This week on The Young and the Restless, Burgess Jenkins debuted as the new Billy Abbott. The actor follows in the footsteps of two stars: now three-time Daytime Emmy winner, Billy Miller who chose to leave the series late last year, and David Tom, who returned to the role and replaced Miller only to be let-go by the number one soap and in turn replaced by Jenkins!
On-Air On-Soaps caught up with Burgess at the Daytime Emmy Nominee Reception last week to get his initial thoughts on taking on the pivotal role that has been the topic of conversation for many a Y&R fan, working with his new co-stars including: Peter Bergman (Jack), Emmy winner Amelia Heinle (Victoria), and Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea), and how he views the inner-life of the complex Billy and more. Here’s what he shared!
How have your first few weeks been at The Young and the Restless?
BURGESS: My first few weeks at Y&R have been fantastic!
Has your on-screen brother, Peter Bergman (Jack) been nice to you? (Laughs)
BURGESS: Never! (Laughs) In fact, not only has Peter been incredible, gracious and kind, he was the first person to call me and wish me well and welcome me to the show. He is an incredible class act! And as I was saying to Peter earlier, and I could not have meant it more sincerely … from the first time that we met to the days right after and leading up to my first day on the set, I felt this bond with him like brothers would feel. It was really cool.
Do you feel a lot of pressure coming into a situation where the very popular Billy Miller stepped down from the role of Billy Abbott, and David Tom returned to the role only to be let-go?
BURGESS: I don’t really feel that way, because I feel like I have a job to do and I am really embracing and enjoying doing that job. Everyone has been incredibly supportive moving forward and not only that, but I don’t know all the ins and out of that stuff and what went on… and I will leave it at that. I can’t speak intelligently about what went on before because I don’t know all that happened.
Your fans on Twitter seem to be excited about your new gig!
BURGESS: My fans have been wonderful and welcoming. It’s great to have a fan base like that.
How has it been working with your new Y&R leading ladies, Amelia Heinle (Victoria) and Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea)?
BURGESS: Terrific… both of them! They are very giving actors and the chemistry with both of them is wonderful. So much is about the writing and what it represents and you feel it in the scene work. It’s really very palpable and nice.
Stepping into the role of Billy Abbott, what do you feel is the essence of this character?
BURGESS: Billy is loose cannon and you don’t know what you’re going to get, and I don’t think he knows. He is very earnest and passionate. Billy means what he says and he doesn’t always make the right decisions, but he is doing it because he is trying to do what is right. I love that about him. He is a flawed, wonderful character.
What was your audition process like to get the role primo of Billy; your reel and then a test?
BURGESS: There was a review of my reel, but then I did come in to test for it. I wanted to meet the people I was going to be working for, and it was really nice when I did.
So, what did you think of Burgess’ comments? What has been your initial impression of him in the role of Billy Abbott? Will you give it some time to let the audience get adjusted to seeing him as Billy … and let him settle into the role? Let us know!