Digest: Before your characters started getting flirty last year, you didn’t overlap much in story. What kind of relationship did you have off camera, though?
Heather Tom: Well, I think it’s funny that Carter has married Katie [to two other men] twice. And, of course, Katie has attended many a wedding that Carter has officiated. But regarding our working relationship, I always thought that he should be somebody who was front and center and have a major storyline. I’m not being critical, but he’s certainly someone who can bring a lot to the table and I always thought he was a little underused. I’m so glad to see in recent years he’s been given more to do and I’m super-excited to be a part of that now. It’s nice to see so many more sides to his character now instead of just a jack-of-all-trades lawyer guy. There’s so much more to him than that.
Lawrence Saint-Victor: Working with Heather, it’s like showing up and finding that you have Michael Jordan on your team.
Tom: Oh, my God.
Saint-Victor: It’s true, and you’re just trying to keep up and not go out of bounds, man.
Tom: You don’t have to suck up. It’s okay.
Saint-Victor (laughs): No, I’m being real. Heather has always been a beast when it comes to her work and when it comes to her love for the show and for this genre. She’s a force. She directs episodes, and her love and investment in the stories is so clear, especially now that I’m getting to work with her. In the first scenes that we had, Katie came to the loft to rip Carter a new one, and I knew we were having those scenes and I don’t remember having much time to run them. But I knew she was going to come with everything. It was like, “Be prepared and let’s go. You’re working with Heather Tom.”
Digest: When that flirtation did begin, it seemed to be a chemistry test — one you obviously passed. Did it feel that way to you, like the show was testing the waters of a potential Katie/Carter match?
Tom: We passed the test!
Saint-Victor: We passed!
Tom: I really liked those scenes. I thought they were very nuanced and unique in the fact that I felt there was a real arc there, and I’m so glad they are revisiting this now. I’m very happy they’re circling back around to this because I think these are two characters who have similar points of view.
Digest: From a storyline perspective, what appealed to each of you about the prospect of Carter and Katie getting together?
Tom: I think there is a lot there to mine. I think there is great story potential with them and I’m excited to see where it goes. I’m very happy they’ve stuck with it and have given it time to develop and not —
Saint-Victor: Rushed it.
Tom: Yeah, they didn’t go from zero to 60. It’s always nice when they let things simmer for a bit.
Saint-Victor: Yes, and there’s an emotional maturity with these characters that we’ve gotten to explore, which I think is so rich. There is a depth and richness in their friendship and their bond and it is very exciting to get to bring that to life.
Digest: Did you feel like the chemistry came easily for you in the scenes?
Tom: I do. I kind of felt that out of the gate; that this is a relationship that can grow and have legs. For whatever reason, I feel like it’s very organic.
Saint-Victor: I agree.
Tom: That’s always nice. It always makes things more fun and just a lot easier.
Saint-Victor: I think we’re both playful. We like to have fun. It’s like, let’s just lean into it, so I think we definitely have a similar playful spirit and we’re just like, “Let’s see where this goes,” and trust it’s going to be fun.
Digest: In what ways do you think they are right for each other at this stage in their lives, since these two characters have both been burned by love multiple times?
Tom: I think that’s a part of their attraction, really. I think they both have hope. There is something unexpected about the pairing and yet it’s two people who have a similar world view and can relate on a lot of levels and be surprised that this is something that has come their way.
Saint-Victor: I love the surprising element so yes, I think that’s part of the reason why it works.
Digest: Katie has been drawn to bad boys, namely Bill; Carter has been drawn to bad girls, namely Quinn. Do you think two nice people like them can make it work on a soap?
Saint-Victor: Yeah, I think both characters have been in situations where they’ve been the rock or the sounding board or the support system for someone who’s chaotic or has a hard time dealing with their life, whether it’s Brooke or Bill or in Carter’s case, Zoe and Quinn. Now we have two people who are like, “Wait, I can lean on you and you’re not going to fall over?” I don’t think they’ve ever really had that in this way before.
Tom: I agree. That’s very intuitive and right on. Katie’s a caregiver. That’s what she does, she takes care of people and it seems Carter is along those same lines — and consequently, she doesn’t always take care of herself. I do think there is a factor of, “Wait a second, you’re taking care of me? This is something new, and something I might even have to get used to.”
Saint-Victor: There’s no agenda, like, when he shows up to see her, he’s there to just be with her. He’s not there to woo her. He’s not there to get anything. He’s not there to prove himself. He’s just there to be someone for her to lean on. Anytime you’re in a toxic relationship, you walk away and you doubt yourself and that you’re worthy of love.
Tom: “Why am I second best?”
Saint-Victor: Right, and for Carter, the fact that he had an affair with Quinn, and he’s not as good as he thought he was and then she ended up leaving him, he was like, “What’s wrong with me?” But now I think Katie and Carter are telling each other and themselves, “No, you are worthy. After all you’ve been through, however you see yourself, you are worthy of love. Your circumstances do not dictate who you are as a person.” I think they are going through that now at the same time in dealing with their respective fallout from Bill and Quinn.
Tom: That is a really good way to put it.
Digest: What would you say is their biggest draw to one another?
Tom: That they’re two nice people who’ve found one another.
Saint-Victor: I agree.
Digest: Do you think that gives them rooting value?
Tom: I hope so!
Tom: Yes, and I do think when they face those obstacles, then they can utilize that security and acceptance of, you are enough, and see how that plays when things are thrown in their way.
Saint-Victor: Yes, and we’ll know eventually whenever the conflict comes, then we’ll really see what these two people are made of, like on the battlefield. Will they fall back into old habits? We’ll see.
Digest: What about the shadow of Bill, who will always be around since he’s Will’s father? Do you imagine that gives them pause?
Saint-Victor: Bill is always the elephant in the room. No matter what, Bill is a conflict.
Tom: Bill does have a certain sense of possession with Katie, and I think Donald [Diamont, Bill] would agree with this: Even when he’s not in a relationship with Katie, he feels like she is his.
Saint-Victor: He said it to Carter! “She’s my Katie!”
Tom: Which is very messed up.
Saint-Victor: I did love it when Carter stood up to Bill and didn’t bat an eye. I’m always curious to see what happens when enough pressure is applied.
Digest: Besides Bill, what other kinds of conflicts would you like to see them navigate as their relationship deepens?
Tom: I will always welcome conflict along the way. Selfishly, I would love for them to bring Will back so we’ll just throw that out there.
Saint-Victor: Will, come home!
Tom: That could be a potential source of conflict. It would be interesting to see how he and Carter would get along, and to see if Will’s a chip off the old block. I think that would be very fun to play.
Saint-Victor: For sure. I would love for there to be a situation down the line somewhere where Katie is being sought after and she’s in the middle and she has to choose. I think that’s interesting.
Tom (laughs): I think that’s a situation Katie’s never been in before.
Saint-Victor: I really think that would be fun to play.
Digest: Do you have favorite Carter/Katie moments thus far?
Tom: I love the moment when they were caught in the rain.
Saint-Victor: Oh, yeah.
Tom: And we had those scenes when he was like, “I promised you that dance.” That was a really romantic moment that I thought was very sweet.
Saint-Victor: Yeah, I loved that. It was so much fun and heartwarming. I also think our first scene. I loved the arc of these two people who started off combative and developed into something.
Tom: Yes, there’s a real transformation in those scenes and that’s always fun.
Digest: You have both worn hats behind the scenes at B&B, with Heather directing and Lawrence writing. Have you ever directed one of Lawrence’s scripts, Heather? Have you been directed by Heather, Lawrence?
Tom: I don’t think I’ve directed one of his scripts, and I don’t know if I’ve ever directed you.
Saint-Victor: I think she directed me once. I think it was, like, two quick scenes.
Tom: It was a while ago.
Saint-Victor: I think I had my shirt off. (They both laugh.)
Tom: Actually, when you start by saying, “I had my shirt off,” that doesn’t really narrow it down.
Saint-Victor: Yeah, that really could be any episode.
Tom: I have to give props to Lawrence because we’ll get scripts and it’s a little bit of a parlor game where we’re like, “Okay, who wrote this script?” Especially if you’ve been on a show for a while because you can usually pick up on different tones of the writers, and I think I can always tell one of Lawrence’s scripts because they are very easy to memorize and the words that come out of your mouth just fit. You can tell he’s done the homework and he knows the backstory, even if it might not be on the page.
Tom: It’s true, and I’m not the only actor to say that — that is kind of what goes around.
Saint-Victor: Aw, I’m blushing now.
Digest: Not to jump the gun but if Carter and Katie were to get married, Carter would be unavailable to actually perform the ceremony. Who would you each vote for as the officiant?
Saint-Victor: Yes, Bill!
Tom: It’s only fair since Carter married Katie and Bill.
Saint-Victor: Now that would be funny!