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THE DON DIAMONT INTERVIEW – THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

donDiamontMain.jpgThe old adage: “When one door closes another one opens” could not be more apropos’ for Don Diamont. The actor who spent nearly 23 years playing Brad Carlton on The Young and the Restless and was let-go by the show, reportedly due to budget constraints, is back on daytime next week on The Bold and the Beautiful. Mark your calendars for May 12th when Bill Spencer Jr. in the form of Diamont, makes his explosive debut on the “B&B” canvas.

In this very warm and engaging interview between Don and On-Air On-Soaps, he opens up about getting the call from Brad Bell that would bring his talents to “Y&R’s” sister soap. In fact, in an ironic twist of fate, it is known that Don’s character, Brad Carlton, was named after Bill Bell Sr.’s son, Brad. So, how amazing that some two decades later it would be Brad who would come calling for Diamont.

Don chats about the aspects of his new role; working with the leading ladies at “B&B”, getting to see his old pals at “Y&R” again, and the emotional and difficult time he faced being “killed-off” from that series and people that he loved. And yes, we even address the much-maligned “Reliquary” storyline for good measure.

“B&B” fans look out! This guy is getting ready to shake things up for the lives of the Forrester’s, Logan’s, and anyone else who comes into his radar.

Here’s Don!

Listen to the audio:

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MICHAEL:

Daytime fans are so excited that you’re back on soaps! Tell us how you came to your new role of Bill Spencer Jr. on “B&B”?

DON:

First, I am very blessed and happy to be back. I received a call from Brad Bell (executive producer and head writer, “B&B), and he told me he had a role for me, and asked me if I would be interested. He described the character to me. I said, “When do I start?”

MICHAEL:

Is Bill Jr.…..?

DON:

susanDon.jpg…Well, he is not going to be going by the name Bill Jr.; he sets that straight right off the bat!

MICHAEL:

So he is just “Bill”?

DON:

That is what he says when Stephanie refers to him as “Bill Jr.” and I say, “Bill”. I make that clear right away.

MICHAEL:

Can fans expect Bill to be
a ‘smarmy’ sort of a guy?

DON:

I would describe him as rogue-ish, as opposed to smarmy. He is politically incorrect, sexually inappropriate, and has no censor on himself, whatsoever. He says whatever is on his mind to anyone at anytime…no-holds barred. He takes no-prisoners and nothing or no one intimates him. He is a highly competitive guy, an adrenaline junkie, and a mixed-martial arts guy, and an Ultimate Fighting fan. Bill is quite a force to be reckoned with.

MICHAEL:

So, he comes on to the canvas because his father, Bill Sr., died?

DON:

Correct. He has been estranged from his father. I believe he was born out of wedlock from an affair, and Karen is his half-sister. Roughly ten years ago they developed a business relationship, and it was a contentious one. They really had no personal relationship to speak of. Bill is a pretty gifted and ruthless businessman. He kind of took the Center Publications to new heights, and here he is in LA.

MICHAEL:

Will Bill become involved with all the fashion titans on the show, such as the Forresters?

donPurple.jpgDON:

He will, in one way or another, be involved with the fashion industry, and he will mix things up a bit… sort of the straw that stirs the drink to some extent.

MICHAEL:

All the females on “B&B” who I have interviewed are ecstatic to have you on the show!

DON:

Well, that is good to hear. I would hate to hear, “Off the record, we can’t stand him!”

MICHAEL:

Have you gotten to work with thee ladies of “B&B” yet?

DON:

I have worked with Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke), Jennifer Gareis (Donna), Susan Flannery (Stephanie), and I have worked with Heather Tom (Katie).

MICHAEL:

How long have you been taping now?

DON:

I have been taping only a couple of weeks. I shot my first week, and then we had an anniversary party, and then we went on hiatus for three weeks. So, that is a nice introduction to a job! Then we came back, and I am working this week, and then we are dark next week! It’s a great job! But I tell you we do get quite a bit of time off, but when we are working, we are working! It is intense! There is an incredible amount of dialog, and they tape two shows a day, and its sort of when you are the featured person in one of the shows, you are the show. You talk and a have a lot of dialog. It requires a lot of discipline.

MICHAEL:

What is it like for you, being able to work with Susan Flannery?

DON:

I know this sounds corny, but it’s an honor and a privilege. She is such a dynamic actress, and she is so professional. Susan is so present, and you need to be on your toes. I relish it and I enjoy that. I truly love when the characters go to toe to toe. And, its well-written material. I cannot say enough about her and how much I look forward to working with her. It certainly lived up to my expectations. She cares so much about the work. When I told my friends at “Y&R” that I was going to be working with Susan quite a bit, everyone was envious.

MICHAEL:

How was it going back to CBS and getting to see your pals at “Y&R”, who work right across the hall from “B&B”?

DON:

goodbyeParty.jpgIt was really heartwarming. I really felt like a long lost son who had come back. I wasn’t gone that long a time. But, I had this feeling of joy that they were so genuinely happy and thrilled that I was on “B&B”. I walked on to the set and it was a warm reception. I also have to say, I was so touched by my send-off by all the actors, crew, and production people, and the welcome when they found out I was back and working down the hall. It was so touching.

MICHAEL:

Many of your former cast mates from “Y&R” were so upset when you were let-go from the show, including Eric Braeden (Victor), who was very vocal with me about letting someone go who has been a veteran for over 20 years on their show.

DON:

That means a lot to me. They are all my friends and we had been through a lot. I was very touched by the send off, the outpouring, and the phone calls when people heard. It was a tough time and a difficult period for me.

MICHAEL:

What did you think about how Brad died on “Y&R”? As a “Mr. Freeze”, no less?

DON:

mrFreeze.jpgOdd that a Navy Seal froze under the ice in the water? Yes, I thought that was odd, but it aint’ up to me. So that’s the way they chose to do it, and they did that to propel story forward and to make it very clear that I was not coming back. (He laughs) Unless, I have been cryogenically frozen! Honestly, the hardest part was just leaving, because my entire adult life had been spent there and through everything good and bad that happened to me, “Y&R” was the constant.

MICHAEL:

At least you won’t have to ever revisit the “Reliquary” storyline anymore!

DON:

I do not have to do the “Reliquary” anymore, correct, but it was fun story. The reliquary got a little out of hand, but having said that, it was a pretty compelling story and I was very happy to play it.

MICHAEL:

You have a large family. What was their reaction to you coming over to “B&B”?

DON:

donFamily.jpgThey are really excited. I have many children, and this is just a very different guy I am playing. His look is different, his clothes are different, and his hair and the facial hair are different.

MICHAEL:

Will we be throwing things at the TV when Bill is on?

DON:

You mean love to love to hate him? I think you could say that. He has the JR Ewing kind of thing going. He is the guy that you tune in to see, “What is he going to do today?” Look, I am actor and I want to act. So, to have an opportunity to go back to work is terrific. For Brad to entrust me to play this important dynamic character, I am very honored that he would give me the opportunity, and that he had enough respect for my ability that
he offered it to me.

MICHAEL:

Who would you like to see him romantically involved with on the show?

DON:

Do you think I would answer that question? Are you out of your mind? I would never walk down that road! They are all beautiful, talented, charming and intelligent women, and I would be happy to work with each and every one of them. How do you like that answer? Candidate Obama! Next, I will be running for President.

MICHAEL:

What about the guys?

donWinsor.jpgDON:

Hate em all! Every single one of them! Ronn Moss (Ridge), Winsor Harmon (Thorne) and Brandon Beemer (Owen) were my buddies before. We had done some appearances together and I have known Winsor for 20 years. Ronn and I had never spent much time together, but we did a celebrity fan cruise together and that was my first opportunity to get to know Ronn. He is such a wonderful guy. Brandon is, too. John McCook (Eric) I have known for many years. All good people!

MICHAEL:

If we were to describe Bill, and what to look forward from him, what would you say?

DON:

He will be a cross between Jack Sparrow, ( Johnny Depp’s character from Pirates of the Caribbean), Richard Branson media mogul, and maybe a little pinch of Hannibal Lechter.

MICHAEL:

You were a victim of budget cuts at “Y&R” and tough economic times in the soap genre. What is your perspective on what soaps need to do now to survive?

DON:

I think some of those changes have obviously been happening in terms of salary cuts, budget and production cuts, streamlining the shows to make them more efficient to keep their costs down. Do I know what the answer is? No. The world is a more competitive place and you have to be on your game and invested in what you are doing to try to keep pace. I think the actors, crew, and production are all very aware of it. Everybody gets the picture.

MICHAEL:

I know it was a very difficult time being let go from “Y&R” after so many years. For people that find strength from others, can you tell me how you dealt with the loss and how did you get to the other side of it?

DON:

donSmileSuit.jpgFirst, I think it’s important that you do sit with it for a minute. It’s all right to be upset, to have some hurt and anger… whatever those emotions are. You are allowed to feel that way and there is some benefit to that. It’s a loss. Like anyone, when you lose a loved one you have a period of mourning, and it’s the same thing for me. It was a loss for me, and then it becomes, “Ok, let’s get proactive.” I did not know I would get the call from Brad. I assumed I might hear from some other daytime show, given that I had been doing what I have been doing for as long as I had been doing it. I thought I may hear from somebody, but I could not bank on that. So, I was proactive. I got a new agent. I shot new pictures, started training harder, doing as much as I could to move forward and move through it. You can’t wallow in your self-pity, and you can’t say, “Why me?” Again, you can do that for a brief period and go through your mourning. Life is about moving forward. It’s not about looking back. That is how I talk to my kids, that’s what I would tell myself, and that is what I would say to anyone. Do what you can do to better yourself, to affect your circumstances, and do the things that are in your control. You can’t control when you are going to get the phone call, but you can be prepared when it comes. Do the things that are in your control to do. Be positive. Walk through the fire. There is something on the other side of it.

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Rose George
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Rose George

what a great interviewer. really enjoyed it… thanks for bringing out some great stories. Rose

Joshua Zuckerman
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Joshua Zuckerman

Don Diamont has a lot of boys!! He’s definitely keeping the mohels in business!

Carol Hartstein
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Carol Hartstein

I can’t stand Don Diamont. He sounds as arrogant as I assumed he was. Smarmy was a perfect description.

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Photo: ABC

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In addition Catherine will be participating in ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway’s Virtual One-on-One Meet and Greets with the stars on Saturday, February 13th.  For info on how to participate click here.

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Photo: NBC

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