‘Bold and the Beautiful’: How Will Liam React to Steffy’s Battle With Addiction?

Scott Clifton as Liam in The Bold and the Beautiful
Robert Voets/CBS

The Bold and the Beautiful‘s Scott Clifton is celebrating 10 years of playing Liam Spencer on the CBS daytime drama – and his character is in the thick of a timely and socially-conscious story: Steffy’s (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) growing addiction to opioids. Viewers have seen Liam become more concerned about his ex-wife’s well-being, as well as the role her doctor (Tanner Novlan’s Dr. John “Finn” Finnegan) is playing in her recovery – and her love life!

Liam’s facing a difficult choice now that he has proof that Kelly, his and Steffy’s daughter, may not be safe living with her mom. But is it only concern for Kelly that’s motivating Liam – or does he, in fact, have lingering romantic feelings for his ex? TV Insider spoke to Clifton about Liam’s state of mind. Read on for his insights!

Steffy’s incredibly strong, but even very strong people have their limits, as we are seeing.

Scott Clifton: Yes. Even though Steffy is strong, she’s got to be dancing on the precipice of sanity. That’s one of the reasons why Liam paid her doctor [Finn] a visit. Liam was surprised that he seemed to know about intimate details of Steffy’s life and even Liam’s history with her. That raised an eyebrow and caused Liam to ask, ‘How do you know these things?’

Finn’s one doctor who may not mind playing doctor!

Yes. He’s talked about Steffy in a way that broadcasts that he has romantic feelings for her. He didn’t say it out right, but he’s made house calls. They’ve had long conversations. He uses complimentary language when talking about her. Liam’s put a pin in this, mentally.

You know things are bad if Liam’s actually going to confide in Thomas (Matthew Atkinson), which he did recently.

Yes. He found Thomas instead of Ridge [Thorsten Kaye] at Forrester Creations. Even though he and Thomas have a rocky history and are nemeses, he feels that Thomas is concerned about his sister. Liam said, ‘I think we should be worried about Steffy’s doctor.’ But Thomas saw this as Liam being jealous so he began to use that as a weapon – enforcing his belief that Liam is not loyal to Hope (Annika Noelle). Ridge listened to both sides, trying to decide who has a legitimate point and decide whether or not Thomas is overreacting.

This is taking all the existing dynamics among the characters and playing them in a somewhat different way. It’s different but familiar.

That’s a great way of putting it. Liam feels frustrated because he feels that no one is hearing him. He goes over to Steffy’s house to talk to her about his concerns. The lights are on. He knows that they’re home. She doesn’t answer. He calls her on her cell. He can hear it ringing. He uses his own key and finds Steffy inside.

He can’t wake her up. He’s screaming at her, even slapping her. When she finally does come to, her behavior is really off. She’s defensive and combative, showing all the signs of someone who has abused substances and is trying to get away with it. Liam confronts her about it. He asks her if she’s still taking the pills. She had told Liam she was done with them.

Does Liam know that she’s gotten pills from Vinny (Joe LoCicero)?

No. Liam asks, are you still taking pills? She says no. He calls her bluff and takes the place apart, finally finding a bottle of pills hidden where Kelly could have potentially found them. He tells her that she lied to him. She’s still all about denial and that this is none of Liam’s business. Steffy screams at him to leave, but he says, ‘If I do, I’m taking our daughter with me.’

Liam rushed to Steffy’s bedside back when she had her accident. Why is he so actively invested in her welfare?

Steffy has had a bad year. She lost me, her husband. Then, she lost her child [Phoebe]. She had her child taken away from her with no notice and was told that that child wasn’t hers. She belongs to someone else. And she’s had to watch that child be raised now by someone who is more or less her nemesis, Hope.

The Bold and the Beautiful Scott Clifton Jacqueline MacInnes Wood

Liam feels that he’s the one to watch out for Steffy?

Liam is being Liam. We all know he has some sort of waffling protective instinct even when Liam is not romantically involved with someone. He fancies himself a protector. It’s not always the healthiest attitude but he has this complex.

As he told Thomas, Liam knows how powerful painkillers can be, having watched his mother [be on them] when she was dying of Stage 4 breast cancer. Liam grew more alarmed as time went on.

Is he acting this way because he’s concerned for Steffy and Kelly – or because he is still in love with his ex?

I think the audience is supposed to wonder if that’s any part of it. I’m not playing that…yet. Interpret ‘yet’ any way you want.

It sounds like Liam is going to have to get up close with Steffy when he’s trying to wake her up. Because of the actors not getting too close to each other for safety reasons, did Jacqui play that or did your wife, Nicole, jump in as Jacqui’s stand-in?

It was neither, actually. We used an older but uncanny silicon Taylor (Hunter Tylo) doll. It’s this incredibly lifelike doll we use in this scene and has been used in the past. Even the skin of the doll looks real. It’s so eerie.

Bold and the Beautiful, Weekdays, CBS