‘The Bold and the Beautiful’’s John McCook on Eric’s Shocker Wedding, Double Chins, S&M and More!
Who wouldn’t want to marry a psychopath? CBS’s The Bold and the Beautiful has set September 23 for the wedding of world-renowned couturier Eric Forrester (John McCook) and Quinn Fuller (Rena Sofer), a woman whose crimes include kidnapping, sexual blackmail and several attempts at murder. Eric’s freaked-out kids are convinced Quinn is trying to scam her way into the billion-dollar Forrester empire. But will they still turn up at the ceremony to show their love for dad? Don’t bet on it. McCook previews the nutty nuptials.
What part of Eric’s anatomy is he thinking with?
The guy’s in love. [Laughs] Really! Rena and I are intent on playing this as the real thing—that Quinn has changed for the better and that this is true love—and we’ve had no hints to the contrary from our writers.
Seriously? But the woman is certifiable. She stabs people. She pushed her ex-lover off a cliff.
And that’s what makes for great conflict. We’re all very giggly about it on the set because this romance has everybody spitting at each other. The kids have said some very nasty things about Eric. They even question his sanity. Before the wedding, he asks them to forgive Quinn. He needs their support and understanding. And, of course, they don’t show up, so he’s hurt and furious. It’s really good, and it’s my story!
You’re going on 30 years with B&B. Did you ever think you’d get another front-burner plot?
I have to admit, I did not. I certainly wasn’t counting on it, nor was I disappointed that it wasn’t there. I figured I’d someday be the old patriarch who just comes in for weddings and funerals and Thanksgiving dinners. But, s–t, I have more dialogue to learn this week than I’ve had in the last 15 years!
Is Eric truly shocked that his kids don’t show up for the wedding? They hate this woman’s guts.
Yes, because he talks with them about forgiveness and how that was a very big part of who their mother, Stephanie, was. It was her greatest attribute. Forgiveness saved her marriage to Eric. And by the end of her life she had turned Brooke, her biggest enemy, into her greatest friend. Forgiveness runs in the family. But there’s Eric and Quinn, all alone at their wedding. Charlie and Pam are there helping get things ready beforehand—and of course Pam has brought her f–king lemon bars—but they don’t stay for the ceremony. Only Ivy stays.
We had no idea Quinn and Eric were a thing until we suddenly saw them together in the boudoir. Nothing was telegraphed ahead of time. What went into keeping it a secret?
It was a very old-school thing to do, and I loved it. The rest of the cast didn’t know about it, and neither did most of the writers, until it was revealed on page 22 of a script one day. I found out when I ran into [supervising producer] Ed Scott in the hall at CBS and he said, “Oh, big story coming, man! I’ll tell you what it is but you can’t tell anybody. Eric and Quinn.” I’m, like, “Eric and Quinn what? Eric and Quinn go bowling?” [Laughs] I couldn’t believe they were sleeping together! Then the producers bumped a couple of actors who were scheduled to go on the remote shoot in Monte Carlo and took Rena and me instead. That’s when I knew, “Wow, they’re really going to make a big deal about this.” Hey, it sure beats having Eric sitting upstage on the couch thumbing through Women’s Wear Daily. And Rena is so excited, too. She’d been feeling that Quinn was going down a narrower and narrower path and this opens up so many possibilities. That’s why we love being committed to this love story and want to believe it’s the real thing. I also like that Quinn is not 20. She’s younger than Eric, true, but she’s not age-inappropriate. He’s not robbing the cradle.
Did you panic when you heard you’d be doing a bedroom scene? Did you hit the gym?
No, we have at least five of those gym types in our cast. [Laughs] We only have one of me. What am I gonna do, spend thousands of dollars to resculpt my double chin? No, I’m gonna play a wonderful story and be a believable character. I’m 72. I’m tall and not too fat yet. My ass is terrible but everything else is OK. It’s all good, baby!
We know from Quinn’s fling with Dollar Bill Spencer that she likes to get her kink on. Is Eric indulging her with a little S&M?
Well, Eric learned some of that from Stephanie, frankly! [Laughs] He’s got stuff in the house that straps right on, but the leather is so old it’s cracked. At least Quinn brings in some supple equipment.
Might Eric get so mad that he turns on his kids?
He might. They’re being incredibly jealous and covetous about power and money and their positions at the company—things that Eric gave them in the first place. You’d think they’d all be saying, “Dad’s getting laid. Hooray!” But they’re not and that’s really annoying to Eric. And why should he wait around to find happiness with someone else when Quinn’s right here? His kids are still counting their lives in decades. Eric can’t do that anymore. He can’t just die alone out of honor for Stephanie.
Well, at least one man on B&B knows exactly what he wants and goes after it. Every other guy on the show is a chronic waffler.
[Laughs] We call that being a ”Bell boy.”
Wouldn’t this be the perfect time for an appearance by Ghost Stephanie?
Of course, it would! With smoke coming out of her ears and God knows where else.
Do you think Susan Flannery would ever come out of retirement and do it?
I don’t think so. I really don’t think she’d want to. But she sure would tear it up, wouldn’t she?
Here’s why this crazy plot works: Rena plays the new and improved Quinn 2.0 so stunningly and convincingly that we don’t know what to think.
Isn’t she fantastic? And she’s such a professional. But Quinn’s a pretty good actress, too. Maybe she is pulling the wool over Eric’s eyes…but at least it’s cashmere and that’s really nice.
So are you saying you think Quinn might be pulling a fast one after all?
No! I really don’t. I want to make that clear. But I did say to [executive producer] Brad Bell, “I don’t want Eric to be dumb as a rock here.” Because that’s the way he’s been for the last 25 years, you know?
Let’s not forget he married Sheila Carter, the biggest nutjob in soap history.
He was stupid with Sheila, but here’s the difference between Sheila and Quinn. Sheila never said: “I want to be a better person.” Or “I feel I can be a better person because I’m with you.” She never expressed such things the way Quinn does.
Do any of his kids bring up the subject of Sheila?
No, because they’re dumb as rocks, too! So I really hope Eric is not being duped. He’s been my good friend for a long time and I wish the best for him.
Let’s all wish the best for Eric. And, just in case, let’s pray for him, too.
Well, at least we know he’s not marrying a man. [Laughs] We’ve already done that storyline!