Who’s the Love of Liam’s Life? ‘Bold and the Beautiful’s Scott Clifton Weighs In
A week celebrating memorable weddings on Bold and the Beautiful wouldn’t be complete without at least one trip to the altar with Liam (Scott Clifton), who has been torn between two women — Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) and Hope (Annika Noelle) — for years. So, the half-hour soap has included two of Liam’s most memorable marriage ceremonies. First up today, is Liam and Steffy’s 2017 nuptials in Sydney, Australia for the show’s 30th anniversary.
On Friday, viewers will get to revisit Liam and Hope’s (then Kim Matula) marriage in Puglia, Italy from 2012 — an episode that features, among others, original cast member Susan Flannery (Stephanie). TV Insider chatted with Clifton about which woman he truly loves, how he’s handling being self-quarantined, and his savvy approach to social media. Read on for the scoop from daytime TV’s most happy groom!
— Bold & The Beautiful (@BandB_CBS) May 1, 2020
Who is Liam destined to be with — Steffy or Hope? Or are fans fairly split on this?
Scott Clifton: It’s 50/50 and I think it always will be. Liam could be with one, torn between the two, or with the other. The nature of the triangle has to be where neither will definitively win. You have two different camps. The Hope fans are diehard and the Steffy fans are equally so, too. You can never really answer that question. A character may be able to win in the moment. The meta-narrative is that [Liam] could be wrong. Liam may believe Hope is the love of his life, but then he’ll have moments where he realizes that Steffy is. I’ve been ribbing Darin [Brooks, Wyatt] who now knows more what it’s like to be in Liam’s position where he’s gone back and forth between Flo (Katrina Bowden) and Sally (Courtney Hope).
Liam’s Australian wedding to Steffy from 2017 airs today. The show really took advantage of Australia’s landmarks, including shooting by the Sydney Opera House.
I had never been to Australia before. It was really cool getting to do that. I might never have seen it otherwise. I don’t take lot of vacations. I tend to prefer colder weather if I’m going to go somewhere. I’m so grateful I got to see it and check that box on the bucket list. We were there in January or February which is summer in Australia. There was a massive heat wave, but I got to pet a kangaroo.
How much of the location shooting is pre-planned and how much is decided on the go?
Brad [Bell, executive producer/head writer], our producers and directors go in with a plan, of course. And then stuff happens. A tour can be canceled or a historic building [we were planning on shooting in or near] might be closed for renovations. I know Steffy was supposed to come flying in on a zipline. I wasn’t sure how that was going to be pulled off. They got her on a green-screen doing some of it. I had to look up in the [empty] air as if I were seeing it. I knew it was going to be Steffy, but I wasn’t sure exactly what it would look like. Things like that happen. We’re good on thinking on our feet.
Of course, Steffy would come in as if she’s flying. Jacqui can fly, right? She’s magical!
[Laughs] I tried telling them that!
The other Liam wedding we’ll see is on Friday and took place in Puglia, Italy — when he and Hope tied the knot in 2012.
Puglia is a region of Italy, it’s the heel of the boot. What I remember about that trip is I had never been there. My wife [Nicole] and I took advantage of that and we stayed in a hotel a few nights in Rome before the actual work trip. I got to see Rome and then we went out to Puglia and started working. That trip actually changed so many things about my job and our fans. Going there was such an eye-opening experience. We don’t have an audience in the studio so we don’t get direct feedback from our audience there, but when we go out on location, we see so many people show up to watch us. We get a sense of the impact that we and the show have actually have on people’s lives all over the world in countries and cultures.
I’ve had people asked me to hold their babies! They see us as family. In Italy, we stayed in, what I learned, was the No. 1 spa. It was the “resort” of resorts. They’re known for having the No. 1 spa in the world. I got a card saying the spa wanted to give me a complimentary massage. The manager of the spa told me that his staff was incredibly professional and that they’ve given massages to A-list celebrities and they always keep their cool — but that they were freaking out that [the cast of B&B] was there. They wanted to meet us. It’s like we’re the Beatles over there.
The publicity team has you reaching out to fans via social media, introducing classic episodes, and reassuring fans that “we’re all in this together.” It seems like a really smart thing to do given how viewers feel about soaps.
I think it’s genius. In terms of the campaign, it’s not unique to us. Everyone’s doing “we’re all in this together,” but I find it really effective. We need a mantra that sort of normalizes everything we’re going through. My father says he’s never seen anything like this in his lifetime. This is all strange to us. The whole industry is working hard to ameliorate our anxiety. One way to do that is to have us reach out through social platforms to tell them about our encore episodes. That return to a time of normalcy is valuable. I think people are really enjoying the walks down memory lanes. I think it’s a really smart compassionate campaign.
You’re pretty active on social media. You engage with followers and I’ve seen instances where you actually try to reason with detractors instead of just hitting the block key.
My brain is such that I really enjoy interacting. I don’t shy away with disagreements. I intrinsically enjoy disagreements and making a rational case for what I believe. I debate all the time. My ethic with social media is that I’m not going to censor that I have controversial opinions. I’m going to speak controversially. In terms of the show and my opinions about it, my ethic there is if I’m going to be provocative then it’s not fair for me to ignore the response to that. If I am going to say something that will cause a fan base to react, I owe it to them to respond. That may not necessarily be the best way to do it. I know some actors who don’t engage. That’s a totally legitimate way to approach social media.
One of your earliest scenes on B&B was getting slapped by Stephanie. It’s like a rite of passage!
I recall that was on my first week of the show. I was brand new to B&B. I didn’t know the culture of the show. I knew I had this scene and she was the matriarch of the show. I knew she had to slap me. Either in makeup or rehearsal, I leaned into her and said, ‘Hey, I just want you to know you can really slap me. I can take it.’
She got a chuckle out of that. I didn’t know she was famous for actually slapping people. So, we do the scene and she lets me have it! After she slapped me during taping, I froze and was close to breaking character. Bless, her heart. Susan slapped me again and knocked me right back into the scene. I probably would have messed up the take if she hadn’t done that!
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