There are just two episodes left to air of The Bold Type, now in its fifth and final season. To celebrate the completion of the Freeform series, the cast and showrunner returned to the ATX Television Festival where the show premiered for a conversation about wrapping things up. Panelists included Katie Stevens (Jane Sloan), Aisha Dee (Kat Edison), Meghann Fahy (Sutton Brady), Melora Hardin (Jacqueline Carlyle), Stephen Conrad Moore (Oliver Grayson) and Wendy Straker Hauser (Showrunner/EP).
“I think the hardest thing was that it was six [episodes] and that two of them had already been half-shot,” showrunner Wendy Straker Hauser explained. The production was shut down due to the pandemic and by the time it resumed, they were told this season would be the show’s last. “We were so excited to have the opportunity to wrap it up and then it was like, ‘Oh my God, we really only have four episodes to wrap it up.’” For that reason, they decided not to introduce any new story arcs and focus on wrapping them all up. “I’m savoring it in this very moment, we’re cutting the finale right now.”
Resuming production in Canada means that the cast was leaving behind their family and friends for the fifteen-week shoot. “Nobody tells you not to hang out with each other outside, but it is a pressure for the actors,” Katie Stevens revealed. “We have to be the most careful about not going anywhere, not doing anything because if one of us gets sick, the whole production shuts down.” Safety protocols included rehearsals with face coverings through plexiglass dividers. “It just felt like I didn’t really get to do the scene until we filmed,” Stephen Conrad Moore added, saying that it ended up being a blessing in disguise because it made the real takes more fresh. Another major change to filming included the introduction of “Kiss guards,” a device the actor with their back to the camera wore for any kissing scenes in the season. But in the end, viewers might not realize that extra safety measures were in place behind the scenes.
Part of the reason audiences have connected so much with The Bold Type is that it has tackled some major issues, oftentimes right before they become movements that inspire the nation. “We’ve had the most amazing writers room year after year,” Wendy shared. “So many different perspectives and so many respectful and interesting conversations where none of us left breaking a story without learning something.” Sexual harassment, political affiliation, breast cancer and misscarriage are a few examples of boundary-pushing stories that have been featured on the series.
With so many amazing outfits throughout the five seasons, the cast were given the opportunity to purchase some of their favorite pieces. Katie walked away with lots of shoes from playing Jane. But the outfit Katie wanted most was the dress from the train station scene in the pilot. “It was such a special moment and it was important for us.” She’s been told that those outfits are currently on display in a fashion museum.
The last scene the three lead actresses shot together was a callback moment, wearing coats that match the color of those dresses from the pilot. “I’m salty that it’s in the trailer, if I’m being transparent” Katie stated. “I wanted it to be a surprise.” Meghann Fahy was touched by the moment. “It was really sweet. I mean, we shot it just on the side of the street so the environment was different than we had before. But I’ve never had that experience where you’re doing something again after four years.” While it wasn’t the last day of filming, it was the last show to feature Katie, Meghann and Aisha together. “I think that was the second to last day,” Aisha Dee added, “But it was the last day with the three of us alone. And then we had a big party.”
Reuniting at the same location as the season one wrap party, the creative team arranged schedules in such a way that all actors would be present for the last day of filming prior to the celebration. “I was very grateful to them for boarding it that way,” Melora Hardin shared. It was an emotional day for all, with Katie confessing to crying prematurely when she thought she had wrapped her last take, only to be called back to set and need to calm down. All of the cast admitted to having a hard time getting through their dialogue that day.
Wendy wasn’t able to be at the wrap party, with only the cast and essential crew on hand for filming, but she got to be present virtually through a live feed. “You guys were crying, I was crying, I was watching everyone process the end very differently.” Before the striking of the sets, Katie, Meghann and Aisha were allowed to explore the office on their own and reminisce about the times they shared there. “It felt like we were watching little ghosts of us from the past prancing around that office and doing different things,” Katie shared about the feelings of seeing that space for the last time.
You can catch up on past seasons of The Bold Type streaming on Hulu. The final two episodes air on Wednesdays, June 23rd and 30th, at 10/9c on Freeform.