It's good to be bad. Or is it? That is the question The Bold and the Beautiful's Karla Mosley asks herself every moment she's playing the CBS soap's money-hungry hottie, Maya Avant. On the one hand, it's kind of fun for her to portray the unapologetic model who's secretly shagging married man Rick (Jacob Young) with the hope that he'll soon become CEO of Forrester Creations. But on the other hand, the actress tells Soap Central that some of her alter ego's actions are so outside of herself that it almost makes her sick.
"It's so much fun, but I have to sometimes make sure that I read the scripts in advance, because a lot of times, I'll read them and almost get a stomachache from the decisions she's about to make. I'll be like, 'Oh, Maya!'" Mosley says with a laugh. "I feel like in my own life, I do everything I can to avoid drama. And so then to play this character who literally just walks around starting fires everywhere she goes is really counterintuitive."
To help her get into bitch mode, the actress turns to her favorite confidant: her sister, Alex. "It's funny, my sister is not a bitch at all -- she's an amazing and wonderful person -- but we're really different; she can be much more assertive at times, and I can't even really describe it, but in relationships, we've had different experiences, so sometimes I will call her and just talk it out with her," she shares.
Mosley continues, "Before I did the scenes in the office where Maya kind of drops the bomb about Ridge (Thorsten Kaye) and Caroline (Linsey Godfrey), I was talking to my sister, and I said, 'I would never do this. I would never compromise my job just for some guy,' and Alex was like, 'Well, but she thinks she's right. And she knows she's being a little bit crazy, but she doesn't care, because she's right.' And that really helped me. So sometimes just talking it out and finding the humanity in her actions, even though they're so far from me, is really helpful. Because then, once I have that grounding, I can kind of just let it fly."
In fact, once the juices start flowing, Mosley has a hard time stopping herself. "Once I get over [how different she is from me] and stop apologizing for whatever crazy choice or move she's going to make in any given episode, then I really get to just have fun with her power and how unbelievably unapologetic she is," says the actress. "Maya feels justified in everything she does. And she's not going to compromise for anything at this point. She's like, 'I'm going to get whatever I want, and whatever collateral damage, not my fault. Not my problem.'"
However, that's not to say that the character is one-sided. In fact, the actress believes that no matter the situation -- even the current one in which she's sleeping with a married man with the hope of becoming Queen of Forrester -- Maya isn't entirely cold-hearted. "What is really interesting about her character and the way that they're writing her is that she's not all one way or the other," she explains.
Mosley shares some insight: "We all remember the Maya we first met in the coffee shop, and that sweetness and her desire to help people. So that's not totally out the window. And I think fans remember that, and I remember that, too. And so, though she does these crazy things, it really is at its root based in her love for Rick. And the kind of crazy decisions she's making are based on the fact that she really has been screwed over by a lot of people, and at this point, she's fighting for the best life that she's ever been presented with. [And] I think we do crazy things when we feel justified in them, especially when it happens with love."
So just what's the craziest thing that Mosley has ever done in the name of love? According to the actress, her entire relationship with her husband, Jeremiah Frei-Pearson, is pretty crazy. "My husband and I have been together for 16, going on 17 years. He was my first boyfriend," she shares. "We've been long distance for the majority of the 17 years [because he's a partner at a law firm in New York], and yet we've always stayed committed to each other. And so in a way, it's not crazy in the sense of like jumping off a bridge for someone or hanging from the rafters -- although we've had those moments, too -- but I think it's pretty crazy to say from the age of 16 to the age of 33, like, yeah, I'm just going to stay with this one person no matter where we are. That's pretty crazy."
As for his comfort level with the super sexy scenes that a soap opera gig often requires, she thinks he's a bit torn. "Well, you know, he just walks out of the room!" she says with a laugh of his reaction to seeing her getting hot and heavy on-screen. "But he's very supportive. And he realizes that a job is a job. [For example], Lawrence [Saint-Victor, Carton Walton] and I have been married like five times on TV or something like that, and he's like my brother, so he just knows that's not what it's about. And the wonderful thing is that at B&B, I'd say 95% of the cast is in committed, loving relationships of some shape or form, so that takes a lot of the charge out of it. Everyone is there to do their job, do a good job, and then go home to their family."
Though, considering the fiery on-screen passion that Mosley and Jacob Young share, nobody could really blame the actress' husband for feeling a teensy bit jealous. The two just click, which Mosley says is because they're so similar. "Our birthdays are really close to one another, we're both Virgos, so we always joke that we kind of understand each other's work ethic," she explains. "Virgos are known for being really hard workers, so I think we both usually like to run scenes a couple of times. We're also both very open, so if there's something about the scene that we're questioning or asking 'How does this work?' or 'Why does this person do that?' then we can help each other and talk through it together and create the best scene possible. And then there's just natural chemistry between people, which is always a wonderful thing to find. Sometimes you're not so lucky. You get on set and there's not that sort of natural click with someone, and that's when you have to do a little bit of extra work. So it's a gift when you arrive on set and just kind of click with a person. He's a fabulous actor, and he's been doing this for such a long time. He's a scene partner that you can really trust."
As viewers have started to see, the dynamic between Rick and Maya will be changing in the weeks ahead, meaning the model may have to brace herself for some rough waters. But that's not the only thing she'll have to prepare for: Maya's little sister, Nicole, is headed to the canvas this January, and Mosley says both she and her portrayer, Reign Edwards, are firecrackers. "I had the [opportunity] to read with her during her callback... And after she read, I said, 'She's got my vote!'" the actress recalls. "Sometimes you see people who are just about to explode and are really ready for it and really special, and I think she's one of those people. So why not let her explode here at The Bold and the Beautiful? I think she's an incredibly talented young woman. She's self-possessed and has a strong sense of herself, which, for a 17-year-old or 18-year-old young lady, is a pretty rare quality.
"And then just beyond that, she's just really talented," the actress continues of Edwards. "She sang in the audition, and she has a gorgeous singing voice, she made really strong acting choices, and she's gorgeous. So what more can you ask for? And also, my energy as well as Maya's energy tends to be a little up in the air and all over the place, a little explosive and maybe five feet off the ground, and Reign is very naturally grounded and centered, so I think the balance of the two sisters is going to play nicely. I'm looking forward to what fans are going to think."
While Mosley is open to comments from fans, don't be offended if she doesn't respond on Sundays -- the actress has declared that day to be cell phone free. "I started doing it in the spring, and I've been doing it every Sunday, and I love it," she enthuses of the challenge. "I have to say, when I first started doing it, I was really strict about it, like I would really leave my phone off. Now sometimes, I have to admit, I'll send a text if I'm going to meet someone or something like that. But just the idea that I'm clearing away the space from technology for a day [is refreshing], because I think we're just in the time when we're constantly expected to be available. And what a gift to just be present with the people I'm with. Though it's uncomfortable for the other people, too, for me to say, 'Okay, I'm going to meet you at this place, and I'm not going to have my phone on me.' Imagine that, before cell phones, having to meet someone, and you just found each other. But everyone kind of gets really nervous, like, 'Well what if something happens?' It's such a different time. But it really is worth it. It has been such a gift."
To find out what Karla Mosley (and other soap stars) picked as a 2015 New Year's Resolution, click here!
What is your take on Maya -- do you understand her tactics to try and give herself a better life, or do you think she's just plain greedy? What would you like to see happen between her and Rick? You can share your thoughts in our Comments section below or on our message boards, or you can also click here to submit feedback.