Call it the recast no one saw coming. With the recent departures of Pierson Fodé and Rome Flynn, it has widely been expected that both Thomas and Zende would soon be returning with new faces. The CBS soap, however, will be recasting another role: Thorne Forrester.
Winsor Harmon, who joined The Bold and the Beautiful in 1996, revealed on Twitter that B&B's executive producer/head writer, Bradley Bell, had informed him that the show was going to be recasting Thorne. Shortly after the news broke, it was announced that former General Hospital star Ingo Rademacher (ex-Jasper "Jax" Jacks) had been cast as the new Thorne.
"Just spoke with Brad Bell and at this time he's decided to RECAST THORNE," Harmon shared before offering whomever is hired for the role "continued success."
Just spoke with Brad Bell and at this time he's decided to RECAST THORNE. I wish the new actor and the show continued success.— Winsor D. Harmon III (@winsorharmon) September 23, 2017
Interestingly, Rademacher's addition to the B&B cast first came about as something more along the line of a short-term cameo -- so the decision to recast was made before it was determined that the role would become a contract role.
"My managers called me up and said B&B was interested in my doing this 11-episode character, and I said, 'Sweet. Let's do it,'" Rademacher told TV Insider. "But then, as I understand it, [executive producer] Brad Bell had a change of heart and wanted to give me a full-time, contract role."
The move is somewhat surprising, since Thorne has rarely been seen on-screen in recent years. Thorne was taken off contract back in 2010 and has appeared on a recurring basis since then. The character's last significant appearance came in 2015 when his daughter, Aly, was killed off.
While it's unclear exactly why B&B has decided to recast Thorne, it might have something to do with another recast. When B&B opted to recast the role of Ridge Forrester in 2013, the show's then-new hire Thorsten Kaye was more than a decade younger than the previous incarnation of Ridge, played by Ronn Moss. In real life, Kaye is several years younger than Harmon. It's possible that the show wants to recast the role of Thorne to keep the characters' ages in check. Rademacher is about eight years younger than Harmon and five years younger than Kaye.
Also of interest is that now both U.S.-born Ridge and Thorne will both have foreign accents.
Regardless of the reason, fans were quick to express their surprise and disappointment. Reactions have ranged from "This is ridiculous" to "WTH is Brad thinking? You ARE Thorne!" Another fan questioned the need to recast, writing: "Why bother recasting, writers haven't given @winsorharmon a story line for years."
Why bother recasting, writers haven't given @winsorharmon a story line for years. Sad ??— Sherri (@socalla) September 24, 2017
At least one other recurring member of the Forrester family expressed some concern. Tracy Melchior, who appeared as Kristen Forrester on a contract basis from 2001 to 2003 but has appeared only sporadically since, said that she won't be answering any phone calls from CBS Daytime. You know, just in case.
Rademacher admits that he's seen the backlash over B&B recasting Thorne -- and feels kind of bad about it.
"He tweeted over this past weekend that his role was being recast and I read the comments and a lot of people weren't happy," Rademacher revealed. "There was a lot of support for Winsor, and rightly so. I said to my wife, "Wow, I feel kind of bad about this." I mean, I know it's the way things go in daytime, but this is a new experience for me. I've never stepped into a role that was previously played by someone else. I hope the fans aren't too upset about this."
Harmon sent out a tweet after Rademacher's hiring was announced. The outgoing Thorne said the newcomer will "be amazing."
Congrats @IngoRademacher you're gonna be amazing as Thorne buddy!! Big shoes dude, size 11, call me man.— Winsor D. Harmon III (@winsorharmon) September 25, 2017
Harmon is the third actor to play Thorne, following Clayton Norcross and Jeff Trachta. Trachta recently stole the spotlight as "Dancing Trump" on NBC's reality competition America's Got Talent.
Rademacher, meanwhile, first appeared as General Hospital's Jax in January 1996. Since 2011, he's been making only occasional appearance as dictated by story. It is unclear if General Hospital will recast the role of Jax, and an ABC spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment at post time.
Rademacher begins taping on Tuesday, October 24. His first air date is scheduled for Monday, November 27.
This article has been updated to reflect that Rademacher was named as the new Thorne. You can read the original article posted on September 23 here.
What do you think about The Bold and the Beautiful recasting Thorne? Are you surprised that the character will soon be back in the mix? Do you think fans will accept Ingo Rademacher in the role? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.