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In The Spotlight: Lisa Yamada (Luna, BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL)

Lisa Yamada

Howard Wise/

Since Lisa Yamada joined B&B last fall as Luna Nozawa, her alter ego has found love with R.J., caught Zende’s eye, and found herself in the middle of some complex family dynamics. We checked in with the newcomer about her B&B journey thus far.

You’re still relatively new to the genre, but having had a few months to get feet wet at B&B, are you feeling more comfortable there and in the role? “Oh, yeah. Totally. I mean, my first day on set, I was absolutely terrified because in the soap world, we move so quickly. I was really lucky because my first-ever scene was with Jennifer Gareis [Donna] and John McCook [Eric] and Josh Hoffman [R.J.],. and they were, like, the most welcoming group of people and I just felt really taken care of. And after these last few months, I feel like kind of a veteran now, like I’ve got it under control.

What about the memorization aspect? Because not only do you work quickly once you’re on set, you’re getting scripts a lot more rapid-fire than you would in other genres. “Yeah, it has been the best acting boot camp. That’s what I’ve been telling everyone. I’ve always been good at memorizing lines, but I’ve never had to memorize this amount of lines before. So in the beginning, it was a lot of, you know, just reading it over and over and over until it’s in my head. But now I, I can feel myself memorizing so much more quickly. I feel like I’ve just opened up this part of my brain that I wasn’t using before and now I can store all of these lines in there!”

How has it been to have Josh Hoffman as such a consistent scene partner since you started? “The funny thing about Josh is, I don’t think we ever had a phase where we were awkward with each other. Like the first time we met, we were already cracking jokes and making each other laugh. He’s a really good buddy. It’s always fun to have him around on set. We’re always cracking jokes in between takes. Even if I’m crying in a scene or if I’m supposed to be really upset, when we call cut, we’re back to giggling and being dorks. So he’s been a great partner.”

Obviously, Luna is very smitten with R.J., but fans have noticed your chemistry with Delon de Metz (Zende), as well. “Luna is very experienced in her love life and so having two of these super-sought-after men show interest in her, I think she’s having a hard time wrapping her mind around it! Delon is the best. He’s another hilarious person and, like with Josh, as soon as they call cut, we’re back to giggling and being stupid on set. I’m sure everyone is so tired of us just giggling all the time!”

Joshua Hoffman, Lisa Yamada, Delon De Metz

Howard Wise/

Laugh Riot: When the cameras aren’t rolling at B&B, Delon de Metz (Zende, l.) and Joshua Hoffman (R.J.) keep Yamada giggling.

We’ve seen Luna’s family expand in the last few months with the introduction of her mother, Poppy. Tell me about working with Romy Park (Poppy). “Having scenes with Romy is the best. Whenever I see that I have a scene with Romy that day, it’s gonna be a blast. It’s just been so fun working with her. If I’m not mistaken, this is the first time I’ve had a parent on a show or a movie, so that’s been really cool. Romy and I hit it off from day one. I read with her at a chemistry read and I just fell in love with her off the jump and we were DM’ing each other on Instagram when she got the part. We’ve bonded over so many different things and we recently got a mother/daughter lunch together — well, it was supposed to be a lunch, but it ended up being like a four-hour affair because we just cannot stop talking. We’re literally obsessed with each other! I feel like Romy and i have a lot of similarities and our lives parallel each other’s in a way. On my first week on B&B, I was leaning on everyone else and everyone was going out of their way to make sure that I feel welcomed, and it was really cool to be able to do that for Romy. Romy is a great scene partner and I just love her so much.”

It’s been well-established that Li doesn’t have the warmest attitude toward Luna. What do you think Luna makes of the way her aunt treats her? “I don’t think Li understands Luna’s attitude toward her at all! I think some of the disagreements between Li and Poppy are understandable — you know, it’s like a sibling thing. But Luna has nothing to do with that. I feel like Li can be a little harsh [with Poppy], but there’s substance behind that, there’s reasoning behind that. I think Luna struggles a lot with being kind of grouped in with Poppy, you know? Poppy is a wanderer and she’s free-spirited and that’s not a bad thing, but I don’t think Luna thinks it’s far that Li has reservations about Luna just because she has a bad relationship with her sister.”

Have you enjoyed working with Li’s portrayer, Naomi Matsuda? “Naomi is a firecracker! The first time I met her was the first scene I had with her, that really intense scene where she’s berating me. So I was a little bit afraid, because I was like, ‘I wonder what she’s like in real life!’ And she is literally the sweetest person ever. But right when the director calls action, she just gets in the zone — she’s so stoic and scary in the scene. I mean, she’s a true actor. She can flip it on and off. It’s insane!”

Naomi Matsuda, Lisa Yamada

Howard Wise/

Flip Mode: Luna has a tense relationship with Li, but Yamada quickly became a fan of her portrayer, Naomi Matsuda.

You’ve also gotten to interact with Tanner Novlan, who plays Luna’s cousin, Finn. “Tanner is the best! I don’t know how to say this without it sounding weird, but he has such a youthfulness to him. I mean, he is very young, but I don’t know, I feel like I’m talking to someone my age [when I talk to him]. He’s so funny and always cracking jokes. He was also super-welcoming to me.

Luna’s paternity has become a hot topic among fans. Being new to the soap world, is it fun to be at the center of something that has viewers talking and speculating? “Oh, totally. I mean, in the beginning, I built the whole family tree in my head and I had to brush up on my BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL history. It was cool to be lie, ‘Okay, so Finn’s my cousin, but he’s not my blood cousin and his biological mother is Sheila….’ It was a lot of fun to navigate that and it’s really cool to be tied into the Finnegan family and the Forrester family. They’re icons, these characters, so it’s an honor to be a part of all of that.”