The Bold and the Beautiful’s Kiara Barnes: My love scenes are now with mannequins!

Kiara Barnes (right) pictured with her fellow cast members from The Bold and the Beautiful
Kiara Barnes (right) pictured with her fellow cast members from The Bold and the Beautiful

Kiara stars as Zoe Buckingham, the British beauty who gets into a love triangle with Xander Avent (Adain Bradley) and his girlfriend Emma Barber (Nia Sioux). Having had a brief fling with Xander while he was in London, Zoe is determined to win him back, and even manages to get a job as a model at Forrester Creations. Emma is not too happy about this, particularly when it seems that sparks are still flying between the two former flames. We won’t say much more about this, other than that it makes for a sizzling storyline that will have you gripped. Watch The Bold and the Beautiful on Eva (DStv channel 141).

 As if acting isn’t keeping Kiara busy enough (she’ll also be starring in a new series to be released this year, Stuck With You, and a TV movie called The Wrong Wedding Planner), she has also just released a new song, “Cowboy Princess”, that’s available for streaming on most music platforms.

 We spoke to her about how life on set has changed during Covid-19, what she loves about Zoe and her recently released music.

 What’s a typical day in your life like right now?

It's like the new normal now, I suppose. I think at first, the first few weeks back on set, it was like, whoa, this is a whole different territory. But The Bold and the Beautiful team did a really good job and kept in contact with us throughout quarantine so we would feel comfortable to return. And then, even before we showed up for our first week, we had a big Zoom meeting and talked about all the protocols. I guess it prepared us for what to expect.

What sort of things have changed?

We can't rehearse in each other's rooms like we used to because we have to be eight feet apart, even during a scene. In the beginning, it was a little difficult to get used to because you have to wear your mask between scenes. We've been going for a few weeks now and I'm kind of in the swing of it. It reminded me of when I first started working on The Bold and the Beautiful and they said: “Welcome to the show, here’s the first eight episodes to learn, have fun.” And I was like, wow, what is this? But it’s just like riding a bike, eventually you get the hang of it.

So your acting skills must be tested on a whole new level?

It's just a completely different ball game in terms of how you express yourself. There are, of course, certain scenes that call for us to be technically closer, especially those that involve a romantic interest. Now we get to use our acting abilities with mannequins!

With Covid happening, they are definitely trying to lessen the time of us being exposed to anyone even more
Kiara Barnes, Actress (plays Zoe on The Bold and the Beautiful)

That’s crazy. What’s it like?

Oh, yeah. It’s definitely a little challenging. The first time I did it, I was like: what's going on with this? It was very odd and so embarrassing. But luckily, we’ve all worked together for so long we are basically family and have seen it all. And you know what? I don't know how The Bold and the Beautiful editing team did it, but wow, holy cow. They did the playback for us and it looked seamless. So, it's been fun to say the least.

How long do you usually have to spend in hair and make-up, and how has this experience changed?

It’s totally changed. Pre-Covid we spent a fair amount of time in hair and makeup, although we have a really quick team, because they've been doing this for years and they know how fast soap opera works. We're always busting out maybe two to three episodes in a day. But with Covid happening, they are definitely trying to lessen the time of us being exposed to anyone even more. Of course, safety is number one for all of us. I invested in getting some custom wigs that look really natural. That way I can show up to set with my hair basically ready. My natural hair is very curly, very thick and very long, and it takes a squad of people to really style it.

What's your favourite thing about Zoe as a character?

Oh, I love Zoe, she is such fun. I really like her fiery passion. In the beginning, you’ll see she comes with guns blazing. She just has no filter, but we've toned it down a bit now. She's learned a few lessons. I like how confident she is. She just does what she wants to do. And she sees things for what they are. The only time she ever becomes a little bit docile or confused is when it’s anything to do with her father.

If you met her in real life, would you get on?

Yeah, I would get on with her. I think she's fun. I don't necessarily know if we would be hanging out all the time and we might not be best friends, but it would be fun to grab lunch with her every once in a while, and hear her crazy stories.

You've got such a convincing British accent that people can't actually believe you are American. Has that been hard?

You know, honestly, it wasn't hard at all. I don't know if it was just because I loved acting from a very young age and have always played around with accents. My grandmother's Irish as well. Adain, who is British, was very helpful and gave me lots of pointers.

Tell us all about your new song “Cowboy Princess”?

It’s not the first time I have dabbled in music – I recorded an EP a few years ago. I was messing around with a friend of mine recently and came up with this song and decided to record it and put it out there. I just felt, well, this makes me feel good, and I want to share it because it might make someone else feel good too. My style is a bit funky, a bit soul. I’m hoping to release another full EP in the fall.

Getting to know Kiara

Here are a few of the things that keep this bold and beautiful star smiling: 

Favourite snack I’m so bad – I love salt and vinegar chips. The more kettle cooked, the better. I also love kimchi. Salty food is just so good!

TV show (other than The Bold and the Beautiful) HBO’s Euphoria is absolutely stunning, from the cinematography to the soundtrack, directing, casting and acting. It’s just a fabulous show.

Song at the moment (other than yours) I’ve been listening to a lot of meditation and instrumental music, basically anything calm.

Perfume I don’t really have one. I just use a regular deodorant with a nice cedarwood mix.

Way to spend a Friday night Hanging out with my cat, Luna, at home. I love her to no end. So just watching Netflix, being with her and relaxing.

Day out Going to get a facial and a massage. Being treated is my perfect day.

Holiday destination I have family in Utah, and I love visiting them. We have two huskies who I love. Last Christmas, I went to Italy and that was fabulous, everyone was so nice I couldn’t believe it. I would love to go back. I haven’t been to Africa, but it is a dream of mine.

Superpower I’m conflicted. It would be nice to be able to time travel, to go into the future and see what is guaranteed and what I need to do, but that might make life a bit boring. Maybe just teleportation so I can get to places instantly and won’t have to wait for traffic or flights or anything like that.


Watch all new episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful weekdays on Eva (DStv channel 141) at 17:30 and 23:30 with a binge-worthy omnibus on Saturdays at 16:00 and Sundays at 23:00.

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