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Heather Tom's TV Guide Canada Interview

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Heather Tom: Recast of the year

By Nelson Branco


Will the two-time Emmy winner re-sign as Katie Logan? Plus: her thoughts on Emmy reform!

She’s only 32 but The Bold and the Beautiful’s Heather Tom (Katie Logan) is already considered a daytime veteran. Having debuted on The Young and the Restless in 1991 – she departed in 2003 to play Kelly Cramer Buchanan on One Life To Live (along with a cameo crossover on All My Children), where she received two additional Daytime Emmy nominations – the Hinsdale, Ill. native earned her first Emmy statuette at 16 in 1993, and her last in 1999, as Victor Newman’s headstrong and romantically challenged spawn.

After moving back west earlier this year, Tom, who holds the record for most Emmy nominations by an actress under 30, signed on to play Katie Logan, Brooke’s formerly meek, earnest and socially awkward sister. Thanks to the recast master, executive producer and head writer Bradley Bell, Tom’s new take on the stronger, more confident, moral, and slightly bitchy Katie is kicking you-know-what in this latest reinvention which is drawing a myriad of critical kudos.

But will she stay on Y&R’s sister soap now that her six-month contract is about to expire? With the mediocre Amelia Heinle still trying to connect with audiences as Victoria, Tom’s options of returning to Y&R look bleak, since head writer and executive producer Lynn Marie Latham appears happy with the lightweight that replaced her. No matter — it looks like Tom has found a new loving home she can call her own. In fact, if anyone has the talent, bravado, and business savvy to become the next Susan Flannery (Stephanie, B&B), it’s Tom.

TV Guide: Let’s get to business first — your six-month contract is coming to an end; will you re-sign when it expires?

Heather Tom: We will see; we’re talking right now and trying to determine what we both want to do regarding this role. I’ve had a great time here on B&B and I’m willing to stay here longer if we can come to an agreement that makes everyone happy.

TVG: Well, I hope you continue with the show. If you do, do you have any ideas regarding which direction you’d like to see Katie go in?

HT: The nice thing about being in storyline limbo is we haven’t set anything in stone for Katie yet, so anything is possible. The sky is the limit for the character — she’s been gone for a very long time and no one knows what’s happened to her. There’s a lot of story that can be mined from her past. She has a moralistic attitude about her — and as we know, that usually comes from making mistakes, so it’d be nice to learn more about those mistakes.

TVG: B&B boasts one of the most talented ensembles in daytime —especially when it comes to its leading ladies. And Patrick Duffy [stephen] is playing her dad, how cool is that?

HT: It’s been fun having Patrick on the show, and I love how the writers are fleshing out the Logan family. I think it’s always good to have two strong families duke it out on a soap, and B&B has that now. It’s classic storytelling, and the Logans are finally a real, viable presence. Our leading men aren’t too bad, either! Let’s not forget the men!

TVG: Your first scenes on B&B were with soap icon, Susan Flannery — was that intimidating for you?

HT: I’ve admired Susan for a long time, and Stephanie is one of those brilliant characters you desire your character to interact with, so I’m very lucky. It was wonderful creatively to collaborate with Susan on how we could establish that Katie has a different relationship with Stephanie than her sisters do. I love working with Susan because I prefer to work with the heavy hitters.

TVG: Between the two of you, you have a gazillion Emmy nominations —and trophies, of course! You worked on Y&R for most of your career — is it surreal taping at the same studio but playing another character on another soap?

HT: Crew wise, there’s a lot of former Y&R staffers here (along with former cast members); so it definitely feels like coming home. I’m right across the hall, so it feels like déjà vu.

TVG: Although Y&R and B&B exist in the same soap universe, did any of your former Y&R cast members sigh that you didn’t return to Genoa City?

HT: (laughs) Well, there isn’t a part for me on Y&R!

TVG: Oh, yes there is!

HT: That wasn’t an option! (laughs) I’ve wanted to work with Bradley Bell for a while, so I’m thankful I’m living that dream now.

TVG: I’m sure Brad’s father, the late, great William Bell is thankful you’re still a shining jewel in the family dynasty.

HT: I think he would be. He’d be really impressed at how his son is running his show. Brad runs a real tight ship over and everyone’s happy here! It’s so nice to work on a show where everyone’s nice and so happy to come to work. There’s no drama or turmoil on this set, so it’s refreshing.

TVG: How’s the writers’ strike affecting you?

HT: It affects everyone. It’s a big pain in the butt for everyone, but I support the writers, and want the situation resolved as quickly as possible.

TVG: Love the hair; do you plan on keeping the colour?

HT: I do, too! I hate getting my roots done, so returning to my natural colour was a good move!

TVG: Since you left OLTL, it’s been on fire — new head writer Ron Carlivati has made it must-see television… I wanted to know if you still watch it?

HT: I loved playing Kelly on OLTL; it was a very different experience from playing Victoria on Y&R, but I haven’t caught it in a while. I had a good time there, but I’m really happy being on the West Coast and where there’s not as much turmoil. B&B’s a very easy place to work at.

TVG: You look and feel rejuvenated these days on B&B; I think when you’re happy it definitely translates on screen.

HT: I agree; I am happy these days.

TVG: Let’s talk about the Emmy Awards — what do you think of the reform established recently.

HT: When I was in New York, I was on a NATAS committee that discussed possible reforms. I like the pre-nomination system in the fact that everybody had to sit down and watch everyone’s work. But I didn’t like how it limited only two potential nominees per show because I think certain shows are stronger in some categories and not in others. I wanted to make a bunch of changes on how nominees submit work to be judged. For example, for the pre-nomination, you submit ten minutes of work; and for the nomination 20 minutes from any show, so you can show your range.

TVG: Your bro, Emmy winner David Tom [ex-Billy, Y&R; ex-Paul, OLTL], how is he and does he plan on returning to soaps?

HT: He’s like me — he goes where the work is. He was on Veronica Mars, but now that’s cancelled. He’s open to all kind of things.

TVG: Thanks for dishing with me — and oh, by they way: sign that B&B contract tout de suite!

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I'm just stunned that Nelson somehow managed to turn an interview with Heather Tom into yet another excuse to plant one on the @ss of Ron Carlivati. (I know I shouldn't be stunned... I know I should expect it by now)

We get it, Nelson. Take a cold shower. And some journalism classes while you're at it.

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I totally agree, he seems like an ass, but HT rose above it. I love Amelia, although I know HT is considered the definitive Vikki by many fans. At the same time the character of Vikki is a totally different person now and I don't think AH bares the most of the responsibility for that. The few times that Vikki has been written as tough and like Victor, Amelia came through.

HT is doing so well as Katie on B&B. I hope they actually use her and she doesn't go the way of so many people that get put on contract with that show. If Y&R lures Jack Smith back as HW maybe HT will come back to Y&R some day.

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