Even before she officially left The Bold and the Beautiful, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, who plays Steffy, had been given a 3-week hiatus to star in the LMN movie "Her Husband's Betrayal," premiering Friday, August 2.
In it she plays Cathy Coulter, a newlywed with a 9-year-old-son from a previous marriage to an abusive husband, who figures out that something isn't right with her new husband's frequent work trips. So, she follows him, finds a dead body, and gets framed for the murder! Cathy goes on the run to discover the truth -- and try to save herself and her son.
In this exclusive interview, About.com spoke to Wood about leaving The Bold and the Beatuiful, how her two roles are similar yet different, and what it was like to play a mother to a 9-year-old son when she doesn't have any kids of her own in real life.
The women are very different roles, but the common element to me is that they are both strong. Steffy always was, I think, but Cathy had to learn it. How do you see them?
Yes, Steffy is strong. There are certain situations that have made her strong, but I think that is just the way she is. She comes off that way. She has always been a strong person. She is vulnerable but Cathy is a bit different.
She, obviously, had a child when she was very young. She was in an abusive relationship before. So, she knows she can be strong;p she doesn't know how strong she can be. Once she realizes that her husband isn't the man she thought he was, everything kind of changes and it is fight or flight.
Any mother is like a lion. You don't mess with my child. I think any female can relate to that. [Her predicament] comes out of nowhere and she has this whole thrill-ride chase.
It was a lot of fun. It was challenging for me. We filmed it very quickly. We filmed it in three weeks. It was a lot of work. I was up for the challenge, but it was great that Brad Bell let me go do this film. When you are in such a strong storyline, it is really tough to leave for a bit. Luckily, he put everything on hold. It wasn't as if Steffy left for a bit. She was gone, but she was still in a lot of storyline, so by the time I got back, my first day back, I was filming six episodes that day.
Then a week later, I got the flu. I was, "Don't push yourself that much." I loved playing that character. She isn't as made-up as Steffy. She has makeup and whatnot, but she had simple clothing and threw up her hair. She was a small-town girl.
Cathy is a lot less glamorous than Steffy. It sounds silly, but is that something you think about to be taken more seriously as an actress?
I don't necessarily think that. I do think there are people who think that. I am totally fine with going out and not wearing makeup. It's just who I am. I think I am really comfortable with myself. It doesn't really bother me either way. I like to dress up. I like to put makeup on. Right now, I am home in sweats and flip-flops and no makeup, but I go out like that, too.
I think you can break that mold. There are a lot of actresses who do feel that way. You are who you are. If you want to break that mold, go for it.
Did you talk to any women who had been abused?
There were people that I know. I wouldn't say I just reached out to anybody. There is a core group of girls -- some people that I know who have been in an abusive relationship, or someone who has been there with a child, and not that she is saying that she is saying she is stuck, but her core is a little weak. I learned a lot from that.
I got the script and a week went by. I was still filming [B&B], I flew out on Friday and I was already filming on Monday. It was really exciting and challenging to dive into this. I wanted to try my best and see what I couold do with 120 pages in three weeks.
It is one of those things where there is a strong side to her, but she is weak. She is a little bit suspicious. She is a little insecure. She is wondering why it is that this man is cheating on her? This can't be happening again. The man she was with before, who she knew since high school, he abused her. She thinks, "This can't happen twice. I am living this perfect life. I am in this beautiful house. I have nice fancy things and, finally, my son is taking a liking to this man."
So, it makes her second guess if something is really going on, if he is having an affair.
Did you have to learn how to use a gun for this, or since she doesn't know, it was okay for you not to know?
I didn't want to know. Obviously, I am not one who grew up with guns. I had no idea. I liked getting the gun and playing in that moment. They had to teach me on the day. We didn't shoot in order, so that was the last day we were filming. By then it was, "This is how you hold the gun." Just the movement of when you do actually shoot the gun and how your body moves, it was all new to me.
How did it feel to play a mom to a 9-year-old?
For me, because I feel like I am just a huge kid... My half-sister is 15 years older than me, so her kids they are closer to my age, so they almost feel like sisters more than my nieces and nephew, I am so close to them. It was different. Again, it was a challenge to me. That was new for me, because I have never been pregnant.
It was at an insane moment when I was finding out that Steffy was pregnant, so that was new, and finding out I have this 9-year-old son … I didn't know what was going to happen, but it just worked organically on the day. He was so sweet and wonderful, it worked well. He was such a sweet kid, I automatically felt nurturing. It was new for him, so I took him under my wing.
The fans want you back you back on B&B. I am assuming you are not in a rush to sign a contract, but might you pop up from time to time? Can we consider you recurring?
Definitely. I haven't filmed anything yet. I have been filming in Europe -- Croatia and then London. I just got back two days ago. That has been a whirlwind, and then I go back in a week from now. I am going to be there for about a month and a half, so once I am back, I would definitely dive into it again.
Even though there is no contract, I have such a wonderful relationship with the writers and the show, Steffy could come back. But, I have said this before, you have to take the leap. I have been wanting to travel for a while now, so it worked itself out.
The writers knew you were leaving, so they had to come up with a reason, but what did you think about Steffy not wanting to consider having a baby by a surrogate?
That could have been an option, of course, but I think Steffy was so set on she really messed this up. She was starting to see that Liam still had feelings for Hope and he would be lying if he said he didn't. She was, "This is a sign. Maybe I should let go of this."
She is obviously trying a reason to get out of it. In her heart and soul, she wants to be with him. She felt he was her soulmate, but with everything that has happened, she feels it was her fault and she can't change that. She should never have gotten on that motorcycle and he told her not to. There have been so many things that happened that it opens her eyes to the possibility that maybe he should be with Hope.
"Her Husband’s Betrayal" premieres Friday, August 2 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on LMN.