On Friday’s episode of The Bold and the Beautiful, Rick Forrester (Jacob Young) is ready to marry Maya Avant (Karla Mosley) – but first, she wants to come clean about a secret she’s been holding onto for years: She is transgender.
PEOPLE spoke to Mosley about filming the groundbreaking moment – and what’s next for her character.
How was it preparing for this pivotal scene?
This is the scene, I think, we’ve all been preparing for – both as actors and as an audience. What will Rick’s reaction be? So, as a performer, I worked on two levels. First, I went back to the words of people who have been through it. Deciding when to disclose during dating and how to do it in a way that is both safe and responsible for all parties is a common question for transgender people.
This is the first time Maya has chosen to disclose to someone she loves, so the stakes were very high. I was interested in how people felt in the moments before sharing and while sharing something so vulnerable. Then, I thought about Maya and her relationship with Rick. The beauty of soap operas is that we live with these characters every day, so there is an entire emotional life and history to draw upon. Ultimately Maya trusts Rick, she loves him enough to risk everything – including letting down some of the walls she’s built up to protect herself – in order to be with him in a healthy way.
How have fans reacted to this storyline?
The fans have been incredible. Every day I receive more and more comments from people whose hearts are opening to Maya and her story. They say things like, “I’m learning things about trans people and it’s making me think about that community in a way I hadn’t before.” Or, “I’ve always disliked Maya,” – because Maya is a character we love to hate – “but my heart is breaking for her. I hope Rick and Maya stay together.” The positive responses far outweigh anything else and that makes me feel hopeful and humbled.
What you most looking forward to as this storyline plays out?
I’m most looking forward to the story hitting other countries. We play in over 100 countries and I can’t wait to hear from fans all over the world as Maya’s truth is revealed. It’s a beautiful story, and I’m so proud of the way our show is choosing to tell it.
The Bold and the Beautiful airs weekdays at 1:30 p.m. ET on CBS.
• Reporting by LYNETTE RICE