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Krista Allen On Joining B&B

B&B has recast the role of Taylor with DAYS vet Krista Allen (ex-Billie, 1996-99). Hunter Tylo originated the part of the sexy shrink who stole Ridge’s heart in 1990, and has played it on and off until 2019. With Tylo unavailable to reprise the role, Allen is thrilled to step into Taylor’s shoes. “Nobody can ever replace Hunter Tylo,” says Allen. “I am just stepping into the role of a character, and that character lives on forever, no matter who is playing her — just like Billie. There were three of us, right? So, I think that maybe because I have had to fill big shoes at the very beginning of my career, it’s not so intimidating that I’m filling big shoes now. I’m already a 9 ½. That’s the good thing about having big feet — you can fill big shoes.”

Allen’s association with B&B dates back long before stepping into Taylor’s shoes. “My connection with the show goes back to my very first job ever, when I had been in L.A. for two-and-a-half weeks,” she shares. “I didn’t know what I was doing but I had met a manager who told me to take acting classes, which I did, and six months later he said, ‘I have an audition for you. It’s for BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL so go pick up your sides at CBS and good luck.’ I had no idea what sides were. I also didn’t know what CBS was, so I ended up going to CBS Radford [in the San Fernando Valley, as opposed to CBS Television City in L.A. where B&B tapes]. I go. I’m late. I let everybody go before me because I was terrified. They kept calling my name and it was like I was going to a doctor’s appointment that I didn’t want to go to. I finally went in to read and I left, and I went to a pay phone and I called the manager and there was a big pause and he said, ‘You got the job.’ I was jumping up and down on the corner of Fairfax and Beverly shouting to everybody walking by, ‘I’m an actress! I’m an actress!’ I came in and I played Shelley, a bikini girl at Bikini Bar with a character named Sly. I didn’t know what I was doing and when I did my lines, I looked directly into the camera because the red light freaked me out, and long story short, it was a recurring role that ended up not recurring [laughs]. It’s really cool that my very first job ever was at B&B and I am getting to step back into the same show, after having an entire 26-year career, and in such a magnificent way.”

The actress reveals that she did a makeover to win over the role this time around. “My hair is super short,” she chuckles. “I had my hair cut into, like, a pixie shag but right before I went to read with Jacqui [MacInnes Wood, Steffy], I was like, ‘I want them to get the full Taylor look,’ so I ordered a wig off of Amazon. It came the next day and I cut it myself as best I could to make it look like Taylor. I went through YouTube tutorials learning how to cut curtain bangs, and I had the best time just trying to lock in the look of Taylor Hayes as best I could.”

Allen says she prepped for her first day by watching several of Taylor’s last episodes, which included kissing Ridge and clashing with Brooke. As for coming into a new set, the actress relays, “I do know Jennifer Gareis [Donna]. Jacqui is a ray of sunshine and I couldn’t be luckier to have her as my TV daughter,” she raves. “Thorsten [Kaye, Ridge] is such a handsome and funny guy. I haven’t met Brooke [Katherine Kelly Lang] yet and I cannot wait! The episode with the cake fight [at Hope and Liam’s wedding in 2018] was genius. I love Taylor and Brooke’s dynamic, so right now I’m studying up and trying to understand what these different relationships have been through the years so I can make this Taylor as authentic as possible.”

The actress had no qualms about hitting the ground running with the fast pace of daytime. “I love it. It’s my jam,” Allen smiles. “During the pandemic, there were times that we had to shoot an entire Lifetime movie in six days, and who did they call? Me! Because they know I love the fast pace. I love it! I learned everything about studying and memorizing and all of that from DAYS. It was really where I learned how to act and where I learned how to study and implement tools and skills, especially in memorizing and understanding, and it has stuck with me for 26 years, and so with B&B, I’m excited about it. Bring it on, baby!”

Allen is hoping that the viewers accept her in the role. “I understand how incredibly loyal the soap fans are,” she says. “To this day, I have people who are still fans of the Billie that I played. There are always going to be people who will say, ‘That is not Billie. That is not Taylor.’ I am just stepping into the role of a character. This is a big effort. There is a relay race that comes into play when creating a character. You have casting, the producers, hair and makeup, and wardrobe. It’s like a baton is being passed through the different departments, and the final baton is to go in and win the race and that is passed to me. That’s when I walk on set and I am Taylor. She is a woman of great strength, and that’s what I am prepared to bring to the role.”