Soap Opera Digest: You are still recurring on B&B but we haven’t seen Bikini Bar’s bartender Danny since 2019. Then, you suddenly turned up on Y&R. What was that like?
Keith Carlos: It was amazing. I did it with my son [Keith, Jr.] and I couldn’t help thinking back to where I’ve come from, and how far I’ve made it, and how far ahead he is than me when I was his age.
Digest: You transitioned from professional athlete to model to actor. What do you hope for 3-year-old Keith, Jr.?
Carlos: I can’t wait until he gets a little older so I can see what kind of athletic ability he has. His mom ran professional track for 11 years so he has to have some kind of athletic bone in his body [laughs].
Digest: How did the Y&R day go?
Carlos: He was comfortable because his mom was there, and his little brother, who’s 2 months old, so that helped. It was awesome to have them all there to experience that and see what I was doing and going through and see what I’m working for.
Digest: The last time we saw you on B&B, Danny was a pivotal player when Ridge spent the night passed out with Shauna. Are you hoping for more story action on your next visit?
Carlos: Of course. The B&B experience has been amazing and a huge learning experience. It has been a blessing. I’ve noticed a maturation in my character and the things he was getting involved in. It’s been a good time. I haven’t been on in a while but I’m always excited to see if he gets back into the swing of things and gets back into the dirt.
Digest: When you did your Y&R stint, did you see any of your B&B co-stars in the CBS hallway?
Carlos: I did! The gentleman with the cool, deep voice, Thorsten Kaye [Ridge]. Somehow he noticed me under my mask. We spoke and he told me and my family about how his daughters watched TOP MODEL and they were excited that he knew me. The fact that he took the time to meet my family was really cool.
Digest: Danny actually modeled in a Forrester fashion show, and the last time we saw him, there seemed to be some chemistry between him and then-waitress Flo.
Carlos: It’s funny you say that because I think Danny had been trying to give Katrina [Bowden, Flo] some more hours at work so that he could spend a little more time with her — as friends, of course — because Danny wouldn’t want to step on Wyatt’s toes. And let’s end that with a little devilish laugh.
Digest: Prior to acting, sports was your life. How did that shape who you are today?
Carlos: I was a standout athlete since I was 4 years old, and I had some hiccups in high school where I wasn’t on the right track. Sports was my way out of my reality, and I realized from speaking to my coaches and teachers that that could be my ticket out of my predicament, and it could also be my ticket into college. I took it seriously after getting into some trouble, and I didn’t look back. I was able to defy the odds and become the first in my family to go to college, the first in my family to professionally play a sport, then model and be on TV. All these cool accolades started with sports and learning the discipline to persevere and over- come, and I still carry those life lessons with me today.
Digest: You played college ball at Purdue, then pro ball for the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants before an injury sidelined your path. Describe that experience.
Carlos: It’s like you work your whole life to get to that point, and then all the fun gets pulled out of it because of the business side of it. I kind of got derailed mentally from football. I kept playing it because I knew that’s what I had to do to get where I wanted to go, and once I got there, I wasn’t in a happy place. I loved going over to the Giants under the leadership of Tom Coughlin. He’s an inspirational guy. He will tell you like it is and one thing I really admired about him was before every meeting, he would give an inspirational quote and story. He was almost like a father figure, giving life advice that correlated to football. Then, after tearing my hamstring, it put me back in a place like, “All right, what’s next?” and that’s when I got the opportunity to go on AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL.
Digest: How did that affect your life?
Carlos: Winning TOP MODEL changed everything. We filmed in L.A. and Seoul, Korea. That was my first time out of the country. Modeling was definitely a culture shock but I feel I adjusted well. I took the message from football — perseverance — and I keep that in mind with acting, and I’m still modeling.
Digest: Between auditions, what are you up to now?
Carlos: Nothing that is solid in stone right now to talk about, but I do have my own nonprofit and I’m in the process of trying to build a charter school back home [in Bridgeport, CT], so that’s my goal.
Digest: Would you come back to B&B and/ or Y&R?
Carlos: Most definitely! Danny is very happy there, and likes life on both sides of the street.