It has been an honour to play Maya.” – Karla Mosley on playing daytime TV’s first transgender bride

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The Bold and the Beautiful star Karla Mosley has become a part of soap opera history. She spoke to TRUE LOVE in an exclusive interview.

When Karla Mosley first started out playing Maya seven years ago, she had no idea the road her character would take her down. But she had no qualms at all when the storyline was revealed. “It has been an honour to play Maya,” she says. “I was nervous when I was first told about the idea of her being transgender because it was important to me to do a good job, but it gave me the opportunity that so many artists long for: to work on a role that was well written and that I cared deeply about.”

For many years, Maya has been shaking up the lives of those around her, never one to shy away from trouble or cause a commotion. When her sister arrives on the scene and reveals that Maya had actually been born Myron and was transgender, there are gasps all around, not least from Rick Forrester (played by Jacob Young) who was dating the supermodel at the time.

Luckily everything turns out all right, and Karla goes on to play the first transgender bride ever on daytime TV, and she couldn’t be happier. “I am a strong believer in the need for diversity in our story telling,” she explains. “I love hearing about different cultures and life experiences because I feel that it enriches my life. So, to tell a story that was the first of its kind meant a lot to me.”

There’s lots to love about playing a character like Maya, and Karla most admires the fact that she is so strong. “She’s been through a lot in her life and still has a great sense of humour. She doesn’t give up.” But Maya also has her downside. “She can sometimes give away her power. I think she loves the idea of being wealthy and can compromise her own values for the pursuit of wealth and status,” says Karla.

In her personal life, the actor has also proved to be a talented musician, and back in the 90s used to perform with a group called Sugar Beats, their songs aimed specifically at children. She’s even performed a song on The Bold and the Beautiful for one of the Christmas episodes. “I love music,” she says. “It’s always been a part of my life, and is certainly a big part of my life with my daughter. I do believe that I’ll continue to sing and work on new projects over the next few years.”

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Her daughter Aurora was born in 2018, and has changed Karla’s life considerably,  influencing the way she sees the world. “Having a child has made me more focused. I strive to be as present as possible with her,” she says. “So, when I’m at work, I throw myself fully into that role. When I’m at home, I try to be fully steeped in mamahood. I know it doesn’t last forever, so I try to savour the moments.”

Having been in lockdown herself for quite some time over the pandemic when production had halted (it has now resumed), Karla has had more time to spend with her daughter, but didn’t spend much time sitting still. “Free time is hard to come by, but I try to get out into nature and move,” she says. “I also have a production company (1:1 Productions) and two theatre companies that keep me very busy. Creating and producing brings me a lot of joy.”

Giving to others is something else that brings Karla joy, and she is well-known for her philanthropic work. She was also part of a festival and fundraiser to amplify Black voices in light of the Black Lives Matter protests in the US. “Service work is grounding for me. I always try to ask myself what I have to give, and then go share those things with others,” she says. “This year I was working weekly doing improvisation and writing with High School students in an alternative High School. Currently, I’m producing a monthly show on Instagram that provides a platform for professionals and community members to perform together.”

She has some wise words for South African women during these difficult times. “Draw on the wisdom of your ancestors and take care of yourself. As women we carry so much. I’ve been thinking a lot about my aunts, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers: What would they want me to know now? What wisdom would they have to share? What would they want me to do differently?”

The Bold and the Beautifulis on weekdays on Eva (DStv channel 141) at 17:30 and 23:30, with an omnibus on Saturdays at 16:00 and Sundays at 23:00.

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