Ashley Jones cultivates community for women

Stephanie Day/Ographr

Soap opera alum builds deeper connection with her fans.

Ashley Jones is best known to soap opera fans as Bridget Forrester on The Bold and the Beautiful, a role she has played on and off since 2004. She also had a recurring stint on General Hospital as Professor Parker Forsyth, who dated college student Kristina Davis (Lexi Ainsworth) from 2016 – 2017. Though she hasn’t appeared in daytime since December 2018, when Bridget surprised her family for the holidays, the actress has been keeping busy auditioning, appearing in guest spots on TV and building her website, AshleyAJones. Soaps.com recently talked with Jones about cultivating community through her website, her goals for the future and her soap opera roots.

Building community

Jones began AshleyAJones to connect with fans, beyond what she’s published on social media, and to build a place for people to exchange ideas and support each other. Through her site, Jones blogs on everything from her son Hayden to her favorite organic items to her family time. She also dishes on finding fashion (sweaters under $50, recommended drugstore cosmetics), parenting issues (fertility, blended families), DIY hacks (installing security cameras yourself), and anything else that authentically relates to her life (staying healthy, major transitions). But it’s not just about Jones connecting with her fans, old and new, it’s about creating a community. “What my greatest reward has been is the other women are connecting with each other,” Jones explained. “I see them commenting and helping each other out and commiserating. They’ve sent me DMs saying they’re following each other on social media and they’ve gotten together at other events in different parts of the country. That makes me feel really good that the little community I was hoping to create is actually happening. It’s a slower process than I wanted but it’s happening.”

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After “throwing spaghetti at the wall” to discover what topics resonate with her audience, Jones is ready to fine-tune a few things. “I want to tailor it more for the audience that is coming back every day and really give them what they want,” she said. “Because I do have an audience coming daily, a really loyal following, and now I just want to grow that and see what can happen.”

Her goals for AshleyAJones also include incorporating guest bloggers to share their own experiences. “I am a newly single mom,” she explained, “and my favorite expression lately is I’m starting over again, but this time from experience, not from scratch.” Crediting a handful of great women in her life for helping her feel empowered, Jones mused, “I’d really just love to get other women’s perspective on how they are succeeding in their life. Even if you only take one little thing from each person you meet or read about, it can really help you in your daily life. “

Bold and Beautiful family

Any fan of the actress, or just casual visitor to Ashley Jones’ Instagram account, knows she’s kept in close contact with the cast of The Bold and the Beautiful over the years. “It really is a family in the sense that they don’t really let you go,” she marveled. “They check on you. We’re all such a great community. We have text messages going with each other that are like eight to nine people at a time. So, even if one person is checking on another person, the rest of us get wind of it and see what’s going on.”

“When I was going through something and I needed them,” she continued, “they were equally there for me as they’ve been for people… you know, whether you’re on the show or not I don’t think means anything to us because we’re a family.”

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As for her stint on General Hospital, Jones felt challenged by the character because it was outside of what she normally plays. It was also a challenge “because I look so much older than Lexi onscreen,” but Jones felt she and Ainsworth made a connection that really “popped.” For some viewers anyway, not all.

“That’s the beauty of things,” she said. “It doesn’t have to work for everyone. What I think a lot of people misunderstand sometimes is if you have a reaction so strong you want to write about it on Twitter or Instagram or something, it means it’s invoking something in you. Whether you like it or not it means the writers are doing their job because it’s getting a reaction out of you.”

Future roles

As for whether or not there’s a possibility she’ll return as Kristina’s romantic interest, Jones said, “I never will say never with stuff like that but it doesn’t look very likely.”

In the meantime, Jones recently appeared in an episode of 9-1-1 and like many working actors, she’s auditioning, often for Grey’s Anatomy (“They keep bringing me back, but nothing’s come to fruition.”), as well as writing and working on her website.

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Though she recently visited the Bold and Beautiful set, there are no confirmed plans for her to return to the show. However, “There’s talk about Bridget coming back for things here and there. Nothing is solidified yet. I wouldn’t rule it out if it happened in the future. I’m really hoping they do bring her back a little bit because it’s fun for me and the fans like it. I hope the fans like it.”