Starting today, Eric Forrester and Ridge Forrester are having their fashion showdown on Bold and the Beautiful. The setup has the two designers pitted against each other, but Ridge is unaware that Eric is battling a life-threatening illness. John McCook, who plays Eric, sat down with Soap Hub to give a preview of the highly anticipated event.
John McCook: View from Afar
Eric won’t be seen in the salon where the fashion showdown takes place, according to McCook. But not for the reason (strife with Ridge) that you might think. “The days we shot the fashion show, I was home with Covid,” the actor reveals. As a result, the scenes were re-written so that Eric would watch the fashion faceoff on a monitor. “It didn’t hurt the story,” says McCook, who adds that he’s feeling fine now.
In fact, this storyline, McCook says has been one of B&B’s best because it involves most of the show’s cast, fashion, and is about the dynamic between a father and son. “I like how they laid it out,” he says. “The story behind it is powerful and is good for us.”
Eric and Ridge competing to see who is going to put out a better line has also resulted in McCook working more with on-screen love interest Jennifer Gareis (Donna). “I love working with Jennifer,” McCook says. “She’s stepping up in a different way and doing some different work than she’s ever done before. We turn the pages, which have twists you’re not aware of yet. It fills out more and more.”
Eric’s Been Disrespected
Eric isn’t happy about having been ushered out of his own office and his favorite stapler being tossed, but McCook is happy to be digging deep into heavy drama. “Eric’s a little angry that he’s being ignored,” the actor says. “It’s been really wonderful to watch Thorsten [Kaye, Ridge] play what his character is feeling. He’s saying, ‘What’s dad doing? I love him, but I’m not going to have him do this.’ Ridge finding out that Eric and RJ [Joshua Hoffman] doing something behind Ridge’s back really bothers him.”
Soap storylines often hand out CEO titles like candy at Halloween, making it difficult for viewers to get as invested as shows would like. However, grounding this current tale in Ridge and Eric’s love for each other and for Forrester Creations has made this tale a winner. “You have to have that family connection,” says McCook, and “it’s being threatened by commerce, by business. That’s the core issue for a show like Succession. That’s why these things are so good to watch.”
John McCook: Always in Fashion
B&B is adding authenticity to the fashion showdown by bringing on Tracey Bregman, AKA Lauren Fenmore (owner of Fenmore’s department store) from Young and the Restless. “It’s great to have Lauren sailing through in a beautiful dress, looking fantastic, with Kate Linder [Esther] on her arm. It’s lovely, touching, and historic.”
Marie Osmond is also making her B&B debut later this week as Countess Von Frankfurt. (Reports that she’d be guesting on B&B started surfacing over a decade ago back when family friend Adam Gregory played Thomas.) Alas, McCook contracting Covid prevented him from getting to work with or even meet the show business legend.
Paper Dolls & Paper Roses
“I had never met her,” the B&B original cast member says. “We never crossed paths during my time in Las Vegas. That came to an end in 1974, which was before Donny and Marie started headlining in Vegas.” Fortunately, B&B was able to show McCook some of what Eric would be seeing on a monitor. “I saw some footage but not a lot of it,” he says.
McCook, along with veteran B&B viewers, is looking forward to seeing the fashion presentation on air — especially as fashion shows have always been an integral part of the half-hour soap. “People who’ve watched our show for decades are going to be thrilled to see this,” he previews. “We used to do one once a year or every 18 months. This one is beautifully produced and is very nice.”