INTERVIEW: Tanner Novlan reacts to the Sheila bombshell that blew up Finn's wedding on The Bold and the Beautiful

Posted Friday, August 06, 2021 3:00 PM
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The Bold and the Beautiful's Tanner Novlan opens up about how Finn will handle the news that Sheila Carter (Kimberlin Brown) is his birth mother and whether or not newly wedded Finn and Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) can weather a serious Sheila storm.

Just when it looked as if The Bold and the Beautiful's Finn (Tanner Novlan) and Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) were going to get a truly happily ever after as new parents and newlyweds, the powers that be blew it up with the arrival of the evil Sheila Carter (Kimberlin Brown), who is claiming to be Finn's birth mother.

The super soapy moment has everyone's heads spinning, from poor Finn, who is shocked to finally come face to face with his real mom, to Steffy, who is horrified that she is now tied by blood to the woman who shot her mom nearly 20 years ago.

How will this mother of all bombshells affect Finn and Steffy's brand-new marriage? And how will Finn take the news that his real mother is a master manipulator with a rap sheet longer than the list of Steffy's ex-husbands? Soap Central spoke with Tanner Novlan to find out.

Soap Central: So, your first soap opera wedding -- was it soapy enough for you?!

Tanner Novlan: Oh, yeah, we had all the classics. [Laughs] We had a champagne glass drop, we had a name repeated around the room as she entered. It was a great, classic soap opera moment for sure.

Soap Central: Finn just had a baby, he just said "I do," and now he's finding out about his true parentage. I mean, this poor guy's head must be spinning!

Novlan: Yes! For a guy who seemed to have quite limited drama in his life, as soon as the Forresters got involved, he went from zero to 60, that's for sure.

Soap Central: What does Finn think about this reveal that Sheila might be his mom?

Novlan: He's had a wonderful upbringing with his adoptive parents, and he's come to terms with all of that, but there's been this void and a bit of a longing subconsciously deep down ever since he was young about [where he comes from]. Anyone who's been adopted would have these questions, because there's a part of your story that has never been fully told. And when he meets his birth mother, he's ecstatic to try and explore that and maybe get some answers and learn about this. And it's all good until we find out that the Forresters think very differently about that idea!

Soap Central: Sheila is a master manipulator who has stolen a baby in the past and has tampered with paternity test results. Is there a suspicion that this could just be another one of her cons?

Novlan: Finn gives people the benefit of the doubt a lot of the time and he gives second chances. He is hearing these crazy stories about her, and a lot of them he's learning for the first time, so he's trying to piece this all together on the fly, as well, while also having this chemical reaction to this relationship and this longing on the maternal level to [know his real mom]. He's trying to balance all of this in the air, and it's pretty complicated for the poor guy.

Soap Central: Finn is finding out all of this stuff about Sheila, but I imagine that you are, as well, at the same time! How did you learn about the character and her history on the show?

Novlan: Through the scripts! [Laughs] I'd read it and say to Jacqueline, "Wait, did she shoot your mom?!" And Jacqueline was like, "Yes!" And I was like, "Oh, my gosh!" And I love that. This is what is so great about our show, is the wild histories of these characters and how they always stay intertwined, and all of the drama around all of the years. It's so fun to be put right in the middle of all of that history.

Soap Central: Your wife, Kayla Ewell (ex-Caitlin Ramírez) was on the show for a while, so did she know about Sheila and have an opinion about all of this?

Novlan: Actually, I didn't ask her about it! I'm not sure if Kayla worked with Kimberlin, because it was a long time ago. But it didn't take me very long [to get caught up with Sheila's history] because it was in the scripts, and I saw some clips of her. And being a fan of the show, my mom especially, it's been playing in our house, and I was like, "Oh, I remember this character. I remember Kimberlin. I know how dangerous this is!" [Laughs] But I can't judge that, because it's Finn's mother, and to him, Sheila is his biological mother. What she did was a long time ago, so I think Finn tries to explore the possibility that she has changed.

Soap Central: The last time Sheila was on the canvas, she had supposedly changed -- or at least, she kept saying that she had changed, even though she wasn't very convincing!

Novlan: Well, you never know. There are a lot of second chances on this show, that's for sure -- though they might backfire! [Laughs]

Soap Central: What's it been like working with Kimberlin Brown?

Novlan: It's been amazing. It has been so fun to watch her. She so easily taps into a great, natural soap villain. To watch her carry herself and her speech pattern and her tone, it's perfect. It's perfect for that character, and it's been so fun.

Soap Central: Has it been fun for you to watch your costars working with her, as well? Their characters all have such deep histories with Sheila.

Novlan: Oh, yeah. They get set off pretty quick! [Laughs] But Kimberlin does such a great job of toying with them, and it's fun to watch everyone be taken with the way she manipulates; she's a master at it! It's really fun to watch her work.

Soap Central: The good news is that Finn is a married man, but the bad news is that his future with Steffy won't be as perfect and smooth as he thought. Could this Sheila bombshell be a possible deal breaker for their future together?

Novlan: Yeah, as anyone knows, when you get married to someone, you do marry the family, as well. And now that Sheila is on this ride unexpectedly, and Finn seems to want to explore that and find out if she has changed and what that is, it's going to be interesting to see if Steffy can accept that. It's going to be tough... and Steffy has some stuff to figure out, for sure.

Soap Central: Especially because she just had Finn's baby, which means that Sheila's blood is running through her child's veins, which would be a head-jerker for anyone.

Novlan: It's a blood tie now, and that runs deep, and that's going to be interesting to see how Steffy navigates that.

Soap Central: It's not just Sheila that Steffy is getting, because Finn has these great adoptive parents, Jack and Li. How will they fit into the story now that Sheila is also involved?

Novlan: Jack takes charge a little bit in trying to keep everything together, and I think Li is a little more internal and is now trying to figure out her place. Now that the birth mother is involved, even though Li's been such a great mentor and a great mother, and Finn is probably a bit of a mama's boy, her role is being questioned now, and she's trying to figure out how she fits in. So, yeah, it's going to be interesting to see Li and how she handles this -- because we know Sheila is coming in on fire! There's no way Sheila is taking a backseat!

Soap Central: Well, that's for sure! What's it been like working with Ted King and Naomi Matsuda?

Novlan: It's been great! Ted is awesome, and both of them are so experienced. They're playing my parents, and so you hope to find some natural chemistry right off the bat and some history. On the first day, I was like, "Hi, Mom," and "Hi, Dad!" And they were like, "Hi, son!" And we chatted a bit, and it was pretty easy to make it believable that we were family. And that's a testament to how talented they are.

Soap Central: It was a little fast for viewers in terms of we found out that Finn was adopted and then met his parents and then BAM, now Sheila is in the picture. Was it like that for you, as well, when you met Ted, Naomi, and Kimberlin? Did you meet all of your on-screen parents super quickly, all at once?

Novlan: Yeah, but everything happens so fast on this show, I'm pretty used to it by now. [Laughs] It was pretty quick, but we rolled with the punches, and that's how we do it. We keep things moving. You've got to stay tuned!

Soap Central: Do you think this Sheila reveal will change Finn as a character at all? It's not every day that you find out that you might have evil in your veins.

Novlan: I don't think so. I think he's pretty true to his values and knows who he is. Especially being a doctor, medically, there is a lot of family history that he wouldn't know about, of say disease and stuff like that that you know might be hereditary, and so I think that stuff has always been a question, and there is the question of why he was given up for adoption. It will probably open him up a bit more and hopefully expand the character as we deep dive into learning about Finn's history. The character of Finn is just going to get richer.

Soap Central: He might not have much time to do a lot of internal reflection, anyway, as I'm guessing he'll have his hands full for a while, dealing with Steffy's reaction to all of this!

Novlan: [Laughs] And that has always been his main concern. He's always been a nurturer to her, and now, this is throwing another major wrench in her life, and it's coming from him. In the past, it's always been him helping Steffy through what she needs, and now we're walking a really interesting line where both of them have an issue, and they're going to have to fight to stay together -- if they can.

Soap Central: How does it feel for you to suddenly have a big soap opera family? It pretty much cements your place on the canvas.

Novlan: Oh, my gosh, it's an honor. It's been really exciting to come into B&B with a blank slate. A lot of times, you'll inherit a character with a history, and you have to honor that, and it's just been really fun to watch the writers and Brad [Bell, executive producer and head writer] come up with ways to tie Finn in and to rock the boat and to give him more colors and rich history. I feel really privileged to be in this unique experience and to lay a foundation for what I think is going to be one of the big characters on B&B for a long time, I hope.

Soap Central: Is there anything you'd like to add?

Novlan: Just that the wedding was truly magical, and I think it's going to be one of the ones that's going to be remembered for a long time. And having the whole cast there shooting on that day, I'll always remember it. It's always so much fun when we all get to be in a big scene together, especially coming out of COVID protocols, where we were very limited to how many actors we could have in scenes. So, it was just an amazing day. And all of the performances on that day were great -- Ridge (Thorsten Kaye) gave a really wonderful speech. It was a roller coaster!

What do you think about our interview with Tanner Novlan? How do you feel about the reveal that Sheila Carter is Finn's birth mother? Do you think Finn and Steffy can weather Storm Sheila and keep their brand-new marriage together? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.

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