Naomi Matsuda. Photo Credit: Brian Parillo Photography
Acclaimed actress Naomi Matsuda chatted about her 2022 Daytime Emmy nomination for her acting work in “The Bold and The Beautiful.”
She is nominated for “Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series” for playing Dr. Li Finnegan on the popular CBS soap opera “The Bold and The Beautiful.” “That was wonderful,” she admitted. “It was the best feeling. I feel like I am the luckiest woman on the planet right now.”
Matsuda was drawn to her character, Dr. Li, due to her “overprotective” nature. “I love the mama bear part of her. I love the intensity of how she protects as a mother,” she said.
She had great words about working with co-star Tanner Novlan as her son, Dr. John “Finn” Finnegan. “Tanner is a gem, he is so lovely, kind, and sweet. He is so down-to-earth and an amazing actor,” she said.
For young and aspiring actors, Matsuda said, “Never let anyone tell you that you are not enough.”
She acknowledged that “The Bold and The Beautiful” was a career-defining moment for her. “Playing the role of Dr. Li Finnegan was defining because I recognized a lot of her in me as a woman right now in this time,” she said.
When asked how she handles being dialogue-heavy, she said with a sweet laugh, “I call on God to please make sure I remember my lines and to get me through the scenes. I literally take a breath and I trust.”
“Working with such wonderful actors makes it more fun and really enjoyable. This playtime —that we get to have as actors — is really about getting into the playground and just having the best time. Having other actors giving you that same energy helps you create the best scenes because they are having the best time,” she explained.
Regarding the title of the current chapter of her life, she responded, “Balance.”
The digital age
On being an actress in the digital age, Matsuda said, “It feels surreal, it’s a dream come true. It’s something I always dreamed of since I was little, and now it’s happening. It’s very satisfying and exciting at the same time. It feels like a dream come true. I appreciate every second of this.”
She furnished her definition of the word success. “My heart being completely full is success to me, since when my heart is full, then everything is joyful,” she said.
Background on Naomi Matsuda
Matsuda was born in Nagasaki, Japan, and moved to San Diego with her mother and brother at age of five. She has been a performer her whole life. She booked her first job as an actress in 1997 and has been working since.
She began training in traditional Japanese dance at age 7 and began her dance training in jazz and ballet at age 13. Naomi continued her training and became a professional sought out dancer in Southern California.
Matsuda appeared in many cabaret-style shows, music videos, and theatrical dance concerts. After moving to Los Angeles, Naomi transferred her passion to acting and studied with Ivanna Chubbuck, Harry Mastrogeorge, and Cameron Thor. Along with her career, Naomi’s other passion is her love for animals. She is also a humanitarian.
For the dedicated soap opera fans, Matsuda said, “I have such appreciation for them, and I would like to send out a big ‘thank you’ to them for receiving me so well. I am there to deliver the highest frequency of my performance so that they are happy.”
To learn more about Emmy-nominated actress Naomi Matsuda, check out her Linktree page.