I want to broach the topic of newer characters vs. veteran characters in daytime. A lot of fans express frustrations with how “newbies” are being placed at the forefront at the cost of the veterans. It’s often said that you have to bring in new characters to keep it fresh, but people like me, who’ve been watching for over 30 years, I tend not to gravitate towards new characters unless they’re phenomenal like Rome Flynn or Reign Edwards were.
I completely agree with you. Ever since I started, and even before that, in the summer time they’d bring in younger characters. And that was to try and spark interest in a show with a younger generation. And yes, that used to work. But as of right now… I remember 15 years ago, I could pretty much go anywhere and be recognized as whatever character I was playing in daytime. Be it JR Chandler, or Lucky Spencer or this character. And now someone, like a parent, will say, ‘He’s on TV.’ And it will be some teenage girl – 17, 18, or maybe in their 20s and they’ll say, ‘What are you on?’ And I’ll say, ‘A show called The Bold and the Beautiful.’ And they’ll say, ‘I’ve never heard of it.’ That tells you that it doesn’t matter how many young people or fresh people they bring on, they are not changing their audience. Their audience is what their audience is and that’s why it’s important to bring on your veterans.
I was talking to Kin Shriner [Scotty Baldwin, GH] about this very thing today. He’s always complained about this. They bring in younger people – and yes, you have to have a couple of younger storylines, but the people that are watching are not that age. They’re not that demographic. So, I wish shows would really benefit from bringing on the veterans in more of an “A” storyline that the audience would enjoy. Everyone is always trying to reinvent the wheel when they don’t have to.
We started to see less and less of Karla Mosely well before her pregnancy was announced. The show also lost Reign Edwards in January. Across the hall on Y&R, two prominent actresses of color have either left completely or been dropped to recurring. A fan recently tweeted you about the lack of diversity on soaps and their reluctance to correct that. You replied that you agree. Can you share with us your thoughts on that matter?
Specifically, being able to work with Karla and Reign and Obba Babatundé and Anna Maria [Horsford], we had such a wonderful dichotomy of great story that was going, and it was really impacting, and it meant a lot to the African-American community. I would get the tweets, I would get the texts.
It was awesome what they were doing. And it was like, every time they start to just… it starts to really work, they take it back. They’ll bring someone to recurring or they let the storyline fizzle off to nowhere land. And people ask, ‘Where are the Avant’s, what happened to them?’ So, absolutely, I agree with that whole heartedly. It’s something they should keep a closer watch on and gauge their audience a little better. I think that they’re not doing enough.
For so long on CBS Daytime, as far as representation, all we had were the Winters on Y&R, and then they brought in the Avant’s on B&B. I will admit as an African-American woman, that it was a large part of why I loved this story so much, so to just see them disappear was disheartening.
And the acting coming out was second to none. It was incredible. Obba Babatundé was dancing circles around people with his chops.
Last year you spoke up about the #MeToo movement. With that, and with your stance on diversity in soap operas, do you feel like you’ve gotten to a place in your career that you feel comfortable addressing social issues?
Yeah, absolutely. I think the time is now more than ever. With so many new barriers being broken down within the industry, I think it would do everybody well to speak out when they feel passionate about something and to not have to constantly edit what they are going to say. Because everyone’s opinion matters. It doesn’t matter if it’s a negative opinion or a positive opinion because we have to hear all of these opinions to adjust as a society. Yeah, I know I feel comfortable about it. I’ve never been someone to be too reserved, but nobody ever really asks me too many questions like that.
A lot of actors will say something on twitter and the response will be, “You need to be quiet and act. We don’t want to hear your opinion.” I completely disagree with that. Your opinion is your opinion and just because you’re in this industry, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be allowed to voice that.
And I feel like there’s a lot of that. That’s still going on. People are afraid to say something because they’re afraid to lose their job or some type of backlash. But the time is now that everyone needs to stand on their own two feet.
You also tweeted that Maya would likely be gone completely. I don’t want you to reveal anything about her contract status clearly, but do you know if the show has anything planned for your characters? Or are her and Rick going to be at Forrester International for the foreseeable future?
I honest think the latter part of that question is your answer. I think that we’re going to be in Paris in the Forrester Creations office for a while. I know Karla is still on maternity leave. I don’t know. I was talking to her and we were both like, ‘Well we’re going to keep doing what we do no matter what.’ And we’re not going to stop acting, we’re going to be in other places that everyone is going to see us and enjoy what we put forth. But this storyline, I don’t know why, but they backpaddled on it.
Speaking of Karla, she recently just had the cutest baby girl! Have had the chance to reach out to her?
We just had a text conversation like three days ago. She said I happened to be on her mind and she let me know she had her baby and it was just thankful that she shared it with me. I’m just excited for this new chapter in her life. I know what it’s like to be a parent and I know she’s always wanted to be a mom so she’s really super excited.
If the door to return to B&B is no longer open, do you see yourself on any other soap opera or are you moving past that?
I don’t think I’d ever want to go back under a contractual situation but ya know, I would definitely do a little arc and bring Lucky back. With Genie Francis coming back, we always worked well together, and it was a nice little arc and I’d do that and have some fun with the GH guys over there.
I want to talk about some of your other projects. You’ve been performing a lot and were recently a part of the 2018 CMA Music Fest in Nashville. Is music something you plan on focusing more attention on?
I’m going to continue to focus on music. I’m going to use it as an outlet. I’m not going to kid myself and think I’m a young man coming into the industry, but at the same time it’s a freedom being able to sing my songs that I’ve written and share them with people. It’s a great outlet and if people want to show up and listen, then I’m floored. I’m having a great time with it. So, we played the CMA Fest and just played a singer/song writer series which is like Bluebird Café.
We have to be really thankful for the show Nashville because the show Nashville really kind of spotlighted the songwriters of Nashville. This has opened up a whole other kind of performing. It’s the storytelling aspect. How the songs came together, why we wrote it, how we wrote it and then performing. So, I just did one of those in Alabama and it was a lot of fun and it’s always going to be there. September 10th the EP comes out and with all my tracks on there and a couple that people haven’t heard yet.
I’m an R&B fan, but I have a very strong appreciation for country and I listened to your music and it’s really good. Fool For You is really good. That song is gorgeous.
Thank you. Yeah, sometimes songs just come together. That song came together in like fifteen minutes, and that’s the one that’s kind of crept up on Spotify. It’s at like 70,000 streams right now. It’s been doing good.
I’ve seen you show your desire to direct. Have you dabbled in directing before or will this be your first time?
I’ve directed a few commercials before. Because I’ve been in the industry for so many years, you really kind of pick it up naturally. It just becomes the next progression in life because you work so closely with directors. And as a director, you work really closely with your DP who does a lot of the heavy lifting. We try to make it work in according to light and make sure the actors are doing their job at the same time. But yes, directing has been something that I have had a desire to do for a long time and is something that I will do eventually.
We just started a GoFundMe for a Hallmark format film for a who-dun-it-Agatha Christie thing kind of like Clue. A bunch of people go up to a house in a mountain resort and they get snowed in and somebody gets murdered. So, it has to be someone in the house. That’s what this script is about. It’s a really fun murder mystery so I’m going to sink my teeth into that. Aside from the three movies that I shot, I have another movie called Mending the Line that’s in development. That deals with post-traumatic stress and healing of being in natural. It’s really poignant story. The writer won SXSW and we were lucky enough to option his script. Then I have another film in development that will be shot in the south. It’s a three generational story of women coming to terms, grandmother, mother and daughter taking place on a ranch and its going to be shot in the spring.
Ok, Daytime After Dark. Can you give me a run down on what this is about because I’m really intrigued.
So Daytime After Dark, so obviously people know me. They always go, ‘You’re so and so from that daytime show.’ It’s more of a double entendre and a play on words. Yes, I will touch on daytime but its more about, ‘Hey, I’m the daytime and its after dark.” It’s going to be free form; no subject is going to be off limits. It’s going to be raw Jacob. It’s not going to be PC Jacob that you’ve come to know on soap operas. I’m also going to be bringing in my friends for interviews. We’re going to be doing everything from actors to directors to writers talking about everything. Maybe it’s going to be about Ben Affleck going back to rehab, get people’s opinions on that. We’re going to talk about juicy fun stuff. We’re going to have laughs. I may play a song or two once in a while. It’s going to be completely for the fans to engage, interface and have a really great time.
That sounds amazing. I can’t wait to check that out. Thank you so much for talking with us Jacob.