‘Hope’ for the Future! Courtney Hope Brings Sally Spectra Back to ‘Bold and the Beautiful’

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Sonja Flemming/CBS

The late great Darlene Conley was the original Sally Spectra on The Bold and the Beautiful. Her one-of-a-kind performance helped put the half-hour sudser on the map back in the show’s early days so trying to recapture her magic was a risky move.

But the show succeeded admirably with the casting of the dynamic Courtney Hope, whose character, Sally, is named after her great aunt. Sally was given a happy ending earlier this year when she left town with Thomas (Pierson Fode), but now she’s back in Los Angeles, a solo act once more.

Read on for Hope’s take on how Sally’s changed and what the future holds for the scrappy “have not.”

Congratulations on your return! How did it come about?

Courtney Hope: Thank you, I am excited to be back with my B&B family! Brad [Bell, executive producer and head writer] and I would talk about once a week [after I left]. He said he was trying to find just the right story for Sally as the previous one had come to a close. I saw him at the 31st anniversary party [in March] and he said, ‘You know, I think I have something.’ My fingers were crossed! Then, about three weeks later I got a text message from him telling me he has the perfect storyline!

Sally’s returning without Thomas (Pierson Fode); how has her time away from Los Angeles and losing Thomas again changed her?

Sally’s been hurt by Thomas. She took a chance on him again and got her heart stomped on – again. With that and her business, which had tanked before she left, she’s definitely hardened up a bit. She’s very pessimistic when it comes to men. She’s always wanted to be a designer. She hopes to find her footing in that again, but she’s got more of an edge now. She’s not taking any flak from anybody!

Audiences often find ‘have not’ characters like Sally more relatable.

Sally doesn’t get everything handed to her. Sure, Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) has had to work for things but it’s not the same. Sally doesn’t come from privilege. That’s relatable. Her current transition is interesting in that she’s always had feistiness but in the beginning that came from a place of some naiveté. She has that same gusto, but now she’s a ‘Phoenix rising.’ Before, she almost bulldozed forward. Now, she’s more strategic.

Courtney Hope is Sally Spectra and Alex Wyse as Saul Feinberg (Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS)

Sally’s return coincides with Wyatt (Darin Brooks) and Katie (Heather Tom) taking a break.

Sally and Wyatt have a lot of common. Both their careers and their relationships are in shambles. That may draw them together and allow them to relate to one another. Wyatt’s the first man who can challenge her in the banter department. He can [hit] the ball back to her. It’s an interesting relationship that’s quickly formed just by them meeting in the one moment. He understands what Sally’s going through.

In addition to Darin, you’re working with Keith Carlos, who’s making his debut as Bikini Bar bartender Danny?

Yes. Keith and I have a couple of scenes together. He’s awesome. I really enjoy working with him.

The original Sally wanted the approval and friendship of Stephanie Forrester (Susan Flannery). Is there anyone’s approval that today’s Sally wants?

In the beginning, Sally wanted Steffy’s (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) approval, especially when she was going after Thomas. That was important to her.

Makes the holidays more pleasant.

[Laughs] It makes things easier! Now, the most important thing is the approval of her great aunt Sally and the rest of her family. That’s something she’s always wanted. Sally never had a good family foundation. Her ‘Grams’ [Shirley, played by Patrika Darbo] raised her. The rest of the Spectras have been Sally’s family. Sally couldn’t care less for the approval of any of the other characters. She wants to succeed for herself and her family.

The fans were really supporting your return.

Yes. I really want to say thank you to the fans. They were and continue to be absolutely amazing not just for me, but for the entire Spectra clan. It was great to hear stories as to how much they enjoyed having us in their homes every day.

(Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS)

How have both you and Sally emerged over the obstacles of the last few months?

There are similarities. The biggest one is the understanding that strong women can handle themselves. When I left the show, I went on with my life. I’d had a great year and thought if playing Sally again comes around, which I’d hoped it would, it would be awesome. What’s interesting is that Sally’s a little more broken than I am. She may not be as spiritually wise yet. She has a different perspective. She’s more self-deprecating. I try not to be. I’m more ‘whatever is meant to be will be!’

The Bold and the Beautiful, Check local listing, CBS