that’s gotta HURT!

ABC Soaps In Depth - - Feature Interview - — Amy Helmes

It’s only been a lit­tle over six months since THE BOLD & THE BEAU­TI­FUL’s Dol­lar Bill al­most met his maker af­ter be­ing shot in the back by un­hinged psy­chi­a­trist Tay­lor. Now, he’s back in a hos­pi­tal bed, hav­ing tum­bled over the bal­cony of his own man­sion fol­low­ing a tus­sle with Ridge and Thorne ear­lier this month. His por­trayer, Don Di­a­mont, ad­mits he’s gen­er­ally not so en­thu­si­as­tic about be­ing laid up in more hos­pi­tal-bed scenes of late. “It’s not my fa­vorite, no,” he says. “Although not hav­ing to wear the in­tu­ba­tion tube this time around makes it much more tol­er­a­ble.”

The ac­tor did, how­ever, rel­ish the scenes that landed his al­ter ego in such a dicey po­si­tion. Get­ting to tape an all­out brawl with co-stars Thorsten Kaye (Ridge; Zach, ALL MY CHIL­DREN) and Ingo Rademacher (Thorne; ex-Jax, GEN­ERAL HOS­PI­TAL) proved a real adren­a­line rush! “It’s not un­like what you might feel dur­ing an

ac­tual fight,” he ex­plains. “There’s a cer­tain real ten­sion that goes along with it. You want it to look good, but of course, you also want to make sure no­body re­ally gets hurt.”

Bat­tling Broth­ers

Though Ridge and Thorne have teamed up to put Bill in his place, Di­a­mont says his char­ac­ter’s an­tipa­thy for the two men dif­fers. “Bill’s got more of a ha­tred for Ridge, but when it comes to Thorne, it’s more like pure dis­dain,” says the ac­tor. “He just thinks Thorne is pa­thetic, though there has been a cer­tain de­gree of anger to­ward him for be­ing com­plicit in [keep­ing him from his son Will]. Bill be­lieves Thorne is the one who re­ally turned [his ex-wife] Katie against him.”

That cus­tody bat­tle has been a sto­ry­line Di­a­mont’s en­joyed play­ing, as it has re­ally left Bill pow­er­less in more ways than one. “He didn’t hold the cards when it came to that court de­ci­sion. The stakes were very high, and he was not in con­trol of the sit­u­a­tion, no mat­ter how much he tried to be in con­trol of it,” he says. “It was pretty in­tense for him, so I liked that.”

A Sec­ond Chance At Love?

One light in the midst of Bill’s re­cent dark days has been Brooke’s clan­des­tine sup­port of her ex-hus­band, a fact that’s given him rea­son to hope he has a shot at win­ning her back. In ad­di­tion to be­ing the ul­ti­mate pay­back against Ridge, Bill now re­al­izes that he never got over his love for the blonde. “When Brooke walked out on him [the last time they were mar­ried], he re­ally went off course and sort of spi­raled,” says Di­a­mont. “It wasn’t that Bill didn’t love Brooke af­ter that, but he had to just put those feel­ings away. In truth, those feel­ings still lived in him.”

When­ever Bill hits a nadir in his life, he tends to grav­i­tate to­ward any­one who is will­ing to stand by him and of­fer their sup­port, adds the ac­tor. “So when he re­al­ized the neg­a­tive im­pact of his be­hav­ior to­ward St­effy, when he lost his kid and ev­ery­one’s re­spect, and Brooke was there for him — be­liev­ing in him — that reawak­ened those feel­ings that were al­ways un­der the sur­face.”

Strong-Man Strug­gles

The past year has been a tu­mul­tuous one for the mighty Dol­lar Bill. For as of­ten as we’ve seen him full of bel­liger­ence and mal­ice, he’s been equally vul­ner­a­ble and con­trite. “He’s an emo­tion­ally chal­lenged per­son,” Di­a­mont freely con­cedes. “He wres­tles with who he is and how suc­cess­ful he’s been at be­ing who he is, yet for all his bravado, I think there’s a cer­tain self-loathing that goes along with it.”

It’s easy to si­mul­ta­ne­ously love and de­spise this larger-than-life per­sona, which may be why Brooke finds her­self some­how newly drawn to her bad-boy ex. “He al­ways gen­uinely be­lieves he is do­ing the right thing, or at least that the ends jus­tify the means,” says the ac­tor. “He’s con­stantly try­ing to prove him­self, but his in­se­cu­ri­ties and doubts fre­quently get the bet­ter of him and com­pro­mise his judg­ment.”

“We let the stunt guys [do the dan­ger­ous stuff], but there’s still a lot of wrestling and [pre­tend­ing to] throw punches,” says Di­a­mont, with his stunt dou­ble for a re­cent fight scene be­tween Bill, Thorne and Ridge.

“I would ar­gue that Bill and [his lawyer/pal] Justin are the real su­per­cou­ple,” Di­a­mont says with a laugh. “He’s prob­a­bly Bill’s true love!”

“He’s great,” says the ac­tor of his new “son,” Fin­negan Ge­orge (Will). “A lot of peo­ple on set call him Finn, but I like Fin­negan my­self. I think he’s do­ing a ter­rific job.”

“I’m known as the baby whis­perer in my fam­ily,” says Di­a­mont, who had no prob­lem keep­ing B&B’s “Baby Kelly” con­tent intheir re­cent scenes.

Bill was will­ing to step up and fa­ther his grand­son.

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