ICYMI Krista Allen Interview

Soap Opera Digest: Lets’s start with how you got interested in the idea of a showbiz career?

Krista Allen: I didn’t come to Los Angeles to be an actress…. I had left Texas and I was just in an adventure mode and I came out to Los Angeles and things just started happening. I met a manager, and that led to my very first job, which was the BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL. My first first job ever was Shelley in Bikini Bar, and I was such an incredible actress already that I kept looking directly into the camera. I didn’t know what a mark was. I didn’t know any of this stuff. So, it was a recurring role that ended up lasting maybe two episodes and that was it…. And then that kind of prompted me. Because I had gotten that, other things started coming up.

Digest: Was acting something that you fell in love with once you kind of fell into it?

Allen: It’s an interesting thing. I never knew this but I’m an introvert. Fully. And social anxiety, or just not feeling like I’m fitting in, was always a big thing for me. And one of the hardest things for me … when I was able to jump into a character, it’s, like, I was okay…. I don’t even know how to describe that but it was a really cool thing. I was like, “Wow, this is really cool. I get to play these other characters and it’s a lot easier for me to, you know, be present, to be around people.” It really was a thing for me.

Digest: What happened after Shelley?

Allen: I got booted and then I started just auditioning. The manager that I met, he told me, “You need to take an acting class,” and then all of a sudden I started getting hired on all these different TV shows … like HIGH TIDE and SILK STALKINGS. And I kept getting called back to work for these shows and that was huge for me and boom, DAYS OF OUR LIVES came…. And truly, DAYS OF OUR LIVES was like a huge training ground for me but boy, oh boy, I would not say I was an actress. I hadn’t taken an acting class…. I was just learning to use my voice…. But it’s kind of a beautiful journey to look back on. When I look at the younger Krista, I have so much love and compassion for her and what she didn’t even know what she was going through.

Digest: Well, let the record reflect that even if you didn’t feel confident, you remain my best friend’s favorite Billie.

Allen: People are definitely split on that one. But I think there was a vulnerable quality that Billie had and that I have in general. For the rest of my life, I will always have a vulnerable quality. It’s just me.

Digest: What do you remember about landing that role and being a newcomer to DAYS?

Allen: Everything was happening so fast for me at that time, I was also engaged when that happened, I had just gotten Liar, Liar, the Jim Carrey movie, and then DAYS OF OUR LIVES came in, it was all within the same couple of months and I had not even been in L.A. for six months, so it was a huge, huge thing for me, but huge in like an, “Oh, my God, I’m an adult,” you know?

Digest: What do you remember about working with Peter Reckell and Kristian Alfonso, who played Bo and Hope?

Allen: I remember I really was pushed, for myself, was pushed to step up and do a good job. There was no training period. You’re just in it and you’re working with these incredible actors that have been doing this for such a long time. I would say definitely it was intimidating for me but I did that “Fake it till you make it,” thing. I remember Peter Reckell, I think it might have been my first week on the show, I remember him telling me, “You need to speak up [laughs].” That’s really just confidence. That was something that fundamentally I lacked in me as Krista, so that was something for DAYS that absolutely helped to build that, working with professionals like Peter and Kristian. It was fantastic. I admired and respected them, and they inspired me to be better.

Digest: One of the signature storylines that I really remember from your time as Billie was all the emotional material surrounding the death of baby Georgia.

Allen: Yeah….

Digest: I don’t know if you know, but she’s actually alive and her name is Chelsea.

Allen: Oh, really? She wasn’t buried in the bayou?

Digest: She survived!

Allen: Georgia is Chelsea? Oh, my goodness, that’s fantastic!

Digest: What stands out to you with that storyline and doing the real drama in daytime drama?

Allen: That was a pivotal point in my acting career. That was the pivotal moment that I felt like I had gotten it, that I was an actor, that I was so immersed and in love with Billie and the character and who she was and her mission, and it was just this wonderful moment. It was one of the biggest confidence builders for me in my career…. Everything changed after that.

Digest: You also had your son, Jake, while you were at DAYS. At the Bo/Billie wedding … you were holding the world’s biggest bouquet. What was it like to be pregnant on the soap and hiding the pregnancy since Billie was not pregnant?

Allen: It was, like, all of these blessings that were coming in for me and I was like, “What is happening? I have a career. I’m married. I’m about to have a baby. I’m going to be a mom.” There were all of these things that were going on. As far as all of that and shooting those scenes, I got pregnant right away. It happened [so]fast…. I gained 80 pounds while I was pregnant. Eighty! I just kept getting bigger and bigger.

Digest: I remember they had you tied to a bed by the end of that story.

Allen: That scene with the fake wedding,  I was about to pop. I think I was 8 ½ months pregnant and was having contractions…. We had been shooting all day … and they sent me to the hospital in that wedding dress. I was wheeled in on a gurney in a full wedding dress, extensions, a tiara, like, the whole thing … And I heard somebody go, “Shotgun wedding.” I just started cracking up! That was hilarious.

Digest: After DAYS, you joined the cast of BAYWATCH HAWAII, where your character was linked to another DAYS alum, Jason Brooks (ex-Peter). So, what do you think of when you think of your two seasons on that show?

Allen: That was awesome…. It was fantastic…. When I opened the door of my trailer door, the ocean was right there. But I will say … they weren’t really into sunscreen, which was crazy, and years later I ended up getting skin cancer on my face, on the left side of my nose…. I had to get a surgery. I think it was 16 layers down to get out and they ended up having to do a reconstructive thing where they had to sew my cheek back to my nose. If you look really closely, you can see…. It was scary because I thought my acting career was over and that’s when I started to write a lot…. But that’s what I would say would be my biggest lesson from BAYWATCH HAWAII: Wear sunscreen!

Digest: Obviously, a lot has changed, it would seem, in your life and your approach to your career with your pivot into writing and stand-up comedy. So set the stage for where THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL came to fit in.

Allen: I started doing stand-up — I didn’t do it for that long — I wrote for people… And then I realized it was about the confidence and getting up there but I realized I was bullying the crap of myself for [laughs]. I realized I still had a big people-pleaser thing going on in me…. What I found with stand-up, which is one of the greatest gifts, is I had a lot of unhealed s–t…. So I went back to school and I started studying neuroscience and epigenetics and I started really understanding how trauma affects the body … and then was able to segue way that into working with teens in prison and helping them to understand where they came from…. It’s a passion of mine, and being able to support others in understanding what happened to them as opposed to, “What’s wrong with you?” That’s a big, big thing for me. And it’s a question I was never asked…. I think we all go through some dark things in our lives and if we can laugh about it, there’s a lot of healing that comes into that and so that’s been my journey.

Digest: How did you wind up playing Taylor on B&B?

Allen: That happened out of the blue…. I’ve been in school. I’ve been a nerdy student that all I do is study and read and research, and then all of a sudden this role came up and I was like, “I would love to do that … and how cool that she is a psychiatrist.” It happened so quick…. I got a call, and they were like, “Let’s do a chemistry read with you and your TV daughter.” I went in, met Jacqui [MacInnes Wood, Steffy], fell in love with her right away, because she’s such a bright light. We read it once and that day they were like, “You have the job.”

Digest: What’s your take on who Taylor is now?

Allen: She wants to give everybody a chance right now. She has a lot of guilt about being away and I think there is something about finding her footing again. She has done a lot of work on herself. So she went away, she did all this work and she decided it’s time to come back…. I think she is in a “fake it till you make it” mode. And then having the layer of, “I’m a psychiatrist, I know what I’m doing.” It’s kind of like THE MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER — she can set everybody up but she couldn’t get a date herself. I think Taylor is really great at analyzing people but she can’t really be honest with herself, so she’s going to make choices that are coming from maybe giving other people the same benefit of forgiveness and acceptance that she wants for herself. And it’s going to be frustrating for a lot of fans.

Digest: On that note, what do you want to say to the fans about you taking on the role of Taylor and what we can expect to see?

Allen: First of all, I am absolutely prepared for the people that are really having a hard time with this recast. I think because it was a 30-year character that was played by someone else and Hunter [Tylo, ex-Taylor] did such an incredible job … it’s very [hard] for people who are diehard fans…. I’m just very thoughtful about how other people are going to be feeling. It’s not easy when people are so invested in a show, and soap operas are the kind of thing where the characters are a part of their life…. What Hunter brought to this … she created the character and everything that she brought to it is now something I’m having to figure out as the new Taylor to at least have those qualities as best I can while also making it my own…. Taylor is still very vulnerable and she is trying to be strong …  And there are certain people who are like, “We want her to come back and kick ass. We want her to take down the Logans!” Taylor’s not going to do that. She’s never going to be written that way; otherwise, it would a different show and we wouldn’t have the same dynamic…. One of the jokes I have is, “As long as the people who were ‘Team Brooke’ still don’t like Taylor, then I am doing my job.”

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