On March 23, 1987, The bold and the beautiful, a soap opera set in the glamorous world of fashion in Los Angeles, made its debut on CBS. Over the past 35 years, the show has won 100 Daytime Emmy Awards and become the most-watched American soap opera in the world. John McCook, who is part of the original cast, answers our questions.
John, do you remember your first day on set?
Of course! Two weeks earlier, he had walked through the studio on his way to another location and it was completely deserted. When I got back there on the first day of filming, I saw the beautiful sets of the Forrester Creations president’s office, the living room of the Forrester mansion, and the Logan house. I thought to myself “fantastic, they spend money to make everything look good!” That day, we were filming a scene that took place backstage at a fashion show. All the actors and actresses were there, plus a dozen gorgeous models wearing wonderful couture dresses. All the hustle and bustle that went into this scene was very enjoyable to shoot. So yes, I remember it well!
Did you already have the feeling that the soap opera would still be a success, 35 years later?
I knew I would be successful, but I didn’t have a number like 35 in mind! The most popular series last around four or five years, sometimes 10 or 11 years. But a success that has lasted 35 years is remarkable and I am very proud of it.
After all this time, do you still need to prepare to get into character as Eric before shooting a scene?
More of. Eric is not that different from me, so I don’t need much preparation. What I have to deal with are the decisions that he makes in the plots and his way of seeing things. Sometimes I disagree with him, but that’s the only preparation I have to do!
It’s funny you bring it up, because I was going to ask you why a man as positive and good as Eric always ends up with people like Quinn.
Indeed! (laughs) That is an excellent question. I think Eric is blinded by love. Even in the early years of the soap opera, in all of her years with Stephanie, he would walk away from her to find love and affection that he didn’t feel he was getting in her marriage. Now when he sees a beautiful woman who looks different, he can’t resist. In this sense, Eric is very different from me. (laughs).
Many actors and actresses claim that playing a villain is more satisfying than playing a good person. What do you think?
I don’t see them as good or bad, but as imperfect people. Eric’s little flaws make him more interesting to me. I don’t see him as a good and boring character, he is a character with many nuances.
What are the benefits of playing a character for so long?
When you decide to be an actor, you get a role and then it’s over. Then you get another one, and that too is over. There is always this anxiety of not knowing what is coming. Consequently, when you get a part in a telenovela like Best Models and you think it will last 5 or 10 years, you are reassured knowing that you will be able to pay for your house and provide for your family. Is it less interesting? No, because the people I work with are nice, interesting, talented, smart, and conscientious. I can not complain.
How did you react when you found out? Best Models Was it renewed for two more seasons?
In fact, I forget that the serial must be renewed every two or three years. The only thing that worries me is my contract! (laughs) When I heard the news I thought “it has not been renewed?”. That said, it’s always a relief to learn it.
Following Susan Flannery’s retirement in 2018, did you stay in touch with the one who played your first wife on screen?
I’ve only seen her three or four times since she left the show, but I can tell you she’s happy and healthy!
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BEST MODELS IN FIGURES
- 100 pay transmits the telenovela, which is the most watched in the world.
- 8734 episodes
- 393 750 dialog pages stored by the distribution.
- 100 weddings…including those that have been canceled or discontinued. For example, Ridge Forrester (Thorsten Kaye) stopped Brooke Logan (Katherine Kelly Lang) from marrying Bill Spencer (Don Diamont) twice, in 2014 and 2016.
- 7 marriages for Eric Forrester’s character. After first divorcing Stephanie Douglas (Susan Flannery) in 1990, he married Brooke Logan (1991-1992 and 2005), Sheila Carter (Kimberlin Brown, 1993-1995), Donna Logan (Jennifer Gareis, 2008-2010) and Quinn Fuller (Rena Sofer, 2016)… in addition to returning to the altar with Stephanie Douglas in 1999, 2006 and 2012!
- 23 babies born on screen
- 34 characters passed away.
- 1700 decorations created by the artistic department, awarded at the Daytime Emmy Awards in 1988 and in 2012.
- 1793 containers of hairspray and 415 lipstick tubes they were used by the hair and makeup departments. The makeup department received Daytime Emmy Awards in 1993 and 2011, and the hair department won awards in 1996, 1998, 2009, 2010, and 2012.
- The soap opera was filmed in 14 cities situated in 11 payincluding the United Arab Emirates, Australia, France, Italy, Mexico and the Netherlands.
SEE ALSO: 20 actors died during filming