In an interview with soap star Krista Allen from CBS’ The Bold and The Beautiful, TV Source got the chance to shoot the breeze with this talented actress and talk about life, career paths, what she’s been doing over the past few years, and for all of soap fans, how she landed her most recent role as resident psychiatrist, Dr. Taylor Hayes. From soaps to primetime shows and movies, Krista Allen has been making us fall in love with her characters, making us love to hate them at times, and of course, making us laugh.
With her very first acting role being on The Bold and the Beautiful in 1995 as Shelly, one could say Krista Allen has come full circle from where she started. She’s come a long way from the role of Shelly. a role that was originally a recurring part that ended, well, we’ll let her tell you.
“I got my first ever audition for Bold and the Beautiful about a few months into being in Los Angeles—It was the day after I met a manager who told me to come back after I had decided if I was staying in LA. He called me with an audition, so I went in and read. I somehow booked the dang job and was feeling all sassy and cool. And when I got to set, I just kept staring directly into the camera, unable to deliver my lines. They let me go after two episodes,” she laughed before continuing, “And, that was my first job!” Shelly may not have worked out, but Dr. Hayes is here to stay, and Krista brings forth fresh new energy, energizing the beloved Taylor and Ridge family unit.
While The Bold and the Beautiful may have been her first job, it certainly wasn’t her last. Allen landed another gig soon after on NBC’s Days of Our Lives from 1996-1999 as Billie Reed, as well as many of the most iconic TV shows of our time and memorable blockbuster movies. (Liar, Liar (Jim Carrey) anyone?) There are many contrasts in the different genres of projects. As a person who has had tons of experience with movies and TV, Krista gave a glimpse into set life on soaps and what she feels the most significant difference is from other jobs she’s done. “We don’t know the end of the story. We learn the show’s arc with incoming scripts just like you all watch the air shows. We don’t have much forewarning about what’s coming up for our characters. I study my lines for my episodes the night before I go in. I think that’s the biggest difference between soaps and other projects. With soaps, there is no beginning, middle, and end that is all wrapped up nicely in a story bible. We are just as surprised as you guys.”
We asked her what goes into making an actor feel like they’re genuinely in character? Everyone has that certain thing that gives that sense of completeness, right? “One of the biggest things for me for the character is make up, hair, and wardrobe. When those things are not in play, it throws me off.”
Assuming the role of Doctor Taylor Hayes, we can agree that Krista dresses and physically looks the part. But there is that wig issue—The one debacle that sparks many conversations, besides her excellent adaptation of Taylor’s demeanor, are the wigs the show chose for her to wear during her first few months. While it is a bit distracting (for her and us), her charismatic embodiment of the character more than makes up for the wig. And to our extreme delight, we were able to find out that the wig would soon be a thing of the past. Hair today, gone tomorrow.
Diving into the non-responsive parts of acting, we discussed how Krista excels in capitalizing on flipping the switch between doctor and mother as Taylor Hayes. “I listen to what is being said and have an internal dialogue about what Taylor believes is happening in the scene. Everything is from her perspective, and the history that brought her to the current moment.”
The audience has raved about how Taylor is more in control of her emotions and has the assured stability she had in the early 2000s and early ’90s. One scene stood out where you could visibly see the shift in Taylor was when she was speaking to her son-in-law, Finn, played by Tanner Novlan. Our Doc offered him a sympathetic ear and analyzed how he felt about Sheila, his biological mother (played Kimberlin Brown.) For me, as a long-time fan of the show, it was interesting to watch.
With any job, there can be criticism, and actors are no strangers to online comments. While Krista is new to the role of Taylor Hayes, she has been such a fun presence on social media and truly enjoys interacting with The Bold and the Beautiful fandom. “Social Media is a great place to connect with others, and I’ve found some incredible humans in my feed. Because I’m looking for the best in people and we find each other. That’s how I found you! Anyone who knows me knows that I find the human condition fascinating! Because of this, my sense of humor can seem controversial to some.”
What about people confusing reel and real? “People get attached to their own very personal connection to the characters, good or bad—and it’s as easy to love a character as it is to judge one. It’s all about perspective. It can be easy for some to blur the lines when those personal emotions come into play, making it easy to forget that the characters aren’t actually real people.” While others could be easily offended by rude comments, Krista has a healthy way of dealing with criticism. Even as she spoke, we laughed a lot, and I even shared some of my social media showdowns while she playfully analyzed me, making me feel like I was in my own psychiatrist’s chair. But like, a fun one.
In an exciting twist, we got to discuss what Krista has been doing. It also explained her ability to pinpoint some mysteries in my own life! She admitted she hadn’t been acting much in the past four years because she has been in school. As a matter of fact, she was already working with clients when Bold called her to join the cast. “My love of the human brain and how it operates led me to become certified as a trauma specialist in Complex PTSD and an addiction and recovery counselor, and an Epigenetic coach with a special focus on neurotransmitters in brain activity and DNA expression. When this role came up to play a shrink, I was thrilled. I’ve always wanted to say I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.” While she was obviously kidding, and all the credentials are a mouthful to say, it does feel like the role of psychiatrist was a perfect fit for her reemergence on daytime television.
There are so many things to love about the character of Taylor Hayes, but what about the shortcomings and character flaws? Digging into Krista’s understanding of the character, she had this to say. “I love the character, and I don’t think I hate anything about her. She has character flaws, much like we all do, and she’s vulnerable. Who would like a character who’s always perfect? That’s simply not human! Taylor must mess up at some point, and I think that’s the fun part. I bet she’s going to unravel at some point. The Saints fall the hardest.”
We asked about the emotional responses to Taylor as a character and how Krista feels to evoke such strong reactions from fans. She did admit she enjoys all the responses. “People are very invested in the character, so I understand when there is anger, but I believe that no character can always be portrayed as great. The character of Taylor is like the millionaire matchmaker.” Krista joked. “She has great advice for everyone else but can’t look at her own codependent behavior. She’s so stuck on Ridge, but the real question is, ‘Is it really about him?’ Sometimes we have to step back and look at the bigger picture. I think she wants to love and be loved back. Something everyone in the world wants in life.”
As much as Krista loves the character of Taylor, she did admit she plays up her nonverbal cues when it comes to adapting to the dialogue. “I try to give her a little sass. The fun of it is looking at it from a place of not knowing what’s going to happen but picking up on the dialogue and looking into the foreshadowing in the script. I might have some idea, but I never have the full story. That’s exciting. It’s like me and Taylor are in a new relationship, and I’m trying to find a way to understand her emotions as best I can.”
As far as her costars, we asked who was her favorite and what makes for a great scene partner, and Krista had much praise for her castmates. “I don’t have one person I love more than anyone else. Everyone here is freaking amazing. Thorsten [Kaye] is incredible. Truly a wonderful actor. Jacqui [MacInnes Wood] is brilliant and inspiring—Matt [Atkinson] is fantastic—he’s so good. Katherine [Kelly Lang] is so giving as an actress, and I get excited each time we have scenes together, and Kimberlin [Brown] is so much freaking fun to work with. It is hard to keep a straight face when we work together. I could go on and on.” Gushing about her co-stars, she did reveal how much she loves how well they all know their characters. “I feel like I’m relearning soap acting all over again. It has helped me so much that they are so seasoned, and from day one, they have welcomed me and made me feel completely comfortable and loved.”
When it comes to favorite things, Krista’s list was pretty short. She doesn’t have a favorite color or role. Teasingly, she poked fun at herself. “I chalk it up to commitment issues!” The only favorite thing she has is a favorite person, her son. While she would not admit to any other favorites, I was able to pull out a favorite something of my own about her. Her capacity for understanding and compassion is enduring. “I just believe in staying in your own lane and not trying to tell anyone how to think and feel. I would never presume to tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t like, feel, or think. I believe that everyone has their own way of being that works (or doesn’t) for them. But it’s not my place to change anyone to make myself feel better.” While she tends to ‘stay in her lane,’ we were able to agree that soaps provide an escape from reality for all of us. “It’s the place where an alternate reality can outlandish as you want.”
As we rambled a bit and discussed various topics, one being Krista’s fascination for the human brain and behaviors, being a bit of a philosopher, Krista teased that she rarely gives short answers to any question. “See, I told you I go so deep with my answers. I’m that person that you ask how my day was, and I tell you how I started in the womb and how it’s going now. I’ve been that way my entire life.”
While Krista may not be the first person to play the role of the good doctor originally, she certainly has brought new life to the show that was needed and sorely missed. Krista, the person behind the characters, leaves an infectious light and joy wherever she goes, and it is no surprise that her natural exuberance shines through in her projects. Also, the woman never ages. While she may not be able to pinpoint why she started acting, other than luck, I can personally say we are fortunate that she has shared herself and her talents with the many audiences she’s graced.
The Bold and the Beautiful airs weekdays on CBS. Episodes are available for streaming on Paramount Plus.