Lesley-Anne reflects on surviving the Malibu fires and playing a new, tougher Jackie Marone.
SW: How has Jackie been affected by the reveal that she was once a lady of the night?
Lesley-Anne: She’s feeling quite strong and fearless, at the moment. When you have a secret, it tends to mould how you behave. You have to be careful what you say. If you don’t have a secret, you can be who you want to be, so it’s good it came out. It eventually made her relationship with her son stronger and freed her.
SW: Soap showers are famous for being freezing. How was the water in Jackie’s hysterical bathtub scenes?
Lesley-Anne: Jennifer Gareis was great in those scenes, but it was disgusting having put her in the bathwater after me and then the stunt girl had to go into it! I kept thinking: “I was in this first!” I don’t know about the quality of the water or what the suds are made of, but the bath is nice for me. I’m in the there for an hour or two. I’m prune when I get out. Then I dry off, put my clothes on and get in the car. Normally after you lounge around in a tub you put on your pyjamas to go to sleep, but I’m driving with the window wide and the radio blasting. It’s dangerous!
SW: Is there a man in Jackie’s future:
Lesley-Anne: You don’t know that there’s not a man hiding in the bubble bath, do you? Maybe that’s why she’s always getting in there! No, the man in her life now is her grandson.
SW: What about Eric or her new business partner, Clarke?
Lesley-Anne: It’s pure professional with Clarke, but she’s never had tremendous respect for his designs. She’s using him: it’s Eric she loves. She isn’t over Eric, but because she is an older woman, she is able to handle her feelings and the situation better. If Eric came back to Jackie, he’d go through a big old punishment, but she’d eventually take him back.
SW: It took a while for Jackie to accept Taylor for Nick. How will she handle the news that Brooke is her grandbaby’s biological mom?
Lesley-Anne: I’m sure she’ll find out soon and she’ll be floored by it and incredibly concerned. Taylor isn’t dealing with it well at all, which makes one wonder if the child needs his real mother.
SW: Jackie stole designs from Forrester right before Stephanie was shot: Are we seeing a return to the B&B fashion war?
Lesley-Anne: If it’s needed in the plot you will. Jackie did take the designs, but that wasn’t thieving! It was payback time, because Eric broke his promise to keep Stephanie out of the company. But at the moment, the storyline is about grandchild. We’ve just gone through a big fashion storyline and had a lot of fashion shows, so it’s on the backburner for the moment.
SW: How are you enjoying life at B&B these days?
Lesley-Anne: I shot three episodes today and I'm shell-shocked. When you work all the time like Katherine Kelly Lang your brain gets into the groove and you're on it. If you don't work for a while, the old computer needs a few more gigabits to get round it all. I'm a bit titres, but it's lovely. I enjoy work and love the people. It's a nice break. Many women know what it is like to be home doing that mommy/housewife thing. It's adorable, but it can also get a tad tedious at times. It never ends, so it's nice to get out.
SW: How have you and your home fared since the Malibu fires this winter?
Lesley-Anne: A majority of people don't get burned out by fires, but the stress of preparing for the worst - living through it and constantly monitoring where it's headed - it's demoralising and exhausting. It's really a cumulative effect, especially having two fires back-to-back, just a month apart. The second one was a mandatory evacuation, but we didn't leave. We figured if we saw flames, we'd go. My husband and eldest son Jack, were on the roof with the hose, so my nine-year-old was like: "I'm staying with Daddy and Jack to fight the fire!"I didn't want to make him feel like a kid, so I didn't say, "No, you're coming with me." He apparently felt enormously responsible and gronw-up about the whole thing.
SW: Malibu is gorgeous and swanky, but what makes a person stay so near to such danger?
Lesley-Anne: I don't live up a canyon, so the risk factor isn't huge, but I've lived there more than 20 years and that's just how it is. You go through fire, flood and mudslide seasons and then it's lovely and you go through tourist season. This was a very stressful, exhausting year. I actually wnet away by myself for three days in December. I hadn't been by myself, without work, in four years. I got to have some chill time, which I never do, and managed to read a book. Hallelujah!