Veteran Bold and the Beautiful fans recall that Maitland Ward played ingenue Jessica Forrester, Eric’s niece from the Midwest, from 1994-96. After exiting the daytime drama, Ward became a series regular on Boy Meets World and appeared in the film White Chicks. In recent years, she’s taken charge of her career, forging a new path into the adult film world as an actress, writer, and director.
Maitland Ward Pens a Telling Memoir: X-Rated
It’s not a traditional road, but Ward reveals the details of her journey in her memoir Rated X: How Porn Liberated Me from Hollywood, available now on Amazon and in bookstores. She writes about growing up as a soap fan, landing her role on B&B, exploring the world of Cosplay, and how the world of adult entertainment and soaps are similar. Find out Ward’s insights and learn how you can receive a signed copy of Rated X.
Soap Hub: Why did you decide to write your book?
Maitland Ward: I always felt I had a story to tell that was unique. I don’t say that in a vain way. I really feel I have a story unlike anyone else’s. I went from soaps to Boy Meets World to White Chicks to the adult entertainment industry. That’s where I found my success — in my ‘older than 16’ years. I don’t believe that anybody’s made that transition unless it’s been with a sex tape. I made a decision to make a career move into adult entertainment while still being an actress.
Soap Hub: You are incredibly candid in your book; did you have any reservations about being so honest?
Maitland Ward: I didn’t go into adult entertainment overnight. I did Playboy-esque stuff that started with some Cosplay at comic book conventions. I slowly tiptoed into it, seeing what kind of performer I wanted to be. I really was good at it. People may say that’s silly, but I really do like it. It’s a way to artistically express myself like an athlete or an ice skater.
By the time I wrote the book, I had no hesitation. I was nervous to tell people at first [about working in the adult film world]. They didn’t know till I announced my biggest project with Drive in early October 2019. That was the day Bernie Sanders had a heart attack, and Google’s top search was my news about Drive — higher than Bernie’s heart attack! Most people were supportive and embracing, which overwhelmed me. I think they did because I embraced it.
Soap Hub: A Boy Meets World fan wrote in response to you posting a provocative shot of yourself in the shower that you’d ‘ruined her childhood’ and that ‘people don’t do what you do!’ You responded: ‘You mean…bathe?’ The book has a lot of funny moments like that.
Maitland Ward: I try to add humor when I’m dealing with things that will be taken seriously. It’s a good idea to do that. If you can find the humor in something, you can realize that things maybe aren’t so serious. When I joined the adult entertainment industry, I thought it would be serious. It’s actually a lot like the soap world. You have big personalities…big hair…you have some people who are more serious about the work and want to create art. You have inexperienced people who come in, want to do their thing, and then, leave. It’s like soaps in that it’s a small industry where everyone knows everybody. They’re also both looked down on in show business — even though both may have more viewers than a lot of Hollywood productions.
Soap Hub: Do you find mainstream incorporating elements of the adult film industry into their work?
Maitland Ward: Yes. It’s getting close. Why are there so many prosthetic penises on shows [like Theo James’s character on The White Lotus]? I find that it’s very close. Soaps and adult entertainment films have a lot of sex in them…soaps don’t go all the way with it…(wryly) on-camera. I think mainstream is in an awkward first kiss with it all. They don’t know how to do it.
Soap Hub: Hollywood has intimacy coordinators on sets. Do adult entertainment productions have them?
Maitland Ward: No. But way before I ever came along, people [in the industry] talked about consent, what performers are comfortable doing. People have to say what are their ‘do’s’ and ‘don’t’s.’ There’s so much consent. Now, Hollywood has said, ‘We should do this.’
Soap Hub: What are some misconceptions about the adult entertainment industry?
Maitland Ward: Good question. People think it’s very scary and that everyone’s intense and there are drug-filled orgies going on, but it’s not like that. We laugh. People are goofy. It’s not what you see in Hollywood movies. You have to sign consent forms before each time you film that you’re not on drugs. In addition to Covid testing, we do other testing.
Soap Hub: You write about why is it in society that a girl’s first time has to be perfect, but when it comes to a guy’s first time…not so much!
Maitland Ward: Yes. When I was young, soaps always built up the first time a young heroine like Jennifer [Horton, Melissa Reeves] on Days of our Lives had sex. I remember seeing a PSA about it afterward.
Soap Hub: Have actors reached out to you asking how they might be able to get into the adult film world?
Maitland Ward: They have. Everyone wants to remain anonymous. A husband and wife acting couple said they wanted to try it but didn’t want to show their faces. A lot of people think it’s easy work. It’s actually hard to maintain and grow an audience. You have to have a lot of professional content. People tried but didn’t grow their audience.
Soap Hub: Have you heard from any B&B pals since your book was published?
Maitland Ward: Yes. Jeff [Tracta, ex-Thorne] wrote me the nicest message, saying how much he loves and supports me. He’s so proud of me.
Soap Hub: You screen-tested for the role of Jessica Forrester initially with Joshua Morrow before, of course, he was cast as Nick Newman on Young and the Restless. Brittany Daniel (your future co-star in White Chicks) screen-tested for Jessica, too.
Maitland Ward: Yes. Josh is funny and really charming. He was like Brent, actually. Laid back. We got along. He made it very comfortable. Then, at the last minute, they switched partners — I tested with Dylan [Neal, who got the part of Dylan Shaw] and Brittany and Josh tested together. I‘ve seen Josh a few times over the years.
Soap Hub: As a soap opera fan, you must have felt being cast as Jessica was a dream come true.
Maitland Ward: Yes, it was so cool. It does take a little bit of the magic away, but I was so grateful, and I was so happy to do it. I had watched the first episode of B&B. I was kind of sick, so I had stayed home from school. My mom and I used to watch As the World Turns, too.
Soap Hub: You write about your friendship with Brent Jasmer (ex-Sly)…even though there’s an age difference.
Maitland Ward: Brent’s very sweet. A co-star thought we were having an affair, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Soap Hub: You write about how Brent asked you to guess his age when you first met.
Maitland Ward: Yes. It was so funny. He’s older than me by 12 years. He said, ‘You’re more mature for your age, and I’m less mature, so we meet in the middle.’ It was kind of true. We became friends.
Soap Hub: After playing out some storylines — being raped, the ‘Baby Think it Over’ doll, a romance with Dylan, and nearly being burned alive at Bikini — Jessica went off to Oxford.
Maitland Ward: Yes. That’s the last I know.
Soap Hub: Would you like to pop back in as Jessica?
Maitland Ward: I think it would be fun to do. It’d be a fun social media moment. People have asked me about it. It’s wide open. Jessica wasn’t necessarily in the family business, but she was very smart.
Soap Hub: What would you like people to learn about you after reading your book?
Maitland Ward: I think people will learn that I’m a lighter person than they think…I want them to know I’m not so intense. I want them to see me…I had a nice conversation with Michael Jacobs, executive producer of Boy Meets World, and I’d written about him a lot in the book. He called me, and we had a nice long talk. He told me not to distinguish myself by what genre I’m in. He said, ‘You’re an actress.’
If you are 21 or over and you’d like to enter a drawing to win an autographed copy of Maitland Ward’s Rated X, fill out the entry form below. Soap Hub will choose one lucky winner and send you a copy of Rated X.