Maeve Quinlan Discusses the Impact of Playing Powerful Women

Maeve Quinlan had a phenomenal start to her acting career with an enviable 12 year tenure on The Bold and The Beautiful. It’s an experience that she still cherishes to this day.  “My time on The Bold and The Beautiful was truly one of my most favorite experiences/jobs as an actress on a long running series. The fact that on a series you are a family, you look out for each other, that your crew, your writers, craft service, wardrobe/hair/makeup…just everyone is a part of that family. The Bell Family (who created/own/produce the series) are just class acts. What incredible producers and what an impactful example they set for all who work for them and with them. We are all still family today despite the fact that some of us went on to other shows and are no longer there. That was absolutely my most favorite job I’ve ever been on. If they asked me to come back I would jump at the opportunity. Those were some of my happiest years as a professional actor. I would get chills each day pulling into the gates of CBS Television City. All the legendary TV shows that were shot on that lot in those soundstages would flash before my very eyes as I walked down the hallway to my dressing room. I cannot say enough about my experience on that show and the people that worked there. It was 12 of the best years of my life. Additionally, we had the best fans any show could ask for. Few people realize that The Bold and The Beautiful is the most watched show in the world, not just as a soap – the most watched show. It airs in over 110 countries. It’s a global phenomenon far larger than the soap opera it is here in the States, most especially in Italy where at times we needed bodyguards because of the popularity. I still consistently interact with and hold dear to my heart my B & B fans through social media (Facebook/Instagram/Twitter …my social media accounts are @maevequinlan across all social media outlets and also the video request app Cameo. I love being one-on-one with my fans. The fans are one of the most important members of your television family. An actor should never forget that. I truly have The Bold and The Beautiful to thank for everything in my career and the family I still have to this day because of it. The family we formed there at The Bold and The Beautiful is lifelong. I have B & B to thank for my work ethic, my discipline, my on-set demeanor, my mindset and all of my television success. Truly.”

Talking to Maeve, you get the sense that she truly relishes her craft. Her process of transformation is incredibly detail oriented. “I think the most exciting and magical thing about being an actor is the ability to transport yourself entirely into another world, to transform yourself into another person and to express yourself in such a widespread variety and freedom of ways that is so far removed from your own character. Acting is like a built-in therapy of sorts to just be utterly free. You have free association that’s firmly rooted in a character you have created.I studied extremely hard during my training how to utterly transform oneself into someone so far removed from one’s own character. I appreciate people seeing the versatility in my work as I purposefully choose roles that stretch me as an actor to continue to be a versatile performer. From drama to thrillers to comedies, I love to immerse myself in the entire process of transforming myself. I learned so much from my training at USC and then took it to a different level with my years and years with iconic drama coach Ivana Chubbuck (whose other students include Charlize Theron, Halle Berry  and Brad Pitt to name a few). My process starts with a journal and it starts far earlier than our first rehearsal. I take the information I am given from the script and the description of this character, I take the information I am given with my conversations prior to shooting with the director and then I literally begin forming a life for this ‘person’ I am creating. I will write it all down. My life story as this character, my heartaches, my fears, my favorite food, my secrets, my dreams, who or what that has hurt me, what I’m longing for in love, etc etc etc. I sit for hours and I work on it for days and days. I then begin to understand better who this person is and she begins to take shape. I am a huge believer in the art of observing people, like strangers on planes, trains, and restaurants. I observe mannerisms, ticks, books they read, how they dress. I also usually take pieces of people I personally have known or know of who are similar to this character I have created whose memory could further inspire me and help me react as this character accordingly, such as reactions, tones, patterns of speech, etc. When I play a villian, I usually have a specific person in real life in mind not to model myself after but to learn from. How they react in a similar situation is usually a go-to question for me to answer. In comedy, I have a less detailed process as I personally need to rely on being completely out of my head and just listen and react from moment to moment. Then when I finally get to the wardrobe department, this ‘character’ begins to truly come to life. That holds true for each day I come on set to shoot. Once I have my wardrobe on, I truly FEEL like the character. I also try to find at least one thing I like about myself as that character. That is the trick to playing a villain, Sir Anthony Hopkins once said.

She gravitates towards playing women who are impactful. “My favorite roles to play are those of women who, for bad or worse, make a difference. I lean toward strong, tough, opinionated characters who aren’t afraid of anyone. Some of the most fun roles to play are that of the villain, the ‘super bitch,’ the woman people are scared of. You get all of the best lines when you play the villain and it’s just so fun to play someone who walks around life not giving a damn, who says whatever is in her head, who doesn’t care about consequences. That is so far from who I am as a person that it’s truly an escape to play that type of character. I also look to play roles of women who are kind, compassionate but their journey always ends with them being triumphant and strong, making a difference, whether it’s good or bad. It’s just so freeing and wild to be able to deep dive into another person’s psyche through the character written down on paper and then journey through your job, which is bringing that character to life. I therefore look for roles I can have fun with and roles that I submerge my entire self into. I pinch myself every day that this is what I do for a living.”

It’s nearly impossible to count the number of upcoming projects Maeve has on the horizon! “I am SO excited about the projects I have coming up. First up is my upcoming movie, Fit To Kill, directed by the incredible David Benullo, brilliantly cast by casting director Jeff Hardwick and gorgeously produced by Dawn’s Light Media. It will be airing on Lifetime this April. We are extremely fortunate that Lifetime decided to distribute. It’s such a fun movie. I get to play the most insane and complicated character I have yet to play in my entire career, Claudia Moreau. We also shot that movie on location which is something I always love. This particular shoot was in Boston and it was just amazing to thoroughly explore such a magnificent and historical city. That movie was just such a blast to shoot that I can’t wait to share it with everyone. If I were to describe the movie, I would say it’s a delicious combination of Devil Wears Prada with a dose of Mommy Dearest within it. I cannot wait for this movie to hit. It’s one of the most fun transformations I have made into a character, I think to date. My other project I have coming out is a romantic comedy feature film called Our Almost Completely True Love Story. which premieres this month at the historic Mann’s Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Blvd, a venue that always gives me chills  to this day. We are currently in 11 Film Festivals and have won 6 awards to date.  I’m thrilled to be a part of such a fun project with such an incredible director, Don Scardino, and actor/producers Mariette Hartly and Jeff Sroka. Additionally, I have 5 projects in development that my producing partner, Alexia Melocchi, Studio Films & I are producing. First one to go into pre-production shortly, is an adorable Christmas rom-com starring Jonathan Silverman and myself directed by Lane Shefter Bishop. It’s an inspiring holiday soon-to-be classic that’s not only about finding love but also about second chances. It also marks the third time Jonny and I will be playing husband and wife in a Christmas movie. I absolutely adore him, both as a ridiculously talented actor and also as a person. Jonny is truly like a brother to me and acting opposite him is seamless and also a gift. Little known fact, Jonny is an ordained minister who is marrying my fiancé and me and additionally his gorgeous wife, Jennifer Finnigan (besties since our days on B & B) is one of my very best friends, will be one of my bridesmaids. The two of them and their daughter are family to me. Lastly, my @maeveintoxicatingbeauty beauty & lifestyle blog/shop on Insta/Facebook is one of the most exciting and rewarding ventures. I discuss everything from my beauty routine and products (you can purchase most of my favorite products online through my social sites) to my exercise routines (my favorite athleisure wear is available on my site), to the importance of my mental wellness practices. I even discuss the honest challenges a woman faces midway through life including menopause, hormones, the adjustments of empty nesting and the challenges of having aging parents. The other offshoot of my Maeve Intoxicating Beauty brand is the upcoming development of my MIB Line which will be just a few supplemental products I feel are important to beautiful skin longevity that will go along tremendously well with the skin care routine I swear by, Rodan + Fields. You can buy Rodan + Fields directly through me via @maeveintoxicatingbeauty on Instagram/Facebook and @maevebeauty on Twitter where you can find/purchase my favorite beauty products, my favorite health product supplements and even my favorite athleisure line. My social media sites will house my upcoming MIB supplemental skin products as well. I’m really excited about this venture. Please follow me.”

Thrillers speak to Maeve the most because of the escapism.”I think it’s because I love that genre of thrillers myself as a viewer. I always have, even when I was a little girl. I remember at the young age of 6 or 7 watching a soap opera called Dark Shadows. I’d watch black and white reruns of The Twilight Zone and old scary movies such as Frankenstein. Thrillers are a complete escape. For the most part, all thrillers end up okay in the end. Despite what has happened, the good guy usually always wins in the end. I just love the complete escape that comes with a thriller. Then again, I love rollercoasters and scary stuff in general. It’s just pure entertainment to watch and it’s just so entertaining to make.” She relished working with Revell Carpenter on Fit To Kill. “I had SO much fun working with Revell, not only as an actor but as a person. We just had such a blast and immediately clicked both on and off set. Revell Carpenter, I believe, is one of the most exciting, up and coming young actresses on the horizon right now. She is working non-stop. We additionally have so much in common, in some cases our commonality surprised even us. For instance, we were both shocked to learn that we both ironically played serious national and international competitive tennis growing up and prior to our acting careers. Furthermore, her mom was also a national competitor in her day and competed against one of my best friends and my ‘big sister,’ tennis legend Chrissie Evert. Despite the obvious age difference, Revell and I became fast besties on that shoot. That bond we formed was so instrumental in the trust we felt on set acting opposite each other. We had some severely tough, raw and emotional scenes together. We had to trust each other to the degree we did or we never could have dug as deep as we did in our performances to bring what was needed to the screen. I just adore Revell and she was just a dream to work with all the way around.” The caliber of talent on set was unmatched. “I think I’m most proud of two things. One aspect I contributed to and one had nothing to do with me at all. First, I am most definitely proud of the level of acting that the lead actors brought to the table in this film. It’s an intense movie with loads of twists and turns and these actors took you on a ride and a journey and we all were just invested as heck in our roles in order to do so. The second thing I’m so proud of, which obviously has zero to do with me, is our director David Benullo. His directing is superb. He knows how to talk to an actor to get the best performance out of them when he directs. Not all directors have that unique talent. And what I’m super proud of, which again has nothing to do with me, is how David shot this film. It’s cinematically moody and breathtaking, much like how director Brian De Palma shoots. Each shot is just so cool in this movie. David perfectly captures the mood, the mystery and the excitement through the lens.”

Maeve is also a fierce advocate for ovarian cancer awareness. “Ovarian cancer research and awareness is a cause that is dear to my heart and is personal to me.  My mother is a 25 year survivor of ovarian cancer and one of my best friends on earth, tennis legend Chrissie Evert is presently, successfully battling this silent disease right now. Ovarian cancer has often been referred to as the silent cancer, reason being is that ovarian cancer often has no symptoms in the early stages and sadly, often by the time symptoms arise, the cancer is in the late stages. The additional difficulty detecting this cancer is that these symptoms are usually non-specific such as loss of appetite, weight loss and bloating. What triggered my Mom who was 3rd Stage and on the cusp of 4th and final stage, was the extreme fatigue. But everything I just mentioned we can all easily pass off as just having the flu or something else that seems logical. Abdominal, pelvis or lower back pain are another symptom of Ovarian Cancer that you may not initially tie to cancer in your mind. The key to all of it and why I am so passionate about ovarian cancer research and awareness as being one of my top causes is early detection. Never miss your annual gynecology appointment and never be delayed in getting your annual pap smear. Know your family history well and find out if it or breast cancer runs in your family. If it does, get the BRCA test to see if you carry the gene, just like my brave friend Chrissie did after losing her sister recently to the disease. That test literally saved her life because she did carry it and the cancer cells were already forming. If not for that test, she may have caught it way too late. The other important thing to do is to know your body well. Know and pay attention to every aspect of your body so that if you get bloating, the back pain, the loss of appetite, you perhaps might recognize it as something your body doesn’t collectively do. The other thing is to eat a very healthy diet full of colorful veggies and fruits, lean protein and above all limit your alcohol use. That is crucial for a woman, particularly during menopause and after. Lastly, talk about it, learn about it, share about it. Be aware. It is a silent disease both in how it manifests and also I believe awareness is still too silent in regard to it. That is why about a decade ago I took time off my producing part of my career to help launch, and later expand into chains such as Target etc., an energy drink for women called Go Girl Energy Drink. I took producing temporarily off my plate in 2012 for this brand because it was, at the time, the only energy drink specifically for women, was loaded with vitamins, and also gave back to breast and ovarian cancer research with each can sold, all year round. It’s this type of awareness we need more of. Although my busy schedule with acting, producing, and a wedding coming up can no longer facilitate my time in the beverage world any longer, I still very much support that brand and make it a point to buy any product I see that gives a portion of profits to ovarian cancer research and awareness. I also attend and participate in all fundraisers for ovarian cancer Research/Awareness that I can. Early detection, awareness, fundraising, talking about it with your friends and above all being religious about your annual pap smears needs to be a priority for all women. We can fight this silent disease together by doing all of that.”

She has many, many reasons to look forward to the future. “In addition to my upcoming projects I previously mentioned, the other venture I have coming up is I’m getting married to an amazing man, Derek Chatterton. I won the lottery of love when I met him. We were truly made for each other. It’s a second marriage for both of us and I’m so blessed to additionally be becoming a stepmom to his three amazing boys. We were supposed to be married on August 16, 2020 but the pandemic took care of all of that. Since then we’ve just decided to coast a little bit and make sure this pandemic is gone for good and masks and social distancing will no longer be needed. We’ve kept thinking that would be the case so many times in the past 2 years, but then so many times the guidelines were back to being strict. I have a 98 year old mother to be careful about so we definitely are taking out time now to make sure the situation for our wedding will be safe and right. I suppose we could just do an intimate and small wedding to take care of that but Derek and I feel after the last 2 years of this pandemic, we all deserve something to celebrate and we have so many wonderful friends with whom we want to share our special day. In addition to the movie Jonny and I are producing and starring in, I have 4 other movies and limited series in development. I can’t discuss any of them yet, but my producing partner Alexia Melocchi and I are an amazing team. These projects we have are all very different but one thing they have in common is the fact that they are about strong women making a difference in the world. All of them. ” It’s safe to say Maeve is one of those women.

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Maeve Quinlan Discusses the Impact of Playing Powerful Women. Photo Credit: Dean Foreman.


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