Follow the links to our archive of Thorsten's print interviews and articles about the characters he's portrayed.
Above: A recent magazine cover featuring Thorsten.
There was a time when the mere thought of a romance between THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL's premier playboy Ridge and girl next door Katie would have been unheard of. It's not only a reality on the show these days, but it's a successful one at that, effectively shaking up Ridge and Brooke's long, tumultuous history in a storyline that provides ample acting fodder for four of the show's most formidable cast members. Regardless of what you might think of Katie and Ridge's blossoming romance, there's no denying that Thorsten Kaye (Ridge) has helped the show shatter the status quo when it comes to portraying the debonair designer.
"It's probably an advantage I had, not having been on the show for the last 27 years," Kaye explains of the Ridge/Katie romance. "When a new set of eyes comes in, or a new actor, the character no longer has that baggage [of previously established relationships] to carry around. I didn't have all the history behind me, which helped."
Sailing Some Uncharted Waters
That's not to say that the beloved veteran of ONE LIFE TO LIVE (as Patrick), PORT CHARLES (as Patrick's twin, Ian) and ALL MY CHILDREN (as Zach -- no relation) doesn't recognize the inherent risks in pairing Ridge with his ex-wife's little sister. "It's a tough one," he acknowledges. "She's his sister-in-law, whom he's known since she was a kid. You've got to go slow with that, otherwise there's a strange factor that may not work for everybody."
If anything, Kaye says having a golden girl like five-time Daytime Emmy winner Heather Tom (Katie) as his screen partner goes a long way in helping make the story resonate with viewers. "She's really smart, and she has strong opinions [about what works]," he shares." I think between the two of us, we kind of figured it out without making it look too incestuous."
"You can write whatever you want," he adds, "but if people don't click, it's not going to play.
Kaye credits all of his genial castmates, in fact, with helping him through this early transition period with the show. "When you have somebody as warm as John McCook (Eric) coming up to you and giving you a hug, you know it's all going to be okay," he says, then offers up a perfect analogy for his situation. "It's kind of like joining a different sports team. You know what your skill sets are, you just have to figure out where it fits in to the team that's already been playing together.
"That," he continues, "is kind of what I'm working on."
Getting Inside Ridge's Head (And His Head-Scratchers)!
Does Kaye finally feel as though the character is truly his own? "No," he's quick to answer. "It's still not there yet. It takes a while, especially when someone else has created this part and you're kind of stepping in."
One of Kaye's biggest challenges in adapting to his new role is trying to understand what makes Ridge tick. After all, from an outsider's perspective, some of the character's choices can be downright baffling. "There are a lot of things he does that I can't wrap my head around," he candidly admits. "I actually told [executive producer and headwriter Bradley Bell] that I don't really like Ridge yet."
What About Brooke?
Just because Ridge has eyes for Katie these days doesn't mean that Kaye hasn't gotten plenty of screen time with his alter ego's onetime "destiny," Katherine Kelly Lang's Brooke. One minute besotted, the next embittered (and sometimes both at once!) with one another, the characters still maintain a powerful connection. "As they told me when I first joined the show, [Katherine] has chemistry with everybody," Kaye says. "Who knows? Maybe there's still something between those two.
"But," he adds, "I think they're giving 'the new guy' a little slack [in terms of putting Ridge and Brooke together]."
Looking To The Future
As for trying to rate himself in the "Ridge" department, the actor humbly defers, saying that's ultimately for viewers to decide. "It's not a question I can answer," he insists. "I can show up and do my work, but it has to work for the people who are watching it."
Thanks to a workplace climate he considers second to none, Kaye's more than willing to continue along for the ride. "I'm happy enough, and it seems to be working," he says. "We'll see how the next chapter goes, but I respect my boss a great deal, and that means a lot, because that doesn't happen very often. Not with me, anyway."
Hometown: Mainz, Germany.
Ridge's New Love? Ridge dropped a reference to the L.A. Kings earlier this year. "Yeah, I may have put that line in there," confesses Kaye, a diehard hockey fan.
His Other Video Venture: The actor uses Skype to keep in touch with his lady love and two daughters back in Connecticut.
Fan Club: Kaye's co-stars weigh in on "the new kid on the block"
John McCook (Eric): "I'm very impressed with his mindset and his attitude and, most especially, with his creativity and involvement. He really wants the scenes to mean something and amount to something. It's a new attitude that he brings, and I love that. He's very enthusiastic about being an actor and the part he's playing. I like actors who care about what they're doing -- which is not all actors, so I admire that in him."
Don Diamont (Bill): "I didn't know Thorsten at all before he joined B&B. He's certainly a very different Ridge, but I think he's done a great job and I definitely enjoy working with him. He's a terrific actor, with a great sense of humor, which is really important."
Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke): "Working with Thorsten is such a pleasure. He is an amazing actor and brings so much to the table. He's made the character of Ridge his own. We laugh a lot on the set and enjoy ourselves. He's a great guy with a great personality."
Heather Tom (Katie): "I feel very fortunate to work with someone who I trust implicitly, who always hits the ball back and who cares about the work. I'm thrilled to have Thorsten on the show."