Fans of The Bold and the Beautiful were stunned when longtime character Justin Barber did a complete 180 last year, going from Bill Spencer's trusted right-hand man to betraying his boss with an unexpected devious power move. The scenes gave portrayer Aaron D. Spears the juiciest material he's had during his thirteen-year stint at the CBS soap opera, and he took the ball and ran -- straight into his very first Daytime Emmy nomination!
Soap Central: Congratulations to you, Aaron! What a day!
Aaron D. Spears: Thank you so much! I truly appreciate it. Thank you, thank you.
Soap Central: How are you feeling about being honored in this way?
Spears: I'm good, but it's been a whirlwind. I didn't realize [the nominations were] going down today, and my mom called, and Brad [Bell, our executive producer and head writer] called me first, and I've just been on phone calls. I was making a shake, actually, and then I heard from Brad and then my mom, who was so excited and out of breath. It's been a whirlwind. I literally haven't been off the phone since they announced it, and now I'm on the phone with you! [Laughs]
Soap Central: I was very surprised to see that this is your first Emmy nomination. Does the nomination experience feel anything like you imagined it would?
Spears: I've been in this game for so long, and I have been blessed to be around a lot of Emmy nominees and winners on this show, so I've had the chance to feel what it's like through other people's eyes. But for me, now, it's kind of surreal! I guess I haven't even taken it in yet, because like I said, I literally just sat down! But I have a warm feeling in my chest. So, that's good. That's a positive. It's like full circle -- it's gratitude. That's how I feel.
Soap Central: Have you been in contact with any of the other nominees from your show to share your congratulations or vice versa?
Spears: Yes, so Brad, as I said...and I had Darin Brooks [Wyatt Spencer] message and Lawrence Saint-Victor [Carter Walton] texted me, and probably a couple of other people, because my phone is literally vibrating right now as I'm talking to you. It hasn't stopped vibrating, and I haven't had a chance to look at my messages or check my voicemails! It's just been kind of a whirlwind here, and that's a beautiful feeling, that people are happy and excited for you. What more could I ask for?
Soap Central: It's very well deserved, Aaron! You had some extremely powerful material last year. I have a guess of what you probably submitted for your reel, but I'd love to hear from you what scenes you chose?
Spears: We decided to go with a story arc. I had been around the Emmy process, but had never really been in it, so I didn't know what to do -- do I give them one scene, like, a climatic version of that scene, or what? [Laughs] In the end, I decided to tell a story, so we led off with the punch to Thomas [Matthew Atkinson], knocking him out, and we proceeded to the cage scenes and all of that dialogue and drama and reasons of why I did it. We interluded with a reveal of me sitting in the chair and pivoting, and you see, "Ooohhh, it's Justin sitting in the chair!" and you begin to understand his reasoning behind all of this, you begin to see the look on his face, the betrayal as he's sitting in the chair, smirking. And then we fade into those scenes where we see Bill [Don Diamont] standing there at the desk with the team -- Katie [Heather Tom] and Darin and all of them in the office -- and Thomas, and the confrontation begins, and we end on that climatic scene between Justin and Bill. And man, it was really good, the way [the reel] came together! It was nice.
Soap Central: You chose well; everyone was in shock and awe during that storyline, and you delivered some really powerful material.
Spears: Thank you so much.
Soap Central: You have a strong chance, but you're up against some pretty talented performers in the Supporting Actor category. What do you think about your competition?
Spears: To be honest, I haven't even seen the list! I was at the sink, making a shake, literally my hands were wet, I ran to the phone to catch it, and it was my mom, it was Brad, it was Eva [our B&B publicist]. So, I haven't even had a chance to see the list! But man, blessings to everyone who is on it, because it's a great honor to be amongst some serious contenders. It is what it is: you can never now take the nomination away from myself or The Bold and the Beautiful. We're all in it together, and let the best man win!
Soap Central: Are you the type to prepare an acceptance speech ahead of time or even start planning what you'll wear?
Spears: I may plan what I'm going to wear -- that definitely sounds like me! [Laughs] I will definitely prepare how I'm going to step down the red carpet. But a speech? I don't know! I really don't know. I don't know. I don't think it's a bad thing, because it's always better to be prepared -- they say stay ready so you don't have to get ready. But I'll really have to give that some thought. I guess it couldn't hurt?! I'll definitely reach out to some people and figure out how I can make sure I look my best come June, though! This is such an exciting moment in time. I don't ever really use the word excited -- I feel like it's overused, and normally, I'm really not an "excited" type of person -- but for this particular process and all that it entails, it's definitely exciting times, and I'm definitely looking forward to it.
Soap Central: Are you at all nervous to get back into the swing of doing big red carpet situations? It's been a couple of years!
Spears: Very true! Nervous, no. Looking forward to, yes. I have had some amazing times and experiences with this cast and crew. I mean, we really did it up. When I first got on the show, we had so many red carpets, so many events, and I had the time of my life. It was a complete change and turnaround for me. Prior to that, I was an actor with jobs here and there, but at that time, I was a substitute teacher -- I was a substitute teacher for LAUSD [Los Angeles Unified School District] -- so, when I got The Bold and the Beautiful, that was a complete 360 for me in terms of being thrown and thrust into the spotlight, doing red carpets and interviews and all of these things. Those moments at that time will always hold a special place in my heart, so I'm looking forward to it. Let's do it. Let's go!
Soap Central: You're lucky to be nominated on the year that we return to an in-person ceremony. The excitement factor will be even higher because of that.
Spears: Yes! We have always had such a great time getting together and doing events like this, and I am totally looking forward to it. We've all been cooped up enough -- oh-eee, it's gonna be on and popping! I can't wait to get out and see people and do interviews. And man, let's hug some people! It's definitely time. I'm looking forward to it.
Soap Central: Will you celebrate your nomination either tonight or maybe this weekend?
Spears: I think I probably should. I have a tendency to not really smell the roses the way I should because I'm always pushing forward and looking to the next thing. Or I'm in daddy mode or husband mode. When you have five kids, yeah, it's serious! Today, and throughout the rest of this week, I still have to be in daddy mode, because the kids have soccer practice and dance and cheer and volleyball; it's a little crazy. [Laughs] But this weekend, I do think I should take some time and, at the very least, maybe go to dinner with the wife and celebrate.
Soap Central: Since you mentioned your kids, do they know about your nomination news yet and have they reacted to it?
Spears: They have been notified -- my wife put us all on a group chat on our phones, so my wife put it in the group chat, and I'm assuming that's part of the buzz that's going on right now. [Laughs] Everybody is scattered about at school, and my eldest daughter is at work, and then my 19-year-old is with my wife somewhere. It's always a merry-go-round of things going on, but they have definitely tried to get on the group chat to [congratulate] dear old dad, and that's a beautiful and special moment, as well.
Soap Central: Well, huge congratulations to you again from me and Soap Central! We have our fingers crossed for you for June!
Spears: Thank you so much! I truly appreciate it, Soap Central. Much love to you guys! Thank you for being interested and thank you for taking the time to talk with me. I truly appreciate it.
What do you think about Aaron D. Spears earning his first Daytime Emmy nomination? What did you think of the actor's work last year? Do you think he'll take home the gold in the Supporting Actor category? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.