‘Bold and the Beautiful’s Heather Tom Reacts to Tying Erika Slezak in Emmy Wins
The list of nominees in the category of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series at the 47th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards was, as always, quite impressive. The gold went to respected thespian Heather Tom who gave a series of compelling performances related to her character, Katie Logan, needing a kidney transplant and Katie’s fury at Flo Fulton Logan (Katrina Bowden), the woman complicit in the kidnapping of Katie’s niece Beth, who, ironically, ended up being Katie’s organ donor.
TV Insider chatted with Tom after her win to talk about the virtual ceremony and her sixth victory, which puts her in a tie with One Life to Live star Erika Slezak (Viki), who won half a dozen Outstanding Lead Actress Daytime Emmys. (Tom’s wins are from three different categories — Outstanding Younger Actress, Outstanding Supporting Actress, and Outstanding Lead Actress).
Also, how will Tom continue the tradition, started by B&B’s Susan Flannery (ex-Stephanie), of hosting next year’s luncheon for the Best Actress nominees? Read on for the scoop!
Congratulations! How does it feel?
Heather Tom: Thank you. I can’t quite wrap my head around it still.
What was it like having to tape the speech before you knew you won?
I won’t lie. It was awful. I’ve never planned a speech ever. I’ve never rehearsed a speech. The only thing I’ve ever said to myself is you have to thank Brad Bell [B&B’s executive producer and head writer]. I totally understand why [the Daytime Emmy Awards producers] did it the way they did. I’m glad the show was aired [on broadcast TV] and they put it all together. I was willing to do whatever I needed to do. I’m not complaining, but it was surreal.
How did you find out that you won?
We did a Zoom with everyone at B&B to watch the east coast feed. I was able to say what I wanted to Brad and everyone on the Zoom. This [win] was unexpected, more than any other time.
What was on your reel?
The kidney transplant story. There was the anger towards Flo. There was also a very emotional scene in which Katie told her son Will (Finnegan George) what she wanted for his life [in case she didn’t make it]. Thank goodness the show had recast him!
You real-life son, Zane Achor, was playing the part and then the show aged him up a little bit.
I don’t think I would have been able to have played those scenes with my [Zane]. It was about saying goodbye and what I wanted for his life. These were things I would say to my son if I had to. They meant a lot to me. I have a wonderful young actor in Finnegan whom I’m working against who is very sentient and emotionally able to be there with me. That’s not always the case.
You were glad that the show had recast the role a while back?
Oh, yeah! Brad called me at one point when we were doing the custody story. He asked me, ‘Do you want to keep Zane? Or do you want to recast?’ [Given the upcoming story,] I was like recast! Not that I don’t love my son but my feeling was let’s put a kid in there where this is what he does. I really appreciate Finnegan.
How happy were you for the show’s writing team?
I’m thrilled for Brad. I know that he and the writers might have gotten some blowback that the baby Beth story took so long [to resolve], but I saw that as a throwback to the way soaps used to tell stories. Annika [Noelle, Hope] and Scott [Clifton, Liam] got to live in that grief. I watched their scenes. I almost couldn’t watch them because they were so dark, but they were so real.
I thought Annika and Scott did such beautiful work. I was really happy that they [showed the grief]. You can’t get over something like that and just be OK. Because they showed so much of it, the payoff was so great! We’re still dealing with the payoff. I think we will for years. I thought they wrote a very well-constructed story.
We didn’t win for directing, but I’m so proud that [director/producer] Cindy Popp talked about the scene [where Hope ‘lost’ the baby] in the nomination package. She talked about the emotion of the scene, how important that was, and that the scene worked because the emotion was there.
Did Jacqui (MacInnes Wood, Steffy, last year’s Outstanding Lead Actress Daytime Emmy winner) have the lunch gathering with the nominees this year?
We were supposed to do it. Clearly, we’re not going to a restaurant. You do know that nominee luncheon is my favorite part of being nominated?
I’ve always wondered…just how much tea is spilled at when you all get together?
What’s funny about this community is that there really aren’t a lot of secrets. I say this about B&B – the only secret is the one no one talks about. There really are no secrets. It’s not like [at the luncheon] we dish a lot. We talk about our experiences on sets, but a lot of times, when we get together, we talk about our lives and where we are. It’s a bunch of girls whom I’ve known for most of my life. I don’t hang out with them a lot, but when we get together there’s this great familiarity. It’s by far my favorite thing about being nominated.
You get to throw it next year!
Yes. I get to host next year! Our biggest hope is that we are able to get together. Daytime knows how to party. We’ll figure it out.
How does it feel to have tied the number of Emmys won by Erika Slezak?
It’s totally surreal. I worked with Erika when I was on One Life to Live when I played Kelly. When I went there, I was so excited at the possibility of working with her. I’d already worked with super powerhouses Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki), Eric Braeden (Victor), and [the late] Jeanne Cooper (ex-Katherine) at Young and the Restless. I couldn’t wait to be in a scene with Erika.
It was so intimidating but also so much fun. There were other actors including Robin Strasser (ex-Dorian) and Kassie DePaiva (ex-Kelly) I wanted to work with, too. I’ve always said this is a female-driven genre. The women rule. I’ve learned so much from Erika and all these amazing women. I’ve learned from the women on our show including Susan Flannery and Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke). You know when you’re in a scene with them, they’re going to hit the ball back and you better be ready for it. You have to jump in with both feet and you’re off. I love my job.
Bold and the Beautiful, Weekdays, CBS