BOLD BEAUTIFUL & LIVING HER BEST LIFE
At 57, Katherine Kelly Lang is running her own race – from competing in Iron Man Championships in South Africa to starting her new role as a glam-ma. We caught up with the international soapie star in Jozi recently and talked giving back, going the extra
she'sseated at the opposite end of a regal bedroom in a palatial villa. Her eyes are closed, but she confidently directs the makeup artist on her likes and dislikes. Today, it's full-on glamour. Then her green eyes suddenly open, meeting mine in the mirror. I brace myself. Brooke Logan Forrester Marone Spencer is known to make those who cross her wither with a single glance.
‘Hey sweetheart, come in, we're just wrapping up in here.' She gets up and envelops me in a warm hug. This is not what I expected. I've watched Brooke wreak havoc on the Forrester clan for decades. Wasn't I at least going to get a snappy one-liner for interrupting her glam session?
But this is not Brooke – it's Katherine Kelly Lang. We've watched her portray the fiery, fabulous Brooke on The Bold & The
Beautiful for 32 years, so it's little wonder we can't tell them apart. Along with John McCook (Eric Forrester), Katharine has been a fixture on the world's most-watched soapie since it first aired in 1987.
‘It was so magical,' says Katherine of her first time on set. ‘I never imagined I'd be there for so long. My first contract was for four years; at the time, that felt like forever.' Today, B&B is watched by 25 million viewers every day.
Before joining the soapie, Katherine had roles on TV's Happy
Days, Magnum P.I. and Masquerade and starred opposite Patrick Swayze in the roller-disco comedy,
Skatetown USA. Her California girl looks also secured her a spot in two Beach Boys music vids. But playing Brooke has been a special journey, she says.
‘I wouldn't want to play a goodietwo-shoes, that'd be too boring.'
‘I wouldn’t want to play a goodietwo-shoes – that’d be too boring.’
‘Brooke feels like a real person; she’s complicated. In her heart, Brooke means well. She does bad things, but she’s a good person. And she’s suffered the consequences of her mistakes. Brooke is so much more than her mistakes, though.’ ut who is Katherine away from Brooke and her love er, hexagons? ‘I love being a mom,’ she says. ‘I love spending time with my kids. I do triathlons as they empower me. I love feeling physically strong, and that motivates me to try harder and better myself. I also love to give back in any way I can.’
Katherine’s passion for philanthropy is personal. Her involvement in Breakaway From Cancer, a cancer awareness organisation, stems from losing her own father to colon cancer when she was just 13. Three of her grandparents also died of cancer, she says. ‘I love Breakaway because it’s not only about prevention and awareness, but it’s also about support and survivorship and walking people through the entire process from the time they are diagnosed. People need that kind of support.’
An accomplished athlete, Katharine has completed three Iron Man competitions. Recently she participated in the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in PE, and posted her fastest time ever for the marathon leg of the race – thanks in no small part to the support of her SA fans, she says.
‘So many people were standing along the sidelines shouting, “Go Brooke!”. You can’t exactly stop running and rest when so many
people are watching and cheering!'
Why does she think people keep tuning into B&B? ‘So many viewers tell us they don't want to lose the history and core storylines of the show,' she says.
Thousands of fans lined the streets of PE to welcome her when she landed, and her appearances across the country drew thousands more. When I tell her that Brooke Logan has found new resonance for millennial women as a sex-positive feminist icon, she laughs:
‘Really? You know, I try not to think about all the people who watch me, who watch the show every day. You get too in your own head.' atharine's been married twice before, and is in a long-term relationship with Dominique Zoida. ‘I feel lucky to have found someone like him,' she says. ‘When the two of us are together, we feel stronger. I really love his “take-things-in-hisstride”, positive personality.'
Away from the cameras, Katherine's latest role is that of grandmother to baby Zuma. ‘It's so wonderful, I just want to be home and watch her grow up and be part of her life,' she says. She is known to stop parents to coo over babies in supermarkets. ‘[My daughter] Zoe used to hate it. When she was about nine, she'd get really upset if I was giving attention to other babies. Now she's really happy that her mom is a “baby person”.'
Spending time with Zuma and her four children – Jeremy, Julian, Zoe and Danyelle – is a core part of her ‘me time'. The one lesson she hopes to impart to her kids is to find happiness. ‘If you're not happy with what you're doing in life, nothing else will be happy. I want them to surround themselves with positive influences, find their passion in life and be true to who they are.'