EXCLUSIVE: 'The Bold Type' Star Reveals Why the Freeform Drama Is Summer's Best-Kept Secret
By Philiana Ng
The Bold Type is about to be your newest summer obsession.
Inspired by the life of former Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Joanna Coles, Freeform’s newest series -- created by Parenthood writer Sarah Watson -- follows three fearless young women -- best friends Jane (Katie Stevens), Kat (Aisha Dee) and Sutton (Meghann Fahy) -- who are at the beginning of their careers at the fictional women’s lifestyle magazine, Scarlet. As they struggle to balance friendships, maintain love lives and attempt to move up in the cutthroat world of publishing, it all may be more than they bargained for.
For actor Sam Page, who plays Sutton’s much older (secret) lawyer boyfriend, Richard, the intrigue surrounding the female-led drama made joining the show one of the easiest career decisions he’s made. A self-proclaimed fan of Parenthood, Page recalled watching the entire series with his now-wife and recognized Watson’s name, immediately intrigued by The Bold Type’s prospects.
“What I really liked is what Richard did in the end [of the first episode], when Sutton confronts him and says, ‘I want more,’ and he says, ‘Yeah,’” Page tells ET of their hush-hush relationship. “It was great to play that character who was on board with exploring that relationship. That’s what really drew me to the show.”
The Mad Men alum confesses he wouldn’t have given the project another look had his character backed away from a serious romantic commitment at that moment. “To play that kind of cliché, I would not have been interested at all,” the 40-year-old actor admits.
“It’s an interesting basis for the star-crossed lover situation,” Page says of the romantic entanglements between his character, who works for Scarlet's publishing group, and Sutton, a career assistant. “They shouldn’t be together. It’s very dangerous professionally for them to be together, but they still want to be together because they care for each other. That was something I was interested in exploring.”
Page notes the chemistry with Fahy was almost immediate, crediting why he feels their characters work well onscreen. “A lot has been said about the chemistry of the two characters and I think the chemistry is two people who are able to relax into the characters around each other on-camera, where nothing feels forced,” he says, adding that it’s “always so much fun working with her because she’s such a good scene partner.”
Though viewers haven’t yet scratched the surface on who Richard is beyond his relationship with Sutton, Page coyly hints that there are some unexpected twists and turns along the way.
“I have been surprised by how it’s gone,” he previews, teasing that Richard has a “surprisingly active role” in all of the characters’ storylines. “There are hints at a previous relationship -- on a personal level -- between [Scarlet editor-in-chief] Jacqueline [Carlyle] (played by Melora Hardin) and Richard. She’s one of the reasons he works at the publishing company. It’s been mentioned but it hasn’t been explored yet -- it may be a season two thing.”
Speaking more specifically to his character’s traits, Page says he respects that Richard has a “strong moral compass” -- even though he and Sutton are essentially living with a secret. “They’re not lying to anybody and I’ve had a lot of fun bringing a playfulness to Richard. It’s been fun playing one of two characters who just enjoys being around each other, even though there is a fun danger.”
The Bold Type makes its two-hour premiere Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Freeform.