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Justin Torkildsen

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Outstanding Younger Actor In A Drama Series Nominee JUSTIN TORKILDSEN (Rick): Congratulations on your nomination.

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: Thank you so much. How does it feel?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: It's just now starting to sink in and I'm getting kind of emotional. It's been such an amazing year and such a very hard year. [There were] difficult transitions, but it's coming out for the better and I'm so happy for everybody. John McCook [Eric] deserves this more than anybody, you know, [after] all these years. Susan [Flannery, Stephanie] again, and Adrienne [Frantz, Amber]. It's incredible. I'm so honored to be with them. After this, are you really starting to think of B&B as your home?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: Yeah. It helps my confidence and it helps me feel like I belong here more. Everyone is such a team and we're a small cast. We're such a family. It's just so great. Everybody's happy and you know what? Everybody here deserves a nomination! It is important to feel that sense of family.

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: Everyone has been here since I started and they've all supported me. Everybody has taught me so much about this genre. It's amazing. That's all I can say. Where were you when you heard the good news?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: I was dead asleep on my sofa at 5:30AM. Rhonda Friedman, our Supervising Producer, called me. She said, "Justin, you got nominated!" And it was like this blur. I didn't know what to do. I got in my car and went to 7-11 and got some coffee! Who was the first person you told?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: I called my dad. My mom was here visiting me. It was just coincidental and I called my dad up first thing. He started crying. I'm really proud and really honored. What scenes will you think about submitting?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: I think when Amber told Rick about the baby in Venice. That was the first time I really emotionally connected to something. I was thinking about maybe the stuff with Thorne when I heard about him and Kimberly. I don't know. I've got a lot to think about. It must be overwhelming.

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: It is. It didn't hit me until three hours ago on the set. I got faint and I was like, "Wow, this is cool." It's not a life or death issue. It's just an awesome honor. The award would be nice, but I don't care. It's just great to be nominated. Will your parents go with you to New York?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: Yes, both my parents. They're going to be in Massachusetts visiting my grandpa. They're going to come over to New York on the day of the show and we're going to party together regardless of what happens. What will you do to prepare for the show?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: Buy a really nice suit. [Laughs] You've got to look good. It's not the biggest priority, but you have to look nice and it's fun. I love getting dressed up and going out. This is an even better excuse to do it. I'm going to enjoy every minute of it. I'm a lucky, lucky guy.

Funny Man

As Rick Forrester, Justin Torkildsen has tackled some pretty dramatic stuff on The Bold and the Beautiful. You'd never suspect that Justin is just a "class clown" at heart. At the B&B set, Justin chatted with about his new storyline and the other love of his life - comedy. How are you enjoying the "Rick and Kimberly" storyline?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: It's fun. It's different. It's a change from Rick and Amber, and the whole triangle thing. It's almost like we are just sort of laying low right now. Rick and Kimberly are enjoying each other and spending all the time they missed together. We've gotten a huge viewer response about the issue of Rick and Kimberly not having sex.

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: What do they think about it? Many think that Rick shouldn't pressure Kimberly and they ask, "Didn't he learn his lesson with Amber?"

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: I think it makes it interesting. You know, it's two different views on it. Rick has the more adult type view on it because he's been in [that situation]. Shouldn't Rick be concerned? He did get Amber pregnant.

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: [Jokingly] No because, you know, they'll use protection - as Rick has suggested numerous times. I hear that you are into comedy.

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: Yeah. I'm bummed because, unfortunately, I haven't been for a while. I haven't been to a club or writing.... When I started on B&B it was such a whirlwind that I just kind of got sucked into working and I, like, lived here [at the set]. But now that the storylines are kind of cooling down a bit and I'm going to have probably about a month or so here where I can just be more relaxed, I'm thinking about trying to get back into it, start writing again. That's good.

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: Yeah, I started it when I was like twelve. I was thinking, "Hey, I'm a class clown, so why not try it in clubs?" So you've done stand-up?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: Oh, I've done tons of stand-up. I've done all the big clubs in Hollywood. All the big clubs in Denver. How did you get into that?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: I just wanted to try it, so I sat down and I wrote stuff and my mom helped me place it in chronological order because I was twelve. I was like, "Hmmm... this is kind of funny." I just did observational stuff from a twelve-year-old's perspective about adults. Then I would help them remember what it was like to be twelve or thirteen. As I got older, my comedy changed from being like how dumb it is to be twelve and how much you wanted to be thirteen. Then I started on girls and, you know, fun stuff, real observational. I know you're also into skiing. Didn't you teach it?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: Yes. I grew up in Boulder, which is about forty minutes from Denver and it's right on the foothills. It's within two hours reach of all the big ski resorts. Also, when I was little I was in Aspen and Durango. I grew up there a bit, too. So skiing was just a part of my life, I guess. Did you just move out to California to be on I>The Bold and the Beautiful?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: No. I've been coming on and off to L.A. just doing jobs, and modeling and stuff for five years, six years maybe. But just on and off, for about six weeks at a time. One time I came for like three months. Then this came along. Right when all my friends were going off to college, I booked this job. It worked out. Pretty good timing, I guess. So now I'm trying to buy a house. I just want to get myself settled. Do you hope to incorporate some of your comedic talents into your role as Rick?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: Maybe would be nice. Unfortunately, I don't think my role really calls for too much comedy. Not right now at least. You never know. As of right now, Rick is still a very serious guy. I think he's learned his lesson. He's really trying to do the right things. What do you hope happens to Rick in the future?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: I hope Rick gets a chance to grow and change. Rick is still young. He's only eighteen. Are there any issues that you'd like to tackle?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: Not in particular. It's a challenge no matter what it is. I'm pretty indifferent to what the material actually is as long as I get a chance to create something. Was B&B your first big acting gig?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: This is my first thing where I actually had to go to work every day. I'd done lots of commercials and episodic work, a lot of print modeling stuff, but that's sporadic. I'd do that then I'd chill out for a few months and then I'd do more work. So, yeah, this is my first, really odd, nine to five job. Are you involved in theater?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: That's where I started. I started in musicals and then I did some Shakespeare. Do you sing?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: I like to sing. It's fun. I don't necessarily know if I'd end up on the show singing or not, but you never know. Once again, you never know what the future holds. Well, thank you for talking to me.


New Kid on the Block

Justin Torkildsen nabbed the coveted role of Rick Forrester this fall, and found himself in the midst of one of B&B's hottest triangles. We chatted with Justin about his hot new role. Welcome to daytime! How do you like The Bold and the Beautiful?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: I like it. Everyone here is really friendly and they've all welcomed me. I'm starting to get into the routine of things. And we're going to Italy! That's great. How did you land the role?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: I went through the process: the audition, the screen-test and all that, and then they called me a couple of days later. I was back in Colorado at the time and they said, "You have to move to L.A. in a week." And I said, "Oh, okay!" I didn't believe it until I really saw it. Until that first day of work hit and that little red light came on the camera, and I was like, "Whoa!" [Laughs] I'm now a working actor! What prompted you to audition for daytime?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: I've always traditionally auditioned for everything. If I read a script and it was really yucky, I wouldn't go for it. But I've always liked daytime. I haven't seen a whole bunch of it, but I'll tell you, I'm learning a lot more doing the soap opera than I've learned with other stuff. What was your first day on the B&B set like?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: Kind of scary. [Laughs] The first day they gave me the baby and they were like - this is the second before I went on - "Here's your child, here's your wedding ring, and have fun!" I was like, "Okay." I was supposed to go out there and be this kid with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Needless to say, I was a little bit scared. But I got through it, and once I handled that, I figured I could get through just about anything else. How does it feel to be coming into such a hot storyline?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: It's cool. It's a lot better than starting in a small storyline. This is really nice. It's fun. I'm starting to get recognized every now and then, and it's kind of cool. Did you feel any pressure replacing another actor in the role?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: No. Not really. I'm sure there was a little bit of nerves about it in the back of my head, but it was just one of those things. They hired me, so I must be able to do the job. So I thought I'd go in there and do my very best with it and just hope that people like it. How do you like working with Ashley Cafagna [Kimberly] and Adrienne Frantz [Amber]?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: I like working with both of them. They're both very nice girls and they're both wonderful to play opposite of. It's really fun because all three of us, we always keep challenging each other, which helps makes the acting really interesting. It's enjoyable. All my friends are jealous - they all go off to college and here I am working with some really beautiful women. [Laughs] You have a very active lifestyle and participate in lots of sports.

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: Yeah. Mainly I'm a total skier at heart. I like to snowboard. I'm really into winter sports. I like the cold. This whole California thing is a little bit of a hard transition for me. I miss home a lot. Especially now that it's winter time and there's supposed to be snow and it's supposed to be like forty degrees and it's still staying a nice and toasty sixty degrees here and I'm just like, "Wait a minute." I'm getting used to it. I like to rollerblade and I skateboard. You've done a lot of commercials. Are recognized for your Nautica ad?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: Yeah, I've gotten recognized a little bit. It's funny, it didn't really come out a whole lot [where I'm from,] in Boulder, Colorado. It was on a couple of bus sides and in magazines. But compared to New York, and Chicago, and L.A. and Boston, it was totally different. Some kids from my school would go to New York and were like, "Dude, I was riding on the bus and I'd go by and there's you on the side of a ten story building!" And I was like, "Oh, wow!" So that was my first major exposure, besides a couple of other commercials and some modeling. That was fun. [Laughs] That was cool. Walking around in L.A., have you been approached by soap fans?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: Not L.A. really. I don't think anyone in L.A. really cares that much, because there's a bunch of famous people in L.A. But if I go to Disneyland, or Universal Studios, or if I go back to Boulder, I get recognized. It's really strange. People come up and are like, "You really should not be married to that girl! That is not your child! I just want you to know that!" I'm like, "Okay, thank you. My name is Justin." What are your long-term career goals?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: I don't know. I would like to keep getting paid to do what I love to do. So, if I stay on soaps for a while, I'd love to do that. If I move on to films, I'd love to do that. I write and perform stand-up comedy, so if I move on to comedy even - all of it! Anything I can get a chance to do. I just like to learn. I want to keep learning. Did you always know you wanted to be an actor?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: No, not really. When I was little I wanted to design cars, and I still would like to design cars. But then I went one day to audition for a play and then I started acting. What play was it?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: It was The King and I at the Boulder Dinner Theater. I went and I brought in a Polaroid picture of myself and there were all these kids with headshots and stuff. And I was like, "Maybe I shouldn't have come." I went and did it and got the job. I got a pretty good role. So that started my theater career. How is your screenplay coming along?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: My little movie that I've been writing? It's coming along nicely. It's a comedy - horrendously disgusting, blatant comedy. It's sort of There's Something About Mary-ish - that kind of in your face humor, but not the same storyline. So you either love it or hate it I would imagine. But me and my friend who's writing it, we sit and laugh for hours. Hopefully, other people will like it, too. Are you writing it with the hope to also act in the movie one day?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: I'm pretty indifferent. Honestly, the two of us who are writing it - and then I have another friend who's helping me write it - it's kind of about our adventures, the stuff that we did in our senior year of high school. So honestly, I think we'd be the best people for it, but I wouldn't necessarily have to be in it. I'd just do a quick cameo appearance. That would be fun, too. It's just all about the entertainment. Are you excited to go to Italy?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: Oh, yeah. Have you ever been there?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: I've never traveled. I've never even been to Mexico. I've never left the country. The day after I got this job someone from B&B called and asked if I had a passport. I said, "No." And they said, "Well, you need one 'cause you're going to Italy." And I said, "Yes!" I'm really excited. Will you be very busy while you're there?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: Yeah, it'll be like fourteen-hour days. It'll be all worth it. I'll have a couple of days off, too, so I'll get to go see stuff. Are you planning to go back to Colorado for the holidays?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: Yeah. I'm going for Thanksgiving, then I come back and we're here for four days and then I go to Italy for two weeks. Then I go to Minnesota for a little family reunion and then I'm back [for Christmas and New Year's.] I'm excited. I miss home. How long have you been in L.A.?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: Two and a half months. I've been out here before auditioning. I have a new apartment and it's fun. I got to furnish it. It was nice - I actually had money to furnish my apartment! I was excited. I got to go out and pick out a bunch of neat things. Do you cook for yourself?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: Yeah. Lately I've been going out to eat a lot because I'm leaving for so long that I don't want to go grocery shopping. But I try to be healthy. I ran cross- country. I've always had a healthy lifestyle and I try to keep it up. Other than sports and writing, what are some of your other hobbies?

JUSTIN TORKILDSEN: I like to read, I like to go to museums, I like architecture, and I love cars. Next summer I want to go to a racecar driving school when I'm on hiatus. That's another thing I really love is cars. Like I said, some day I'll hopefully design cars, too. Or have a giant collection of cars. That would be nice, too. Thanks for calling, and have fun in Italy.


In The Spotlight: Justin Torkildsen (Rick Forrester, B&B)

Dear Justin, Are you and Amber gonna do a duet on the show? I've heard you both sing really well. All of us want to hear you two sing more. Keep up the good work!! Sheila G.

Dear Sheila, Thanks, but I donít sing. I mean, I do sing, but I wonít sing on the show. Itís just never been my thing.

Dear Justin, What was your initial response when you learned that Amber and Rick were to be wed for the second time? By the way, congrats with your well-deserved award! Anne

Dear Anne, Thank you, Anne! Actually, this is like the third or fourth time Amber and Rick have been wed, because there was a dream wedding and the renewal of our vows. Weíve gotten married a ton, when it comes down to it. The wedding scenes are actually really hard work, so theyíre never really that fun.

Dear Justin, Hey, I'm a big fan of B&B from Israel. I've watched this show for a very long time now, and when you were cast on the show I was happy that somebody else would portray the role of Rick. I guess that your Emmy Award just proves that your acting is realistic and excellent! Do you like the way that your character has developed? Liad .W.

Dear Liad, You know, the only thing I have to say about Rick is that Iíd like him to be a little edgier. He is the youngest member of this fashion family ó the crown prince of fashion. So I think he could dress a little trendier and maybe get a little edgier. Thatís the only thing Iíd really change. But I guess Rick is Rick. I love the character. All in all, Iíd say Iím pretty content.

Dear Justin, I love you!!! My question is: Which actress in this universe would you like to have play a love interest for Rick? And which character on B&B would you like to see get together with Rick? Sarah Richmond

Dear Sarah, Well, Sarah, Iíd like Elizabeth Hurley to play a love interest for Rick. That would be pretty cool! As for which other actress on the show, I donít know. Thereís not many young actresses on the show. Everyoneís related to me, so the only option really is Amber. If there was some wild, crazy, way out-there storyline, I think Rick and Morgan should get together

Dear Justin, I think I once read in Soaps In Depth that you had to relocate to California for the role of Rick. Where were you living before this and is it hard being away from your friends and family? Britt

Dear Britt, I was living in Boulder, Colorado. Itís not too hard being away from my family because my parents come out to visit me all the time and I visit them. But whatís really hard is being away from my daily circle of friends. There were five of us from high school and we were all best friends. We hung out together constantly. All of that kind of ended when I left, and I still donít have those kind of friendships here in Los Angeles yet. L.A.ís a really hard place to live. Itís hard to match the closeness of your high school friends. Iím making really good friends, though. Iím really very close friends with Jennifer Finnigan (Bridget) and Sean Kanan (Deacon). And Mick Cain (ex-C.J.) is probably one of my best friends. Itís just different, thatís all.

Dear Justin, Do you ever watch any soaps? Mike C.

Dear Mike, Every now and then Iíll watch THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS, or GENERAL HOSPITAL sometimes. And of course, I watch our show whenever I can just to keep up with everyone elseís stories. Itís hard to keep tabs on everything thatís going on.

Dear Justin, Did you do anything special to celebrate your Emmy win? R.R. In Michigan

Dear R.R.In, Not really. We had a party with the cast members after the show. That was a good celebration because I had tons of my family there from Massachusetts and all over the East Coast. My parents were there and some of my cousins from Colorado and some of my best friends. So that was basically the big celebration.

Torkildsen Talks: 24 Hours After Being Nominated for the Emmy He Would Ultimately Win, B&B's Rick Dished Life On-Set and At Home

By Jenifer Barend

Role: Rick Forrester, Bold & Beautiful

Birthday: July 3

Prior Gig: "I started out in modeling. I did a huge campaign for Nautica and was on billboards and stuff like that. Modeling was fun and it paid the bills, but acting was always my main focus."

Fireside Chat: "I'd love to sit down and talk to Anthony Hopkins for a while. He's so natural and it's such a pleasure to watch him. I would love to ask him how he does it and how he learned. To spend even a few minutes watching him work would be so neat."

Special of the Day: "Now that I live on my own, I'm starting to actually enjoy making a meal. When I first moved [to L.A.], the thought of cooking was like, 'What?!' But now I make a pretty mean New York strip steak!"

If I Had a Time Capsule: "I'd put in something small from my apartment, because that's where I spend the majority of my time, and maybe a script from B&B -- things that I deal with on a day-to-day basis that would help bring back the memories. This is a good time, so I can think of 100 things."

He was surprised. Really surprised. B&B's down-to-earth, "Oh, gosh!" "Gee thanks" Justin Torkildsen (Rick) was thrilled with his first Emmy nomination. So thrilled, in fact, that he didn't really think about what might happen if he actually won. Digest Online chatted with the laid-back 20-year old just days after he was nominated in mid-March, when he was still delighted -- and overwhelmed -- by his nod for Outstanding Younger Actor. And if you think this is a paint-by-numbers portrait of a young soap actor -- he's unaffected, charming, blah-blah-blah and the usual niceties -- think again. When the Boulder, Colorado native speaks about his accomplishments, his voice is amiable yet firm. He's worked hard to get where he is so he feels like he deserves it, but that doesn't mean that his wide-eyed wonder has fallen by the wayside. On the contrary, Torkildsen peppers conversation with phrases such as "Oh, wow" and "That's neat" in a way that is reminiscent of a little kid on his first day of school. Digest Online wanted to know what Torkildsen does in his down time and how he would react if he did take the statuette home (his prediction was pretty darn close). Throw in the fact that Torkildsen is a young bachelor living in L.A. and the tale gets more interesting. Below is a full transcript of the cross-country interview: Digest called from New York and Torkildsen answered ebulliently from his California dressing room at B&B.

Digest Online: First of all, congratulations on your nomination!

Torkildsen: Oh, thank you so much! It's really cool. It's a real honor and it was totally unexpected. It wasn't anything I was really hoping for, so it's just really neat.

Digest Online: When you originally took over the role there were a lot of comparisons to Jacob Young (now GH's Lucky), and that's always hard when you want to make a role your own. Does this nomination validate for you that you've succeeded at creating your own Rick?

Torkildsen: Yeah, it really does. It helps my confidence out a lot because it's been a very long year-and-a-half, actually. It's been a tough battle getting past the comparisons with Jacob and making this role my own. I think this helps me feel like I'm really another step there.

Digest Online: How have you changed since joining the show? If you look at a year-and-a-half ago, what makes you say, "Wow!"

Torkildsen: Oh, man! Everything about me! Everything has changed: my physical appearance, my acting abilities... I've learned so much from Susan Flannery (Stephanie) and John McCook (Eric). I'm so happy that all of them -- Adrienne [Frantz; Amber], too -- are nominated, especially John. It's overdue, I think, and he works so hard and really loves what he does. He's taught me so much, so I'm really excited for him. My whole TV family is nominated with me!

Digest Online: In the time you've been playing Rick, how do you think he's changed?

Torkildsen: Rick has grown. He really feels that Amber is incredible and he didn't realize that he had that right in front of him, so I think that he's just stepping into adulthood. He's starting to become more committed to things. I have mixed feelings about how fast he's choosing to grow up, personally. It's a real, real, real challenge for me to play the husband/father. It's a little fast, maybe, but given the circumstances I think it's right for him.

Digest Online: Do you feel that there's a parallel between your life and Rick's? Rick is in a very different place than his friends at this point, and you are also. I'm sure your friends are in college, and you're living a very different reality.

Torkildsen: I really do feel that. Actually, I hadn't really thought of it too much that way, but it makes a lot of sense because I'm in a completely different place than all my friends. You know, not necessarily with a wife and a child, but I'm faced with some really different life responsibilities that my friends might not have to deal with right now. And sometimes I sit back and go, "Boy, I love that my friends can just party and have fun! [Laughs] I've got work everyday." But I love this and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Digest Online: Have you been able to maintain some of the friendships from Colorado?

Torkildsen: A few of them. My life has just taken such a crazy path, and it's not that I necessarily intended to lose contact with some people, but they went to college and I came here and it's been such a whirlwind. I talk to most of my old friends every now and then, and I'd say maybe three or four of them I still see pretty regularly; they come and visit me and stuff. I don't like to go home and visit people because if I visit one person too much, then my other friends get pissed off at them. It's just too much, so I like when they come visit me and I'll always kick down half for a plane ticket or something. Right now, L.A. really does feel like my home. I feel like I'm doing something very productive: I'm forwarding my career, and that's what's most important to me right now. That's not there for me in Boulder, but I do think there's a part of me that will always want to go back to Boulder someday.

Digest Online: So, take me back a little and we'll go through the usual questions. Was acting something that you always wanted to do?

Torkildsen: I found it when I was like 12 years old. I was never really shy; I was actually always very extroverted and loud in school -- and obnoxious! [Laughs] I guess it was kind of a natural route for me to take. I saw an audition call one day for a local dinner theater play, so I brought a Polaroid of myself and auditioned and got a job. The rest is history: here I am now! It's crazy. My very first agent in Colorado just called me this morning and congratulated me. She was so excited.

Digest Online: While you were trying to break into the business, did you ever get down and think it was too hard?

Torkildsen: I had been coming to L.A. to do commercials and other small stuff for about six years, just like anybody. It very rarely happens overnight; I think five to six years is the usual amount of time. I think everybody -- if you're really committed and love what you do -- gets their initial chance. You get a good job and it's what you do with that job. I got discouraged sometimes and there were a couple of years there where I was wishy-washy, but something lit a fire under my butt and I got into it again and just started focusing real hard. It's a lot of rejection, you know? You just grow a thick skin and have to realize it's not personal; you just don't fit their idea for that role.

Digest Online: What was your parents' reaction when their little boy told them he wanted to be -- ahhh! -- an actor?

Torkildsen: They were really supportive. I mean, they were kind of hesitant about the L.A. thing initially, but they saw my success in theater in Colorado -- I had done lots of Shakespeare and professional theater -- and said, "If you really want to try it, go ahead and try it." We moved to L.A. one summer for pilot season and I got a couple of good jobs, so it was promising, you know? They supported me and I'm forever in my debt for that; I'll owe them for the rest of my life just for that support.

Digest Online: How did they react to the nomination?

Torkildsen: Luckily, my mom was in town helping me take care of some business. I've been working so much lately that she's helping me register my car and stuff. She went home this morning, but it was great. She got all teary-eyed and was really emotional at work, and I gotta tell you, me too! Walking into this place after -- I mean, I know nothing changes -- just felt different. I felt a little more confident. It's a really weird feeling, even though I'm still the same old Justin. Maybe this is my rite of passage or something like that. I feel like I kind of belong now. Regardless of what happens with the award, the nomination just helped me out a lot.

Digest Online: What sacrifices do you think you've made to get where you are at such a young age?

Torkildsen: Well, I've given up that college life, and it's different. In high school it's really easy to have friends because there are hundreds of people around you all the time, and it's like that in college too. I came here by myself and that was it: no friends, nothing. I was just starting fresh, and that was a really big sacrifice and it was really hard for me to get situated here. Now it's my home and I love it.

Digest Online: Do you ever think about going back to college or taking classes in something else?

Note from Digest: At this point in the interview, Dan McVicar (Clarke) grabs the phone from Torkildsen. "Colorodo boy makes good!" he howls, clearly elated for his Emmy-nominated co-star. Without missing a beat, Torkildsen offers a hearty laugh and picks up where he left off.

Torkildsen: I would love to take classes in automotive design. I've always loved cars and I want to take a class in car design and maybe areodynamics. If my storyline slows down here sometime, I'll do it. Right now I've got so much work and I really have to focus 100% on my work. And I don't need college! I make a good living doing what I love to do; I'm very fortunate.

Digest Online: Has the memorization and getting to know your character become less of a challenge?

Torkildsen: Absolutely. I still have to work very hard on it, because the more prepared I am the stronger I feel. I have certain habits, and when I'm not prepared I can see it on the air show. I'm like, "Aah, I wasn't prepared that day!" an it really ticks me off. I make sure I'm always 100% off book, and it's fun! Me and my buddies run my lines and we just have fun with it.

Digest Online: What do you do when you have a spare moment to kick back and relax?

Torkildsen: I really like to get in my car and go see places. When I have 3 or 4 days off I drive through Utah and go see stuff. I like to snowboard and ski, and I'm learning how to surf. I've always been pretty adventurous when it comes to trying new sports. My parents put me on skis when I was 2, so the thing I'm still committed to most is skiing -- and driving. Those are my two favorite hobbies, by far.

Digest Online: Now that you've reach this 20-year old mark, what are you looking forward to about growing up, or the perks that come with being a certain age?

Torkildsen: I'm looking forward to enjoying my twenties and living a fun bachelor lifestyle for a few years. I look forward to some day -- not anytime soon! -- but someday I can't wait to have a family. I love kids! The two babies -- Brett and Johnny -- we work with here who play little Eric are great. I love them so much and I hope I'm fortunate enough to have kids as good as them, 'cause that's what made me really want to have kids. It's so fun to watch them grow up: they change so much all the time and they're so smart! [Laughs]

Digest Online: And at least you get the experience to be a dad without really doing everything it involves.

Torkildsen: Exactly! When one of them does their business I can just say, "Uh, we need a diaper change!"

Digest Online: Do you feel that since you're 20 and have this job, more is expected of you than a lot of people your age?

Torkildsen: Yes and no. There's a lot of weight we have to carry on our shoulders here because we have to get a show done everyday. There are definitely certain things, and dealing with my income and stuff like that. It's very different from an average 20-year-old.

Digest Online: You strike me as someone who's very laid-back.

Torkildsen: In certain areas I place a whole lot of pressure on myself, and in other areas of my life I'm very laid-back. When it comes to business I put a lot of pressure on myself because I really want to succeed. But in my off time, I like to just kick it and relax and hang out with my friends.

Digest Online: If push comes to shove, do you think Rick would do anything he could for Amber, including fight Deacon for her?

Torkildsen: I think so. I think Rick will probably be willing to do whatever it takes for Amber. I don't think the whole flirtation with Amanda was anything to worry about; Rick is really committed to Amber and knows what he wants in his life.

Digest Online: Is there anything else at this point that you would like to see Rick do?

Torkildsen: Well, I think that after everything with Rick and Amber finally comes to whatever kind of close it does -- 'cause I don't even know! -- it would be neat to see Rick get involved in fashion or something. We don't really have too much control over that, but seeing Rick be a part of it would be really cool. Maybe he'll be the next head of the company! I mean, I'm getting my dad's money and my mom's!

Digest Online: What obstacles did you overcome to get where you are, when you had to say, "I'm going to push through and do it?"

Torkildsen: It would probably be the first year here. It was probably one of the biggest challenges ever in my life. I just had so many things to overcome: new place, new job. Everything was new and very high-pressure, and then within four weeks of starting on the show we were in Italy and there were thousands of screaming fans all around thinking I was Jacob! It was just a whole lot of information and new experiences really fast. This nomination really makes all the hard work [worth it] for me.

Digest Online: On a personal level, what do you want to work on within yourself?

Torkildsen: I'm actually, interestingly enough, sometimes shy. There are certain things I'd like to be more aggressive about: not mean aggressive, but I'd like to get rid of the shyness I have sometimes. I think that going into acting is a creative process, like painting a picture, and maybe it's part of that. I like the fact that Rick is my alter ego because it gives me the push I need. I mean, five days a week from 9 to 5, I'm a multi-millionaire fashion mogul! [Laughs] It's crazy.

Digest Online: You have to be pretty confident to attack this business. Where do you think that confidence comes from?

Torkildsen: You just really have to believe that you're good at what you do, and if you really, truly believe that, I think it will bring almost anybody success. You'll always be successful if you put your whole heart and soul into it, no matter what it is.

Digest Online: How do you think you would describe the type of person you were in high school?

Torkildsen: I was a pretty fun guy in high school! I wanted to graduate and have that to fall back on if I didn't make it in the acting industry, but all through high school I knew that I wanted to be an actor, so for four to six months every year I was in Los Angeles during school. When I was home it was always a really fun time and my friends and I would party and stuff. I did well in school too, but my main focus was always acting and it always has been.

Digest Online: If you had to describe yourself now, would the description be the same as it was back then, or would it be different?

Torkildsen: It's a lot different. I've matured a lot and I take care of my responsibilities, things like that. I've learned more social skills. I think I was forced to grow up a little bit faster than my peers, that's all.

Digest Online: I read that you enjoy writing and performing stand-up. How did that interest start?

Torkildsen: Well, the stand-up started because back in middle school and high school I was such a bonehead and I've always loved to make people laugh. It really is the best medicine. If you can make someone smile and laugh once a day, that'll really help out their day. I thought, "Why don't I just start writing some comedy?" So I started writing it when I was, like, 12, and then started going to local clubs in Denver. When I would be in L.A. I'd do the Icehouse in Pasadena and the Laugh Factory and stuff like that. I got around for a while and now I haven't done it because of this [job]. But because of this I started picking up writing some dramatic stuff: I've been writing a dramatic movie and I wrote a really rude comedy that would be fun to produce someday. It's the same kind of humor as [There's Something About Mary]. It's blatant; it just lays it all out for 'ya.

Digest Online: Stand-up must be scary because you never know if you're gonna get the laugh.

Torkildsen: Oh, yeah! It's very scary; it's nothing like here. Either they're laughing or they're not laughing at all. It's either immediate gratification or immediate rejection, and that's the nature of that. It's really a rush, 'cause when you're successful on stage -- whether it be theater or comedy -- nothing feels like it. Absolutely nothing. That's more of the showman side of me, just going up and doing whatever it takes to make people laugh. Whereas with the acting, I'm trying to make it a very internal process, so it's very, very different.

Digest Online: You seem to be willing to put yourself on the line and risk embarrassment. What intimidates you?

Torkildsen: Well, oddly enough, always before I have to go onstage, whether it be for a play or some comedy or even if we're gonna go sing karaoke or something, for a second there I'm just like, "No, I cannot do this. I can't do this!" But then someone'll throw me up on stage and it changes; I'm like, "OK, this will be fun." Until somewhere about three or four weeks ago that would also happen [at B&B]. They'd be doing the countdown and my heart would start beating faster and my palms would get sweaty, but I've been starting to feel very comfortable and I feel like I'm starting to understand Rick. It's really just a pleasure and an absolute honor to come in and work with some great actors and get to do this.

Digest Online: Is Rick someone you'd be friends with?

Torkildsen: Yes and no. I think I'd be friends with him, but I think some of me would be like, "Dude, you're awfully young for this." [Laughs]

Digest Online: What other job besides acting do you think you'd be suited for?

Torkildsen: It would have to be a very creative process; I couldn't do anything ho-hum. I mean, I would if I had to make a living, but I think my ideal other job would probably be designing cars, you know? You get to create a whole new vehicle and it's like a moving piece of artwork. I'm a night person, so even when I have to come to work here early it kills me, but luckily we don't start taping 'till noon so I can usually get a couple of hours of sleep! [Laughs] I like jobs [in which I have] those freedoms.

Digest Online: I know you'd like to design cars. Do you race them? Torkildsen: I'm actually going to get started with that here soon. I've been saving every nickel and dime I could possibly save all year and I'm going to buy myself a new sports car. Then I'm gonna join some clubs so I can go race it on weekends and stuff. I have an old Toyota Land Cruiser, and that's my baby. I'll always keep that; that was my first car. And that's in Colorado at my mom and dad's house because they have a lot more property than I do! [Laughs] And then I have my little Suburu, which I'm gonna trade in. Hopefully I can buy a Porsche. It would be neat. They're real expensive, so I gotta have a lot of money down payment so I can afford the monthly payment. I'd actually like to make some investments. Like, my Land Cruiser, I bought it for like 4500 bucks and I restored it and rebuilt it, and then people offered me like 15, 000 bucks for it. That's another creative process, and I really like that.

Digest Online: What's been the most important lesson you've learned so far, personally and professionally?

Torkildsen: Professionally, it's to always be prepared. The social professional part of it is to always remain a very genuine person, to really listen to people, because people love it. Don't even act genuine, be genuinely interested in them, you know? Personally, I think it's been to be kind of frugal and to try and be smart with my money, because things can change so fast. That and learning how to do the dishes and cook myself dinner every day! That was a weird reality check: it was like going from having mom and dad make dinner every day to, like, "I've got to cook something now?" At the beginning it was pretty much down to Burger King and McDonald's for about four or five months. Then I started getting interested in cooking because it's actually kind of fun! I make a really good New York strip steak. I've had Adrienne and Jennifer [Finnigan; Bridget] and some people from work over. We hang out and I cook.

Digest Online: What are your best and worst qualities?

Torkildsen: My best quality, I think, is that I really try and be a genuine person, and I think the worst is that I still do have that bit of shyness in me, you know? It's slowly going away, which is good, and I'm not talking about wanting to become some cocky jerk... I just want to be very comfortable, 100%, with myself and everything around me. I'm working for that.

Digest Online: What keeps you grounded? When you're young and you work in this industry, it's easy to let it get away from you.

Torkildsen: Most everyone here -- John McCook and Susan Flannery and our crew -- all help me stay based in reality. I've very close with my mom and dad, and so any time I get a little unruly about something, they'll say, "Justin, sit down and shut up! You need to appreciate this. What's your problem?" They keep me in check and so do my friends. The key is that you gotta realize where you came from, you know? We're just here trying to make a living like everyone else; it just happens to be in front of a camera. The "famous" part of it is fun; it's neat to be recognized by people, but that's not what it's about or what you do it for. I love it, though! If it really makes someone smile, then gosh, I love that!

Digest Online: What accomplishment are you proudest of so far?

Torkildsen: I'm proud of the fact that I'm actually out here doing what I love to do. I'm supporting myself and I made it through this year and I came out on top and everything is good -- I'm really proud of that.

Digest Online: What's next on your list?

Torkildsen: I'd like to just continue the way I'm going. Maybe I'd like to get a couple of weeks off from work and do a movie sometime -- even just three or four scenes in a really nice, well-produced, beautiful film. That would be so fun.

Digest Online: Are you psyched for the Emmys?

Torkildsen: Yeah! I think me and a few people are gonna plan a really nice dinner. That is the week to just enjoy yourself 100%: it's about parties and freedom and wonderful people and places.

Digest Online: And your acceptance speech? Any ideas?

Torkildsen: Um... kinda. [Laughs] It's one of those things that it would be a real honor to get the award, so part of me is like, "That's so cool." But I'm just so fortunate to have gotten the nomination. I'd thank the Bell family, but first, my parents. Everybody who's ever supported me, because it's such a group process. Without the crew and everybody there, I wouldn't even get to go onstage. I'd thank the whole world. I'd probably start crying like a babbling moron!

Digest Online: So what would the name of your autobiography be at this point?

Torkildsen: Adventures in My Life. For being so young I have a lot of really interesting stories to tell. I'm young and -- God -- I can't wait to see where the rest of my life is gonna go.

Justin Torkildsen

Rick Forrester, The Bold and the Beautiful

The Bold and the Beautiful's Justin Torkildsen (Rick) took advantage of the show's recent two-week summer hiatus by traveling to Australia for a 10-day promotional tour. The journey is just one component of what's turning out to be a successful year for the young actor. In May, he won his first Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Younger Leading Actor. The performer's current storyline ó a quadrangle with his wife Amber, sister Bridget and nemesis Deacon ó has the potential to run for years in the grand B&B tradition of the Brooke/Ridge/Taylor triangle.

Torkildsen, a former model and Colorado native, sat down with TV Guide Online before and after his trip to discuss a variety of topics, including his journey down under, winning the Emmy, and the challenges he faced in taking over the role of Rick from his predecessor Jacob Young (now General Hospital's Lucky). Read on for some revealing comments from this rising soap opera performer. ó Michael J. Maloney

How was Australia?

It was incredible. I was told that it was going to be a lot of hard work and I was prepared for that. We did mall appearances. I'd be walking down the street and people would just come up to me in groups. It was a little overwhelming, but it was one of the most incredible experiences that I'd ever had. It was better than the experience I had when the show went to Italy in some ways.

When you went to Italy you weren't even airing there yet.

[Laughs] Yeah, but they all thought I was Jacob [Young, who played Rick]. I was "Rick" to them. There were other differences. I was the only actor to go to Australia; a lot of the cast went to Italy. I brought my dad to Australia. He was overwhelmed by it all, especially at the mall appearances. They'd announce that the autograph line would have to be shut down in 10 minutes and that's when fans would start rushing the line. Security would have to rush me off of the stage. My dad would get a kick out of it when people would come up to me and say, "Hey, Rick." He got to do some sightseeing while I was doing publicity.

Did you get to go sightseeing?

[Chuckles] Everything I saw was from the back of a car. But I did get to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I got to walk up to the top, cross, and come back down the other side. They opened it for the Olympic games and it was such a hit that they've kept it going. I was up there at sunset, so the view was great. The whole trip was a great experience.

How does doing public appearances overseas differ from doing them in the U.S.?

It's like being one of the Beatles. It's absolutely crazy.

What was it like when you went to Italy for the remote and fans were responding to you before you were even airing there?

It's amazing to see the level of devotion that the fans have to our show. You truly can't describe it. The first time I got off the hotel elevator to go to where we had our makeup station set up, I passed this window and all these people were outside. I waved and they all started screaming. I was like, "Wow, this is really cool." I ended up going shopping with this one beautiful girl. I can't wait to go back to Italy. It's like being a Backstreet Boy.

Congratulations on your Emmy. Maybe next year B&B will get better seats at the broadcast. You guys were kind of off to the side.

[Chuckles] We were actually sitting near Levar Burton [who won an Emmy for his work on Reading Rainbow]. I ran into him at the restaurant where we partied afterwards. He's the coolest guy. He gave me a hug and asked if this was my first Emmy win.

What was on your submission reel?

Rick and Amber were in Venice and she told him about their baby dying. That was the first time I felt like I made a big emotional connection with the character. I was still new to the show at the time. The other show I submitted was Rick finding out that Thorne had kissed Kimberly. Rick decked Thorne and then had a scene with Brooke. It was interesting stuff.

Did you think that you might win?

It was my first nomination. My thoughts were just that I was fortunate to be nominated. Winning didn't matter. It was the icing on the cake.

What was the moment like when they called your name?

Complete and utter shock. I was completely surprised. I had convinced myself that I wasn't going to get it. They called my name and I was just honestly and genuinely surprised. That's all I can say.

Did you get to take it with you that night?

Yes. It's pretty heavy. The fun part was trying to get it home. I didn't want it sticking out of my bag where everyone could see it. I ended up wrapping it up in some hotel dry-cleaning bags. It went through the X-ray machine at the airport and the security lady said, "What the hell is that?"

What were the challenges you faced when you won the role of Rick?

I went from hanging out with my buddies in Boulder Creek and not working every day to moving to L.A. and working almost every single day in a very heavy storyline. I was very inexperienced. I had to grow up quickly. It was a really rough year. I had to make new friends. I feel like it's all paid off. I'm comfortable with things now.

What are some of the biggest misconceptions that you've found about the soap world?

I've heard that we're all just pretty people who can't act. That's a bunch of crap. There are truly some amazing actors on daytime. People think it's a cakewalk, but it's not.

Who helped you get acclimated at the show?

John McCook and Susan Flannery [who play Eric and Stephanie]. John's been kind of like a father figure to me. He helps me and gives me advice. Susan, too. They've taught me about acting and life. I have to say everyone has been wonderful. Everyone was so welcoming.

What was it like taking over the role from another actor?

I'd never done a soap opera before so [taking over from Jacob Young] was really just another piece of the puzzle. Most of the fans were pretty welcoming. It was a challenge, but I think it was also, overall, a very smooth transition.

Have you made friends with anyone on the show?

Winsor [Harmon, who plays Thorne] and I are good buddies. He was able to give me a little insight into what it was like taking over from another performer. [Editor's note: Clayton Norcross and Jeff Trachta had played Thorne prior to Harmon.] He just said that it was going to be hard. That's all he could really say, but I'm glad that he explained that to me. I've also befriended John McCook and his family. I spend a lot of time with them. His wife, Laurette [Spang McCook], is a wonderful, wonderful person. She's so incredible. It's such a loving family. I love going over there for dinner every now and then. It keeps me grounded.

Rick appears to have everything he wants.

Rick is certainly happy right now. He's glad to be married to Amber and be past all that stuff. But he's still concerned about Deacon and his feelings for Amber.

You're writing a screenplay?

Yes. I've been writing it for a long time. But I have time so I feel I should take my time with it. I do about 15-20 pages a week and then I'll revise them. Sometimes I've worked on 20 pages of dialogue for five months before moving on. The writing process is more solitary. You just sit with yourself and your thoughts. I have a buddy who's writing the film with me. We don't see each other often face to face, but we'll brainstorm when we do get together. Every now and then I'll get a great idea and stay up all night and write.

You've also done standup comedy?

Yes. That's one of my first loves. It goes to the root of writing and hoping that it's funny. You get out on stage and if it's funny they laugh and if they don't, you're booed off the stage. It's immediate gratification. I love it. I haven't done it for the last couple of years. I've been getting 100 percent adjusted to the show. My [comedy] material has been mostly observational stuff. It's changed since I first did it at the age of 13. Now, I could pepper in some stuff about soap operas. That'd be an angle. There's plenty of humor to be found on the set of a soap opera.