Kimberlin Brown, last seen as Sheila in 2018, is back at B&B and her alter ego has a whopper of a secret — she is Finn’s biological mother! “When I found out that Finn was Sheila’s son, I was excited — I mean, terribly excited,” Brown shared during Digest’s podcast, Dishing With Digest. “Especially because all the years that Sheila has been on the show, and I know she has other children, I’m finally going to get to act with one of them for more than just a little while…. Think about this, Sheila finally has a connection to the Forresters — through Steffy, whether she likes it or not.”
Brown shared that initially meeting her TV son, Tanner Novlan (Finn), was a bit of a challenge. “With Covid going on, everything is much different at the studio,” she explained. “We download our scenes at home, and then we get a letter saying, ‘After hair and makeup, if you have time to run lines, please feel free,’ so I’m excited because I have page upon page upon page of monologues with him. I’m looking at the monitor and I go, ‘Okay, I’ve got to go find this young man so that I can go and run lines with him.’ Well, he was in every single scene that morning before me [laughs] so our first meeting together, and our first acting experience together, was completely 100 percent cold — because we never had the opportunity to run any of our lines. After our first scenes, then we had a couple of [five-minute breaks] where we could run the scenes that were coming up next. It was great but that was his first introduction to me, just this woman walking onto set who he’s never met in his life and never got to rehearse with and here we go.”
Story-wise, after Finn and Steffy say, “I do,” Sheila catches the groom in a moment alone during the reception. “When you find out the circumstances as to why she has been watching Finn from afar all these years as he’s been growing up, you’re going to find out — especially now that he’s marrying Steffy and they have a child together — Sheila’s grandson! — she doesn’t want to be in the shadows any longer,” stated Brown. “She knows fully well going into this that maybe she can’t be a part of his life, but she also wants him to finally know who his birth mother is.
“At first, she’s very tentative,” Brown continued. “She doesn’t want to hurt Finn, because she truly does love him. This is her son. Hurting him is the last thing she would ever want to do. So as far as introducing herself to her son, she has to do it gently. Of course, only Sheila would choose to do it on his wedding day [laughs]. But in her mind, she really believes that he needs to know who she is — and, it’s not all about her. It’s really quite a nice moment.”
The happy sentiments don’t last long when Finn brings his newfound parent into the party. “He insists on taking her into the Forrester home for introductions,” previewed Brown. “Sheila actually says no, as she knows she won’t be welcome there. She knows she’s going to be persecuted, but he won’t take no for an answer. So, she says yes — and the look on the faces when Sheila walks through that door, you could hear a pin drop…. That look of shock on all of their faces, and that look of disgust on all of their faces, and all Sheila can do is smile. It’s a big moment.”
As was the call to the actress to return. “Before I knew anything about storyline, there were beautiful flowers sitting in my kitchen,” she revealed. “The card said, ‘Dear Kimberlin, Sheila is back. Watch out! A warm welcome back to THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL. I look forward to the exciting storyline ahead. Brad [Bell, executive producer/head writer].’ That was really pretty darn cool!” she enthused.
She also credits the fans with supporting Sheila through the years. “I just want to say thank you,” she offered. “I haven’t had the opportunity to say something like that onstage for a very long time, as I sit here with my two Soap Opera Digest awards [for Outstanding Villainess in 1993 and 1995] behind me, which I never would have had without the fans. Thank you to my fans. Thank you to the Bell family for believing in me all of these years. I’m truly blessed, so thank you.”
As for what to expect from Sheila this time around, Brown noted, “I really thought she had changed the last time she was there. She was really trying to be a better person. There’s no doubt about that, and I don’t think that that has changed. But, even for people who have become better, in the face of society, when you have certain elements in life that refuse to acknowledge that betterment, you just hope you don’t slip back into some of your old ways…. I guess it’s the way I have always signed my photographs: ‘Get ready, because the best is yet to come!’ ”