TV Source Magazine got a chance to catch up with soap veteran Jacob Young (ex-Rick, B&B; et al) to discuss all of the many projects he has lined up since deciding to opt out of his contract at CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful. But it quickly became clear that the erasure of Rick Forrester wasn’t at all what his portrayer was expecting, nor was it what he was promised.
Social media can be a bit of a minefield for daytime actors. They can often say things that have fans doing double takes. For me, that actor as of late has been Jacob Young. During B&B’s recent wedding of Liam to Hope, Jacob was very vocal about his character’s absence. My initial thought was, “Well that’s odd; he’s seems so busy with other projects. It’s more likely he just could shoot on these days.” Then came the tweets agreeing with fans’ disappointment in the disappearance of Rick and Avants.
It was clear Jacob had a story to tell. So, I reached out to the actor and set up an interview to allow him the chance to do just that.
The last time The Bold and the Beautiful fans saw Rick on-screen was May 29, 2018. What exactly is your current status on B&B? Last we heard, you were recurring, but we still expected to see you more than we have.
Yeah, it’s a little tricky because they felt that the story with Maya and Rick had sort of run its course. I disagreed with that full heartedly because I knew that there was a lot of different angles we could play and awareness that we could bring to this storyline. I’m going to try and rationalize it for them and then rationalize it for myself. We’ll break this into two pieces. For them, they have so many people that they have under contract and we have about fifteen minutes truly of air time. When they decide to shift gears, they are not really good at telling multiple stories like AMC, OLTL, GH or these one-hour soaps that we know so well. The writing team over there, they’re limited to two or three stories tops as you know and there were a couple of things coming up.
Number one, my contract was coming up. Number two, Karla Mosley was just getting ready to take maternity leave, and she’s basically the anchor with Rick as far as a couple. Honestly, they felt that it was going in a different direction. At the same time, I was having a sigh of relief because I’ve been contemplating, as you were saying as TV Source has had to adjust to the ever-changing climate of daytime, so do the actors. It was becoming that time where, I’m not quite 40 so I’m still young enough to do the things that I want to do, but it’s now or never. So, it was time for me to take this as an opportunity to branch out and do some of the things I wanted to do. We’ve done a lot so far within the last year.
You answered my next question with that answer, as I was going to ask you about B&B’s inability to tell more than one story at a time. I understand that it’s 30 minutes long, but I’ve been watching since the 90s and they’ve been better at telling more one story at the time before.
You know, I think that there’s a couple of the writers on staff now that have Brad Bell’s ear. I think he’s taking a lot less responsibilities as far as day in and day out and I think they are kind of running the ship. In a generation that has lost these shows, as many decades as people have watched The Bold and the Beautiful for, these guys weren’t even in high school when these shows were going, and now they are running these shows now. I think that there’s a real generational gap and the people that are at the helm are not necessarily able to do what they used to do in the early 2000s the 90s and 80s by telling multiple stories. They are doing just enough, if you know what I mean.
Storyline aside, we still expected to see the character of Rick. During Hope and Liam’s wedding, everyone in attendance gave speeches about how to maintain a healthy marriage. We found that odd considering the healthiest and longest marriage on the show is Rick and Maya’s, but they weren’t even there. You tweeted about that. Does that mean you weren’t given a script, because some fans just assumed you weren’t available to shoot?
No, that wasn’t the case at all. I told them. I said, ‘Look, anything that’s important to the show, that means something to you, that you want me there for, I’ll be there. Even while I’m pursuing my other projects.’ They told me that there’d be something in August, which turned out to be the Liam/Hope wedding. But they never contacted me. They never sent me a script. So honestly, I’m not holding my breath that there will be something for Rick for Thanksgiving. I’m truly coming from a real place when I say that. I just don’t know why. I think a lot had to do with budgets and whenever they decide to bring on a new character. God bless him because I love Ingo Rademacher, but bringing him on, basically they needed to free up some financial money, and so I think that was me because I had not had much [of a] storyline. So, they decided they’d use him instead. I think that’s probably the most realistic answer I can give. It just comes down to money.
We’ve heard about budget issues with The Young and the Restless and Days of our Lives as well. We thought maybe that was something that was specific to Sony, but I guess not.
Oh, there’s definitely money in The Bold and the Beautiful, but they’re definitely keeping it real tight because of the other shows that have gone off the air. I’m not really trying to stand up for them in any way because I really have a bad taste in my mouth over the whole thing myself. But he’s such a pivotal character and I thought for something as significant as Hope’s wedding – being her big brother – he’d definitely make an appearance and give his blessing to his sister and that just wasn’t the case.
One of our favorite storylines on any soap in the last 5 years was Maya being revealed as transgender, her love story with Rick, them getting married and their journey to have a baby. How did you receive this storyline when you were first made aware of it?
First of all, thank you for saying that. It was groundbreaking. As far as I’ve known, in the 21 years in daytime television that I’ve done, every storyline has been played out for the most part and played a hundred times. This was groundbreaking – it was the first of its kind and I was thrilled just as the audience was.
It was funny because they were keeping it from me. Karla Mosley knew. They had a talk with her in private, because they needed to keep this story top secret and not even tell me. It was funny, not in any kind of weird way, but because I was kind of hinting at Karla in the makeup chair. I was like, ‘Come on, you can tell me. There isn’t a storyline I haven’t heard of.’ She was like, ‘You haven’t heard of this one!’ I said, ‘What are they going to reveal that you’re a man?’
She looked at me and she got flushed and she didn’t say anything and that was all the answer that I needed because I guessed it. The irony. But, my concern going into it was with the writing team that we had. How we were going to execute it and ensure that we were educating at the same time. So, we made sure that we had an understanding of the LGBTQ community – what words do you say and what words do you not say, and connotations to the transgender community and to make sure that everything was PC. At the same time, the storyline started really impacting people’s lives on a real level and I thought that was really cool when the different tweets and different letters came in that we were making an impact.
The show received a ton of praise for daring to go there with the storyline – it garnered awards as well as spiked ratings. We thought this would be a storyline that would have impact for years to come. But it’s pretty much vanished, something you’ve been pretty vocal about on Twitter. I wanted to ask you if you wanted to expand on your feelings about that. You expressed that the writers said this wasn’t a storyline they thought could continue and I don’t understand that. Personally, I don’t want to see Liam get married every six months. I’d rather see this.
Well, the shine kind of wears off after you’ve been married or attempted marriage for the 12th time. Essentially, it’s like the boy who cried wolf. (laughs) I even told Scott [Clifton, Liam], why would Liam allow his father or any family member to sway his view? If you’re a grown man, you’re going to do your own thing no matter what anyone says so you should really fight for that because you’re starting to look flimsy on the show by going back and forth and back and forth all the time. I know they’ve done that with Brooke and such in the past but that’s what their trying to emulate. I’m sorry, I’m going on a tangent. What was the beginning of that question?
I was just wanting an understanding of why the writers would see a story like Rick and Maya’s and assume it had a shelf life. Because it doesn’t in my eyes.
First of all, the writers said, ‘It’s run its course and we don’t really know where to go with the story.’ I even wrote a story for Brad that would work. He said it would never work, and then used it for the new cast members that just came on – the younger cast. So, he took my storyline that I wrote for them. I guess he liked it that much. Again, the writers say one thing, but I say financial. Because they didn’t want to pay two guys the salary rate that I was paid at. So, Ingo got to come in and do his thing, so I guess as time will tell. I’m not in any way looking to go that direction anyway. Like I said, if they really do need me for a few episodes here and there, I’m all there. But I’m not interested in going under a contractual situation again.
I’ll be honest, I haven’t watched a full week in B&B in quite some time because it’s so redundant. So I’m not entirely sure what storyline your referencing. Do you mind explaining that? Was it the one with Thorne?
Yeah, and the interns and all that. I had basically written that, but it was Rick being involved. They’ve augmented it a bit. It’s not exactly the same, but that storyline was meant to involve my character. I wrote a whole synopsis on it, he asked me to. And he really liked it but said CBS was going to give us hell if we tell this story. And he goes, ‘But I wish sometimes I was my father and could say to hell with them and do it anyway.’ So, I said, ‘Then let’s do it. Let’s do it anyway.’ And he’s like, ‘Well, let me think on it.’ And it just never came about for me. Which is great because it’s allowed me to shoot three films since I’ve been off the show, two of which will be on the Lifetime Network in early 2019. The third will be going into independent festivals, and the last I heard the guy who scored Iron Man 2 is going to be scoring it. It’s supposed to be a really cool edgy film with Ricky Garcia from the Disney Channel. It’s just a really great cast. It’s an interesting film. It’s like Training Day meets The Crow. Really Dark.