Like millions of viewers reduced to tears in sympathy for Hope’s plight on THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL, Annika Noelle revealed the story has made her heart ache, too. “I was honestly hoping for a happier ending for her,” she confided to Soaps In Depth, “but this story certainly created a wonderful challenge to go to those depths.”
The actress, deservedly, has been hearing heaps of praise for her portrayal of Hope’s ill-fated delivery and its tragic aftermath. Noelle admitted she worked hard to make the scenes realistic, from the physicality of Hope’s labor pains to her anguish at learning of Beth’s “death.” After doing as much research as possible, however, she ultimately decided to trust her gut. “I took a step back from it and just let whatever was going to happen do so organically,” she explained. “Everyone on set was so respectful of the storyline, and it was a collaborative effort, from the writing and directing to the crew. Everything was aligned that day to let us reach those very hard emotional notes, and it wound up being a very beautiful thing. It was a kind of a kismet day where all the pieces just fell together.”
In portraying the heartbroken new mother, Noelle says she has felt a huge responsibility to make sure her performance was as authentic as possible for those who have really suffered such a loss. “I wanted to do the story justice. I didn’t want to let those people down, especially the people in my personal life who have been affected by something similar. Not for one second did I want my performances to feel ‘phoned in’ or not truthful.” Indeed, among the over whelming positive feedback the actress has gotten in recent weeks, she’s most gratified to have heard from women who have experienced a loss like Hope’s. “It was very touching that those women reached out to me to say that it felt respectful and genuine, and I want to say thank you to them and that I’m sorry for the loss they had to go through. I wish them all the love in the world.”
Dealing with the “death” of her daughter isn’t the only challenge Hope has found herself up against in recent weeks. The incident has put a strain on her marriage to Liam, despite their best efforts to lift each other up. “She’s struggling to come to terms with the fact that he does have a daughter, but she doesn’t. It’s two very different processes for how they deal with it, and we’re going to see whether they come together as a couple or whether this is going to push them apart.”
While Hope has no idea that her rival’s newly-adopted daughter is actually Beth, it’s been gut-wrenching for her to come to terms with Steffy’s latest blessing in the face of her own despair. “Yeah, it was difficult for her, so soon after the loss of her child, to hear that Steffy now has two beautiful baby girls,” said Noelle. “But she’s trying to show everyone that she’s fine, while internally, she is falling apart. That’s Hope. She thinks she needs to just rise to the occasion and be a functioning human being who can handle this.”
The fact that Steffy’s new daughter, Phoebe, is actually the daughter Hope thought she lost has all of the makings of a classic soap storyline, and Noelle says she’s relieved that Beth actually did survive. “I honestly have no idea how long they might hold this secret for. I’m literally in the same boat as everyone else, thinking, ‘What’s gonna happen?!?’ There are so many different paths they could take, so I’m certainly looking forward to what lies ahead.”
For more on your favorite B&B stars, keep reading the ABC edition of Soaps In Depth magazine.