By Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman
Cheers to The Bold and the Beautiful for the most exciting soap recast of this or any other year: Soap superstar Thorsten Kaye has been signed to played Ridge Forrester, the show’s lead character, who was played from the show’s 1987 debut until last year by Ronn Moss. Kaye, of course, played Patrick Thornhart on One Life to Live and Zack Slater on All My Children, and was last seen in primetime as Anjelica Huston’s shady but adorable boyfriend Nick on Smash.
This bold recasting coup is so fascinating because Kaye and Moss are so different as actors. Both have the leading man’s requisite virility and good looks. But whereas Moss, with his legendary chiseled cheekbones, could have stepped off the cover of a romance novel, Kaye’s unshaven ruggedness is less generically handsome but much more down to earth.
Moss played Ridge, son of the Forrester dynasty of clothing designers, as a spoiled, mildly pompous rich kid. He was always under the thumb of his domineering mother Stephanie, played by Susan Flannery, who has retired from the show.
Kaye, a classically trained theater actor, has a lot more range than the somewhat flat Moss. Kaye can play romantic, he can play tender, he can play tough and he has fabulous diction (as demonstrated by his Patrick’s many renditions of the poem “Brown Penny” on OLTL.) He really is the quintessential soap leading man.
How will Kaye change Ridge? We hope the character will become more assertive, more nuanced and as a result more interesting. The Ridge who has been residing in Paris for the last year will come back to find a changed scene in his hometown of Los Angeles. Ridge’s ex-wife Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) has become secretly engaged to Bill Spencer (Don Diamont), a married man and a significant force in his own right. We can hardly witness the inevitable clash between macho Diamont, all bedecked in his trademark bling, and the fiery Kaye.
Speaking of male roles on B&B …
I have reached my limit and am fed up with that ultimate wuss Liam Spencer, as played by Scott Clifton. Although he spends his life huffing and puffing and sanctimoniously trying to hang on to his now ex-fiancée Hope Logan (Kim Matula), at heart he really can’t commit to her. Why else would he send a love montage email to his ex-wife Steffy? He’s already left Hope at the altar and has kept her hanging on for years. Now, Liam’s half-brother Wyatt (Darin Brooks) has fallen in love with Hope and has done everything to sweep her off her feet. We can’t help rooting for Wyatt as Liam has become unbearable. Wyatt at least has a clear allegiance to Hope, the only woman in his life. No matter how much the now unattractive Liam whines and carries on, he has no natural right to Hope’s love and affection