It's good to be bad, but could it be good to be good, as well? That's the question that's likely on the mind of Kimberlin Brown, who just made an explosive return to The Bold and the Beautiful in a storyline that might have the power to transform Sheila Carter as fans know her.
The character has a history of being one of the CBS soap's most vicious villains, but in a new interview with Soap Central, Brown says that it is quite possible that forging a relationship with Finn (Tanner Novlan), whom she put up for adoption years ago in currently unrevealed circumstances, could be the beginning of a beautiful new chapter for Sheila. But then again, maybe not!
"It's really hard to break away from old habits," the actress teases. "That's the beauty about being Sheila. I can have these incredible breakthrough moments and then have somebody do something that triggers me that sets me right back to where I was!"
Keep reading for more from Brown, who gives the scoop on Sheila's feelings for Finn and sheds a little light on why her character chose to give up her baby boy so many years ago.
Soap Central: What a bombshell return for Sheila. This must be so fun for you!
Kimberlin Brown: I'll tell you, I couldn't have been happier with that reveal. You know, when you're filming, the lights all seem so much brighter, and the reveal I just thought was awesome. You really couldn't see anything, just an outline of a body and some hands. It was great.
Soap Central: Sheila has always had this major beef with the Forresters, and now she is related to them by blood, which is such a knife twist into the family. Is Sheila just laughing and super delighted by all of this?
Brown: Well, I think right now, Sheila is just excited to finally introduce herself to her son. Obviously, there are some things coming up that definitely will be getting into that excitement about being connected to the Forresters and there is nothing they can do about it! [Laughs] But what's most important is that Sheila is finally able to tell her son that she's his mother.
Soap Central: How does she feel about seeing him and the man that he has become?
Brown: Very proud. Very proud. I mean, who wouldn't be? It's hard to watch somebody grow up from afar, and then, all of a sudden, make that decision to include yourself in their lives. He became everything that every mother would want for her child. Even though she had no part in raising him, she definitely watched him and was always very proud of all of his accomplishments.
Soap Central: The fans have definitely fallen in love with Finn, so I don't think it's just Sheila who absolutely loves him. He's daytime's best new heartthrob.
Brown: He is a little bit of a heartthrob, isn't he! Mama is very proud of him. [Laughs]
Soap Central: What has it been like working with Tanner Novlan?
Brown: It's great. It's been an interesting revelation for me, coming back to the show and working with Jacqui [MacInnes Wood, Steffy Forrester] and Tanner, because that's kind of like when I started, you know what I mean? I was young, I was their age, I was having babies at the same time Jacquie is, and it's so exciting to see young people with this phenomenal energy coming up through the ranks. I'm blessed to be working with them. I think Tanner is doing a great job, and this isn't easy for him, because I'm Finn's birth mother, but I didn't raise him, so, it's conflicting on how to play this and all of the rest, so I think he's doing a brilliant job. And it's only getting better; every scene we do, it just gets better.
Soap Central: Could we potentially see a softer side of Sheila through this storyline? We don't know the reasons yet about why she gave up Finn, but no matter what, it couldn't have been easy to miss her child's whole life.
Brown: No, it's definitely not, and you're going to see that side come out. Giving him up was the hardest thing that she's ever done in her life, and she did it for somebody else, once again. Sheila's whole life has been making mistakes to make other people happy instead of herself. One of these days, she will be able to find love and be loved the way she had always hoped. And her son might be the beginning of that.
Soap Central: She claimed to have changed in the past -- though she hasn't been too convincing before! But do you hope that through this, she really will grow and become more mature, or is it actually more fun for you if she reverts back to her "bad" self?
Brown: You know, it's good to be bad! I've got to be honest. I like seeing the softer side, I really do. Because I think, as we all grow, we all realize the mistakes that we've made in the past. Sheila is no different. But it's really hard to break away from old habits, as well. So, that's the beauty about being Sheila. I can have these incredible breakthrough moments and then have somebody do something that triggers me that sets me right back to where I was. And you never know when that's going to happen, and I think that's part of the allure of my character, as well. You never really know what she's going to do, but you do know what she's capable of.
Soap Central: I do love that there is this new added level now that if she were to do something to hurt the Forrester family, which we know she's loved to do in the past, she'll actually hurt her son now. Is there a line she won't cross now because of that?
Brown: Well, that's yet to be seen. I've got to be honest, that's all coming up, and that's too far out for me to talk about right now, but it's going to be interesting, there's no doubt about it. Sheila has got some big decisions to make coming up, and are they going to be great for the Forresters, or is she going to make decisions that are going to be good for her?
Soap Central: You have also been able to work with Ted King this time around, who is a soap villain in his own right -- albeit on a different show -- but what has working with him been like?
Brown: Oh, he's wonderful. Just wonderful. Incredibly professional and very well prepared and gives you a ton. An actor's dream is to be working opposite somebody that gives you something to play off of, and he's definitely one of those people. He's a seasoned pro, to say the least... and I'm very lucky to have the opportunity to work with him. He's amazing.
Soap Central: You've been working with some new people, but you've also had reunions with some of your former B&B cast mates. Which costars are you super excited to be working with again?
Brown: As far as who I'm working with, it's very limited at this point in the storyline, but I can tell you that it's so wonderful to see Katherine [Kelly Lang, Brooke Logan] and John [McCook, Eric Forrester] and Thorsten [Kaye, Ridge Forrester] and everybody, really! And there are so many new faces since I left that I still haven't had the opportunity, with COVID and the regulations that we have here at the studio, to really associate with. But I sit in my dressing room, and I watch the monitor, and there's some great new talent on this show, and I can't wait to meet them all.
Soap Central: Has it been fairly easy for you to get back into Sheila mode?
Brown: You know, Sheila is my baby. She is my baby, and I've got to say, I've been holding back a little bit because we always have to have some place to go, and the scenes that we taped yesterday, I did it one way, and then I asked Ed [Scott, supervising producer], "Can I just do one more take? I just want to let Sheila go," and he said, "Absolutely." So, I can tell you: she is back in full form!
Soap Central: She must be so much fun for you! The fans love watching you as Sheila, and your costars say the same thing.
Brown: Aw, thank you so much! She really is so fun to play because there's no wrong. There is no wrong. The very first time I started playing Sheila, the note to me from [executive producer] Brad Bell that came from Ed Scott was, "There's no wrong, and remember that when you're playing her. You can take it as big as you want. Go as dark as you want." I really embraced that, and what was supposed to be three months has turned into 30 years. Actually, 31 years this October, is when I started playing my character, I believe.
Soap Central: With all of that incredible history, I must ask if there is a character whose feathers you enjoy ruffling the most?
Brown: Well, obviously ruffling Stephanie's [Susan Flannery] feathers was always fun. And it didn't take much to get them ruffled, but she ruffled mine right back! And I think that's what I really liked about the dynamic between the two of us, because she'd throw stuff my way, and I would throw it right back, and if I threw it at her, she'd throw it right back. She was a very strong woman and a very strong character, and Sheila was more vulnerable in certain ways, but nothing trumps evil, so I really enjoyed that. I truly did. And then, obviously, Tracey Bregman [Lauren Fenmore, The Young and the Restless], when she would come over, and her feathers would really be ruffled, because she was afraid of Sheila; when you have people afraid of you, it really puts you in a position of power. My character has been that way with a lot of people, men and women alike. But with John McCook, Eric's feather, I would never ruffle -- I never wanted to ruffle, because that's the man I truly love. I always have, and probably always will. Stephanie is the one that really, when you think about it, made sure that their happiness was never going to be... and that's when Sheila's life turned into a little bit of a nightmare. But yeah, I'm trying to think because I guess I never really thought of my character as being somebody that ruffles feathers. She just does what she does.
Soap Central: I love that you mentioned Eric and that whole dynamic, because the possibilities are very ripe this time around for Sheila. Everything is different than it was before, and I know the viewers are very much looking forward to what this might lead to. Many hope it's long term so these things can be explored. Are you open to a long-term stay if the opportunity arises?
Brown: Absolutely! I'm one of those people that never say never, and Sheila is my baby. I love her. I would always come back to play Sheila. She's part of me at this point in my life, so absolutely, if something came about, I'd be happy to.
Soap Central: Is there anything else that you'd like to add about your return or anything that I didn't ask you about?
Brown: It feels like I'm home again. Everybody has just embraced Sheila coming back, even these new young actors who are probably too young to even know who Sheila was or is. It just feels like I'm home, and that's a good feeling.
What do you think about our interview with Kimberlin Brown? How do you feel about Sheila being back in town and claiming to be Finn's birth mother? Do you think we'll see a softer side of Sheila this time around, or do you think the leopard still has her spots? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.