In the age of social media, it's pretty hard to keep anything a secret. Professional sports trades, political scandals, soap opera twists -- they all typically get leaked, ruining any chance of universal surprise. Somehow, though, The Bold and the Beautiful manages to keep its secrets under wraps. Don't believe it? How about the big Maya bombshell? The new 30th anniversary credits? If those two don't quite make the cut, today's stunning cliffhanger has to. Sheila Carter is back -- and she's gunning (quite literally) for some of the residents of Los Angeles.
It's been almost 14 years since Kimberlin Brown last appeared as Sheila Carter on The Bold and the Beautiful, and instead of rolling out the red carpet for her return, the show locked her in a room and made her wear a disguise.
"I was listed on all the scripts and call sheets simply as 'Jane,' and I would enter CBS through a rear entrance in complete secrecy with a hat so big it covered my eyes and my cheekbones," Brown told TV Insider. "And every time I was shooting -- or anytime a character would mention Sheila -- they'd black out the feed throughout the CBS building."
Those may seem like extreme measures, but those are the lengths that B&B went to in order to keep their cliffhanger, um, hanging.
Many fans had given up hope that Sheila would ever find her way back into the fold. Brown also feared that her acting career was over -- especially after she spoke at the Republican National Convention last year.
"I honestly thought I would never act again," Brown admits. "People who know me well were negative at the get-go without even hearing what I was at the RNC to talk about. I wasn't there speaking as a conservative. If anything, I consider myself an independent, though I don't agree with a lot of what independents have to say. I was asked to speak on behalf of small business and women in business. [Brown owns a California avocado farm]. Small business is what keeps our country running, and the rules and regulations that have been placed [upon us] have made it incredibly difficult to survive. But the second they announced I was speaking, I was declared a homophobe and a racist. It was even said that I was going to KKK meetings. It was a real eye-opener. It's amazing how people decide that they know you based on the venue where you've chosen to voice your opinions."
Now that the cat's out of the bag, Brown jokes that she's looking forward to being able to enter through the main entrance and not having to wear big hats. That does not, however, provide much detail about what brings Sheila back to town and what she'll do now that she's among us (or how she got her old face back after having plastic surgery in 2006 to look like The Young and the Restless' Phyllis Summers).
"[It] will come to light in the next few episodes [that] she's actually done her time in prison and is trying really hard to rehabilitate herself and become a good person," Brown teases.
If you are a newer B&B viewer and don't know all of Sheila's sordid history, you can read our Who's Who in Los Angeles character profile. To read Brown's entire interview with TV Insider, click here, and to find out what happens next, tune in to The Bold and the Beautiful weekdays on CBS.
Were you surprised by Sheila's return? Are you glad that she's back? When was the last time you were completely surprised by a soap twist? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.