Li and Luna’s family continues to grow on BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL with the addition of Li’s estranged sister and Luna’s mother, Poppy, played by soap newcomer Romy Park. While Poppy has gotten off to an icy start with her judgmental sister, Park has so far found her time on B&B to be lovely, with nothing but warm welcomes from her castmates.
“I was so scared,” says Park of her first day on the set. “I was shaking! But as soon as I started meeting people… John McCook [Eric] was one of the first people I met and he just gave me a hug and said, ‘Don’t be nervous,’ and every single person welcomed me as if I was part of the family. That’s also something I actually caught in the casting process — how they were in the room, how they communicated with me. Everyone seems like a family, and that is the case with the cast and the crew.”
Although B&B is Park’s first soap, she previously auditioned for GENERAL HOSPITAL years earlier, which wasn’t meant to be (“It was very early on in my career and I’m pretty sure I did a terrible job!”). For the role of Poppy, Park sent in a self-tape audition, then was called in to do a chemistry read with other actresses, and she sought advice from Dan Feuerriegel (EJ, DAYS), who she’s known for many years. “He gave me advice for my chemistry read,” she says. “And then after I booked the job,” following an audition with Lisa Yamada (Luna) and a meeting with Executive Producer/Head Writer Bradley Bell, “[Dan] said it was very, very fast and to be ready and prepared. I was always that way as an actor. I will drill something, not until I get it right, but until I can’t get it wrong. Memorizing has never been too difficult for me.”
Park jumped right into her early scenes with Li and Luna, including an intense confrontation with Li, who harbors deep resentment for her sister. “Naomi [Matsuda, Li] and I actually rehearsed together beforehand,” she says. “And we went through a process of talking about our characters, our family and what we agreed our family was like and what we were like as sisters in the past and sharing our experiences of what we thought of each other. It was really helpful to do that. Naomi is such a generous actress.”
She also connected well with Yamada. “I adopted her right away!” Park jokes. “She is delightful and quirky and funny and we have a lot in common. She reminds me a lot of myself.”
Park is eager to explore the estrangement between Li and Poppy. “I understand where Li is coming from,” Park says. “She’s obviously nervous that she is going to ruin Finn somehow. Finn is her baby, and as a mama bear she will fight tooth and nail, even with her own sister. Things are passed down multi-generationally, all our habits and routines. So I understand her fear that Luna might be careless or flippant because [Li] sees Poppy that way. And Poppy will continue to fight to be in her sister’s life.”
The actress is thrilled to play a part in the expansion of the Nozawa family. “It’s so exciting!” she enthuses. As for what fans can expect from the character of Poppy, Park notes, “There are so many different layers and intricacies in her personality that will come out over time.”