'The Bold Type': Katie Stevens Says She Can Relate to Jane's Insecurity Over Ryan's Infidelity (Exclusive)

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The Bold Type
Freeform

Tiny Jane has a lot on her plate.

With The Bold Type off and running on season 4, the main trio of Scarlet BFFs are juggling their personal lives along with their careers as best they can -- and Jane (Katie Stevens) is about to make a big decision regarding her future with best-selling author beau, Ryan (Dan Jeannotte), on Thursday's episode, titled "Marathon." Ever since Jane found out that Ryan drunkenly kissed another girl on his book tour, their relationship has come to a grinding halt -- and things aren't going to get any better without the couple airing out some uncomfortable truths.

"I thought it was really important to tell the story of somebody who is confronted with infidelity and chooses to stay, because there's a lot of truth for a lot of people," Stevens tells ET, adding that she's been cheated on in a past relationship. "I didn't want it to be the typical 'guy cheats on girl, girl wipes her hands clean of him,' because when you're in love with somebody, that becomes way more complicated. We're telling the story of how people sometimes make mistakes and sometimes people can learn from it and deserve forgiveness."

Then there's Jane's struggle to find her place in the new all-digital Scarlet magazine with Jacqueline (Melora Hardin) back at the helm, and her continuing BRCA journey. Like we said before, girl's got a lot to deal with. Ahead of Thursday's episode, Stevens spoke with ET about Jane and Ryan's complicated relationship status, why she empathizes with her character's internal conflict over Ryan's infidelity and more.

ET: Have you felt a creative spark this season on The Bold Type?

Katie Stevens: For sure. It's always something that, when you get more solidified in your characters and the more seasons you have, the more development you can have for each of the characters and really make them into people. Now, there's so much nuance to everything going on in their lives. You learn, you get more invested and for us, it's about telling those stories. I think this season becomes more personal for each character, too. It's not just about work and those aspirations, but it's also about their relationships, their personal lives and how those two things coincide.

What conversations did you have with the writers about what was important to you in exploring that balance between the personal and the professional with Jane?

With Jane this season, she has a lot of things going on with her relationship with Ryan. I thought it was really important to tell the story of somebody who is confronted with infidelity and chooses to stay, because there's a lot of truth for a lot of people. I wanted to tell that because I didn't want it to be the typical "guy cheats on girl, girl wipes her hands clean of him," because when you're in love with somebody, that becomes way more complicated. So we're telling the story of how people sometimes make mistakes and sometimes people can learn from it and deserve forgiveness. How do you come back?

Jane decided to take Ryan back. How do you think that road looks for them as they figure out how to move forward with this new reality?

I think that it's going to be hard. It's a constant journey with them. Anytime trust is broken between two people, especially when it is something so romantic, it's really hard to rebuild. But I think that it's really beautiful how you're going to see these two people really fight for that trust back, fight to be together again and get things back to the way that they were and come out the other end stronger because of it.

The Bold Type
Freeform

How has Jane changed in the aftermath of finding out that Ryan kissed another girl? Has she shifted her outlook on romance or relationships because of it?

Jane is the character who, in most aspects of her life, she wants to have control over everything. A lot of her story with work and romantically has been her learning to let go of that perfectionism and let go of her needs to control everything because there are so many things that are out of her control. I think that's the lesson that she's been learning in every aspect of her life and I think this happening leads her to see that relationships aren't going to be perfect and relationships are hard work just like anything else that's worth it in life. Jane's coming into her own and she's not seeking permission from anybody anymore. She was really trying to take ownership of her rights and her decisions. I'm really proud of that.

Did you speak to anyone who's been through a similar situation like Jane's or sought out personal stories?

I've been cheated on before, so I know. I knew I wasn't in love with the person, so for me, letting go of that was a little bit easier. But still, when there's a betrayal like that, it's way more complicated than people make it seem. You always like to think that you're going to be this empowered, "no one does that to me" kind of person and that you can just wipe your hands and do fine afterwards. But I think that especially when it comes to being with someone that you think is your person, it gets much more difficult to say goodbye. I think that it is a way stronger choice to follow what you think is right, rather than making a decision that's wrong for you based on what other people think.

And it's been a signature quality of The Bold Type to have Kat and Sutton there for Jane to lean on in these situations. What is your take on how the trio's friendship has evolved?

Our show doesn't even exist without the friendship of the three girls. That's our heart and soul and the core. And I mean, I've been best friends with the same two girls since I was six years old. I think that's a lot of cases in terms of female friendships. We find those people that you feel bonded to, and that bond doesn't break -- even from betrayals or things like that. If those people are meant to be a part of your life, we work through any and everything. TV has done a societal disservice by showcasing something other than that. People on TV are portrayed holding grudges and backstabbing each other and not communicating with one another. Aisha [Dee] and Meghann [Fahy] have become two of my best friends and we're like sisters; sometimes on our bad days, we bicker and we fight. But then we get with each other and we communicate what we're going through and we come out stronger at the other end. Our friendship really is reflected in the show, because we bring so much of ourselves and so much of our friendship and our banter with one another to our characters.

Plus, Sutton's newly engaged! How exciting is that?

It was so fun. I was actually planning my own actual wedding when we were shooting these episodes. It was really fun doing the whole wedding planning process onscreen during my actual one off-screen was so funny and cool. (Stevens married musician Paul DiGiovanni in October 2019.) My wedding was already basically planned when we were doing this, but Sutton's taste and what she wanted was very different from me and what I went for with my wedding. It was fun, because I got to talk with people when we were doing stuff. I was like, "Oh, well actually this is more so how that would happen." But there wasn't a ton of that, because Sutton's storyline moving forward is not just about her having a wedding. You guys will obviously see, but there's a lot more that is going to go into the story.

The Bold Type
Freeform

Now that Jacqueline's back at Scarlet, but running an all-digital version of the magazine, how has Jane's dynamic with Jacqueline shifted and evolved?

With the evolution of Jane especially, she came to Scarlet and Jacqueline was her idol and then she started working with Jacqueline. And her goal was to make Jacqueline be impressed with her and getting Jacqueline's approval. I think that now Jane is realizing that she has Jacqueline as a mentor no matter what. It's her job to own and be confident in what she brings to the table and what she can bring to a new Scarlet. Now moving forward, and with Jacqueline coming back, Jane isn't afraid to ask for the things that she wants and unafraid to pitch the stories that she feels passionate about. And Jacqueline, in turn, trusts Jane and trusts her vision and gives Jane the reigns to do her own stories.

Do you have a Jacqueline-esque mentor in your real life?

I'm going to sound like the most cliche human being, but my mom has always been that for me. My mom is a very strong, outspoken, kind, gets-the-job-done woman. And she raised me and my brother -- my parents are not in the industry at all, and [we] are both actors and we wanted to go after this crazy dream. We could have had parents who wanted us to be practical and choose something else. My mom has always taught us to be smart and to always have a plan, but to work hard for the things that we want and to not let people tell us no -- and to prove anybody who doubts us wrong. I've always had that cheerleader and not just my mom -- my mom obviously being a female figure, but also my dad. I'm very lucky to have really incredibly supportive, proud parents.

Can you share any statement storylines that you're excited about for the rest of this season?

You're going to see Jane go through some things with her BRCA status and touching a little bit more on that. You're going to meet her dad and her brothers, so you're going to get to see her family a little bit more and grasp an understanding of why Jane is the way she is. She wants to try to make a vertical at Scarlet happen and she's going to try to get that go-ahead from Jacqueline, but obviously, she's going to be faced with some conflict along the way. But yeah, you're going to see her take the reins on her life and make decisions for herself and her relationship and her health and her career.

The women on The Bold Type always have impeccable fashion, with Jane at the center of that. How has your personal style changed since playing Jane?

We get to talk a lot with the costumers and say the things that we're comfortable in, the parts of our bodies that we love, that we want to show off. And the costumers, in turn, also push us outside of our comfort zone. Me wearing things that are a little more revealing, I think, was the choice for me that I wanted Jane to be in. In a moment where she's getting her BRCA diagnosis and she's feeling a little uncomfortable in her skin and in her body, I wanted her to kind of own that and to be wearing things that push her outside of her comfort zone and make her feel sexy and confident. And I think her vulnerability is a strength. So, pushing into that through fashion is important.

The Bold Type airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Freeform.

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