Kym Douglas may be known as a fashion and lifestyle expert as well as the real-life wife of The Young and the Restless' Jerry Douglas (John Abbott), but the Detroit native is also a serious soap opera expert. In fact, while Soap Central chatted with the star about her upcoming appearance on The Bold and the Beautiful as Sharon, an employee of Spencer Publications, she threw out exciting sample soap situations faster than she dishes out stellar improv as a frequent correspondent on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Check out our interview with the television host below, and be sure to tune in to her B&B appearance on Tuesday, September 26.
soapcentral.com: Tomorrow is your guest appearance on The Bold and the Beautiful. Are you super excited?
Kym Douglas: I am so excited! It's just unbelievable, if you knew the story. It's airing tomorrow, and fingers crossed all goes well. If you blink, you'll miss me! But I know I'm there, so that's good.
soapcentral.com: But you have speaking lines, right?
Douglas: Oh yeah, I do.
soapcentral.com: How exactly did this come about? Did the show reach out to you?
Douglas: Well, sort of. I had been under contract with the Ellen DeGeneres Show for fifteen years and then Home & Family on the Hallmark channel, so I kind of felt like I had two contract gigs and was feeling pretty good. But then all of a sudden, I was like, "You know what? You just never know in this business." You never can be too comfortable. It's part of this business, the uncertainty of it. So my husband Jerry Douglas, who has played John Abbott on The Young and the Restless for forty years, we were out at a Brentwood restaurant, and we ran into an agent, and it sounds so Hollywood cliché, but we ended up chatting, and he said, "Oh, I see you on all your stuff, Kym. Give me a call." So I called him the next day, he signed me the next day, and a week later, we left for our once-in-ten-years family trip to Hawaii, so we're in Hawaii, and all of a sudden I got an email saying I got a part on The Bold and the Beautiful. And it was such a dream come true. And I guess why it's so important for me to tell this story is that you have to understand, I was a little only child growing up in Detroit, Michigan, with a homemaker mother and a carpenter father. We lived in this little house in Detroit, and in the winter, it would be really cold, and all the kids would go home and play with their brothers and sisters, and I would go home at 3:30 after school and I would turn on The Young and the Restless. The characters became my friends, and there was glamour and excitement and beauty, and I just started day dreaming and dreaming of a life that I wanted to create for myself that was kind of like that. And then, many years later, the sister show The Bold and the Beautiful comes about, I'm a big watcher of that, I end up marrying one of the stars of The Young and the Restless, and then all these years later, thirty years later, I get this part on The Bold and the Beautiful. So for me, it was just a confirmation that truly, even if you are a little girl in Detroit, Michigan, with a carpenter father, if you really put your mind to something, if you really want it, you really visualize it and you study hard and you go to school and you work in trenches, it can happen. I was everything from a page in our local news station in Detroit, Michigan, to a page at NBC, and everything all the way up the ladder just to try to keep this dream alive. And it's just pretty wonderful, and I'm very grateful that this part came about. I couldn't be happier.
soapcentral.com: I'm surprised it didn't happen earlier, considering your connection to soap operas and your television background. But I guess better late than never, right?
Douglas: You're so right! And sometimes timing is everything. When I went to The Bold and the Beautiful, everybody from the wardrobe department to the makeup department on set, they were like, "Oh, hi! We know you from Ellen," or "Oh, hi, we love you on Home & Family." So rather than being Jerry Douglas' wife or a friend of the Bell family, or somebody that was getting a favor, I came in on my own merit. And I think coming in on your own merit makes it all the sweeter.
soapcentral.com: You already knew most of the characters and actors, right? Did you work with anyone you knew?
Douglas: Yes, I did for sure. My husband Jerry Douglas has been friends with Don Diamont (Bill Spencer) since Don was twenty-five years old. So that was really great. My scene was with Don and Scott [Clifton, Liam Spencer]. Don made me feel super, super comfortable, and I met Scott for the first time during the scene, and he could not have been kinder and more gracious. Ed Scott, the executive producer, came out to say hello. He had been Jerry's executive producer for thirty years. I knew the makeup people. It was really warm and cozy and very un-Hollywood. Usually you hear that you go to these sets and everybody is kind of all into themselves and nobody is very open, but it was the opposite.
soapcentral.com: You're no stranger to appearing on television, but being on a soap opera is totally different than hosting talk shows. What was the experience like for you?
Douglas: I've been doing Ellen as her only regular for the last fifteen years, and the thing with Ellen is that we do improv... and with Ellen, you better go toe to toe with her because otherwise she will leave you in the dust. She is at the top of her game. Same thing with Home & Family. I have a script, but a lot of times I write my own segments, I help the producers, and I'm pretty hands on. But with this, this was the character of Sharon, and the funny part is, when I got it, my husband Jerry was so excited for me, and he couldn't have been more proud. But he said, "Kym, here's the deal," and it's exactly what you just said, "Soaps are very different from improvving with Ellen." He wanted me to know Don Diamont's lines, he wanted me to know Scott Clifton's lines, he wanted me to know Ed Scott's direction, just everything. And it was really kind of funny, because he wanted me so prepared so that if the last minute they decided to cut a line or change a scene or do something in a different way, [I would be prepared]. And what I felt was that I was so prepared that no matter what they threw at me, it wouldn't throw me. And I think that's kind of a metaphor for life, you know?
soapcentral.com: I know B&B can be quite funny and you're quite funny, as well, so did they give you any comedy for the role?
Douglas: I wasn't given any comedy. I'm hoping maybe Sharon turns into a little bit of a character with a unique sense of humor. It was a pretty straightforward scene, but you just never know! There's always room for potential.
soapcentral.com: What would be the dream soap opera scenario for you to play if they gave you a chance to come back?
Douglas: Oh, I love that you asked that question! So here's my dream: My dream is that I'm a normal girl like Sharon, and somewhere along the line, I fall in love with a bad guy -- it has to be a bad guy -- and somewhere along the line, I get bumped on the head or something happens and I get amnesia. You always have to be in a coma or get amnesia on the soaps! And then, I come out of my coma or out of my amnesia, and I'm a completely different person, and now I'm a bad girl. I think that would be so much fun. My other thing would be to possibly get into a catfight. There was a big soap opera on called Dynasty when I was growing up, and Linda Evans played Krystal Carrington and Joan Collins played Alexis, and I would love to get into a catfight with someone like Kimberlin Brown [Sheila Carter] or Heather Tom [Katie Logan], us rolling on the ground or in a fountain, pulling each other's hair. I think it would be a riot. I'd love it! All those things you'd never do in real life, but you could live out in your character.
soapcentral.com: I hear you're pretty good friends with Ellen, so do you think you could convince her to come on to one of the soaps with you? Maybe you guys could have a catfight.
Douglas: Oh, my gosh! You are flipping genius! I wonder [if she would]. I just want to tell you something -- it is so hilarious that you say that. Ellen lives her life very uniquely. She doesn't stay within the lines. You might expect the next obvious thing, 4,000 different wonderful [ventures] like furniture lines and a dog food line and clothing, all these wonderful things. You would just expect that from Oprah or Ellen, because they're just entities unto themselves. So wouldn't that just be a hoot if she came on a soap opera as my long lost twin sister who's been separated a birth, and she was raised wherever else? I think that would be hilarious. Why not?!
soapcentral.com: I can tell you watched soaps growing up, because you know all the classic soap staples without even having to think about it!
Douglas: Right? I will tell you, the late Bill Bell and his lovely wife, Lee, are just truly two of my biggest icons in life. They're a family that I've always looked up to, and Bill Bell's writing is second to none. I grew up with him weaving these characters that I came to love and feel were like friends and family. For years and years, he weaved stories with them, and you just felt like you lived your life along with them. So that's why I guess I'm just so addicted to these storylines. Because a good story, even in this day and age of three lines texts, which is all you really do with your friends and your family, "Hey, how are you? You wanna meet later for dinner?" Everything is so clipped and short. A great story, there's nothing like it. And I just had the best time filming for The Bold and the Beautiful. It was a dream come true, and I couldn't be more grateful. And I'm excited for what the future could hold. I'm a die-hard soap opera fan, so I believe that there could be some really wonderful and fun twists and turns in the road ahead for Sharon. I only see sunny skies and a bright horizon!
What do you think about Douglas guest-starring on B&B? How would you feel about her joining the show in a permanent position? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.