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

When it comes to his friend­ship with Dol­lar Bill, there are few things THE BOLD & THE BEAU­TI­FUL’s Justin won’t do. Whether dump­ing some­one from a he­li­copter into the Per­sian Gulf or ap­ply­ing lip­stick on him­self in or­der to stage a fake tryst, Justin is al­ways game (how­ever re­luc­tantly) to help pull off his pal’s egre­gious dirty tricks. His por­trayer, Aaron D. Spears, ac­knowl­edges that it’s not al­ways easy for Justin to abide by Bill’s wishes, but at the end of the day, he has his back. Why? For Spears, the an­swer is sim­ple. “If you can’t count on your friend, then are they re­ally your friend?” he won­ders. “Justin’s tone is usu­ally, ‘I don’t like it, but if you want that done… ? Okay.’”

That’s not to say the lawyer won’t try to con­vince his mega­lo­ma­ni­a­cal buddy to see the er­ror of his ways. “A friend is that per­son who will tell you, ‘You have a booger in your nose,’ or ‘Your breath is kick­ing — have a mint!’” Spears chuck­les, “so Justin will check the hell out of Dol­lar Bill, but if Bill doesn’t want to lis­ten to the les­son Justin ver­bally tries to of­fer, then maybe he needs to feel the les­son in the form of con­se­quences.”

Dou­ble Trou­ble

Though orig­i­nally cast as Donna’s for­mer high school sweetheart, Spears’ role quickly mor­phed into be­ing Bill’s right-hand man.

“Who knew that bro­mance would take on a life of its own?” says the ac­tor, who’s thrilled to have been back on con­tract full-time for the past year. Work­ing with some­one as dy­namic and off the cuff as Don Di­a­mont (Bill) takes an ac­tor who isn’t afraid to dance the same dance, so to speak, and Spears has filled that niche nicely for nearly a decade. “Don brings so much to that char­ac­ter, and the show gives him a lot of free­dom, so you’ve got to be able to jump into that play­ground, to be free and mal­leable,” says Spears.

It doesn’t hurt, of course, that Spears and his co-star get on like gang­busters off screen. “We both have the same type

of per­son­al­ity. We’re jokesters, and any- one who comes on set with us knows we have fun,” he says.

Can He Be Trusted?

Last spring, view­ers found them­selves won­der­ing whether Justin might ul­ti­mately be ca­pa­ble of be­tray­ing Bill when he was short-listed as a po­ten­tial cul­prit in the “Who shot Bill?” sto­ry­line. Though that turned out to be a red her­ring, Spears says it did make him won­der whether his al­ter ego could ever turn on his tyran­ni­cal em­ployer. “I’d like to think he would never be­tray Bill, but greed can get the best of any­one,” he notes. “If Justin ever did be­tray him, he’d only be do­ing what Bill has taught him for all th­ese years. It wouldn’t be per­sonal — it would just be busi­ness!”

As for whether we’ll ever get to see more of Justin out­side of the Spencer of­fices, Spears says he’s cer­tainly game for any­thing. “I al­ways say the most amaz­ing thing about Justin is that he has so many di­rec­tions he could go in,” says the ac­tor. Not only is Justin a bil­lion­aire’s right­hand man, but he’s Donna’s ex-hus­band, cousin to THE YOUNG & THE REST­LESS’s Olivia and Dru­cilla, and the un­cle of For­rester in­tern Emma. “In that re­spect, he has the most amaz­ing out­line of any char­ac­ter on the show,” says Spears, “So the frame­work is def­i­nitely there if they wanted to fill it in!”

“He’s def­i­nitely go­ing to make sure no­body messes with her,” Spears says of Justin’s pro­tec­tive­ness to­ward his niece, Emma.

“I was happy to hear Jen­nifer [Gareis, Donna] was back,” says the ac­tor of his for­mer B&B mis­sus. “We’re al­ways crack­ing jokes and act­ing crazy. We’re off the wall.”

“Justin’s got a man for ev­ery­thing,” quips the ac­tor of his al­ter ego’s con­nec­tions. “If you need some­body to cap­tain a sub­ma­rine… just let Justin know!”

“Justin does have an of­fice,” notes Spears, who is typ­i­cally only seen in Dol­lar Bill’s CEO suite. “I think we’ve only seen it twice, but I was in there once when Justin and Donna were mar­ried and once when Wyatt came to con­front me about tak­ing over Spencer Pub­li­ca­tions.”

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