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Kimberlin Brown

Interviews

Chat With Kimberlin Brown

{On Leaving B&B}

Kimberlin Brown AKA: Sheila on The Bold and the Beautiful

When we look back at the biggest soap blunders of the early '90s, the firing of Kimberlin Brown will surely rank up there as one of the most memorable. Brown, who debuted as mousy nurse Sheila on The Young and the Restless in 1990, was the original '90s psycho bad girl, paving the way for GL's Annie and Days' Kristen. Two years later the character made the move to The Bold and the Beautiful, and she's made mischief in Los Angeles ever since.

The news that TPTB are not renewing Brown's contract shocked the actress as well as her fans, but Brown is looking forward to new challenges and is grateful for the opportunities she's had on Y&R and B&B. Jonathan Reiner

Before we begin, I'd like to thank you for eight years of highly entertaining, eyebrow-raising entertainment. Did the news that you were leaving the show come as a shock?

It came a bit as a surprise, only because my contract is up in October, and the initial thing I'd been told was to not be concerned that there was no way they were going to be able to wrap up my storyline by October. Two weeks after that, Brad [Bell, B&B's head writer/executive producer] called me and said he just didn't know what to do about my character.

Nothing against Brad, because I've never met the guy, but Sheila has done so many bad things and has always been redeemed. Surely they could come up with something this time, and I'm sure that's what a lot of the fans are thinking.

Well, unfortunately, that may be what you think, what the fans think and what I think, but obviously that's not what Brad thinks.

Are you enjoying the current story?

Absolutely, and there's some great stuff coming up after this, too.

I love it when Sheila is behind bars whether it's in a mental hospital or in jail.

Well, I was hoping that the prison storyline with Cybill would've taken a bit more time to unfold, but it took less than a week! Just two shows for me [Sheila] to talk this girl into letting me take her place. I felt that really would've been a great opportunity to drag it out and have Sheila win her confidence do what she would have normally done. But obviously they made some decisions and changes upstairs. They're bringing on a lot of new people and that's probably where Brad's focus is at the moment.

What are your fondest Sheila memories?

I still love the early Sheila on The Young and the Restless the whole Scott and Lauren triangle, and baby Scotty. Then on The Bold and the Beautiful, the early things with Eric, with the blood samples, and the wedding, with Lauren being reintroduced in Los Angeles. That stuff was phenomenal. There were so many great moments, it's so hard to just name one. The fight with Maggie, the fight that I had with Ken Hanes' character [Mike]. He's been a wonderful addition to the show, and very underrated in my opinion. The letters and the online stuff always talk about Mike and Sheila, but unfortunately you're only in a position to do certain things that your show allows you to do.

Do you think that Sheila really cares for Mike?

I have no idea. In my opinion, it could go either way.

Back when you started, there was really no one doing the kind of diabolical things on a regular basis that Sheila did. Now they're a dime a dozen every show has a Sheila!

They do, but not in the same way. The difference between my character and the other divas or whatever you want to call them, and the big comment I hear is, "Oh, she's such a bitch!" But, you see, my character was never like that. My character was never bitchy she was just evil and downright angry that way. Whatever she felt with Lauren, it was not a bitchy little thing. Whatever she felt with Stephanie, it was not that way, or with Maggie. Sheila was just somebody who's really sick and evil.

We got the chance to explore her psychoses, but never in detail to the point where she was cured.

That's the problem! My storylines always started well, but they never got into things.

Obviously! She's been in a mental hospital. Apparently it didn't work.

No, it didn't. I wish I had answers for you, but unfortunately only Brad would be able to give you those kinds of answers. Maybe with my storyline, there were things he wasn't ready to jump right into.

Are you going to take some time off after your last show?

No, I'm going to go out and audition right away. One door closes and hopefully another one will open. They've also talked about bringing me back at a later date, but that later date has never been discussed with either me or my agent.

It would be great to go back to The Young and the Restless.

Wouldn't that be wonderful? That's a show I'd do in a heartbeat, but, anyway, we'll see what happens.

Are there any roles that you're looking to play, or some that you wouldn't take?

No. For an actor, there are two kinds of work work and no work, and I look forward to trying other things, other characters.

Are they going to give you some scenes with Tracey [E. Bregman, who plays Lauren] before you leave?

No, they're not.

But the Lauren/Sheila rivalry is one of the best relationships in the history of soaps!

Thank you, but, no, they're not.

That's a shame, in my opinion.

Well, it's all coming to an end rather quickly, and obviously it's because they don't want to have to renegotiate so it's probably easier for them to terminate me before my contract is up.

Are there any people who you're going to keep in touch with?

Absolutely! Ken Hanes, Ian Buchanan [James], Tracey and Susan [Flannery, who plays Stephanie]. I can still come by and say hi to everybody.

You've had a great run of costars, beginning with everyone on Y&R.

Yes, I've been very fortunate, for the most part, to always have very strong actors to work opposite, and I'm very thankful for that. I take my hat off to the people I've been fortunate enough to work with, because our stuff has not always been easy, and they've made it that way for me.

Now you have two children when you're walking on the street with your kids or in the park, do people still stop you and hit you?

Yes, they still stop me, but they don't hit me. Most of them realize that it's just a character that I'm playing.

Do they try to take the children away from you? I mean, Sheila was the nanny from hell!

No, actually when I'm out and about, they can't believe I'm as nice as I am. They say, "I can't believe you're so nice and you're so pretty in person."

Is that a compliment?

Yes. You also have to realize, when does Sheila ever get to smile?

I guess when something's going her way.

And that's not very often. I mean, people are not used to seeing me smile, and when they see me smile out in public, it softens my whole look. It's kind of funny, actually, when they talk to me out there. They say I should smile more often, but Sheila doesn't have anything to smile about.

Hopefully there will be a lot for you to smile about soon.

I hope so.

I said it before and I have to say it again such an uncanny portrayal that you've sustained over the years, regardless of the storyline. And you've always been true to the character, and I think that's what's made the character such fun to watch.

Thank you very much. I've had a lot of people say, "It's because you're believable, no matter what they throw your way," and I appreciate that.

Well, I'm going to miss your eyebrows. No one can raise an eyebrow like Kimberlin Brown.

Oh, that's so sweet. Thank you!