Soaps.com Chats With The Bold And The Beautiful’s Aaron D. Spears
Justin’s only going to take so much of Bill’s stuff.
Soaps.com recently had the real pleasure of chatting with “B&B” actor Aaron D. Spears, who dished about all things ‘Justin’, his latest project, and offered his opinion on the changes in the soap industry.
Soaps.com: Justin and Donna (Jennifer Gaeris) have a great background for a love story, but their engagement and wedding didn’t have a lot of build up – did it feel as ‘sudden’ for you as it did for viewers?
Aaron: I guess it did come on fast from a viewing perspective, but if you look at it in terms of a background story; high school, us already knowing each other, us already trying to be together, and given everything that Justin did to try to court her while she was with Eric, it was more of ‘I feel what it is that we should have been and now what we could be.’ I was available, and I think she saw the effort I’d put in, and I think she just went after it, there was no sense in waiting. We already knew each other, I’d already courted her…what are we waiting for? From a viewer perspective, people do love to see romance, they do want to see build up, they want to see all the intricacies that make the relationship special; they definitely could have done that, and I think viewers would have loved that and enjoyed that, but just the same, hopefully that means they will move forward and into our lives as a married couple even more.
Soaps.com: Justin has also established a relationship with his son, Marcus (Texas Battle). Do you anticipate developing this in the future, as well as the family dynamic with Justin, Marcus, and Donna?
Aaron: I’m really looking forward to it. That is an aspect that I feel is needed a lot, because Justin hadn’t had a chance to really know his son, and now they’ve been given an opportunity to be a family, and reunite the entire family once again. I think it’s a very important dynamic for Justin and Marcus to get to know each other a little better, whether that means we get along, or we don’t get along, I definitely think it does need to be explored and I think people are looking forward to it being explored. As well, I think it will give Marcus a chance to actually grow up; he’s still playing a younger gentleman, and it’s time for him to become a complete young adult.
Soaps.com: It was great that Tonya Lee Williams came over from “Y&R” as Justin’s cousin, Olivia. Being one of ‘those’ Barbers gives Justin some roots. He could even cross over to “Y&R.”
Aaron: Yeah, that was really fun. I’m hoping that they will allow her to come back, as well as me to go over to Genoa City. I do look forward to being able to go across the hall and do some things over there, as well as have her come back to us and make even more history. It seems as if her and Bill were having their little banter back and forth, so it would be interesting to see how they develop it.
Soaps.com: Justin and Bill (Don Diamont) have a close bond of friendship, but also have an employee/boss relationship. Can you imagine Bill and Justin having a falling out? As an actor would you like to play it?
Aaron: I think as actors, we always love a little ‘juice’. Considering our friendship, I do believe we would get into it, because Bill is a strong personality, but by the same token, so is Justin – you have to be in order to be around Bill otherwise he’ll just run completely over you. I think what Justin and Bill have been able to establish thus far, is that they do have a great relationship, but at the same time Justin’s only going to take so much of Bill’s stuff. He’s not going to bite his tongue if he’s asked a truthful question; he’s going to tell Bill about some of his antics, if he doesn’t agree. So, they could definitely get into it. I don’t know how far the fallout would go. There are some things that Bill may be getting himself involved in coming up here soon that may stress their relationship.
Soaps.com: Bill’s marriage to Katie (Heather Tom) has been rocky lately – how does this impact on Justin’s marriage to Donna – could it cause tension if Justin feels pulled in two directions?
Aaron: It could. That’s a thin line that any person has to walk, regardless if it’s Justin and Bill or just a person in life where you’re friends, and now you happened to be married to sisters, and if your partner’s not doing right by one of the sisters, or if their relationship is rocky, on which side of the fence do you now stand? I think if they exercise that it will give a good dynamic to Bill and Justin’s relationship, as well as Donna and Justin’s relationship, as well as whether Justin feels comfortable enough to confide in Katie, or does he stick with his tried and true Dollar Bill and go that route.
Soaps.com: If he had to choose between Donna and Bill – where do you think his loyalties would lie?
Aaron: That’s a hard one! [laughs] I’m thinking, I’ve got a friend I’ve known forever, and then all of the sudden where does my loyalty lay between my wife and my friend? In the relationship that I have currently in my life, it would be with my wife, because that’s the person you’re planning on spending the rest of your life with. With Bill and Justin, I don’t know – there’s another dynamic to that because the friend is also your boss. You know what I’m saying? You’re not only jeopardizing your job, but now you’re jeopardizing your entire household; now you no longer have income. I definitely know Justin could find another job…but that’s also a relationship, and Bill pays me extremely well because I am also a friend of his, and he has very few of those. But I also know what it is I’m doing at the job and I handle my business professionally. That’s a good question. I have to put a big, giant question mark on that one. [laughs] That’s a tricky one there!
Soaps.com: Can you give any teasers as to what's coming up for Justin?
Aaron: With Katie and Bill - considering they are falling out and Justin's still married to Donna - that may put him in some situations. I don't know how the relationship with Marcus and Donna is going to shape up, you know, what's going to happen in Marcus's life that may throw me in a different direction, or me and Donna in a different direction. There's an episode coming up that may be interesting in how the family dynamic plays together. [Everyone] is gathered at the Forrester Mansion, and you'll notice, I'm on one side of the room and Donna's on the other side of the room with Eric (John McCook). I'm on the side of the room with, I think, Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood). I don't know if that means anything, but we'll see.
Soaps.com: If you could write Justin's future storyline, what would you have happen to him?
Aaron: I would definitely have him explore the situation with Marcus; the trust issues between he and Marcus. I would see where Bill's going to go and what Bill is going to do. Contingent on the direction that Bill goes, of course he and Bill could get into it, and then we get into whether we're going to continue our friendship and business relationship - you know how feisty he can get - we could probably get into a heated argument. There would be a lot going on if it were me writing it! [laughs]
Soaps.com: Outside of "B&B," you've kept busy with other projects including a guest role earlier this year as a marine on NCIS - what was that like?
Aaron: That was awesome! I had a very good time on that show. A lot of it had to do with working with a director I had done four previous movies with, but it also had to do with the dynamic of the cast and crew being together since "JAG." It was just a very comfortable set; everyone knew each other, everyone got involved; you could feel that family atmosphere. Just coming from "B&B," it's a family atmosphere; we all get along so well, a lot of times when you go somewhere else you can tell whether that's there or it's not there. I felt that immediately. Anytime you can go somewhere and feel comfortable, that's the best.
Soaps.com: You also have a role in a new movie - tell us about that.
Aaron: This movie is called "35 and Ticking." Pretty much dealing with relationships between friends, friends wanting to be lovers, friends not having lovers, and friends possibly looking to get lovers but aren't in the position to make themselves look attractive. [laughs] I play a police officer - I play a cameo part - it's one of those things where you get a chance to meet with good people writing good projects, and you never know what's going to happen down the line. My character hits on Nicole Ari Parker's character - we had a good energy together; we had a really good time shooting the scene. The director was very nice; I get along with Russ Parr very well. He called me later and said, 'Man, you're a great actor, I look forward to doing some projects with you in the future.' He had some things in mind, so we'll see.
Soaps.com: How does working on a soap differ from doing Primetime and film?
Aaron: To me, I don't see the difference. To me, we're still acting; everything you're seeing is real - the tears are real, we're not getting drops in our eyes. I was literally floored my first week to month on "The Bold and the Beautiful" because before they would call 'action', everybody's joking around or laughing or doing something, and they would call 'action' and the actor or actress would literally be in full-blown tears. I'm just like, 'Where did you go? We were just laughing! How do you do that?' We're getting handed multiple pages a day, as well as having to put in emotion and make it believable. I've learned that your muscle is so much more exercised. In Daytime, you have to know all of your scenes back-to-back; if you're doing a movie or doing Primetime, you do your scene, and then they set up for the next scene - you might go back to your trailer and run lines. On a soap, the only time you have for a break, is when it's okay 'cut', and then we've got time to run a couple of lines at rehearsal, and then, okay, 'action'! You need to be right back on it! I really don't get where there's this big divide, considering the success of "The Bold and the Beautiful" around the world...it airs as a Primetime show in most countries. I want to say, 'Why wouldn't you put it on Primetime in the States?' I always thought that would work. Maybe it's time to make the transition. Most people TIVO it or tape it, and they don't watch it until the evening anyway.
Soaps.com: What do you make of the cancellations of "AMC" and "OLTL" and the idea that the soap genre is radically changing or dying out?
Aaron: It really is radically changing and dying out. It's sad that a lot of good people now don't have a job. It really makes you count your blessings. At the NAACP Image Awards [Aaron received a nomination] I was talking with Cornelius Smith Jr. (Frankie Hubbard, "All My Children") and at the time, neither of us knew that this was coming down the pipeline. I've tried to contact him [since the news broke], but I didn't hear anything back. It's really hard considering the industry, and the state that it's in, to have your job pulled from under you. [Soap acting] may have been the only thing that you've done, and considering the industry puts this divide between soaps, and Primetime and movies, you may not have an opportunity to crossover because they're looking at you as a 'soap actor'. That's one of the main reasons I keep my foot in all the pots.
Soaps.com: You're doing a great job of it, and I hope we see Justin onscreen at "B&B" for a long time to come.
Aaron: I do as well. I'm hoping this new contract will spark some of that; I'm looking forward to reading these new scripts. I'm not the writer, I'm just the actor, but what I can guarantee you is that anytime they give me something I will put my heart and soul into it and do the very best that I can.
Photo Credit: John Paschal/JPI
- Candace Young
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