Canadian actor Tanner Novlan chatted with Markos Papadatos about his role as Dr. John Finnegan in “The Bold and The Beautiful” on CBS.
On playing Dr. John “Finn” Finnegan in the hit daytime drama, he remarked, “It has been pretty cool. The Bold and The Beautiful is a good family to be a part of. It is such a pleasure to play this character. I am really enjoying my time here at the show. Dr. Finnegan is such a cool, meaty role that are we just starting to dip our toes into. It is going to be really exciting to see where this character takes us.”
Novlan had nothing but the greatest remarks about his luminous on-screen acting partner, Emmy winner Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, who plays Steffy. “I am pretty lucky, huh? She really is the best. Jacqueline is such a giving actress and she is always well-prepared. She has really helped me get up to speed in the soap world,” he said.
“It was also cool to do scenes with Matthew Atkinson, who plays Thomas. He is awesome. They are both Forresters. It will be interesting to see how it plays out here,” he said.
“I am still building and I am still thriving, so I am excited for what is to come,” he added.
The Bold and The Beautiful is the most popular soap opera in the world. “I can see why. Brad Bell and the producers have such a great system in place that as an actor, you just hope to fall right into. They definitely do a great job and it’s a legacy for a reason,” he said.
With his family being fans of the show in Canada, he shared that he was well-versed on the show even before he came on-board. “My mom is a big fan of The Bold and The Beautiful,” he admitted.
At the 2020 Daytime Emmy Awards, The Bold and The Beautiful won for “Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team.” “Their great writing makes it easier for us actors,” he said. “It is always exciting to get the scripts since you never know what they are going to come up with and what twists and turns are in store. When I get the scripts, I open up my phone since I am always eager to see what’s coming up next. They are very lucky to have that writing team.”
Speaking of high-quality writing, he hinted that there are “some interesting things coming up for Finn.” “I am excited for Finn’s relationship, which seems to be budding with Steffy,” he said. “I am excited for him to dive into the Forrester family.”
He praised the show’s production team for doing such good work with the COVID-19 safety protocols that are in place at the studio. “They have given us the confidence to know that we are safe and to be able to perform in an environment where we are not worried about that since everyone has families,” he said. “From a performance standpoint, it is a little difficult at times. The directors have done a superb job of making the actors seem closer together than we really are due to the social distancing rules. Everyone on set has been such a pro.”
When asked how he handles being dialogue-heavy on the show, he said, “The pace is very fast, but luckily, I’m the ‘Liberty Mutual’ guy, so if I ever mess up I can just blame the commercial. The dialogue is tricky but it’s all part of it, and everybody is such a pro on set.”
For young and aspiring actors, he said, “I have a lot of advice. I’ve had a long, slow-moving career, which has been amazing. Do the work, know yourself, know your self-worth, and what your talent is and what you have to offer. Hone your talent and just have fun with it since it’s a tough industry.”
He also opened up about Puckheads, where he plays Mike Murphy. “That was a really fun one. There are a few soap stars on that series, Colin Egglesfield played the lead. It was a cool project,” he said.
In his personal life, he is the husband of actress Kayla Ewell, and they have a young daughter, Poppy Marie. On balancing a family life with an acting career, he said, “It’s definitely tricky. Working in Los Angeles helps. It’s a balancing act.”
On being an actor in the digital age, he said, “I think it’s really cool. There is so much content now that it is hard to keep up with all the great shows and the wonderful writing. Everyone has a story to tell and now there are more opportunities to tell those stories, which I think is fantastic.”
Regarding his daily motivations, he said, “Luckily, having work and a job has helped me through that, and so had my family (Kayla and Poppy). It’s a really tough time to stay positive. Mental health is important and something we need to pay attention to as we are forced to social distance and keep away from other people.”
On life in quarantine, he said, “It has had its ups and downs. For the most part, it has been all right. I have been honing my dad skills, and I’m working on being a good dad right now. Everyone has been healthy in our family and I got to spend a little extra time with our girl, Poppy, so that was something unique about this pandemic.”
If he weren’t an actor, he noted that he would be a farmer as his alternate career choice. “I would probably be back in Saskatchewan, Canada, doing farming with my family. There is something really gratifying about the big skies, long hours, and tough days. That’s what I would probably do,” he said.
On the title of the current chapter of his life, he said, “Green light.”
When asked which stroke he would do if he were a competitive swimmer, he revealed that he would do the “breaststroke.” “The breaststroke is relaxing and it has a rhythm to it,” he said.
Novlan defined the word success as “happiness” in life. “If you are happy in life, then you are successful,” he admitted.
He offered the following inspiring words for fans during the pandemic: “Listen to the guidelines and try to be as responsible as you can be while also keeping your mental health in check. Find a balance and hopefully, we can get a handle on this thing. We are all in this together, we really are. Hopefully, we can find some unity through this hardship.”
For his fans and supporters, he said, “I hope the fans stay tuned since there are a lot more juicy things to come up. It has been a slow, patient build. I am excited for some serious drama coming up for Finn.”