Interview with Sean Kanan of “The Bold and The Beautiful” on CBS by Suzanne 3/9/22
This was a very fun interview with Sean! I’ve been watching him on soaps since he started on “General Hospital” way back in 1997. I’ve seen him in many guest-starring roles (as I’m sure you have, too), such as in “Lois and Clark: Adventures of Superman,” one of my favorite shows. He’s currently reprising his role of Deacon on “Bold and the Beautiful,” a role he also played for a while on “The Young and The Restless.”
He got his start on “Karate Kid III,” and he says that his Cobra philosophy not only helped him get into that movie but saved his life when he had a “near-death experience.” He’s written this motivational book, “Way of the Cobra” to help others channel their “inner badass.” That’s his third book, mind you… he also wrote “The Modern Gentleman: Cooking and Entertaining with Sean Kanan” and “Success Factor X: Inspiration, Wisdom, and Advice from 50 of America’s Best.”
If you live in the Southern California area, don’t miss the event mentioned on the flyer above. It looks to be very entertaining. There will be other stars there that you’ll want to see as well.
He also won a Daytime Emmy last year for his short-form series “Studio City,” a drama about the life of an aging soap star. It’s somewhat tongue-in-cheek at times, but it also has some heavy drama as it tackles subjects like death/dying, aging, transgender issues, and more. If you’re a daytime fan, you will notice many great actors in the show. More episodes will be coming soon. I can’t wait! Watch it on Amazon Prime.
Suzanne: So, tell us how you got back on “Bold and Beautiful” this time around? What was the process that happened?
Sean: Well, it was a pretty easy process, I gotta be honest. You know, last year was really a terrific year for me, just an amazing year in my career. And as we got towards the end of the year, I received a phone call from the executive producer and head writer, Brad Bell. And, uh, he said, you know, I think I found a way that we could bring Deacon back to the canvas, which was great because Deacon had been languishing in prison for a couple of years. And, you know, I love working on the show. I really do. I was excited to get the call. It been such a great year. And now, as the year was kind of coming to an end, to be asked to come back to Bold and the Beautiful was just like, you know, icing on the cake. The biggest question was, did I have the time to do it? Because I had several other projects with which I was involved. We were able to work it out. And next thing I knew, I’m back on the show. I mean, it was pretty simple. It’s when they have the time, and I’m able to do it and, you know, we both decide that it’s a yes….things happen pretty quickly. And if I’m not mistaken, I think Brad called me in September, and I think I started working in September. So it was really quick. Sometimes it happens. We’re thinking of bringing you back. It’s going to be in like two months. This was really quick.
Suzanne: Wow. So, it’s great that they paired Deacon with Sheila. I mean, I don’t know what took them so long to do that. It’s about time.
Sean: Yeah. You know, the two of them are very, unlikely. I think, initially, if I had to guess, my thinking is that probably they thought, okay, these two baddies, even though Sheila is, you know, much more of a villain than Deacon is, and, you know, I’m always trying to infuse humor into my character, and I don’t necessarily know that they expected the relationship to take on that dynamid, you know? I mean, I think maybe it was, I’m going to put these two baddies together and see what happens. But we’ve sort of developed this really fun chemistry, and this banter, which has made the character a lot of fun for us to play. And I think that the fans are enjoying it.
Suzanne: Yes, definitely. And the banter… So, that’s not in the script… or some of it is? And do you guys ad lib?
Sean: You know, one of the really wonderful things about the show is that, if I have an idea for some dialogue, they’re very receptive to it. You know, I mean, as long as we’re not veering too far off the path, but I’m fortunately afforded a lot of latitude, very generously, to offer some suggestions and, you know, sometimes they work and other times they don’t, but,um, yeah, some of it’s ad-libbed, but there’s also a lot of great writing.
Suzanne: Oh good. Oh yeah. It’s interesting because, Deacon usually just comes in by himself. Sheila has a long history of pairing up with some guy. Usually somebody that’s kind of weak or has a crush on her. And she sort of just uses him as a sounding board as some wimpy guy that does her bidding. But with Deacon, she’s got a real…. You know, a real person to really grapple with.
Sean: Yeah, that’s some of what makes it fun. I think, you know, there’s a little bit of sexual tension there, which is fun. And I think also that Deacon has a very healthy respect for the fact that Sheila, you know… Deacon has fun with Sheila, and he pokes and prods at her, but I think he’s very careful in the back of his head to realize that, you know, if she’s ever offended or pushed in the wrong direction that she can be very dangerous and formidable… as can Deacon, but, you know, Deacon has had a rich history of dealing with crazy ladies on the show. You know, I don’t think he’s looking to poke the badger too much…to beat the devil.
Suzanne: He learned his lesson. Yeah. So, Deacon ostensibly came back to spend time with Hope. Did he also think in the back of his mind that he might get back at Brooke? Do you know if that was the case, or they just sort of went there later?
Sean: I mean, I have to believe that he did. I mean, you know, here’s a guy who’s been in prison for four years, looking at cement walls.. no contact with women and Brooke’s the one that got away. So I’m sure he did a lot of extrapolating and, you know, what would I do if things were different? And I also think that Deacon has legitimately made a sincere and earnest effort to become a better man. And I think that Deacon feels that even though he doesn’t have anything, he doesn’t have any material possessions, so to speak. He’s got a crummy job, and he’s living in a broom closet. The one thing that he can bring to the table is that he’s now a better man. And I think that he hopes that that’s going to be enough for Brooke.
Suzanne: Great. And,what about that big fight scene that you had with Thorsten Kaye? That was… that was amazing. What was that like?
Sean: That was a lot of fun. It was challenging for a lot of reasons. You know, Thorsten and I both did all of our own stunts. The big thing is, you’ve got to make sure nobody gets hurt. You got two, big, strong guys throwing punches at each other, [and] things can happen. I’m so fortunate to work with a guy like Thorsten. He’s a total pro, he’s a lot of fun to work with, and our director for that episode, Jennifer Howard, did a phenomenal job… the editors, everything. So I was really pleased with how it came out. You know, that’s just not something you see on daytime very often.
Suzanne: No, you [usually] see a couple of fake punches and that’s it, or wrestling in the mud with the ladies. That’s about it. So, what was… fans really want to know this, and you probably can’t tell us, but I have to ask it. Do you think that there’s any chance in the future, or near future, hopefully, that Deacon is actually going to get together with Brooke again for real, or is she just always going to be with somebody else.
Sean: I’ll preface this by saying that in absolute honesty, I don’t know. Sean doesn’t know. Oh, I just referred to myself in the third person. That sounded kind of jerky… Anyway, I have to believe, yes. And as the character, I have to believe, yes. Deacon has to believe there’s a shot. And if my character believes it, I have to believe it.
Suzanne: Yeah, it seems that the recent episodes I saw that he tried, and she sort of pushed him away, but he knows as long as he just hangs in there, maybe there’s a chance, you know, and he’s always there for her, you know?
Sean: Yeah. Yeah. I think Deacon’s happy. The second string quarterback, sooner or later, twists his ankle in the game. Definitely.
Suzanne: So that actually reminded me… I had asked on Facebook in the groups there, questions for you, ’cause fans like to ask you guys questions. And, one of them was why was Deacon just walking into Brooke’s house without knocking?
Sean: Yep. We discuss that all the time. I say every single time… The Forresters live in a gated community. He just comes and goes as he pleases with impunity. We laugh about it. It’s the same thing as, how come when you watch a movie, sometimes in movies these people still listen to answering machines? You know what I mean? It’s to convey information that you just kind of have to have. So, yeah. It’s that sort of deal.
Suzanne: Yeah. I mean, for free years, you know, they would at least knock, and then you’re like, why do people just keep dropping by, without calling? Nobody does that.
Suzanne: Family, that’s about it. But yeah. So it was one of those things they do to cut time. Right?
Sean: Yeah. Definitely. He’s family.
Suzanne: Technically. Yeah, well, it didn’t really bother me so much because he’s living right in the gate guest house, isn’t he? Or not living there, but he’s visiting visiting.
Sean: No, he’s living in the broom closet at Il Giardino.
Suzanne: Which is… okay. But I figured he was visiting Hope and he went up to see her.
Sean: Sure. Let’s go with that.
Suzanne: So, let’s leave “Bold and the Beautiful” for a moment. If you were called back by “General Hospital” to play AJ… bring him back from the dead (Assuming you’re no longer on “Bold and the Beautiful”), would you come back and play him again?
Sean: Um…no, I don’t think so. No. Nope.
Suzanne: Okay. Well, okay. That’s where I first saw you years ago. I still remember that Nurse’s Ball. Might’ve been the first one. when they were talking about AIDS and AJ said something terrible.
Sean: Yeah. That was difficult for me because, you know, I played the role of the ignorant, uninformed, negative Greek chorus. And it was hard for me because I’ve had lots of gay friends, and it was difficult for me to kind of espouse that stuff when it was so different than, you know, who I am. But I realized after talking with them, too, that it was such an important story… That I was playing an important part of how that story needed to be told. And once I kind of wrapped my head around it that way, I was fine with it.
Suzanne: Right. I think in some ways… even though he didn’t go to jail, AJ was much worse than Deacon because he just did a lot of terrible things and he never, until he finally got killed, he didn’t have to pay for anything.
Sean: You probably know a lot more about them than I do, because you know, a lot of those terrible things he did were while Billy Warlock was playing AJ, right? So for me, my AJ, I didn’t really do anything that was that bad other than, you know, giving his brother brain damage. But yeah, from everything I understand, AJ took a much darker turn when Billy was playing the character.
Suzanne: That’s probably true, yeah.. Well, and speaking of that, it was great to see Sarah Brown in “Studio City.” I just love her.
Sean: Yeah. She’s terrific. I think it was wonderful to get the opportunity to work with Sarah again. And, actually, we have six new episodes of “Studio City.” They’re going to be coming out in the next, I would say, less than two weeks.
Suzanne: Oh, good. I was going to ask you that.
Sean: I don’t know when this is going to air, but…
Suzanne: Great! Yeah, no, I started watching some of that last night. I had to catch up on three week’s worth of “Bold and the Beautiful” first before I watched some of “Studio City.” So, I saw you posted something on Twitter about a podcast. Was that… are you making a podcast?
Sean: So, what I’m going to be doing is a subscription-based Zoom program based on my book, “Way of the Cobra,” where it’ll be a weekly Zoom meeting, and I’m going to be taking people through the philosophy and strategy of “Way the Cobra.” And that’s probably something that we’re going to kick off within the next month. I’ve got so many things going on, and there’s only so much that, you know, that I can do at one time.
This Saturday, also, we have a really big event, and that’s kind of where my focus is right now. For anyone who’s in the Los Angeles area, this Saturday at 2:00 PM at the Barnes and Noble at The Grove. There’s going to be an amazing event. There’s going to be a reading from the book by me. There’s going to be a moderated interview and Q&A by James Law, Jr. We’re going to have refreshments. We’re going to have some great celebrity surprise guests. You know, some people from “Bold and The Beautiful” are going to be there. And it’s open to the public. It’s completely free. There will be copies of the book available, and it’s just sort of my way of thanking everybody who has supported me and supported the book. And it is going to be such a great event. I hope everyone will come out, and, I would get there early. That’s all I would say.
Suzanne: Oh, good. I wish I lived in the area. I’d come for sure.
Sean: Oh, thank you.
Suzanne: I live in Arkansas.
Sean: Oh, ha ha. Since I’m doing plugs, I would also like to say that I’m also very happy that for those people that can’t make it, “Way of the Cobra” is now available on Amazon and the ebook on Kindle.
Suzanne: Cool. Yeah, I saw it on there. I was looking, I was looking through that with the peek thing to see what it was about. Has it been selling pretty well?
Sean: It’s doing great. It’s been doing great. I get messages from people…literally, from all over the world, telling me that they are having paradigm shifts, amazing breakthroughs in their lives, based on this book. And, you know, I mean, I always say this. Yes, I do podcasts and things like that because I want to promote the book and sell it. That’s just what you do when you have a book. But with every fiber of my body, I believe that the material in this book is transformational. And I believe that that if you’re somebody looking to really level up to, to give yourself a kick in the butt, and to live the life that you were meant to live… the information in the book is going to help you do that. Whether or not you take the action, it’s up to you. But I completely stand behind what’s inside of that book. So I hope everyone will.
Suzanne: Great. No, that sounds good…and you got your degree from UCLA in political science, is that right?
Sean: That’s correct.
Suzanne: So why did you choose that particular major?
Sean: Political science is a major that a lot of people choose if they are thinking of potentially going to law school. You know, part of my deal with my parents, way, way back when, when I was coming out to Los Angeles to pursue my career in acting was that, you know, I had to agree to finish college. And, you know, first of all, when you tell your parents you’re leaving to go pursue a career in acting, it’s like saying I’m running away to join the circus. They wanted me to have a plan B in case, you know, the acting didn’t work out. And, I just sort of said, “Okay, well, I guess I could become a lawyer.” I don’t know why I said it. And my dad said, “Okay, well maybe political science is a good degree.” It turns out, though, that unbeknownst to me, I’m a political junkie. I’m fascinated by politics. I’m fascinated by the history of it. I’m fascinated by all of it. I’m, you know, I watch it vociferously. And so it actually worked out to be a really interesting degree for me to earn.
Suzanne: Oh, good. Yeah. There’s a lot to see nowadays and well, every subject, but especially politics. There’s all the news channels and everything. My husband is a political science professor, so that’s why I asked.
Sean: Wow! Where?
Suzanne: We’re in Southern Arkansas right now. He’s at Southern Arkansas University. He’s actually an administrator now, but, he sometimes teaches as well.
Sean: Political science has a lot of different areas of study… everything from international relations to constitutional. So what area of political science?
Suzanne: His is American government, specifically, elections, and he did a lot of work on debates when he was doing research.
Deacon: Oh, that’s great. Well, you know what? Listen, if I ever get the chance to… I’ve been to Arkansas a couple of times, but if I ever get the chance to be at Arkansas, I’m probably gonna monopolize your husband and geek out.
Suzanne: That would be great, but there’s no way you would ever want to come here. It’s a small town in the middle of nowhere. So, even if you’re on the way somewhere…
Sean: Sometimes that sounds very appealing, believe me.
Suzanne: Well, it was a good place to be during the pandemic because it didn’t really give here for a long time. So, congratulations on winning the Daytime Emmy for “Studio City!” I forgot to mention that one
I posted on a bunch of Facebook groups. So I just have a few questions here that I picked out from the many. You know, a lot of times I just get people who say, “Oh, tell him I love him!” or “Say hi…” but I actually had a lot of questions. I was really shocked.
Chelsea wants to know how it feels to be back after all these years with the longer stay, and if you know, if you’re going to be there for awhile?
Sean: It feels great. You know, we just… this month is our 35th anniversary, and it’s a very special time to be a part of “Bold and the Beautiful” and, you know, I I’ve been a part of the show off and on since 2000. Yeah. Wow. A long time. And so many people are still working on the show in front of the camera and behind the camera that were there when I started. And there’s people that are there from when the show first started. So there really is a great sense of community there. I really care a lot about the people with whom I work, again, in front and behind the camera… the producers, the writers, everybody. So for me, it always feels like coming home, you know, I’m very blessed to be able to play this role, whether or not I’m going to stay for a long time. I would like to this time. I really would. You know, it always seems like Deacon is kind of mercenary. You know, I come in, I stick around for a while, and then I go. I would like to stick around for awhile. If we can, if we can make it work.
Suzanne: Right. Okay. And, Michelle asks who in the cast you hang out with? I assume that means lunchtime, between scenes, whatever.
Sean: Well, I do hang out with Kimberlin because we run lines together a lot.. and you know, Kimberlin and I both have places down in Palm Springs, California, so we have some mutual friends, and I adore her. Um, who do I hang out with? You know who I hang out with, actually, who’s not on the show right now is Justin Torkildsen.
Suzanne: Oh, okay. Yeah, I remember him.
Sean: Justin’s a really good buddy of mine. He’s also in “Studio City,” and he’s got a great role this year. So I hang out with Justin. You know, I like everybody I work with. It’s just, you know, when you’re spending 8, 10, sometimes 12 hours a day with these people, a few times a week…that’s enough time. You know, we see each other at events.
Sean: And then you have your other life. So, I guess who I hang out with sometimes depends on who my storyline is with at the time. Annika Noelle’s dressing room is right next to mine, so I always like to go in and knock at her door, and, you know, just kind of chit chat with her. She’s wonderful. But, you know, I’m really lucky to work with people that I like a lot.
Suzanne: Okay. Yeah. It’s great that you have a daughter on the show that is an adult.
Sean: Yeah. I’d like to find out what happened to Deacon’s son.
Suzanne: Yeah, somebody was asking me that, and I’m like, he doesn’t know.
Sean: No idea.
Suzanne: Yeah. They think you know everything that’s going on in Deacon’s mind and what will happen.
Sean: I’m never told… with very, very rare instance, am I told what’s coming up, and I get new scripts sent to me, and the first thing I do is I check and see if I’m in that script. You know, I checked every page and see if Deacon’s on it. And if he’s not, generally, I don’t read it because… you know, it’s information my character wouldn’t know.
Deacon: And if I am in it, then obviously I read it really carefully. But I don’t know what’s happening until I get a script.
Suzanne: Yeah, I think that’s true of most actors from what I’ve heard from various interviews. Yeah.
Suzanne: Sabra wants to know if there were any other character on the show that you could play, who would it be?
Sean: If I can play any other character, who would it be? That’s kind of a tough one. Hmm. I don’t know, to be honest. I mean, I just feel like I’ve got the best character that I could ever ask for. Um…Hmmm.
Suzanne: That’s a fine answer. You don’t have to think of one.
Sean: That’s my answer, with all due respect to all the other characters on the show. I just don’t think I would have more fun playing anyone else besides Deacon.
Suzanne: Right. Yeah, he does seem like a lot of fun. He’s fun to watch. So, you know…and also, she wants to know which character from the show you might want to bring back from the dead… since that happens so much on soaps.
Sean: Well, I’d have to go with Stephanie. I mean, God, Susan Flannery was amazing, so I would have to go with Stephanie. Who are some of the other characters that have died?
Suzanne: Let’s see, Phoebe…I mean, I’m trying to think that’s don’t put me on the spot. I put you on the spot!
Sean: Macy died, right?
Suzanne: Macy. Sally spectra. I think the actress died, but I don’t remember if they ever killed her.
Sean: Either one of those two. I adored Darlene Connolly and Bobby Eakes, and they’re terrific. Darlene used to have Annika’s dressing room. And so I used to tell her stories about how I’d knock on Darlene’s door and she’d say, “Come on in, kid!” She’d have a beverage and be reading the racing form… I just loved her. I loved talking to her. I loved talking with her about how she worked with Hitchcock and, you know, just stories. She was really special individual, and I miss her.
Suzanne: I’m sure. Yeah. yeah. I always love interviewing people who’ve been around a while more than young actors because they have great stories, and they’ve been around, you know, they just know stuff. They can talk better. Unlike me. I can’t talk.
Sean: You’re doing fine.
Suzanne: Thank you. And one last question, Janet wonders, which character on the show you would like Deacon to be paired with.
Dean: Well, I just, I really think it would be interesting to see, what would it look like if Deacon and Brooke really had a chance? I mean, I have to go with Brooke at this point. You know, I think they have an undeniable chemistry, and I think that they’re both older and more world-wise, and I wonder if this could be there too.
Suzanne: That’d be great. And it would be nice to see. It would be nice to see Ridge and Taylor give it a real shot without some really difficult things happening, like kidnapping.
Sean: Don’t forget that conflict is what makes…
Suzanne: I know. Just for a while, just for awhile.
Sean: ..the boat swaying gently in the water for so long before you need a big wave to come along.
Suzanne: No, no, you’re right. I think it’s just that things move so fast on soaps now compared to when they used to. And it seems like they used to have more time for the romance. And now they go too quickly, so we think, “What happened?”
Sean: That’s true.
Suzanne: And with “Bold and the Beautiful,” they sometimes break people up off camera, and you’re like, “What? What happened? What?”
Sean: I would really like to see what it would look like if Brooke and Deacon are given a chance and see where it’s at…what that Relationship would bring.
Suzanne: Yeah, I think it would, well, you know, it would drive Ridge crazy…
Sean: You know, this thing about driving Ridge crazy. You know, Deacon is such a pariah that just Brooke having Deacon, in kind of, proper society after him being in prison and all that, you know, the cards would be so stacked against them. But I remember there was this great scene that Kelly and I did. We were lying in bed together, Deacon and Brooke. And I think I said something. I said, “You and I’ve been fighting all our lives.” And I think that you and me against the world thing would be really interesting. It would be interesting if everybody… if Brooke started losing a lot of her support, and she chose Deacon. And what would that life look like?
Suzanne: Yeah what would Ridge have to say about that, for instance?
Sean: What if something happened where she somehow didn’t have her financial power base, and she was living in a crappy apartment with Deacon, and it’s like, could they still be in love living, you know, in a tiny little apartment? Or, what would happen… I was wondering what would happen if Deacon somehow actually got a financial power base? What would Deacon Sharpe’s life be like if suddenly he was on equal footing with the Ridges and the Dollar Bills of the world? That would be interesting.
Suzanne: That would be.
Sean: Deacon’s not an educated guy, but he is a smart guy, and he’s resourceful, and he is a cat with nine lives.
Suzanne: Okay. Well, I appreciate your talking to me.
Sean: Oh, it’s my pleasure. Thank you so much.
Suzanne: And yeah, and you know, I watch the show off and on because I have a lot of TV to watch for my site, but I keep up on what’s going on even when I’m not actually watching it, so…
Sean: Well, thank you for the opportunity. I really appreciate it, and I just want to thank everybody who who’s tuned in and watched this.
And, again, I’m going to plug it one more time. If you haven’t had a chance to check out my book, “Way of the Cobra,” please check out “Way of the Cobra,” the ebook is on Kindle. And the book is now available on Amazon. Unleash your inner badass.
Suzanne: All right. Thank you!
From Wikipedia: Sean Kanan is an American actor, producer, author and TV host, best known for his portrayals of A. J. Quartermaine on General Hospital, Deacon Sharpe on The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless, Mike Barnes in The Karate Kid Part III, and Sam Stevens on Studio City.
Proofread and Edited by Brenda