Friday, December 10, 2010

Katherine Kelly Lang - The Exclusive WLS Interview, Part Four

In Parts OneTwo, and Three of our interview with Katherine Kelly Lang, the beloved actress revealed her insights into Brooke's resilience on THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, why audiences still love her, and the challenges of keeping the character balanced between "bad and good."  In the final part below, Lang shares how she deals with flack from audience members, and life lessons learned from playing Brooke. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: How do you keep Brooke Logan Forrester so alive and vital after nearly 24 years?
Katherine Kelly Lang: I think a lot of that comes from me.  I’m a kind of a vibrant, full of life, positive person who is usually pretty happy.  A lot of that goes into Brooke.  I try to keep that energy going because that what draws people to want to watch.  They want to see that energy and personality coming from somebody, as opposed to a negative downer. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: In a recent episode of B&B, Thomas said to Brooke, “No one creates a spectacle better than you.” 
Katherine Kelly Lang: [Laughs] Brooke likes that, to her that is a compliment. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Some might see her relationship to the Forresters as abusive.  There are so many times I have wanted her to get away from that dynamic, and she has, but then she goes back for more.  Why does she keep going back for more smack-downs?
Katherine Kelly Lang: I think she fights for what she loves, and that has been Ridge from day one.  Now that it’s her family what is she going to do? She’s not going to leave.  She’s going to take the bull by the horns and fight it.  She believes Stephanie is eventually going to come around.  All the other Forresters are pretty much good to her.  Eric still likes her, and the men don’t give her a hard time.  She feels good about getting through to Stephanie recently. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: I like how Ridge has stood by her this past year and defended her to his family.
Katherine Kelly Lang: Yes, he won’t even listen to it anymore.  He sides with Brooke now.  I like to see that, even though that whole Oliver story pushed the envelope.  How could I not know?  I got some flack for that one.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: What does that flack look like? Do you get letters, calls?
Katherine Kelly Lang: Usually it’s email.  The fan base that does the blog or the Facebook page or the B&B website.  They asked, “How could Brooke not know that she wasn’t with her husband whom she had been with for so many years instead of an 18 year old kid? And how could she do that at a kid’s party?” So yeah, that’s true.  But she’s always been a little crazy like that. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: How do you play out a story like that?  How did you make that Oliver story authentic in your mind?
Katherine Kelly Lang: It’s fun because it’s a challenge.  I felt like it was fun and different and shocking.  I said, “Yes, let’s do it, let’s try to make it work!” It’s my job to make it work.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: What’s coming up for you next? More appearances in Italy?
Katherine Kelly Lang: They were talking about me coming back to do DANCING WITH THE STARS there.  I went there recently for two nights to judge Miss Italia.  I always love going over there.  But I have honestly been so busy on the show lately I haven’t much time to think of anything else.  The last two months have been amazingly busy for me. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: B&B is such a phenomenon in Italy.  Do you get mobbed when you go there?
Katherine Kelly Lang: In the beginning it was more like that.  Now it’s not really like that.  Now it’s more calm.  People come up and say things but they don’t mob you.  Walking down the street people want an autograph or a picture but they are pretty nice and respectful.  They definitely come up to me more in Italy than they do in Los Angeles. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: What do you think the six soaps left have to do to remain vital and successful?
Katherine Kelly Lang: I definitely think they can’t start do things inexpensively.  I think that’s the kiss of death.  It seems like some of them said, “Uh oh, we have to cut back or we will be of the air,” and then they cut back and they’re off the air anyway.  They cut back so much that the show looks pretty bad.

But I don’t quite understand why they have been disappearing.  I know it’s about the numbers that they are not getting from daytime these days.  But it’s sad and really scary to me.  These shows that have been on the air forever are disappearing.  We are pretty lucky because we have the international fan base, we are the largest watched soap in the world.  I don’t think our show will disappear like that.  We are revamping so much. They are making the wardrobe, the hair, and the make-up something that people really want to tune in for.  They are going back to more of the fashion of the show and the look.  I think that was a smart move on Brad’s part.  We just need to keep the quality there. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: What have you learned about yourself after playing Brooke for so many years?
Katherine Kelly Lang: Well I pat myself on the back for hanging in and doing a job for 24 years.  I think it’s a great opportunity.  I mean 24 years on the same show is like, “Wow!”.  I know there have been people who have done it longer, it’s really quite amazing.  Brooke has taught me that I can do what I set my mind to you. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: If you could go back to your first day of work on B&B in 1987 and give yourself a piece of advice, what would that be?
Katherine Kelly Lang: To really cherish everything that I have.  I don’t think I appreciated it as much back then, but I was younger.  You sometimes have to age and mature to appreciate it.  I’d also say, “Don’t miss that window of opportunity when it’s there, take it!” Or don’t think, “Oh there’s something better.”  Everyone wants to think that the grass is always greener, but you’ve got to take what you are offered and make it happen. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: You grew up in a Hollywood family.  Did anyone ever say to you, “Enough with the soap opera, go try something else”?
Katherine Kelly Lang: No, I said that to myself.  I wanted the movies, to do really cool films.  Everybody around me kept saying, “No, you have this great job, you should stay with it.”  That was bothering me for a long time.  Now I’m thrilled to still be on the show and still be working and doing what I love to do.  There are times when it’s really hard to get a job in Hollywood.  If I left who knows what would have happened.  I may not even be working now.  I am happy now for making the choice to stay and to make a career out of it. 

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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