John McCook has been playing the role of patriarch Eric Forrester on The Bold and The Beautiful since the show debuted 35 years ago. The soap legend, who is up for this year's Best Lead Actor Award at the 2022 Daytime Emmy's, is in shock at the show and his character's longevity but ultimately grateful and remains inspired. When he first landed the role, he never imagined he'd be on the air this long.
"I knew the show would run five years or so. The show that was there in our time slot and in our studio was there for five years, and then was gone. So, my wife's comment when I was reticent to do it, she said, 'If it fails, it'll run for five years,'" McCook told Entertainment Tonight. "It's a good job, and I knew that. I mean, I had done Young and the Restless before, so I knew that it was a good job and it had good bones. It had Bill Bell and Brad Bell and CBS. It was solid, to begin with, and had a good -- Susan Flannery was the leading lady. I was paired with her and that was solid. So, I trusted that it would run for five or 10 or 15 years and so, now, it's 35. It's cool, very cool."
He has absolutely no plans of slowing down anytime soon. Despite recently turning 78, he joked that he'll have to be fired in order to leave the show. "My wish, my selfish wish, is that I can do this job until they don't want me anymore, until I don't want to," McCook said honestly. "I don't want to get to a point where I can't remember lines anymore. Or I can't do the job. I want to stay healthy enough and well enough, even 10 more years or 20 more years. To stay there, that's my wish for me, personally."
McCook told PopCulture.com ahead of the Emmy Awards that his favorite part about his long-term gig is the consistency. "I like that I'm getting to go to the same dressing room for the last 35 years," he said with a smile. "I like that it's comfortable there and that I have enough room for people to come in and sit and rehearse, so we can rehearse in my room. It's big enough for five or six people in a scene, and it's comfortable and all my stuff is around. So I don't feel like I'm going to work, I feel like I'm going from this home to that one, and then coming back here. So, that's what I love about it.