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Verve People
November 16, 2005

Still Bold Still Beautiful

Text by Shaista Vaishnav. Photographs by Akash Mehta

For 18 years, as tele-soap star, Ridge Forrester, he has sent women and girls into a swoon with his arresting looks and deep baritone. In India, to promote his new album, the actor-singer chats with ardent fan, Shaista Vaishnav, who proclaims that at 53, Ronn Moss still rocks!

As The Bold And The Beautiful continues to do its daily time on the small screen…generations have fallen prey to the crinkled smile and charismatic presence of its lead character, Ridge Forrester, played over the years with seamless panache by Ronn Moss. Off the sets, he is a committed musician, part of an erstwhile band called ‘The Players’ and visited India recently to promote his newest album, Uncovered. Though I know the screen Ridge Forrester like the back of my hand, little is known about Moss in his real life avatar. While he posed for pictures he offered some friendly suggestions, revealing how photography was one of his passions and occupations, amongst acting in small films and commercials, singing and playing, all before The Bold And The Beautiful came along. After which he settled down on a bar stool to reminisce a little and tell all….

You’re going down in tele-history as a character called Ridge Forrester, from a daily soap. Is that why you’re trying to forge an identity for yourself as Ronn Moss through your music?
I’m doing my music because I need a creative outlet. It has nothing to do with Ridge and the show at all. It’s me doing what I’m passionate about and what I need to do. The show is not a creative outlet for me. It’s a great job, an ongoing job, but sometimes it tends to get monotonous, like everything else you do all the time. I have to somehow make it fresh for me every day or it’s not going to be fresh for the audience. That’s my constant challenge…whereas my music is more personal. My new album is something I’m very proud of. Each song is connected to my life. It’s a combination of rock and roll, ballads, vocal-driven melodies…the music speaks for itself really.

Does being Ridge Forrester help or hinder your image as a musician? While other singer-actors like Bobby Eakes (the actress playing Macy Spectra) promoted her music on the show all the time, how come we’ve never seen you sing or play on the show?

Well, being Ridge does help in a way. People come to see how Ridge is going to do music! Hopefully, they’ll see that Ronn is nothing like Ridge. I like to keep the two separate. I don’t think it comes across that well on television. Singing or playing on the show has no weight, from what I’ve seen of the others doing it. Also, I just don’t see Ridge breaking out into rock and roll. It’s not true to the character.

Any particular musicians or bands you admire or aspire to be like?
I’ve always loved The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Queen, Super Tramp, Harry Nielson…the list is endless. Though there’s no one I’d particularly like to work with. I think I do best on my own. I’ve played the bass guitar on almost every track in my album. I’ve also sung almost 80 per cent of it. While I’ve written a few, I’ve been very involved with the writing of the songs and know everyone who contributed.

How do you manage to preserve your looks in between shooting for the show and recording your music?
When it comes to my look, I’m what they call ‘low maintenance’. I got tired of my own clothes, so now I wear an Italian clothes line that I like – Biagiotti. The only things I wear constantly apart from when I’m shooting are my earrings. They define me. I’ve been wearing them since I was a kid. Otherwise, I work out as much as possible whenever possible. The show doesn’t give me much time. So I try to work out through the day while I’m going about my normal routine. At the end of the day it adds up to a regular workout! This year was the most difficult one to manage. I used to record very late at night, or on an occasional day off, when I was not spending time with my two little daughters. I choose to be with them most of my free time.

Are your daughters into music too? And do they follow the show?
They don’t follow the show. But they are into music. (Smiles proudly) My youngest one wants to be a singer. My friends do watch the show though.

Apart from Ridge, if you were given a chance to play any other role in the series, who would you choose?
(Thinks for a second) Absolutely no one! I can’t think of one other character I’d like to play. None appeal to me. I think I have a good handle on Ridge. The other characters may interest me as Ridge, but not as Ronn.

Do you feel indispensable to the show? And is your opinion sought about how Ridge would behave in a certain situation?
I think that they would have a really hard time replacing Ridge. But I don’t use that to my advantage, because that’s just not the point. I like playing Ridge. I like the dynamic I have with the cast and crew. It works well for me. My job is to make it work and not to throw a tizzy-fit if I don’t like the clothes they put me in or some such thing. It’s a much more professional show that that. We all work together, and they depend on us to make it work at the final moment before camera rolls. I also think I know Ridge best. So if they come up with something that doesn’t feel right, or true to the show, I tell them. We have that much leeway. There’s no ego involved. It’s a collaborative effort.

Are you close to your co-stars or do they get left behind with Ridge in the studio?
No, we’re really close. Like a family. We make it a point to go for dinners together every once in a while. Only the actors. We get along really well. In fact Katherine (Brooke), Hunter (Taylor) and I are all really, really close. My relationship with them is closer than any other personal relationships I’ve had.

So, with all this closeness, not to mention the constant love scenes you have had with your co-stars over the decades, how difficult is it to sustain a personal relationship?
You do get emotionally involved with the person you’re working in such close proximity with. I’ve spent a lot of time with Katherine and Hunter, both together and separately, which is why someone from the outside may have a hard time understanding the relationship I have with these two women. For me to have a relationship with someone now, they’d have to be very, very understanding. It would have to be someone who is not jealous at all. I don’t want any jealousies in my life.

Is that why you’re single?
Well, I have been married and it didn’t work for me. I have ‘friends’ but none that I would consider marrying. I don’t see the point in getting married. I need to be free in my life. I’ve been married enough on the show to last me several lifetimes as it is!

You’ve always been nominated for ‘Hottest Male Star’ for awards across the years. Does it bother you that it’s not for ‘Best Actor’?
I don’t think about it at all. It would be nice to eventually have them go ‘he’s a great actor, doing a great job’, but people tend to pick the physical part of it first. I know what I do on the show. I know it comes across well and I’m doing a good job with the acting. So inside, I’m happy with that knowledge.

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