by Michael Logan
Soap news doesn’t get much bigger — or cooler — than this! All My Children great Thorsten Kaye (Zach) has been cast as the new Ridge Forrester on The Bold and the Beautiful and will hit the CBS soap Dec. 13. Details about the character’s return are few at this time but it would seem that Ridge (previously played by Ronn Moss) will be returning from more than a year away in Paris to quite a surprise — his sexpot soulmate Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) is now engaged to badass Bill Spencer (Don Diamont). Kaye got quite a surprise of his own when he entered into conversations with B&B executive producer Bradley Bell a few days ago and agreed to do an unnamed role on the soap, only to later find out that the character he’ll be playing is Ridge. The actor gave TV Guide Magazine the exclusive scoop.
TV Guide Magazine: This is wild! How did the deal fall into place?
Kaye: When this came up with B&B I was very excited and didn’t even care what the part was. I didn’t know what kind of character Mr. Bell wanted me to do but he sounded so confident that he and I could work well together and do something interesting that I just bought into it. He’s a great salesman! Then not more than 20 minutes before I got on the phone with you, I found out that I’m the new Ridge, who was a cornerstone of the show. [Laughs] So that’s a whole other can of worms, isn’t it? They needed someone to step up and I guess I’m the guy. I met Ronn a couple of times and he’s a stunning man. And I got a face for radio! So I guess the viewers are in for a hell of a surprise! Maybe during his time away Ridge turned into an ugly European guy. [Laughs] You can’t even say that he went and had plastic surgery — unless he went to Serbia for the procedure and now he wants his money back!
TV Guide Magazine: So I guess we can assume that you are no longer legally bound to Prospect Park?
Kaye: I don’t have a contract there anymore. It’s sad, you know? And I hope it all works out for them. But when you have a solid opportunity on a show that’s so highly regarded, you just gotta take it. [Laughs] This may come as a surprise to you, but I wasn’t sitting around with 10 other offers on the table.
TV Guide Magazine: Wasn’t All My Children supposed to start production again very soon — like next week? Is it dead?
Kaye: That’s an interview we’ll need to do in a few weeks when we see what happens. There are a lot of talented and caring people over there and I wish them all luck. And I certainly hope that my leaving will not affect the show in some bad way. There is just so much uncertainty in this business, especially in what we’ve been trying to do with AMC. I do believe it’s going to work out for them, but I gotta be doing something. It’s so different out there for an aging actor than it is for the 20-year-olds. When you’re young you can take your chances, you can live on somebody’s couch and survive on Doritos, but there comes a point where you have to say, “What’s best for my family?”
TV Guide Magazine: Will your partner [former One Life to Live star] Susan Haskell and the kids remain in New York?
Kaye: Yeah, I just have to bite the bullet and fly back and forth to L.A. for B&B and then if it works out — if I don’t get tarred and feathered in the first few weeks — we’ll decide from there.
TV Guide Magazine: So no qualms or concerns about this?
Kaye: Look, I’m an actor, so of course I get insecure, especially now that I know who I’m replacing. Ronn is an icon and people really loved him in the role but he’s not there anymore, so I’ll do what I can. People get replaced on soaps all the time. It was his choice to move on. He’d had enough. It was time. So I don’t feel I’m taking food away from anybody. I can’t be Ronn, and whoever will next play Zach on AMC won’t be me, either. I won’t bring the same tools to the role as Ronn did, but I do have a couple of my own. I just hope the audience will let me play with this for a bit and try to get my footing. Hopefully, I can help the show in some way. [Laughs] And, if I can’t, then Ridge will go get lost on a desert island somewhere!