INTERVIEW: The Bold and the Beautiful's Sean Kanan on Deacon's blowout with Ridge and his true motives concerning Brooke

Posted Friday, February 11, 2022 1:30 PM
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The Bold and the Beautiful's Sean Kanan opens up about Brooke and Deacon 2.0, Sheila's devious meddling, and an epic confrontation with Ridge: "You don't normally see this on daytime!" Plus, get the scoop on Kanan's book, Way of the Cobra, and the latest regarding his status with Cobra Kai.

When news broke last fall that Sean Kanan would be reprising his role as The Bold and the Beautiful bad boy Deacon Sharpe, longtime viewers of the CBS soap opera immediately began salivating over the storyline possibilities. The character has a rich history with B&B staples like Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang), Ridge (Thorsten Kaye), and Deacon's daughter, Hope (Annika Noelle), not to mention strong connections to characters that fans want back on the canvas, like Amber (Adrienne Frantz) and Bridget (Ashley Jones). Having Deacon back in Los Angeles opens up so many doors, which is certainly worthy of a big cheer.

But, as it turns out, before delving deep into history, B&B's writers gave viewers something they didn't even know they wanted: a partnership between Deacon and Sheila (Kimberlin Brown), which has turned out to be a wildly entertaining pairing that gives the soap's signature drama some much-appreciated comic relief. What's more, Deacon and Sheila's connection ended up being the unexpected springboard into Deacon's past, with Sheila swapping bottles of booze to trick Brooke into falling off the wagon, which spurred a drunken Brooke to kiss her ex on New Year's Eve!

Brooke and Deacon's NYE shenanigans have been buzzing around the rumor mill of Los Angeles for weeks, but the truth has finally hit the Big Kahuna: Ridge! He's obviously going to have some pretty intense feelings about his wife's indiscretion, and you can bet that both Brooke and Deacon are going to pay for it -- big time!

Soap Central caught up with Sean Kanan to get the scoop on the exciting reveal, as well as what's ahead for all involved. The actor teases that fans won't want to miss the giant showdown between Deacon and Ridge that's set to air on Monday, February 14: "It's not something you see in daytime every day!"

In addition to delving into his juicy B&B storylines, Kanan also opens up about the second season of his hit Amazon Prime series, Studio City; the life crisis that inspired him to write his motivational self-help book, Way of the Cobra; and what he can say about whether or not fans will see him reprise his Karate Kid III character, Mike Barnes, in the Netflix series Cobra Kai.

Soap Central: Sean, you have so many exciting things going on right now! How does it feel to be starting 2022 on such a roll?

Sean Kanan: It's incredibly exciting. Last year was a pretty special year for me -- a lot of stuff that I had been working on for quite a while all manifested at one time, which was really exciting, and so far, it's carrying into 2022. I am just so excited to be back on The Bold and the Beautiful. That, for me was really the icing on the cake for 2021, which started with me doing back-to-back films in Puerto Rico with Bruce Willis, then winning an Emmy for Studio City, and my book, Way of the Cobra, began to really do well. Then I got the call from [B&B executive producer and head writer] Brad Bell to come back to the show, and I thought, "Wow, this is just unbelievable!" It's a huge blessing. I've been off and on The Bold and the Beautiful since 2000, and every single time that I've gone back to the show, it's been a wonderful experience. It's a great way to start the year, knowing that I've got this wonderful job and to get the opportunity to work with so many wonderful people that I really care about.

Soap Central: Your reintroduction has been so much fun, with Deacon partnering up with Sheila and already having an indiscretion with Brooke. So, not only are you back on the show, but you're back on the show with a big bang!

Kanan: Yes, and it's exciting because I've come back a couple of times in a supporting role to other characters' storylines, but this time, I very much have my own storylines with multiple characters. Deacon is really embedded into the tapestry of the show on a lot of different levels, and that's really exciting. One thing I really like is that Deacon has this relationship with Sheila that brings out this one aspect of his personality, which is kind of a very quippy and fun back-and-forth with her, and then there's a different relationship with Hope, where he's seeking redemption and absolution for the mistakes that he's made in the past and trying to build a new relationship, and then there's this burgeoning relationship with Brooke, where these are two people who have a tremendous amount of history but are now further along in their lives and in very different places and are trying to reconnect.

Soap Central: How was it to reunite with Katherine Kelly Lang? Like riding a bike?

Kanan: To be honest, I was a little curious to see how it would work when we actually had to do something that was more intimate, like kissing. Most of our scenes haven't gone that far, but it picked up right where it left off, and I think we were able to generate a very believable and connected relationship and chemistry. So, yeah, for me, I think it's absolutely still there, and I think we're going to be able to bring something really interesting to the audience and to the scenes that hopefully will have some of the same magic that it had all those years ago.

Soap Central: We saw a tease of that with their New Year's Eve shenanigans, and now Ridge is getting a taste of it, too, with the big secret being revealed! How does Deacon feel about Ridge learning the truth?

Kanan: I think we're seeing Deacon acting in a way that he really wouldn't have in the past. Clearly this information has the potential to burn Brooke's relationship to the ground, and I think that Deacon largely doesn't want to do that. There are times when Deacon says, "I don't want to take a wrecking ball to Brooke's marriage," and I believe that, and I am playing it as if he's sincere. He really loves Brooke and does not ever want to cause this woman any pain, and he knows that she does love Ridge and that losing Ridge would be an almost unbearable pain for her, and he doesn't want to watch her go through that. Deacon has also repeatedly said, "I didn't come back to Los Angeles to complicate Hope or Brooke's lives," and I also believe that. I do, though, believe that he is human, and he and Ridge do have a rich history. Sometimes people forget that Deacon and Ridge have had physical altercations in the past, so there's no love lost between the two of them! Deacon has really bitten his tongue for a long time, with the way that Ridge has spoken to him and about him in front of Brooke and Hope. And I don't think he'd be human if there wasn't a part of him that recognizes that this may not be what he wanted to have happen, but if the worst does happen, there very could well be a silver lining, which is Deacon getting another shot for a relationship with Brooke

Soap Central: Why does Deacon believe he's the best man for Brooke?

Kanan: I'm extrapolating a bit here, but Deacon thinks, "If I did have another shot with Brooke, it's now me as a man that has gone through a lot, made a lot of changes; I'm not the brash, younger guy that I was, but now a more mature man." And, while he doesn't have a lot to offer monetarily or materially, he's a much wiser and deeper person than he was in the past, and he thinks that that is something that he could bring to the table.

Soap Central: Do you think that Deacon being a wiser and deeper person will give his confrontation with Ridge different colors? As you said, they've come to blows before, so, will it be different this time?

Kanan: Deacon has done his level best to restrain himself in front of Brooke and Hope, but things will get very out of hand! We're going to see some stuff that you don't normally see on daytime. It's funny though -- I always say that when I'm playing Deacon, whenever he does something that I as Sean might find reprehensible, I have to find a way to play it through the point of view of Deacon, who always thinks he is doing what's in his best interest, etc. But I'll tell you man, if I was Ridge, I would rip Deacon's head off -- or at least try! It's just funny when Thorsten is delivering his lines, I have to discipline myself to listen to the lines as the character instead of Sean going, "Oh, my God, I totally get why this guy doesn't want Deacon around!" It's easy for me to align with Ridge's point of view.

Soap Central: Deacon has professed his love for Brooke, but at such an interesting time because, due to Sheila and Taylor [Krista Allen] and even Deacon himself, Brooke is kind of a mess -- and she could get worse if things fall apart with Ridge. Is Deacon ready for that?

Kanan: Look, this is a guy that's been around the block. Deacon has a specific skill set that may not be always obvious, but he is a real resourceful guy. I also think one of his other endearing qualities is that he's fiercely loyal when he cares about somebody. I think he would move heaven and earth to do whatever he could to help Brooke. Also, as I've always said, Deacon has no sense of family -- he had an abusive stepfather, and we don't really know anything about his mother -- and we tend to long for the things that we don't have. So, I think if he could ever unify his family -- he and Brooke and Hope -- that's something that's really attractive to him, and he would do whatever he could to make that happen if the situation was right. Like I said, while he doesn't have a lot to bring to the table as far as job prospects or money or anything like that, he's not a guy who's afraid to get down and dirty, and when the going gets rough, he gets tough; this is a guy who's been in prison for four or five years. He can handle it.

Soap Central: Good thing, because it might get extremely tough when it comes out that Sheila was the one to set Brooke's loss of sobriety in motion! How has it been for you to work with Kimberlin Brown?

Kanan: We have so much fun! My wife and I have a place in Palm Springs, California, and Kimberlin does, too. So, prior to ever working together, we knew each other and would see each other socially, and it's just so much fun now that we're working together. We have a group of friends that know that both of us work in daytime, and it's a lot of fun for our friends, too, to see two of their friends working together on TV. So, yeah, we've been having a blast. She's a terrific actress. We really try to infuse the scenes that we have with humor and make them fun for us, and make them fun for the audience, while pushing the plots along. Whenever I see that I've got scenes with Sheila coming up, I love it, because I know we're going to have a good time.

Soap Central: Katherine Kelly Lang recently did a Bold Live, and Ashley Jones popped on as a surprise guest. They mentioned that now that Deacon is back on the canvas, they would love to reexplore the Deacon/Brooke/Bridget history. Is that something you'd be interested in, as well?

Kanan: Anything that creates more story for my character is a good thing. I just read a tweet about [B&B creator] Bill Bell having said something to the effect of, "Conflict is the essence of what we do in daytime," and anytime there's a way to introduce some new conflict into my story and into the overall palette of the show, it's a good thing. And I think Bridget coming back after all these years would certainly introduce some conflict, whether it awakens some old feelings, or if it's that she can now, as an adult, finally tell Deacon in no uncertain terms how what he did hurt her, and Deacon apologizing, who knows. But it certainly is fertile ground for a lot of good story.

Soap Central: As is the fact that we don't know much about Deacon's past and who his mother might be, as you mentioned. Is finding out more about Deacon's parentage something you'd like to see explored?

Kanan: Yeah, that's really been my dream with this character. I'm not adopted, but I imagine that someone who has been adopted always has that nagging feeling of, "Where did I come from?" And playing Deacon and not knowing where Deacon's family comes from, I have that nagging feeling of, "Who is this guy? Where did he come from?" It's so fun to read so many of the fans' theories on it. It literally could be anything. Anything is possible -- there is no restriction on who Deacon's parents could be. And I think that with Deacon becoming a better man, it's natural for him to want to know where he came from, to see, "Was I the way I was because some of that was in my DNA? Did I come from bad stock? Or is it possible that some of the missing pieces in my personality I could find in my parents, if they're still alive? And they could give me some answers and help me round out myself as a more fully formed, healthy, good person?" There's just a lot that can be done with it.

Soap Central: Is there anything else from Deacon's past that you feel is ripe for more exploration?

Kanan: Oh, of course! The other thing that I think would be terrific would be to have Deacon's son, Eric -- Little D -- come back onto the canvas. A man's son is an important thing, and I always thought it would be interesting if this kid came back to town and he's just hell on wheels like Deacon was! It would be like the chickens coming home to roost. Twenty-something years ago, Deacon was just causing havoc -- although, it's not like he's not now! -- but it would be fun if here comes this kid, the "kid's kid," and it's kind of Deacon's responsibility to reach this kid and straighten him out. Again, I just think that there is so much stuff that could be done, and I'm really happy that this go-around on the show, at least so far, it doesn't seem like I'm just being brought back to augment someone else's storyline, which has happened in the past. That happens a lot in daytime, and it's still a blessing to be back on a show, but it's really great when a character has their own story that is spreading out in different directions rather than just being relegated to a certain group of scenes to serve a certain purpose.

Soap Central: It's exciting for the fans, as well, because they get to see Deacon grow and change and connect with new people in meaningful ways, and we see different sides of him. For example, they've incorporated karate into the show! Was that a surprise to you?

Kanan: It's been wonderful. Obviously, there's a lot of speculation as to whether or not I will be joining the cast of Cobra Kai. I'm kind of a legacy character in the Karate Kid universe, and so, I just thought, "This will be a lot of fun!" Annika has trained in martial arts, and I also thought it would be a really interesting opportunity to potentially cross collateralize the two audiences. I said, "Wouldn't it be fun if we could bring in some of these people who are fans of the Karate Kid/Cobra Kai universe and see if we can actually get them to actually start watching The Bold and the Beautiful?" And it's amazing because, little by little, it's happening! I've had so many people who are generally contacting me about Karate Kid stuff, and they're like, "Oh, I can't believe it dude, I'm starting to watch the soap opera. Who knew Mike Barnes, karate's bad boy, was on a soap!" So, out of novelty and curiosity, some people start watching it, and then they start to find out that they really like it.

Soap Central: What do you get recognized from or approached about the most?

Kanan: It would have to be Karate Kid III still. Cobra Kai has reawakened it worldwide, and I would say I probably get about 500 messages a week on social media, people asking if I'm going to do Cobra Kai.

Soap Central: How does it feel to have the Internet waiting for this answer on whether or not you're going to appear on Cobra Kai?

Kanan: Look, I can neither confirm nor deny that I will appear, but it has been incredibly flattering that a character that I played in a film 35 years ago still has relevance. The success of Cobra Kai, it's incredible. It's the number two show on Netflix worldwide, and when they moved from YouTube Red to Netflix, it became this worldwide juggernaut, which has kind of happily swept me along a little bit in all the Internet speculation. It's very exciting. We shall see.

Soap Central: Your book, Way of the Cobra, is set to be released as an e-book soon, which is exciting.

Kanan: Yes! I had been working on something like it for a couple of years, and truthfully, when it was obvious what a success Cobra Kai was and that it had awakened this massive re-interest in Karate Kid, I thought, "I would be really silly not to try and take this book and tweak it a little bit so that I can cater to this massive built-in audience," and so that's what I did. The book is set up so that I am the sensei, and you are a student in my dojo, and COBRA is an acronym formed from the words Character, Optimization, Balance, Respect, and Abundance. The book is divided up into belts, the chapters are divided into belts culminating with black belt, and I teach and share a lot of lessons and strategies and philosophies that have helped me to achieve much of what I have achieved in my life.

Soap Central: What inspired you to write a self-help book rather than a celebrity biography?

Kanan: A couple of years ago, I found myself in a really interesting place. I just had my 50th birthday, I had had some fairly significant success in my life, I had had some epic and unfortunately well-publicized failures, and I was looking in the mirror, and I was like, "What's next? What's chapter two here?" I was unemployed, I didn't really have any strong prospects for work, I was dealing with some old demons that were starting to revisit, and I just realized that I needed to do something different really quickly. I decided that rather than wait for my ship to come in, I was going to build the ship.

Soap Central: That turned out to be a very smart move.

Kanan: I started doing some things very differently, and I started achieving some incredible, tangible results very quickly, and a lot of that is what has gone into this book. Now, I hear from people literally every day from different parts of the world saying that the information in the book has allowed them to make paradigm shifts in their life and begin to not only achieve goals, but begin to have a better understanding of who they are, and that is honestly one of the most rewarding things I ever would have imagined... Also, the book has really helped me stay accountable. One thing I was really clear about was, "I cannot write a book like this and put this out and deign to tell people how to live their lives if I'm not living my life this way." That would be, for me, just the height of hypocrisy. So, writing the book has really helped me become a better person. That is one of the most amazing by-products of the book.

Soap Central: When will the e-version of Way of the Cobra be available?

Kanan: I'm not sure of that date yet... but it's going to be at Barnes and Noble, Scribd, all the major places. You can find the book at WayoftheCobra.com.

Soap Central: While I have you, is there anything you can tease about the second season of your very, very well-received Amazon Prime series, Studio City?

Kanan: We've completed six new episodes, which will hopefully be uploaded very soon! We are going to see some fun new guest-star appearances, we're going to see several of the characters that were in the previous season, but the most exciting thing is that, if you remember from season one, my character, Sam Stevens, his dream has always been to be an action star, and Sam gets his chance to be an action star. He finds himself cast as the co-star in a major studio film, and I guess you could say be careful what you wish for because you just may get it! Also, the relationship continues to deepen between Sam and his daughter, who is played by my real-life stepdaughter, Juliet Vega.

Soap Central: Can you say who the guest stars are that you mentioned?

Kanan: Lilly Melgar [ex-Claudia Cortéz, B&B; ex-Lily Rivera, General Hospital], she's joining us, and she's terrific; Scott Turner Schofield, who was in last season and was also on The Bold and the Beautiful [as Nick]; and a really terrific addition, and I've had so much fun working with him, Justin Torkildsen, who played Rick Forrester on The Bold and the Beautiful. He had a very small role in one episode of Studio City last year, and now he's got a really significant role in this season, and he is absolutely terrific. He's just so funny, and we are so excited to have him. I think people are going to really enjoy these new episodes -- they're some of the best ones that we've done yet.

Soap Central: Is there anything else you'd like to add before I let you go?

Kanan: Just that we have that big showdown between Ridge and Deacon [on February 14th], and it's something that the fans are absolutely 100% not going to want to miss. It's not something you see in daytime every day, so, I would encourage people to DVR or set what you've got to set, do what you've got to do, and make sure you tune in!

Photo Credit: John Paschal/JPI Studios.com

What do you think about our interview with Sean Kanan? Would you like to see Brooke and Deacon get back together? Who do you think Deacon's parents could be? What other storylines would you like to see for the character in 2022? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.

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