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THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL’s Katrina Bowden Celebrates Her Anniversary (EXCLUSIVE)

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This time last year, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL’s Katrina Bowden (Flo) had just signed on to the soap with plenty of unanswered questions about her character, the nature of the job and whether or not she was really prepared to commit to a long-term contract. “When I first auditioned, it was only supposed to be two months of work, maybe even a month,” she explained to Soaps In Depth, “but when I finally got the part, they told me it would be [a year’s contract to start].” Even though she’d been on other shows (most notably the NBC sitcom 30 ROCK), those weren’t year-’round gigs, so the extent of the commitment gave her pause. “I felt like, ‘Am I really ready to do something for a whole year?’”

If there’s one thing you should know about the actress, however, it’s that she’s enticed by challenges outside her comfort zone. Now, not only is she happily settled in at B&B, she’s looking forward to the next chapter of Flo’s story. “I’m glad I took the chance, because it’s been amazing,” she said. “A year has gone by so fast!”

Though Bowden felt fairly confident once she accepted the part of Reese’s unwitting accomplice in the baby Beth saga, her first weeks on the job proved daunting. “It was overwhelming for me, because it’s different from any other medium I’ve worked in before,” she said. “It kind of felt like I was trying to keep my head above water for a little while. But after last year’s holiday break, I felt I was understanding it all better, and I felt like I was really getting into it. I started to think, ‘Yes, this feels right. This feels like something I could do long-term and really, really enjoy.’”

The Bold and The Beautiful Shauna Flo
“She’s iconic,” Bowden said of her on-screen mom, Denise Richards (Shauna). “She’s just so down-to-earth and normal and cool.”Howard Wise/jipstudios.com

Being integrally involved in the show’s most prominent storyline of the year, Bowden was immediately thrown into scenes that were intense and emotionally fraught. “As an actor, you rarely get so much juicy stuff to work with,” said the actress. “That’s been the most fun part of all of this.”

That, and getting to explain to her friends outside of the soap industry the intricacies of her wild storyline. “There have been so many moments when friends ask me about it, and I say, ‘Well, okay… I helped steal a baby, but then it turns out the woman who had the baby is my cousin.’ When you’re in it every day, it just seems so normal, but when you take a step back and actually explain it to someone, it’s kind of funny!”

Once the Beth Secret finally broke wide open this summer, resulting in Flo’s confession and subsequent arrest, Bowden breathed a big sigh of relief. It had become more and more tricky for her to justify Flo’s actions the longer she stayed silent and let Hope grieve for her daughter. “I wanted to find some sympathy for Flo, to make her decisions and choices make sense to me,” she said, “so I had to keep finding new reasons to defend her. By the time [the truth] came out, I’d been thinking, ‘Okay, there’s really nowhere else for this to go.’ It felt like she had to fess up.”

B&B Hope Flo fight
“We had practiced a stage slap a few times, but in the heat of the moment, Annika [Noelle, Hope] kind of [really] slapped me, which apparently everybody does on this show!” Bowden said. “It was a great scene.”XJJohnson/jpistudios.com

Flo avoided jail time as part of Ridge’s strategy to keep the spotlight off his own son, Thomas, and she earned some brownie points by coming forward to donate a kidney to her ailing Aunt Katie. Yet that doesn’t mean fans have fully forgiven the blonde for her deception earlier this year, and that’s a fact Bowden completely understands. “I mean, she did some pretty awful things, so I don’t blame people for not liking her,” she said, “but I hope that, in time, people can move past it. No one’s perfect, and not every character is perfect. But maybe she’ll do something endearing to change people’s minds. That’s kind of the fun of it.”

For more from your favorite B&B stars, keep reading the CBS edition of Soaps In Depth magazine.

This story originally appeared in our print magazine

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