INTERVIEW: The Bold and the Beautiful's Lawrence Saint-Victor opens up about why Carter is SO damn unlucky in love

Posted Friday, January 22, 2021 2:29:40 PM

Heartbreak is careening around the corner toward The Bold and the Beautiful's Carter Walton, and the eventual crash will no doubt be devastating. Portrayer Lawrence Saint-Victor reveals why Carter just can't see that Zoe (Kiara Barnes) is taking him for a ride, and he opens up about what it feels like to be back on contract in a front-burner storyline that sounds like it's actually just beginning.

They say nice guys finish last, but if you're The Bold and the Beautiful's loving lawyer Carter Walton (Lawrence Saint-Victor), you don't even finish! The poor guy has officiated a gazillion weddings during his eight-year run on the CBS soap opera, but he's never tied the knot himself -- despite having some very serious relationships. But it's not just an "always a bridesmaid, never a bride" type of conundrum that Carter is currently facing.

As B&B fans know, Carter is engaged to Zoe Buckingham (Kiara Barnes) and thinks that everything is hunky-dory with his fiancée. But unbeknownst to him, she's got the hots for his best friend, Zende (Delon de Metz), and it's looking more and more like Carter will never make it down the aisle. Or, even worse, he will -- but might end up with a cheating floozie as a wife!

No matter how it plays out in the weeks ahead, Carter is most likely going to get his heart broken. But why can't he see that Zoe just isn't that into him? And how might he react when (or if) he gets wind of Zoe's flirtations with Zende? Soap Central caught up with Saint-Victor to find out, and while we had him, we also got his thoughts on being back on contract, if he'll write any more episodes for B&B, and what he thinks about a possible Guiding Light reboot.

Soap Central: You're right in the thick of a major storyline, and on contract, to boot. It seems like things are going well for you, Lawrence!

Lawrence Saint-Victor: It's been fun, man. It's been fun. Carter is in an important time in his life, and it's been really fun to play.

Soap Central: The fans went wild when you were brought back to contract status last year. Did executive producer Brad Bell deliver the good news to you himself?

Saint-Victor: Yeah, my wife [Shay] and I, and our son [Christian], were going for our daily drive -- it was and still is during COVID times, so we take nice drives just to get out of the house and see stuff -- and that's when I got the call from Brad. He told me that he loved what had been going on, because Kiara and I had been working for a bit at that point, and he said, "We'd love to have you come back." And I was like, "Me, too! Sounds great!" [Laughs] Prior to that, my representation was told that I was going to recur pretty heavily with what was going on with Zoe and stuff, so we were already in the thick of that, so it was even more beautiful for them to show their commitment to that story, and that the story was going to go further.

Soap Central: Carter definitely has his hands full right now. He's the Forrester Creations COO -- which I always stumble over when I try to say...

Saint-Victor: Me too! [Laughs]

Soap Central: And of course, Zoe! Is he getting vibes at this point that this relationship might not be right? I mean, a freaking fire alarm went off during his proposal to her, which seems like such a red flag!

Saint-Victor: I get a lot of comments from fans about why Carter can't see this, like "He must be silly or a fool not to notice!" But he doesn't notice it at all. We'll see maybe further down if that's a choice or if he really doesn't notice -- I'll leave that as a question mark. He's already gone down the road of forgiving Zoe of the thing that happened with the baby, with Hope [Annika Noelle], with that whole situation with her father. So, when they first started taking their friendship further, Carter was like, "Listen, you have a clean slate right now. I only see who you are in front of me. I don't see what you've done -- you are forgiven." His super strength is seeing the good in people; it's also his Kryptonite. So, he sees the good in her, and Zende is one of his best friends -- he married him and Nicole [Reign Edwards] -- so the last thing that he would ever think is that one of his great friends and his girlfriend/fiancée would be doing something behind his back. That is beyond his [comprehension]. If anything, the way Zende and Zoe are getting closer, it's music to Carter's ears, because that means that the Forresters are really forgiving her and taking her in, and this reputation that she had isn't having weight for her present and her future. So, Carter doesn't see the red flags. Which is sad, but he just doesn't see it.

Soap Central: That would be such a natural response, though, if that happened in real life. You wouldn't be able to possibly believe that two people so close to you could betray you in such a deep way.

Saint-Victor: Exactly! Like, if you found out your husband or your boyfriend got with your sister, you would need video evidence! Like, for real? [Laughs] Because it's not something you would think you'd have to be on guard for.

Soap Central: Can we talk about the fact that Carter has officiated several weddings during his time on B&B but hasn't had one of his own in all this time?!

Saint-Victor: I know! It's become a thing and has shown up in scenes now, like, "How many weddings have you done?" And Carter is like, "I've lost count." And I have lost count!

Soap Central: Soap Central recently did an opinion column about Carter possibly being the most unlucky-in-love character on B&B...

Saint-Victor: [Laughs] Nooo! Oh, wow. It's interesting because he's a loving person, and I think that's the part that is challenging. You guys see it. You're like, "Get off the track! The train is coming!" And he's in la-la land. That's hard to watch, because you see it coming. It's not Liam [Scott Clifton] seeing Thomas [Matthew Atkinson] kiss a Hope mannequin, and he runs to Steffy [Jacqueline MacInnes Wood]. You didn't see that coming -- that came out of nowhere. But this is a very long burn, of this train coming towards the guy and there's nothing we can do about it. I think the story is amazing, but it's also excruciating.

Soap Central: Knowing what you know about Carter and playing him all these years, how do you think he might respond to Zoe being into another man?

Saint-Victor: We've seen a couple shades of Carter's personality. Not a whole lot, but when we found out that Maya [Karla Mosley] was transgender, when I was reading the scripts and watching it, I would have assumed that Rick [Jacob Young] would have been the one that responded pretty harshly, and Carter would have been the understanding one -- but it kind of reversed. So, to see Carter in conflict and in confusion, there is a side to him that isn't this "sweet" man... What he will do or won't do, I'm not sure, but I will say that for someone to be so in love that he can't see the flaws in someone else, when and if he finds out, it has to be heartbreaking and also world ending. Because this thing that you created in your head, it's not all the way real. And that is devastating.

Soap Central: Despite the fact that Zoe isn't much of a cup of tea right now, I'm sure the same can't be said about her portrayer, Kiara Barnes. What has it been like working with her on this story?

Saint-Victor: I love working with Kiara. We have such a special bond. We trust each other, and we know we have each other's backs. I think it would have been that way, anyway, but having to build a relationship and a romance and a friendship within COVID pandemic parameters has forced us as artists to really lean on each other. We're on set with masks on, eight feet away [from each other], having to build chemistry. I've never been able to brush my hand against her cheek to wipe away a tear or anything like that because we can't do that. I've never held her hand. The only time we've even hugged was pre-pandemic, around the whole Thomas wedding stuff. So, when we have all these parameters and obstacles in place, all we have is, "I'm looking into your eyes, you're looking into mine. I've got your back, you've got mine, and we're going to create this connection from eight feet away." I think that has built a special bond between us as artists, having to do it this way. And I think she's brilliant and such an honest performer and artist.

Soap Central: One of the other interesting things that we've had from COVID is B&B bringing in your guys' real-life partners as stand-ins. Your wife, Shay, came in to help with some scenes, so what was that like?

Saint-Victor: Yeah, she did! First, I had my time with a mannequin, kissing mannequins. [Laughs] They wanted her to come in for that time, but there was a scheduling conflict, and she wasn't able to. But for the proposal, our directors and producers really wanted to get her in, just so we could have [some intimacy], some human contact. We needed it; it was important for the story. Kiara and I did as much as we could far apart, but by this point, going to get married, a proposal, we needed a kiss, we needed a hug, we needed an embrace. And yeah, Shay came in, and she got paid to kiss me!

Soap Central: She already gets to kiss you for free all the time, and then to get the added bonus of being paid for it?! She's a lucky woman, I tell you.

Saint-Victor: Not a bad day at the office for either one of us!

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Soap Central: I know she's a singer, but does she have any acting experience?

Saint-Victor: Yeah, we actually met in acting school in college, so, yes, she has acting experience. The process of it is weird, anyway, because of the pandemic and the restrictions and what we can and can't do, and soaps move so fast. So, it's weird, anyway. But the fact that she has acted, she has been on sets before, it didn't throw her for a loop. It threw me for a loop more than her! We were doing part of the scene where I'm telling Zoe how much I love her, and for the close-ups, they're shooting over the shoulder from Shay to me, so you can see that I'm close to her, but you don't see her face, and Kiara is off-camera, reading in the lines. So, for movement, they want Shay to kind of mime. So, I'm watching my wife mime Zoe, hearing the line from a distance. I'm like, "This is bugging me out!" [Laughs] It was so weird. I just had to really focus on Shay's eyes and just use my imagination, because it was like a puppet. Kiara was in the background, and Shay is moving her mouth but not [really saying anything]. It was so strange. It turned out well, though.

Soap Central: You've had to create chemistry with not only Kiara but also two fairly new cast members, Delon de Metz as Zende and Diamond White as Paris. Have you enjoyed getting to work with the two of them?

Saint-Victor: Absolutely! When Delon first came on, we just got each other right away. And that was very important to me, because Carter and Zende do have a friendship. And again, because of the pandemic, when Zende first came in to see Carter, we couldn't hug it out like we would do normally, so it was another situation where we had to create this friendship, this bond, and a history [without the usual connection]. But we had a natural camaraderie right away, which made that part really easy. And Diamond is fantastic. She is so easy, man. She came in, and it was like she'd been here forever! [Laughs] I love when siblings come on, because it sheds light on [other characters]. We get to see more of Zoe through her sibling. And Diamond is fantastic.

Soap Central: A lot of fans are already putting Carter and Paris together. Do you feel like there's some chemistry between the characters, that they could explore something romantic -- if things don't work out with Zoe, of course!

Saint-Victor: I think there's an admiration that Carter just naturally has for Paris because of her social work, her desire to help people, her willingness to come on board with the Forrester Foundation -- it's a position she's never held before, and she's willing to do whatever she can to help people -- and her intellect. That unto itself, Carter admires that. And usually admiration of strength is what causes Carter to start to fall in love. With Maya, it was her ability to pick herself up after she lost her child, when we first came on; it was her strength. And with Zoe, it's her strength and resilience picking herself up after dealing with her father and that whole thing. So, admiration is definitely one of his turn-ons. Strength is something that he really gets behind, so never say never!

Soap Central: There has been a cry from fans for years about wanting to have more Black characters on soap operas, and B&B is bringing just that with this front-burner storyline that will be going on for quite a while and has many threads than can be explored. How important do you think it is that B&B listened and is giving the audience this storyline and these characters?

Saint-Victor: I think it's amazing. Like I said before, I'm a fan of this show, and to take myself out of it, if I was just watching it, to see someone that looks like me, it just does something. For it to be important to Brad, important to the show, and important to the network to show diversity, to have more Black people and Black people on contact, it means the world to me. Soaps have been moving in this direction [for a while]. The Young and the Restless had been moving in this direction, and even Guiding Light toward the end, we had me [as Remy Boudreau], Yvonna [Kopacz Wright as Mel Boudreau], Karla [Mosley as Christina Moore], E.J. [Bonilla as Rafe Rivera]; it was so diverse. And I think this is just continuing to kind of push it forward. And these characters, they're multi-faceted. They're friends, they're lovers, they're enemies, they're intellects, they're fashion designers and models. So, it's not just that we have Black people on; what I think is very special is that we have different kinds of Black characters. Zende, Carter, Paris, and Zoe couldn't be any more different, and I think that's special, as well.

Soap Central: Does having a child deepen the feelings that you have about on-screen representation and the roles that you accept? Because you're helping to shape the world around him with what you do, you know?

Saint-Victor: Oh, absolutely! I want to do my part in pushing it forward so when he watches something, or when he sees a new Vice President, it's not far-fetched for him to feel included. Because I know, growing up, my aunt would turn on soap operas. She'd say, "Turn off the cartoons. We're watching soaps." And I was like, "Okay, fine." And in the 90s, with the exception of sitcoms, I didn't see a whole lot of Black people on television in drama or even in sexy storylines; I didn't see it as much. But whenever she would turn on The Young and the Restless, I would see them! And I wasn't watching watching, but a part of me was paying attention, like, "Who's that?" And then, as I got older, I was looking up Kristoff St. John [ex-Neil Winters, Y&R], looking up Shemar Moore [ex-Malcolm Winters, Y&R]. These guys were part of my childhood, even though I wasn't super aware of it. This was a time before we got the Love and Basketballs and those things, where you could turn on the TV every day and see someone that looked like me. It was very impactful. So, to be a part of that, I take it seriously, and it's definitely an honor.

Soap Central: Speaking of your son, he is so, so cute. Is he as sweet as he looks?

Saint-Victor: He is, but he's also a hurricane. Don't let that warm grin fool you; he is going to come in here, and he's gonna tear this place up! [Laughs] And then he's going to smile, and you're going to be fine.

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Soap Central: How has it been to be parenting during COVID?

Saint-Victor: It's definitely a blessing, the extra family time. But he's two years old now, and the challenge is making sure he's developing [properly] without being around a bunch of kids, without being in a school. He's at that age where he's not a baby, where we can just play with him and do things with him and it will be fine. But he's also not like five or six, where you can sit him down and do the Zoom school thing. He's kind of that age where he's a sponge all the time, and he needs experiences. So, the challenge is trying to give him these experiences that mimic what he would be going through if there wasn't a pandemic. That's the biggest challenge. But it's the world we live in.

Soap Central: I'm sure you've been busy with parenting and now being on contract at B&B, but have you still managed to find time to work on your writing?

Saint-Victor: Yeah, I'm working on stuff now. I'm always writing. Karla [Mosley] and I are working more on [our 2017 series] Wed Locked and trying to see where that can go. And that's kind of what I do with the time: I work on B&B or acting stuff, husband, father, work out, write. That's kind of the list of to-dos.

Soap Central: You wrote a couple of episodes of B&B back in 2015. Any chance we'll see more episodes from you in the future?

Saint-Victor: I would love that, but I haven't talked to Brad about it in a while. When I was recurring, there was a year or so where I was [coming in a lot], and it's when you're there that you get a sense of everyone's storyline. When I wrote back in 2015, they gave me an outline, and the writing of it wasn't easy -- like, our writers work hard -- but understanding where everyone was and what they wanted and where they were going, that was pretty easy, because I was there. Prior to this run, it would have been very challenging for me to figure out things like, "What does Bill [Don Diamont] want? What does he want?!" [Laughs] Because even watching the show, I would still be behind with their writing [because they're ahead of what's airing]. But being there, you can easily figure out, "Here's where we are and here's where we're going and where we're pushing it." So, yeah, I would love to play around in that toolbox again. When you write, you get to play everybody. You get to be Brooke, Ridge, Liam, Steffy, everybody. And that's the fun part. "What would Bill do? Oh, I get to be Bill today!"

Soap Central: Speaking of writing, everyone is currently buzzing about All My Children getting a primetime revival. If it does well, it could pave the way for other canceled soap operas to get second lives. Do you think Guiding Light would be a good candidate for a primetime reboot?

Saint-Victor: I hope so! I think the industry is now noticing that nostalgia is hitting hard, and not just like Stranger Things, where it reminds you of the 80s. No, like, Cobra Kai [which is an offshoot of The Karate Kid], Saved by the Bell, etc. People want to see these characters come back and see them taken care of. If I was a network and there is a built-in audience for something that has already existed, it only makes sense. We're seeing that more and more with other things, and with soaps, it's like, we've seen primetime pretty much emulate what we do, anyway. We have all these nighttime soaps, that we call them, whereas before, we had more procedurals, more of the doctor shows. And then you enter Grey's Anatomy, and it's like, "Oh, this is about relationships." And, "Oh, it's just two people in a room, talking? Hhhmmm... that seems familiar!" [Laughs] So, I think that it just makes sense, and soap operas could take their rightful place as the grandparents of this whole TV thing. I would love it. I'm rooting for All My Children, and I would root for any of the other shows that are able to cross into nighttime.

Soap Central: I know it may have been a long time since you thought about GL's Remy, but what do you think he might be up to today? Like, if Guiding Light did get a primetime reboot, where would he be?

Saint-Victor: Oh, man! We left off with Remy and Cyrus [Murray Bartlett] almost as partners, so I think Remy would have worked his way up in the police force. Do you remember Mallet's [Robert Bogue] position in the police force? I think Remy would hold that spot. And I think that he and Christina [Karla Mosley] would probably have another child at this point. And I think we'd probably have a buddy cop thing with Remy and Cyrus. I mean, Cyrus would probably still be kind of shady; he'd be good, but he'd also bend the law for the greater good. As far as the drama that ensues for Remy, I think it'd probably be a cop thing. It's hard for me to imagine now because we wrapped up everything so tightly. Like, with the whole baby Max story and the baby dies, and then toward the end, we wrapped up Remy and Bill's [Daniel Cosgrove] issues. At one point, Jonathan [Tom Pelphrey] and Remy had issues, and that was resolved. So, as far as the drama, his issues had been resolved -- so, we'd just have to introduce new ones! But I think him and Frank [Frank Dicopoulos] would be holding down the police force.

Soap Central: I haven't heard these names in so long. You're tugging at my heart strings, Lawrence!

Saint-Victor: I love Guiding Light! Guiding Light is my jam. I was watching that since before I was even Remy!

Soap Central: You've been really generous with your time, and I thank you for that. Is there anything else that you'd like to add before I let you go?

Saint-Victor: I feel like I skated around the Carter questions, but I can't give anything away! There is one thing, but... Oh, man. I can't say! So, we'll have to talk again.

Soap Central: Okay, sounds good! Let's give it a few weeks, because yeah, I'm pretty sure his life is going to be blowing up.

Saint-Victor: [Laughs] I can't say anything, but I don't think it's going to take a long time for us to have to talk again! Hint, hint, wink, wink.

What do you think about our interview with B&B's Lawrence Saint-Victor? How do you think the Carter/Zoe/Zende/Paris storyline will play out in the weeks ahead? Are you ready to see Carter finally find true love? If so, with whom? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.

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