April 2010

The Bold and The Beautiful Ashley Jones

Author: Lindsey Hawkins | Photographer: Krisztian Lonyai

Someone wise once said that there are three types of people in the world: those who let it happen, those who make it happen and those who wonder what happened.

Speaking from personal experience and innate B.S. radar detection, that only gets more fine-tuned through the fabulous world of corporate America and dating. I would say that those who let it happen are still waiting; those who make it happen are actually doing; and those who wonder what happened are in a permanent state of denial.

During a recent and surprisingly grounded interview with southern-born, Emmy nominated actress, Ashley Jones, international star of soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful, playing Dr. Bridget Forrester for the past six years, I learned that those who make it happen actually do and do and do! What Ashley has done is catapult herself onto the sets of some of today’s most cutting edge television series such as Flashforward, The Mentalist, CSI and HBO’s True Blood.

How does someone succeed in any field? For Ashley Jones, the answer is quite simple and personally liberating.

“Acting proposes an extremely competitive environment, especially in this economy; and just like anything else, work is work. When you’re offered work, work gets work,” she said.

Of course, talent and experience haven’t hindered the starlet who knew what she wanted to be at age five, appeared in the Emmy-winning CBS mini-series The Fire Next Time at age 15, received multiple Emmy nominations for her role on The Young and the Restless at age 23 and managed to graduate from college and study abroad in Italy at the same time. For Ashley, the recipe for success includes blood, sweat, tears and, let’s not forget, her secret ingredient: good old-fashioned work. Lucky for Ashley, she also happens to be charming, genuine and truly passionate about her industry. I cut to the chase pretty quickly with Ashley so we could get a glimpse of what her daily climb and regimen looks like.

CH2: Throughout your career, you have been blessed with quite a bit of diversity, from starring on the theatrical stage to lighting up the daytime television screen, appearing in a few blockbuster movies and, most recently, scoring role after role on cutting edge, primetime TV series. Is it challenging to adapt to so many genres and set environments?

Ashley Jones: (reflecting for a moment with a happy sigh) Really and truly, the bare foundation of acting is the same whether you are doing daytime, primetime, theatre or movies. Ultimately, it’s listening and reacting, although technique and nuances change quite a bit. If it’s not there in your gut, if you’re not really feeling it yourself and believing it, the audience won’t.

CH2: Starting with The Bold and the Beautiful, playing Dr. Bridget Forrester Marone, you have owned this role for almost six years; can you explain to our readers what this character development has been like? Do you get bored with it? Has the character become part of you?

A.J.: I have such a family in The Bold and the Beautiful, and working on set has been part of my daily life for so long that Bridget and the show have become part of me, for sure. I’ve been lucky to work with people who bring a lot to the table daily, like Jack Wagner (as Nick Marone); and Bridget is ever changing, so I don’t get bored. Since the beginning, The Bold and the Beautiful has been so flexible with my schedule I was even able to travel with theatre.

CH2: Anything coming up for Bridget that the fans can get the early scoop on?

A.J.: (answering with an excited, genuine laugh) Actually, YES! She is going through something BIG soon! She is about to fall off her pedestal and become very real and human after she makes a huge mistake.

CH2: Okay, now you have me wanting to watch the show! (and for the record, since this interview, I have TiVo’d all the episodes, but confess to sometimes fast forwarding to Ashley’s scenes. I am a fan).

So, I have to ask, because number one it’s a big deal, and number two I’m a huge fan: What was it like to play bar waitress/secret shape-shifter, Daphne, on season two of HBO’s vampire hit True Blood?

A.J.: Being on True Blood has given me so much confidence and perseverance, especially in a business that is so trial and error. Being accepted into such a progressive network like HBO can truly change the course of your career. It opens you up to a whole new world of casting directors and directors. Also, playing on screen for a dedicated fan base like True Blood, which is a totally different demographic from say The Bold and the Beautiful, allowed me to really reinvent myself as an actress. I used to find I would have ideas and not express them, and then I would see them happen. While it’s validating to see it played out knowing it was your idea, I’ve learned it is important to just do it.

CH2: I need to be that way more in my life! Any chance we will see you again in an upcoming season of True Blood, maybe as a vampire?

A.J.: I would love to, but I would say there is only a slight chance I could come back as a vampire.

CH2: I will write a letter! So, has playing primetime roles on cutting edge shows like Flashforward, The Mentalist and, of course, True Blood changed your view on The Bold and the Beautiful?

A.J.: It has definitely changed me in a few ways. The actors aren’t involved at all in the writing, but I think what we play out in real life ultimately influences the story line on The Bold and the Beautiful. Flashforward and True Blood have definitely brought more confidence and repertoire to my character, Bridget, on B & B . I have been playing Bridget so much stronger, and I really set my own boundaries with her now.

CH2: I read that you have some producing credits on sets like Erasing David. Has this experience changed your point of view as an actress?

A.J.: It is inevitable that being behind the scenes has made me a better actor. I have more of a keen eye on set, and I am much more aware of the budget and wasted time. On set, the director has a bigger picture in mind involving camera angles and lighting, so I have learned to prepare ahead of time and not waste time or ask too many detailed questions! (laughing humbly).

CH2: With acting, producing, appearances and interviews, what does a typical day look like for you?

A.J.: Well, with The Bold and the Beautiful, I am on set really early in the morning; this morning we filmed 82 pages of dialogue. I worked on Flashforward, and met producers for a sitcom audition, working on the pilot.

CH2: Ahh, a comedic role! Do you prefer comedy to drama?

A.J.: (answering with a very down-to-earth, dreamer quality) I have had a little bit of a different attitude lately wanting to do comedy. My preferences change daily, and I have definitely become more interested. I’ve always loved to make people laugh, and I love going home and watching old Seinfeld episodes and Friends. I am in their world and laughing out loud. But then the next day, I will change and say I want to star opposite Clint Eastwood. Maybe it’s in my future!

CH2: I think I see it in your future! I read somewhere that you are involved in City of Hope. Is this cause for cancer something near and dear to your heart?

A.J.: Absolutely. I make appearances for fundraising, but I would love to make a more hands-on difference. I personally practice prevention, prevention, prevention! I am about to kick off a national campaign for new product called Beauty Silkz (www.beautysilkz.com) which are hypoallergenic silk charmeuse pillow cases that can benefit a lot of women suffering from cancer and are beneficial to everyone. They have natural proteins and amino acids in them and are great for your hair and skin. This is something that I can’t wait for people to try. I find myself personally always trying to eliminate things from my diet and lifestyle that are harmful. It’s important to drink a lot of water, eat healthy and take vitamins!

CH2: I think what you are doing is amazing, and it’s amazing that you find the time to do it all. I personally want to thank you for your time and for being so down to earth. You have actually inspired me to just go for it, whatever it is.

A.J.: No, thank you! If one person hears me—if I can change one outlook on life for the better—it’s all worth so much more.

The future looks bright for this young star, so keep your eyes peeled for Ashley Jones. You can also catch her weekdays on The Bold and the Beautiful on CBS.

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