Pierson Fodé – The Bold and The Beautiful
By: Stacy Miller
Q) How do you feel the character of Thomas has grown since you played him?
A) In a lot of ways. When I first started the show, I tried to be different from the actor who played Thomas before me. Thomas was cocky and arrogant. He had come back from this big fashion show. Where he’s at now, he’s much tamer. He’s not that playboy version of himself anymore; he’s interested in one girl now instead of ten. He’s the father of a child. He’s taking on a lot more responsibility, yet still very frustrated. He’s trying to figure out his problems along the way so he’s still very dark and deluded while at the same time, more steady.
Q) What would you say is Thomas’ strength in being part of the Forrester family?
A) I think Thomas’ biggest strength is that he loves his family so much that he would almost do anything for them. In so many ways, he’s sacrificed so many aspects of his life as a designer and not being the C.E.O. of the company just because he loves his dad and he loves his sister. He loves them so much that he sacrificed so many moments for them while at the same time, he’s utterly frustrated.
Q) How would you describe Thomas’ relationship with his father Ridge?
A) Complicated in so many ways. [laughs] They’ve slept with, unfortunately, the same women. Thomas is the father of Ridge’s ex-wife’s (Caroline) son. On one hand, Thomas loves his father more than anything in the world. But on the other hand, he has this resentment towards Ridge (Thorsten Kaye) for kind of abandoning him by sending him off to boarding school and not being there for him, to say I love you or for not tucking him in at night. Now, Thomas is this man who is still looking for his father’s love and approval so that has complicated things. Thomas has a lot of drive. He has truly become a chip off the old block.
Q) How do you feel about the show revisiting the Forrester/Spectra fashion wars?
A) I love it. I think fans always love a throwback and a retelling of a story in a new light. Sally (Courtney Hope), being the new young Sally, and Thomas, once again having a Forrester and a Spectra together, like this Romeo and Juliet juxtaposition. So, it brings us into this whole new light whereas before the Forresters and Spectras just hated each other, they were in competition with each other. Now they still have this giant competition with each other, but the two youngest members of the Forresters and Spectras are in love with each other. Thomas and Sally. And also, Coco (Courtney Grosbeck) and R.J. (Anthony Turpel). That is a whole new dynamic. It’s incredible to play.
Q) Do you think that Thomas and Sally have any chance at happiness?
A) I think that they have a massive chance at happiness, but there are so many things blocking them and getting in the way. It’s going to be a long, bumpy road getting there.
Q) What has been your most difficult scene playing Thomas?
A) The most challenging scene for me as an actor was the scene where Thomas and Caroline get drunk and eventually make love because it’s this drunken, drugged love scene that turns into this almost rape thing. That was very difficult thing for me to play as an actor. I wanted nothing to do with that. It’s one of the difficult things because writers can write themselves into a corner with a character and almost not save the character. Ultimately, the writers did save the character of Thomas and wrote him in a better light by finally revealing some moments where Caroline knew what she was doing and just didn’t want to admit it to herself. Still, it’s always scary as an actor to play that because it’s a sensitive subject. You want to play it with class and tact and really tell all sides of the story.
Q) Prior to starring as Thomas, had you watched “The Bold and The Beautiful” previously?
A) You know what’s funny, I don’t think that I had ever seen an episode of “The Bold and The Beautiful” before I started. I know my parents watched it and I’m sure that my grandparents watched it. It was probably on when I was visiting them as a kid. But I was all about soccer and Star Wars. I did watch television at my grandparent’s house, but back home on the farm I didn’t really watch television.
Q) You have a lead role in the Fritz Mitchell film It’s Time. The character that you play is based on a real life person, which is always a challenge. What can you tell us about your role in this film?
A) It’s an amazing story. It’s based on a true story, a documentary called It’s Time. Brad Gaines, who I’m playing, was approached by every film company in the world. He wanted the story told in the right way. The story happened back in 1989. On the third yard line, Chucky Mullins hits Brad head first square on the back. Chucky ends up paralyzing himself so Brad ends up living with survivor’s guilt. Eventually, Chucky and Brad create this friendship. More than that, they create a love between brothers that neither one of them had experienced before. It’s incredible because thirty or forty years before, there were riots trying to kill a black student and now many years later, you have people taking all the money that they have to help this different black student, Chucky Mullins, pay for his surgery. It’s this great redemption story. It’s a love story on top of redemption and it’s just so beautiful. I’m so honored to be a part of it. There’s such an authenticity to the film.
Q) How did it feel stepping into Brad’s life to play him on film?
A) It was definitely challenging. I was a bit nervous because Brad was there all day on set. He’s such an interesting guy in general; he has so many interesting mannerisms. The more that I spent time with him, the more everything started flowing. We would hang out, go work out, have dinner. To this day, we still talk all the time. I’ve gotten his voice down so well. I would be talking to his kids and they were like, it’s so weird what you’re doing right now. It’s like we’re talking to our dad, but not.