Much was made over the fact that The Bold and the Beautiful is using life-size dolls to shoot scenes now that it has resumed production in a COVID-19 world, but that's just one of the interesting changes that the CBS soap opera has made to get safely back up and running. Denise Richards, who plays Shauna Fulton on the series, has opened up about many other behind-the-scenes aspects of returning to work during the coronavirus pandemic.
The actress, who returned to the set last week, reveals that she wasn't anxious or worried about going back to work. In fact, she tells the Associated Press that she felt "very excited" about it.
"It's important to move forward and move on. And we have to get back to work," she enthuses.
As Soap Central previously reported, the show's executive producer, Bradley Bell, devised a plan with the help of the studio to create a safe working environment. This includes testing all of the performers for COVID-19 before they return to work and every week thereafter.
Richards reveals that she has her temperature taken upon arrival at the studio, she must wear a mask, and she must keep her mask on as much as possible during hair and makeup. And speaking of hair and makeup, the actress says that all of her hair and makeup brushes are labeled with her name so that they do not get mixed up with the beauty tools for other performers.
Richards has a personal bin for anything that she might need to take to set with her -- including scripts, water, a cell phone, etc. -- and she must answer questions about her health and have her temperature taken again before entering the set.
Once on set -- which works as a one-way system in that there is one route to walk to the stage and one route to exit -- all of the crew members wear masks and the ones whose jobs require closer contact wear face shields. A designated person is present to ensure that all safety guidelines are met, including social distancing.
"[That person] is watching to make sure that even with a mask, we are staying eight feet from each other," Richards shares. "They literally will measure it."
As B&B fans have likely heard, mannequins have been brought in for scenes that call for close proximity between characters. Richards jokes that the show should give the life-size dolls names -- but her humor about them kind of ends there.
"It was challenging because the times our characters would get a little closer with each other, a mannequin would be there and I, the actor, stepped off to read the lines for the other actor talking to the mannequin."
As a bonus, the actress much prefers filming with her real-life husband, Aaron Phypers -- which was Brad Bell's genius idea to be able to film kissing and touching scenes.
"We were asked if our significant others would step in," says Richards of Phypers doubling for actor Thorsten Kaye (Ridge Forrester). "They said I could also have my love scenes with a mannequin -- which is fine -- but I'd much rather be with my husband!"
Obviously, some of B&B's other performers feel the same way, because there were two other husbands on set helping out when Richards was filming.
"That was actually really sweet," she says. "It was fun to see everyone working together to get the job done."
Some of the other changes Richards mentions are the absence of craft service, with pre-wrapped snacks being provided instead, and an increase in makeup touch-ups because her face mask makes smudges.
"It's a lot of work and it's tedious, but they're doing it," she enthuses. "I'm very lucky that I'm with a production company, television studio, and network that's willing to do what they need to do to keep everyone as safe as possible to make a great show."
For more about how B&B is operating in a COVID-19 world, check out Soap Central's interview with Bradley Bell here.
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