In “mom mode” for the past few years raising her children, Gavin, 8, and Sophia, 6, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL’s Jennifer Gareis (Donna) had hoped to resume her acting career once both kids were in school full-time. “My priority was motherhood, and I thought it was worth that sacrifice,” Gareis admitted to Soaps In Depth, also acknowledging she wasn’t sure how easy it would be to find work again after taking a break to be with her babies. Around the time she was sending little Sophia off on her first day of kindergarten, Gareis happened to be back at CBS making a guest appearance for a B&B wedding. “I went up to [executive producer and headwriter Bradley Bell’s] office just to say hi, and he said, ‘Jenny! What’s your schedule like?’”
The actress later felt hopeful when her scenes at Katie’s wedding included a sentimental flashback of Eric and Donna’s relationship. “That wasn’t originally in the script,” she explained. Bell eventually revealed he wanted Gareis back on contract to help stir the (honey) pot where Eric and Quinn’s storyline was concerned. “It’s like the stars aligned,” she says. “The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.”
Gareis says it wouldn’t have mattered what storyline she was brought back in for, she was simply thrilled to be home again on the B&B set. “It’s the only job I ever really wanted, because it’s a good fit, from the people who work there to the schedule,” she noted. “Everyone seems to have the same thoughts there toward family and work/life balance.”
Though a lot of the cast has changed since Gareis was last on contract with the show in 2015, she never felt too out of sync with things because she’s done so much recurring work, popping in for holidays and weddings over the years. “If I hadn’t done that, it might have seemed like a bit of a shock, but I’ve been on set so many times in the past few years that it feels like I never stopped,” the actress revealed. On the home front, there have been adjustments to be made, of course. “The kids kind of got upset when I told them, ‘Mommy is going back to work,’ but [husband Bobby Ghassemieh] has really stepped up [to help with the kids], which is kind of cool. It’s been good for their relationship.”
Gareis’ B&B co-workers are thrilled to have her back in more ways than one. Having Donna once again in the mix means an uptick in storyline for John McCook (Eric), Rena Sofer (Quinn) and Alley Mills (Pam), all of whom will be interacting with the blonde, for better or (in Quinn’s case) worse! “I don’t think Donna is a homewrecker, but she doesn’t believe that Quinn is appropriate for Eric,” Gareis maintained. “Donna saw her dark side a long time ago, and even though Eric may be oblivious to it, Donna thinks that side of Quinn is still there.”
If so, things could end up getting pretty intense for the middle Logan sister, though Gareis predicts there will still be a lot worth chuckling over. After all, Donna’s comedic moments are fairly legendary. Remember, she’s been doused in goo and glitter, got an “ugly make-under” courtesy of Pam, and was strapped to a chair, covered with honey and left to tempt a hungry bear! “I love poking fun at myself,” says Gareis. “Those were some of the best scenes, and I can’t wait to get back to that. Of course, it could end up being Pam and Donna doing those sort of things to Quinn. Who knows?!”
For more on your favorite B&B stars, keep reading the CBS edition of Soaps In Depth magazine!