‘The Bold Type’ Series Finale Almost Ended Very Differently
SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the series finale of “The Bold Type,” which aired June 30 on Freeform.
Endings are hard. The penultimate season of “The Bold Type” — cut short by the pandemic — left Sutton Brady (Meghann Fahy) and Richard Hunter (Sam Page) in a difficult spot, disagreeing fundamentally on whether each wanted children following Sutton’s miscarriage. The final season appeared to be continuing down that path, with divorce on the table. But in the end, the fans got what they wanted.
“Yes, I always wanted kids,” Richard tells Sutton. “But I want you more.”
That conclusion almost didn’t happen, though.
“What ended up happening with Sutton’s storyline at the end — they rewrote it the night before we shot it,” Fahy told Variety in a Zoom interview alongside co-stars Katie Stevens and Aisha Dee, who play Jane Sloan and Kat Edison, respectively. “It was going to end very differently than it ended. And based on some conversations that I had had with them, and that Sam had had with them, they just kind of flipped it, which was really exciting, because it’s not something that I thought was going to happen… The night before, [to have] a huge storyline change is kind of unique. So it was exciting.”
“I remember that so well,” interjected Stevens to Fahy. “We were sitting in Aisha’s living room. I think it was all of us and Sam. And you got the call. And I just remember you being like, ‘What? Really?’”
Initially, the on-screen couple’s divorce was supposed to have been the final chapter to “Suttard,” as the pair is often referred to online.
“Ultimately, what was supposed to happen was Sutton and Richard don’t end up together,” said Fahy. “And then we sort of felt like that sucked. It didn’t feel very true to the way that we had built those characters and their relationship in all of the prior seasons. So they changed it, and then they did end up together. And that was such a satisfying thing for me, and for Sam, and I hope for the audience, too.”
Sutton and Richard aren’t the only characters that get their happy ending. Fans of the long-‘shipped “Kadena,” aka Kat and Adena, got a nod as the pair reunited toward the end of the finale.
Stevens further revealed that Jane and Ryan, aka Pinstripe (played by Dan Jeannotte), were supposed to have ended up together, had they been given the luxury of more time. Instead, in the finale, the pair of reporters run into each other in the lobby of the Scarlet magazine building, where the two chat as old friends might. Looking back, Stevens wishes the on-screen couple’s Season 4 split over Ryan’s dalliance had gone another way.
“We wished that if they did need to break up that it could have been over something else — maybe we were at Sutton’s wedding, and he didn’t believe in marriage,” said Stevens. “But I was so overjoyed that he even got to come back for just one little episode, because the writers had always said, ‘We’re gonna blow it up. But if we get like another season, we want you guys to end up together.’ But to be able to do that in a six-episode season, where the first half of that season I’m with my employee, isn’t really possible.”
Still, Stevens was happy that she and Jeannotte got to share that scene.
“I asked for that moment,” she said. “I really fought for Dan to come back because I thought it was important to Jane’s evolution and to where she started on the show.”
There are other stories the leading trio wish had made it to air, including Spice Girls dance routine that was choreographed (but not filmed). The bit was cut because the writers thought it didn’t make sense that the women would know a full choreographed dance to “Wannabe,” said Stevens.
“I was like, but no one cares,” she said. (“No one cares!” echoed Fahy.) “No one cares if that makes sense. They just want that content so I’m hoping they release that as some sort of like gift to all of us for five seasons. Release the tape.”
As for the surprise ending for Scarlet magazine — Jacqueline Carlyle naming Kat as her successor as editor-in-chief, not Jane! — that was not something Dee saw coming.
“To be honest, I was finding out once [the script] was in my inbox,” she said. “I liked the idea of just kind of being surprised.”
And alluding to the thoughts she had shared publicly last summer about the lack of diversity on the show, Dee added that “for my mental health, I have had to just kind of be like, this is not my responsibility to contribute much in terms of — the weight of that sometimes has gotten a little bit much for me, in terms of feeling very responsible for something that I don’t really have control over.”
Dee says she is glad she got to experience the finale that way, though she had been hoping to see Kat and Adena reunited and had heard chatter about her character heading to the top of the masthead.
“I heard rumors of the editor [position] and I was like, ‘You’re lying. It’s ridiculous.’ And the more episodes we got in our inbox, I was like, ‘Well, there’s no way. We’re not going to make this turn in an episode.’ And you know what? They didn’t do it in an episode, they did it in a scene. One scene.”
Stevens said “The Bold Type” writers had called her to ask what she made of the idea of Jane not becoming editor-in-chief of Scarlet, leading to some brainstorming. Originally, the finale script had Kat offering Jane an opportunity to stay at the magazine, which Jane winds up taking. But Stevens felt that it was important for Jane to “let go of that safety net and give herself over to spontaneity and not planning things, and seeing where life takes her.”
The abbreviated final season was an emotional one, filmed under the weight of a global pandemic.
“It was definitely really challenging, especially given that our job is to connect and be intimate,” said Dee. “I’ve lost count of the amount of episodes that have ended with a group hug, and we had to get special permission to hug.” For safety reasons, the actors were told to turn their faces in certain directions.
The cast and crew wrapped in April, when circumstances were still uncertain and Montreal, where the show is shot, remained in lockdown mode, preventing the cast from experiencing the city as they normally would.
“Summertime in Montreal under normal circumstances is just so magical,” said Fahy. “And some of my favorite memories are just the ones where the three of us were riding bikes around and stopping to get drinks at places and just being together.”
But Dee, Fahy and Stevens, who have become close friends in real life, were able to live in the same apartment building while filming, watching all the “Twilight” movies together and getting Dee, who is Australian, up to speed on “The Hills” and other guilty pleasure TV.
After filming their last scene in the famed Scarlet fashion closet, the trio took a beat to sit and share memories from the last five seasons with each other before the set was taken down.
“Thinking about stepping on another set and not having the people who know me the best and know how to pick me up on my bad days, or know that I’m having a bad day without me even having to say it — that’s a bond that is hard to create sometimes, especially on a new set,” said Stevens.
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