Veteran actor Thorsten Kaye (ex-Zach, AMC; ex-Nick, SMASH; ex-Patrick, OLTL; ex-Ian, PC) begins airing as the new Ridge Forrester on The Bold and the Beautiful next Friday, December 13.
So, let’s check in.
Carolyn: How’s it going on B&B?
Thorsten: Well, first of all it’s called The Bold and the Incredibly Beautiful now.
Carolyn: I’ll make sure Digest changes the abbreviation to B&IB.
Thorsten (laughs): I’ve got all these European magazines with some old guy on the cover and the headline, “THE NEW RIDGE!” I walk on the set and the security guy goes, “Can I help you?” I said, “Are you kidding me? I’m one of the beautiful people now!” Seriously, I was never one of them. I think that makes me a harder worker.
Carolyn: Why does Ridge come back to L.A.?
Thorsten: There is no real reason. It was just time.
Carolyn: Your first scenes are with John McCook [Eric]?
Thorsten: Yes. The scenes with John were great. He’s a wonderful actor, very supportive. It’s hard going into a show replacing somebody. Here I am meeting “my father” for the first time, but the characters have all this experience as father and son. John had my back. He’s a theater actor, so he knows how hard it is taking over a role from somebody else. He opened his arms wide and let me be part of it. That’s important – not just for the character but for actor, too. [B&B recasting Ridge] is not personal. It’s just business.
Carolyn: Does Ridge explain why he missed his mother Stephanie’s funeral?
Thorsten: They’ve hinted at a couple of things; I think it will be revealed in time. He basically says, “You’re right. I should have been there.”
Carolyn: Does Eric tell Ridge that Brooke has been sleeping with Bill?
Thorsten: No. He is leaving that for Brooke to do. That sounds rough, but I think as a father talking to his son he feels he has to protect his child. That’s a story that needs to be told by the woman who slept with her brother-in-law. As Ridge’s father and Brooke’s ex-husband – I just found out Eric and Brooke have kids together! – Eric understands that.
Carolyn: How does it go with Brooke?
Thorsten: It’s rocky in the beginning because she doesn’t know her husband has stopped working out and has been drinking Maker’s Mark all day.
Carolyn (laughs): Seriously.
Thorsten: They talk about what happened. Things have changed. The interesting thing about it is that Brooke doesn’t feel she made a mistake. She made a mistake with the man she chose to be with, but not in being with another man. If I were Ridge, I’d be horrified that my wife moved on with the husband of her sister who has heart disease. But it’s a small cast, so what are you going to do?
Carolyn: What can fans look forward to?
Thorsten: Hopefully, Ridge getting his face back (laughs). All of it. I have tried to make this role my own. I’m playing Ridge as a man making solid decisions based on a set of values that’s constant. Otherwise, I don’t know who this person is. The person can’t be fluid to the story, the story has to be fluid to the person. I couldn’t do what was done before, good or bad. If people don’t buy it, that’s okay. I tried. There are six flights from LAX every day.
Carolyn: How is the commute going?
Thorsten: Okay. I work three days a week and for now I stay at my friend Larry’s house. I need to figure something out. I want this to be an adventure, and my adventures include my kids. I’m thinking of getting an Airstream and parking it on a beach somewhere. That way, my kids will remember this as a fun adventure. My job as a parent is to be there for them; that’s my most important job and my favorite job. To miss out on that because I’m out in L.A. telling a story doesn’t work. I can’t do that. So, yeah, I’ve got to figure that out.
Carolyn: What’s been your biggest challenge so far?
Thorsten: I can’t wear my B&B t-shirt. It’s too small.
Carolyn: Bradley Bell told TV Guide that Ridge, Brooke, Bill and Katie are going to be a “great foursome.” Are you working a lot with Heather Tom [Katie]?
Thorsten: Yes. It’s interesting. Each of those characters is a clear stereotype. Bill is the macho guy who never cries or says he is wrong. Brooke is the beautiful blonde who needs a man to feel good in her life. Katie is her less glamorous sister with health problems but a real sense of humanity. They’re all stereotypes and they all work. I’m not sure where Ridge fits in yet. Maybe he’s the thinker?
Carolyn: With you playing him, yes. Had you worked with Heather before?
Thorsten: No. We’ve worked on the same shows, but the sexual tension was too much. They could never put us together on One Life To Life or All My Children. [Tom played Kelly Cramer.]
Carolyn: Speaking of AMC, what can you say about it on the record?
Thorsten: Let’s see… I am disappointed with the way it ended. I thought it was working out well. We had a great team of people, great production values, and a great cast that was willing to do anything. I don’t understand why it didn’t come together. I wonder if Prospect Park knew what a good loyal cast they had on both shows – how committed people like Woods [Bob Woods, Bo] and all these guys were.
Carolyn: Were you surprised that AMC fizzled out the way it did?
Thorsten: Yeah, I was. Because the studio was open and the sets were up. Everything was in place. I would have thought if they were going to pull the plug they would have done it before. I’m not a businessman. I’m sure there were a lot of things going on with investors. But I’ll tell you this: Both of those shows failed for reasons unrelated to their quality.
Carolyn: How is everyone handling it?
Thorsten: I feel bad for Agnes. You know I love older women. I don’t mean that in a weird way, I mean women like Eileen Herlie [Myrtle, AMC], Dorothy Bridges, and Agnes Nixon. There’s a line from Cyrano de Bergerac which is one of my favorite plays. Roxane finds out she has lost Christian, and later on Cyrano dies. She says, “I have loved one man all my life and now I’ve lost him twice.” That’s how people feel about AMC, especially Agnes. We all mourned the loss of the show, then it was “No it’s still alive!” and then five months later it’s the same s—again. It’s not fair. If they couldn’t do it right they should have left it alone. It’s a business to the people who make money, but for the people involved as artists – like Agnes – it’s the way their hearts work. And their hearts are broken.
Carolyn: Anything else you want to say?
Thorsten: No. Let’s end with the Cyrano thing. That makes me look smart.