Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Katherine Kelly Lang - The Exclusive WLS Interview, Part Three

In Parts One and Two of our interview with Katherine Kelly Lang, the acclaimed actress of THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL discussed the delicate balance between her character, Brooke, being "good and bad," as well as how Brooke's resilience could be a role model for gay youth, and the one story that she felt went "oveboard."  In Part Three below, Lang discusses lessons learned from Susan Flannery, Brooke's traumatic rape story line, and how she feels about being overlooked for Emmy nominations. Plus, did she really appear on Italy's DANCING WITH THE STARS? Read on to find out.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: We recently saw a brief truce between Brooke and Stephanie on B&B.
Katherine Kelly Lang: That is really nice.  I love it because they have moments like that, then something comes back into their lives to make them quarrel and get mad at each other again.  But they understand each other and they fight for the same love of their family.  I just love working with Susan, I have learned so much from her throughout the years.  Watching her I pick up so much. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: What is the main thing you learned from watching Susan Flannery over the years?
Katherine Kelly Lang: How to stand up for yourself. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Have you had to apply that at times?
Katherine Kelly Lang: Oh yeah! You have to stand up for yourself as an actor.  I was one of the younger ones there when I started there.  Susan has been there and done that and would say to me, “Stand up for what you believe.  Don’t let them push you around so much,” meaning the producers and the directors.  You have to eventually believe in what you are doing, believe in your craft and say, “This is what I want to do and this is how I feel I’m going to do it.” The more and more someone tells you how to do something, the less and less it comes from the inside, which is not really how any of us work anymore.  You have to stand up for yourself, and she is a great example of that.  She believes 100 percent in what she is doing and nobody can tell her any different.  That is when you would see her do her best work. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Have you had to do that?
Katherine Kelly Lang: Sure, in everything in life. It goes beyond acting.  There are always going to people who try to beat you down. You have to stand up for yourself. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: In 2007, Brooke was central in one of the most traumatic and powerful storylines on B&B.  She was brutally raped in her own living room.  What was that like to get those scripts and do that story?
Katherine Kelly Lang: I had suggested that to Brad.  My character was in a space of kind of doing nothing.  I said, “I want something really dramatic, what if this thing happened to Brooke?” He really didn’t want Brooke to be raped because he thought people wouldn’t want to see it.  But I thought if it helps then we can make it an awareness story.  It was then his idea to do the hotline [P.S.A.] at the end.  We told people to call in if this was a situation that had happened to them, and gave the number for the hotline.  Thousands and thousands of women called in.  They said they never knew who to call, what to do, who to talk to.  And then they called in and they were able to get help for something that had been bothering them for years.  I enjoyed doing those shows for that reason.  I was hoping they would dwell on that a little bit more, but it came and went.  It’s like, “Let’s forget about it now.”

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: How did you prepare to shoot those scenes?
Katherine Kelly Lang: It was hard because I had to ask, “How do I put myself in this position, how would I really feel?” I wasn’t sure.  I think for a lot of it I would be in shock.  I wasn’t sure if I would be terrified out of my mind or if the shock takes over and numbs you to the whole situation.  I wasn’t sure exactly so I played a lot of different response.  Of course after watching I go back and say, “Maybe I could have done a little more of this or a little more of that...”  You never really know how you will react in that situation.  I thought it was so well written and played out pretty well.  I thought the guy who played the rapist [Paul Ganus] was pretty creepy.  He was a good actor. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: As someone who has worked with trauma survivors, I thought you embodied that very well.  Some viewers wondered, “How could she just answer the door and interact with the social worker after something like that?” But people can go into autopilot after a trauma like that while in shock.  I thought your eyes and rigid body movements captured that. 
Katherine Kelly Lang: I remember I felt stuck in my body.  It took over in its own way.  I felt awkward and numb in my own body.  You have to go through that.  Even after traumatic things happen to people, you see people going through their paces of life.  You wonder, “How are they doing that?” but they do.  In fact, doing that is pretty much what keeps you sane. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Many of us were then unhappy that you did not get an Emmy nomination that year.
Katherine Kelly Lang: Yeah...I don’t know.  I submitted those scenes for my Emmy reel.  There wasn’t a lot of dialogue, and there were a lot of scenes of things just happening.  I’m not sure if that was why.  Or was it too much? I don't know.  It’s okay as long as I have a great job and I get to do what I love to do every day.  I work hard, I do the best I can.  An Emmy is an Emmy, it’s not life or death. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: And I think perhaps the thousands and thousands of women and men whom you helped speaks more to your work than an Emmy nomination.   
Katherine Kelly Lang: That is great.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Later in 2007, you were featured on the Italian version of DANCING WITH THE STARS. You did a cartwheel! 
Katherine Kelly Lang: In high heels! I used to do gymnastics when I was a kid.  They wanted me to do the whole show, and to learn a new dance every week.  I knew I couldn’t do that back and forth [from Italy to California].  Ronn Moss did it this year but it almost killed him [laughs]!  So I told them no, but my husband came up with the idea of going and doing one guest dance, letting the judges judge us, then the points that we get go to the audience to decide which couple they want to give out points to.  They get to help out a losing couple that they like.  So we did the dance, and I learned it in four days.  I got there, met my dance partner, and I asked him, “Okay, what’s the dance what are we going to do?” He said, “I don’t know, I wanted to meet you first.”  I said, “What?! You don’t even know the dance?” So we started putting it together.  And I decided if I was going to put together a dance it had to incorporate gymnastics.  So we incorporated the cartwheel, the flip over the head, and then the splits.  It was fun, but it was just that one dance.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: You can see in that video and B&B that you are in the best shape of your life. Do you have any tips for WLS readers about staying in such great shape, especially around the holidays? 
Katherine Kelly Lang: It can be really hard to fit [exercise] into your schedule.  But sometimes even if you throw on your tennis shoes and run out the door for half hour, that is the easiest thing to do.  So I started running because time wise it was easy to plan.  Biking is also really good.  I made a point of running or doing yoga this past year.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Come back for Part Four in which Lang discusses life lessons learned, as well as what she would do ensure the future of daytime.

Damon L. Jacobs is a Licensed Therapist now accepting new clients in New York City.  He is also the author of the popular book "Absolutely Should-less: The Secret to Living the Stress-Free Life You Deserve." For more information about scheduling an appointment, please email him at [email protected].

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