crew to hair and makeup, who are still here from the very beginning — so it does still feel like a close-knit group.
Digest: That says a lot about what kind of place B&B is to work.
Lang: It really does, and that kind of morale is always better for the show.
McCook: That’s very true.
Digest: What do you remember from your first day?
McCook: I had done one day on CAPITOL two years prior to that, so I had been on the soundstage before. Laurette [Spang, his wife] had actually done a THREE’S COMPANY episode which was shot on this soundstage, too, and her dressing room then was my dressing room now, 31K! So, when I came in to work that first day, the first thing I saw was the Forrester living room set, with those stairs going up and that beautiful fireplace and that balcony upstage and the drops of L.A. behind it and I thought, “Wow, we’re really gonna do this!” It was just stunningly beautiful. I remember one of the first scenes I played was on the backstage set for a Forrester fashion show with Ridge and Thorne.
Lang: I just remember having to do those scenes of Brooke almost being raped and running into the house and screaming and crying, and her brother [Storm] was trying to help her, and Brooke’s then-boyfriend was a cop, so he came over and was trying to help. I also remember [Creator/then-Executive Producer/then-Head Writer] Bill Bell coming downstairs and checking on us, making sure everybody was having a great time and doing well. That was really nice. But [laughs], I also remember him coming up to me and saying, “Are you all right?” And I was like, “Why is he asking me that?” In my head I’m thinking, “What am I doing?” I said, “Yes, I’m fine! Why?” And he said, “Well, you keep yawning.” I didn’t realize he was watching the monitor the whole time upstairs, and I was like, “Oh, my God, he must have been watching [laughs].” Now, I was not a new actress. I’d been acting for years already, but I was new to this genre, so all of a sudden, I was having to do all this dramatic stuff. I was yawning between scenes to try to get the tears ready, you know, get the watery eyes going because stuff like that helps. So, Bill was watching that and I don’t know what he thought. He was probably like, “Gosh, was she up all night partying?” He was always so gracious and so sweet and I just replied, “Oh, yes. I’m fine. Everything’s fine.”
Digest: We know you hate this question, but what’s been your most memorable moment
Lang: I do [laughs]! I’m asked this question all the time and I always say to myself, “I really have to sit down and figure this out.” But I can’t! How do you choose one from all those different scenes and memories and moments? What was the most special? What was your favorite? I have the hardest time answering those questions.
McCook: She’s right. If I had only been here five years, I would be able to pick one out. These days, the most memorable moments are the ones that are most recent, like the revelation that Quinn was sleeping with Eric. That turned the page and opened the book on a whole new story for Eric and for me.
Digest: Out of everyone over the past 30 years, who would you love to see come back?
Lang: Ah! See, there you go. You put me on the spot again! Um, I have to say I miss the core four. I miss Susan and I miss Ronn. Now it’s the core two. I remember for the 25th [anniversary], they had the four of us at the Big Bear Cabin. That was so great. I loved that show. I loved that script. The fans loved it. My memories are of those moments, those times, especially now that Susan and Ronn aren’t here now. It makes them even more sentimental.
McCook: I’d love to see Carol Channing come back. [Channing appeared as herself in 1993.] I also loved having Fred Willard as Eric’s brother, John. He can come in anytime, as far as I’m concerned.
Digest: Are you ready for another 30 years?
Lang: I am! Somebody actually asked me, “Would you like to play Brooke until you’re 95?” Hell, yes! Why not? I want to continue. I want to see Brooke grow old. I want to see what happens to her and I want to be a part of the show. I can’t imagine not having Brooke in my life. It’s been 30 years, so she’s become a part of me. Being here and seeing these people every day, it is like home. I feel very comfortable in my dressing room. I come to work and I’m like, “Ah, I’m relaxed.” How many people are lucky enough to say that? It feels good. Acting is something I love to do, so I want to work as much as I can. I want to act every day, and I want to be able to do this as long as I possibly can.
McCook: Absolutely! I’m not going to quit. As long as the show is still on, I’m here. I horrified Laurette when I told her that one of these days the show is going to call her and say, “Well, he’s dead. Come get him [laughs].” I’m hoping that I get to be a really old man on this show.