The Bold and the Beautiful is the most-watched U.S.-produced daytime drama series, and Lawrence Saint-Victor celebrated his 10th anniversary on the show in January.
He stars Carter Walton, the handsome and trusted lawyer for the Forrester family and best friend of Ridge Forrester.
Aside from acting on the show, he is also a writer for the show. Shadow and Act spoke with the veteran soap star on such an accomplishment, and what it means as Black actor in soaps.
S&A: Congratulations on your tenth anniversary on the soap opera.
LSV: Thank you. Thank you very much. 10 years, man. It’s hard to try to believe time went by so fast.
S&A: Yes, especially on soaps, we know that they can oftentimes kill characters off. But you’re hanging in there! Tell us a little bit about your journey on the show.
LSV: It’s what brought me out to LA back in 2012. I came out here for a producer session for The Young and the Restless, and it went really well, but it didn’t go my way in the end. But I guess CBS liked me so much that they had me meet with Brad Bell at the Bold and the Beautiful. And Brad and I sat there, and we talked for a while, and we hit it off. And that’s kind of how Carter’s creation was sort of birthed through our conversations. That was in November 2012. And then I’m on set in December, with the episodes airing in January 2013. It’s been really wonderful experience, just kind of being there and being brand new and then evolving to who I am on this show.
My character, and this other character Maya, played by Karla Mosley, they were actors on a show within our show. And then Brad was like, ‘How about we do this for real?’ So we created this web series for CBS.com at the time called The Roommate. So it went from a producer session that didn’t go my way, to being involved in the show to now writing a web series with Brad and other producers that went on CBS.com, to now writing for The Bold and the Beautiful while acting on it. So it’s been a dream. It’s been a bigger dream than I could have dreamed back in 2012.
S&A: How are you going about balancing acting on the series with writing for it?
LSV: I am still trying to figure that out [and] trying to figure out the balance of time. But usually, that means we’re not sleeping that much that week, depending on how heavy the acting material is. But what’s really great about it, whether I’m acting or writing, just being in the world of it and constantly being saturated in it helps. So when I go to act, I’ve already been in the world. I go to write, I’ve already been in the world. So the two work together, but I’m trying to figure out the balancing act.
S&A: The great thing about soap operas is that they are forever changing. They're forever changing storylines, and character development is always changing. What's your favorite aspect of being on the show?
LSV: I love the history and how things are changing and evolving constantly. And when you’re on a show that’s been on the air for 30+ years, it’s really cool to be part of something way bigger than you started– way before you even thought about acting. And then you have cast [members like] Katherine Kelly Lang and John McCook, who [have been there] since episode one. It was really wonderful to be a part of something that’s had such a long-lasting history and then to be a part of it. It’s really interesting. I think that’s what soaps have more than any other medium, is that you’re kind of in a built-in legacy.
S&A: What do you think sets 'The Bold and the Beautiful' apart from the other soap operas?
LSV: I think the fact that The Bold and the Beautiful takes place in a real city [Los Angeles]– it’s not a fictional city. It’s within a real place. So because of that, we show LA. A lot of the homes on The Bold and the Beautiful are homes modeled after our executive producers’ home or their parents or siblings. All this stuff is based on some sort of reality. And because of that, we’ll do remote [shoots], we’ll shoot in Paris, we’ll shoot in Dubai, we’ll shoot in Italy. So I think our show brings a lot of the real world within it., whereas other soaps are usually a fictional city that kind of reminds you of a real one.
Also, I would say we really lean into the romantic parts. The other shows are amazing. And I love General Hospital for that whole mafia kind of action-packed thing. And I love that Days of Our Lives [kind of] still goes wherever they want to go, and they’ll do like a The Exorcist storyline, and it’s brilliant. What I love about us is that we’re romancing in the afternoon. We lean into romance hard. That’s our driving factor is the characters falling in and out of love. So I think that’s what also separates us from the other ones.
S&A: There's also the aspect of diversity, which I love on soap operas. What's the impact of being an African-American actor on an iconic soap opera for the past decade?
LSV: It’s hard to even fathom. I think of Kristoff St. John, who we lost, who was pretty much the guy on The Young and the Restless. He was there for so long, and so many doors opened up because of him. To see these Black faces on television every single day is amazing. Seeing Black actors on soap operas, that opened doors for us to see us on nighttime television and then movies. Just the constant seeing of these rich, successful, wealthy, intelligent Black people. And to be a part of that on this show, it’s an honor. It’s a privilege. It’s a responsibility that I don’t take lightly. Because any time we get in, how we perform [and] how we take care of it helps keep the door open. We have a choice. We can push the door closed, or we can help prop it open. And I’m all about keeping that door open.
S&A: A lot of people say that soap operas are the hardest job in the business. What has been your experience as an actor who does work on a daily soap but wh has also had other roles? How would you compare the two?
LSV: It is the hardest-acting job in the business. When you’re on a nighttime show, you’re going to shoot that episode over the course of maybe 10 days. So today, you’ll shoot five pages, six pages, or whatever. And it’s a very long day. But you guys are working these five or six pages. Then a movie, depending on the budget, [will do] maybe two pages over the course of eight weeks to months and months and months. In a play, you might have two weeks to two months of rehearsal before you go up and do it.
For soap operas, we are shooting a hundred pages a day. No rehearsal. We do our work at home. We find our scene partners that morning. We get to sit, and we try to, do it. So the pace and having to be on and having to be present and then letting it go. It’s an incredible challenge. It is very fun, but it doesn’t give you the leeway that the other genres do.
S&A: Reflecting back on your 10 years with The Bold and the Beautiful, what are you hoping the next 10 years of your career look like?
LSV: Continue working. Continue to tell stories that entertain and inspire or be thought-provoking. And just be happy at my job, whatever that is. Find joy in everything. It’s really hard for me to predict what I would do tomorrow, let alone the next 10 years. So I’m just excited for whatever it is, whatever that journey may be.