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B&B's Crystal Chappell & Joanna Johnson Talk About Pride, Self-Acceptance & Their New Storyline!

Photo Credits: L Bohm & K. Hutchins

Photo Credits: L Bohm & K. Hutchins

In a brand new feature interview out today from On-Air On-Soaps Michael Fairman for FrontiersLa.com, The Bold and the Beautiful’s Joanna Johnson (Karen) and Crystal Chappell (Danielle) talk candidly about Joanna’s thoughts post-coming out publicly a few weeks ago, working together as the soaps first ever same-sex on-screen couple, and the difficult journey it can be for one to find self-acceptance in a world that is often still filled with prejudice. The piece entitled: The Bold and the Beautiful Lives of Joanna Johnson and Crystal Chappell also appears in the current L.A Pride issue of Frontiers LA on newsstands now in the Southern California area.   Here are some interesting and compelling excerpts below!

Joanna on how she turned her thinking around after feeling she could never have the kind of life she was portraying on TV when she first was on B&B:  “For me, once I quit acting, that was really freeing. I became more out with everybody that knew me. And as a writer/producer, I talked about my wife and my family all the time. There have been times where I have felt, “If they know I am gay, will they think I can’t write straight?”  Certainly, I have had those thoughts, but mostly, I think I project my fears onto other people.  I put what I think they are thinking into their heads. Growing up, I have learned that most people really are not giving me much thought. [Laughs] In their own lives they are not sitting around and thinking, “Hmm. That Joanna Johnson is gay,” when in fact they are not thinking about me at all. I felt that less so as an actress in the business, and it probably contributed to why I stopped acting, because it was very hard for me to hide out.  In those days, I didn’t feel like I could come out and it wouldn’t hurt my career, and possibly embarrass the Bell family, although they have always been incredibly supportive. I did not want to hurt the show in any way. But, I often felt the pressure when I would go to Europe. The American soap press does not ask a lot about your home life. They are pretty respectful. It’s more of a friendly relationship. But when I would go overseas and be asked, “Who is your boyfriend?,” I felt like I was not being authentic and lying. I would be thinking, “If they knew I was gay, they would stone me in the streets.” I think that pressure, besides the other pressures that come along with acting, which are to be beautiful and sexy as a woman, and the object of desire when you are an ingénue or a younger actress, was a lot of pressure for me. That was because of my own self-loathing. It was my own doubts and prejudice of myself that got in my way. It was hard for me to have that as a mirror out there in the world.”

Crystal on any trepidation taking on another gay role on a daytime soap, after her last run as Guiding Light’s Olivia was filled with forehead touching and knuckle play with her love interest, Natalia (Jessica Leccia) : “I have perfected the art of forehead butting and knuckle touching, by the way. [Laughs] A role is a role, to be honest, as an actor. So I don’t have an issue with playing another gay character. Obviously, the story is important. I have talked about being an ambassador for the Hetrick-Martin Institute, and that is an organization close to my heart. I want these young people to grow up represented and see themselves on TV. So when the opportunity was presented to me, there was no trepidation at all.  In terms of my previous experience with playing Olivia on Guiding Light, it’s a different time and a different company. I know what I was told and I feel very good about the story. It’s about a loving family. They have their issues and they have a child together. I am just happy to be a part of it. Just for the record, I am very proud of Joanna. It is a brave thing to do. During my time in the Otalia storyline, I got so many letters from people sharing their stories with me and Jessica Leccia [Ex-Natalia, GL]. These were stories they had never shared with their own families. There was this self-loathing and trying to come to terms, and being afraid to lose the people they love for being who they are, and so I admire Joanna for being so brave.”

Joanna and Crystal on if they feel they are clicking on-screen as a couple yet:  Joanna: “Crystal is fine and fantastic, and I am the nervous, giddy, silly one. We had to take these pictures together and have them on the mantel in our scenes. We had to have our arms around each other and pretend we are at the Grand Canyon. I was all nervous and at one point Crystal goes, “I can feel you pulling away.” [Laughs] And I go, “Oh, I am so sorry. It’s bringing up a lot of my issues.” [LaughsCrystal:  “Joanna is a great actress. I was honestly relieved. [Laughs] Yes, she is a beautiful woman, but I was like, “Oh, she is really good.” It’s a joy. I feel like I am sitting back watching this thing unfold. I don’t know where it’s going, but it’s exciting.”

Make sure to read the entire interview at Frontiers LA.com and let us know what you think of Joanna and Crystal’s comments on their new story and the struggles one endures when coming out, as well as all Crystal has done as an amazing friend to the LGBT community, and Joanna’s personal touching journey.

 

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Egolf
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Egolf

I excited to see their story play out, hope to more on CC & JJ on screen in the near future. Too bad the magazine only for SoCal.

anothercc
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anothercc

Crystal Chappell and Joanna Johnson are both beautiful and talented actresses !!! This is an amazing storyline by amazing actresses by an amazing show … Thank You Brad Bell and TPTB at The Bold and The Beautiful !!!

Anne-Marie
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Anne-Marie

What a journey this has been for both actresses- both on and off-screen…I look forward to watching the story of Dani and Karen unfold…

Blake
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Blake

Watching the final GL episodes from the soapclassics.com I ordered, it is annoying to see Olivia and Natalia head butting and touching fingers. Thank God the soaps doing it after are more brave and are showing more.

Michael
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Michael

Blake, the only reason that CC and JL did all of those head butting and touching fingers scenes in that final year of GL is because Ellen Wheeler (GL’s Executive Producer during GL’s final year on the air) is a Mormon and does not approve of the LGBT community. Many daytime fans have screamed bloody murder should any other daytime show hire her or Christopher Goutman (As The World Turns’ last Executive Producer) to help run those shows. These two people have been branded as daytime dramas’ show killers and for good reasons. Which is why I’m glad no other… Read more »

Blake
Guest
Blake

I thought Wheeler was all for the couple and CBS didn’t want them going very far. I’m all confused lol.

But I don’t put it past Wheeler, look at the s*** she did to GL in it’s final years. It should have been cancelled before she did the Peapack BS and ruined so many characters, couples, and storylines!

Bren
Guest
Bren

I’m so excited to see Crystal back on my screen and even more so that she’s playing another gay character. I can’t wait to see how the Danika storyline unfolds!

Mo
Guest
Mo

The scenes yesterday with Bill thinking Dani was coming on to him were hilarious!

kay killgore
Guest
kay killgore

Their storyline will be short and sweet if they are remotely involved with the characters Ridge & Brooke. Their are too many good actors who have been tossed aside because of these two characters, I could list them for you but it would take two pages.

Paula
Guest
Paula

Where I can get a copy of this magazine?

Lucky
Guest
Lucky

I think CC and JJ will tell a story of deep love for family and themselves. I thank B&B for allowing a true love story play out and I look forward to spending my afternoon watching these two awesome actress!!

Breaking News

The Bold and the Beautiful Returns With All-New Episodes Beginning July 20th

Exciting news!  The first airdates for new episodes of CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful, since the coronavirus pandemic originally forced the show to shutdown production, have been announced and its much closer than you think!

Circle your calendars for one week from today, when on July 20th the drama continues for the Foresters, Logans and Spencers.

Photo: JPI

In addition, look for new cast member Tanner Novlan to make his debut as Steffy’s new love interest, Dr, John “Finn” Finnegan on Thursday’s July 23rd installment.

CBS also revealed today the weeklong line-up of episodes and what to expect as viewers are pulled back into the story.  Check it out below:

Monday, July 20, catch up on the latest drama surrounding the Forrester family. Katie (Heather Tom) fills in Carter (Lawrence Saint-Victor) on how Quinn (Rena Sofer) sabotaged Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) and Ridge’s (Thorsten Kaye) reunion party. Then, Zoe (Kiara Barnes) and Carter discuss her whirlwind romance with Thomas (Matthew Atkinson), how he was exposed for his manipulations and lies at their wedding, and how Hope (Annika Noelle) and Liam (Scott Clifton) were able to overcome everything and reunite. Finally, Zoe and Carter learn about Sally’s (Courtney Hope) illness and what Wyatt (Darin Brooks) and Flo (Katrina Bowden) did when they found out.

Tuesday, July 21, Wyatt walks into the beach house and is dismayed by what he sees. Meanwhile, Bill (Don Diamont) tells Katie he will accept any consequence from his actions, except losing Katie and their family. Also, Sally and Dr. Escobar (Monica Ruiz) haul the unconscious Flo to Sally’s apartment where they tie her to the radiator. When Flo realizes she has been kidnapped, she is appalled by Sally’s actions. This episode was filmed before the pandemic shut down production.

Wednesday, July 22, Dr. Escobar and Flo are shocked by Sally’s pregnancy plan and plead with her not to proceed. Also, Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) heads out on her motorcycle for some quality “me” time and is involved in an accident. This episode was filmed before the pandemic shut down production.

Thursday, July 23, Bill is shocked when he realizes he hit Steffy with his car while she was out riding her motorcycle. He frantically calls 9-1-1, and Steffy is rushed to the ER. Also, Flo prays her secret message gets through to Wyatt, and as Sally starts seducing Wyatt, he finally sees the message from Flo. Also, Tanner Novlan joins the cast as Steffy’s doctor, John “Finn” Finnegan.

Friday, July 24, Wyatt demands Sally tell him where Flo is and begins to search for her. Meanwhile, Bill is with Steffy in her hospital room, guilt-ridden and apologetic. He calls Ridge to let him know Steffy was in an accident. Brooke and Ridge rush to the hospital, fighting back emotions when they see her.

So excited to hear new B&B is on the way next Monday? Which storypoint are you most looking forward to seeing play out? Comment below.   

But first, watch the BOLD is Back promo seen on their social media accounts announcing the return of new episodes,

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News

Soap Smarts: How Daytime Dramas Are Using Ingenuity To Get Back Into Production During COVID-19

Daytime dramas seldom get the credit they deserve, and now they should be getting further credit for being the first back into production as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage on, and trying to implement new ways to keep their trademarks love scenes, intimate moments and two-person scenes somehow looking in tact; even though it will be far from how it was done in the past.

In the story from the Associated Press The Bold and the Beautiful EP, and head writer, Brad Bell – who’s soap was the first one back into the studio – commented on how the show is utilizing mannequins, or real-life significant others to help pull off close contact love scenes and how it is rather groundbreaking. “We feel almost like television pioneers all these years later because we’re the first ones out, blazing new ways of producing the shows with the current safety standards, and we’re getting the job done. It’s very exciting.”

When B&B scripts written pre-coronavirus were reviewed in preparation for shooting during the pandemic now, originally all the cinches and smooches were cut. But Bell found a solution whereby a remote actor recites lines as their on-camera scene partner responds in a “low, intimate voice” and engages in “beautiful, yearning eye contact” with an off-camera doll.

As far as the soapy embrace or lip-lock, B&B cast member Katrina Bowden (Flo) has had her husband and musician Ben Jorgensen stand in for her on-screen love interest, Darin Brooks (Wyatt) since returning to taping new episodes.

Photo: JPI

Days of our Lives EP Ken Corday noted to AP:  The “learning curve” is steep. Before the pandemic, “we were producing eight, one-hour episodes a week. That’s basically 40 or 50 scenes a day.  That’s going to be basically impossible to reopen, so to speak, at that pace. We’re going to have to be more careful. So will there be five shows a week, or more? Yet to be determined.  It will certainly cost more.”

B&B and now Y&R which heads back into production next week, and the others soaps, will be using the company called Reel Health, which launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to serve the entertainment industry, and hires medically trained workers to monitor sets and enforce protocols developed by a company epidemiologist and in accordance with industry and government standards,

Alicia Rodis, a veteran intimacy coordinator who helped the actors guild develop guidelines for taping scenes of romance and simulated sex. shared: “Finding ways to put romance on the screen is inevitable and necessary.  At the end of the day, intimacy isn’t going anywhere. Physical intimacy is a part of the human experience. And we’re going to have to find a way to be able to continue to tell these stories, even in extraordinary circumstances.”

So, what do you think of how soaps are tackling taping episodes in the new normal to give their fans a sense of all that they love from their favorite daytime dramas during COVID-19? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Breaking News

General Hospital Shifts Production Restart Date

On Friday, ABC’s daytime drama, General Hospital has now determined to push back their production restart date given the escalating number of cases of the coronavirus as the pandemic has worsened in Los Angles County.

According to Deadline: “GH is now targeting the week of July 20 to resume taping. The situation remains fluid as new infections have been soaring in Los Angeles.”

General Hospital was previously eyeing a return to production this coming Monday on July 13th, before the COVID-19 outbreak saw a spike in numbers.

While GH is pushing itself back another week, The Young and the Restless is at this moment preparing to start taping new episodes beginning on Tuesday, July 14th.

B&B is already back in production and Days of our Lives is now targeting a September 1st restart.

So, glad that GH is holding off a little bit longer to ensure safety first for all involved from cast, and crew? Comment below.

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B&B’s Heather Tom talks with Michael Fairman immediately following her record-tying win in the Lead Actress category during the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  Heather and Erika now hold the most wins for an actress with 6! Leave A Comment

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