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70 January 21st, 2016 Y&R’s Jess Walton Talks Jill’s Emotional Scenes, Jason Thompson, Tristan Rogers, The Late Jeanne Cooper, and 30 Years Of Genoa City Drama!

Photo Credit: Lesley Bohm

If you watched last week’s powerful episodes of The Young and the Restless, you witnessed once again why Jess Walton (Jill) is one of the all time MVP’s of the genre. In a heart-wrenching and nuanced performance, Walton was given material that she could seek her teeth into as Jill faced the most horrible situation a mother could ever imagine … having to say goodbye to her son who is being taken off life support.  But before it even got to that point, Jill was fighting with the Abbott clan, lashing out at those around her who were grieving too, and ultimately attempting to come to terms with her son Billy’s (Jason Thompson) fate.  But in true soap opera fashion, just when it looked like Billy’s days were behind him, he came back to the land of the living.

For Walton, she now has a new on-screen son played by five-time Daytime Emmy nominee, Jason Thompson, who replaces Burgess Jenkins in the key role of Billy. Meanwhile, Jess continues to play Jill’s love story with Colin played by another fan favorite, Tristan Rogers.  If there is an Emmy God in 2017, Walton’s performance during Billy hovering between life and death, while illustrating how a family comes together and is torn apart during their time of need, should garner a much-deserved nomination.  She already is two-time winner.

On-Air On-Soaps talked to the sublime Jess Walton to get her thoughts on: playing those emotional draining scenes, her first (sort of) scenes with Jason Thompson, and if she misses the Katherine/Jill dynamic now that it has been over two and a half years since the passing of her beloved friend and scene partner, Jeanne Cooper (Katherine).  Jess also weighs-in on where Tristan Rogers rates on her all time leading men list, and what it has been like for nearly three decades to work with such a stellar bunch of actors who comprise the core Abbott family.  One thing is certain: when the character of Jill is given screen time, it always leaves the audience wanting more, and that is due to Walton’s commitment and expertise at playing such a multi-faceted woman.  Here’s what she had to share about her recent scenes, the changing faces of Billy Abbott, and more!

Those heavy emotional group scenes where Jill and Jack (Peter Bergman) and the Abbott family were grappling with whether to take Billy off of life-support were gut-wrenching.  Jill was in so much emotional pain.  How did you get through that scene?

Courtesy/CBS

JESS:  I am glad you liked it.  It was really amazing shooting that scene with everybody involved, because we have so much history.  I tell this story that I went around the room and we rehearsed it a couple of times.  It was really becoming good, and they yelled, “Lunch!”  Everybody went, “No!”   However, we had to do it.   We had to take a lunch break.  So I said to myself, which I have learned to do over the years, “Don’t you get upset.  When we come back it will be even better.”  Your mind first goes to a place of, “Oh, my God.  I was ready to go.”  I have learned to tell myself, “Don’t be negative … it will be even better.”  In fact, it felt even better after we returned from lunch.  The interesting thing was when I went around to everybody and did my lines with them, I felt quite Jill-ish.  But the minute I stood there, and Gina Tognoni (Phyllis) came over to me, I went, “She’s so good … and look how beautiful she looks with those green eyes swimming with tears.”  It just took me out of Jill for that split second, because I had never had a scene with Gina before.  She was magnificent.   That’s happened to me occasionally before in previous years.  If an actor in a scene with me is doing a really wonderful job, I will go, “Oh, my God … aren’t they wonderful!”  I will come right out of the scene as Jess and not as Jill.  It’s always a danger.  Luckily for these scenes, it was kind of a natural break in Jill’s trajectory.  I could get right back into it.  It was interesting to me that I built up 30 years worth of relationships with Peter Bergman, Eileen Davidson (Ashley), and Beth Maitland (Traci) so the scenes kind of went smoothly, and I was able to stay in it.

There were those moments between Jack and Jill, where he is going to honor Billy’s wishes to not keep him alive, and she is not having it.  It was so sad.

Courtesy/CBS

JESS:  They were so sad.  I think it’s every mother’s pain.  They can relate to that and the horror of the situation.  We were all crying for days.  I thought this is all very maudlin for the audience with this unrelenting grief.  But, what are you supposed to do?  Pull back when you son, or brother is dying?  You just have to go for it.

As viewers watched those scenes play out, you couldn’t help but take a moment and say, “Wow, these people are acting up a storm.  What an incredible A-list cast!”

JESS:  I often look around me at these magnificent actors who do these things in maybe one take.  It is such a skill.  I think a lot of times soap opera actors are not respected and they are looked upon as “B-actors”, but we know what we are doing.  As a whole, the soap actors are pretty amazing.

The moment that touched me was when Jill sat by Billy’s bedside and was saying her goodbyes to her son.  She mentions Katherine (Jeanne Cooper) and that he will be seeing her soon in heaven.  What was that like saying those words?   It also makes the audience think of Jeanne.

Courtesy/CBS

JESS:  It felt amazing doing that line and bringing Katherine (Jeanne Cooper) into the story.  That’s the thing about grief and death that those left behind believe that when their loved one passes they will be greeted by someone that they know and love.  So, I think Jill was trying to comfort her son in that way.  It was really hard, because Jill would have fought till the bitter end to keep her son alive, but she had to acquiesce, I guess.

Jason Thompson debuted as the new Billy.  In virtually his first episode, he had to portray an out-of-body experience relating to his new castmates.  What did you think of Jason’s performance, and your new on-screen son?

JESS:  He was really, really amazing.  Jason had to come in and have such heavy stuff with all of his new cast mates. And for those hospital scenes, the very first scenes it was still with Burgess Jenkins, then it was a body double for a couple of days, and then it was Jason.  Actually, Jason and his wife are expecting a baby in real life.  So he is very conscious of that child/parent bond.  After we had that bedside time together, where I would be touching him and rubbing his arm, it almost built a bond between us much quicker than it would have under normal circumstances.  He could feel that love, and as two human beings I was pretty naked emotionally there.  Jason was very, very kind to me and soft with me.  I haven’t had a scene with him yet, where he wasn’t unconscious (laughs), but I’m looking forward to it!  He is such a fabulous actor, and I hear he has done just amazing work over at General Hospital.

What was performing in that scene like for you, during Billy’s out-of-body experience?  The rest of the cast was acting with each other, but not with him.

Courtesy/CBS

JESS:  Driving home after a long scene like that, you couldn’t do the words if they had a gun to your heard.  I think soap opera actors develop a certain part of their brain that holds things in for like six hours, maybe.  The minute the scene is over, you have to drop it, because otherwise it’s just too much information, (laughs) to have to retain in your head all of the time.

I had to laugh, because you have had a bunch of different Billy’s!  Jill’s son keeps changing! (Laughs)

JESS:  I’ve had so many different Billy’s!  However, each and everyone I have loved, and that’s the truth.  Each and every one of them, I really feel like I connected with as mother and son.  I had magnificent relationships with Burgess Jenkins, and with David Tom.  I know they also really enjoyed our scenes, too.  We all got along well together.   I often wondered if it’s because in real life I had a son around the same age, so that portraying that type of relationship is very easy for me.

Courtesy/CBS

Would you consider submitting yourself for the Daytime Emmys next year, given the emotional material you had that aired over the last few weeks?

JESS:  I would next year, and I was wishing they would have been eligible this year.  Next year feels like such a long way away.  But I will submit them, because I think they were powerful scenes.  I thought I had other powerful scenes, but then you go back and look at them and you see little flaws.  I only want to submit when I think the scenes and the performance are flawless, and I don’t see a false note, and I don’t cringe watching myself at all!   Sometimes actors feel something didn’t work, and I don’t like to submit that way, because I feel people pick up on that.  It stops the voters dead in their tracks, right away.  I think the scenes have to be really good and flawless.

It’s such a testament to you that when I mention your name on social media or someone brings up Jill that the audience responds very quickly.  That is to say that the audience loves you so much, and the love continues even if you are on the show, or not on the show that much.   I think there is something to be said that when viewers know Jill is on-screen there is a comfortability factor.  It feels like Y&R to them.

Courtesy/CBS

JESS:   I really think it’s a connection to Katherine Chancellor and Jeanne Cooper, and I really think its part of the history of the show.  It has been 30 years for me.  When I really look at Jill, she is a wonderful character, because she can be very vulnerable, but she can also be very tough and fiery.  She can also be very logical.   Jill is very well-rounded.  I really appreciate what you’re saying about the audience, and I love them too!

What is the status of Jill and Colin’s (Tristan Rogers) relationship at this point? They are getting along now, yes?

JESS:  They are really tight.  They are married, and they are in love with each other.  We have some scenes coming up that illustrate that.  My only regret is that we don’t have that many scenes alone where we can show their relationship more.  They have retained their humor and their romance, which is a good thing for Jill to have in her life.

As far as your all-time Y&R leading men go, would you say that Tristan Rogers is at the top of the list?

Courtesy/CBS

JESS:  Tristan is probably my favorite leading man.  Jerry Douglas (Ex-John) and I had some really wonderful years together, too.  We had a lot of really great storylines together. However, I really do like this late in life love story with Colin and Jill, because it was such a romantic story.  We were so funny together, and we got to play comedy such as: Jill trying to tie Colin up in the attic, and just the conflict of it all, and then the lead-up to getting back together.  It was a nice story arc.  Tristan is so hilariously funny.  I never know what’s going to come out of his mouth.  He has me in stitches most of the time.  Colin is like a reformed bad boy, and Jill is kind of like a bad girl.  The two of them together I think is a perfect fit.

What would you like to see Jill get involved with story-wise at this point in her life?

JESS:  I think she should have a well-rounded life.  I would like them to show Jill with her husband.  I would like them to show her cutthroat aspect in business, or maybe she can soften a little bit, and be more of mentor to younger people like Katherine used to be.  To me, that would be really interesting.  If there would be a storyline where some younger person was having problems in their life, and Jill can start to realize there are things within her that are kinder and wiser.  You like to think that wisdom comes with age.

Courtesy/HallmarkChannel

I can completely see her becoming like Katherine in her later years, being the voice of wisdom to Genoa City.  It would be such a nice throughline to honor their relationship. 

JESS:   I think that would be a very interesting storyline almost like when Katherine was mentoring Jill.  The show could almost use pieces of clips of Katherine over the years with Jill talking to her in her mind at the desk and in that room.  I think the audience would love that kind of history.

Now that it has been a few years since Jeanne’s passing, how is it for you not having Katherine/Jill scenes to play?

JESS:   I miss it, of course, but we had such a good run at it in it’s hey day.  I am so grateful that a lot of the scenes are up on You Tube, so you can go back and look at it.  It’s like everything else; I really wish I would have appreciated it more at the time, although I did appreciate it very much.  I look back on that time and go, “Oh, my God. Wow!  That was some chemistry we had.”   Jeanne and I were super, super comfortable with our relationship with each other, even in those rocky years where they made us mother and daughter.  There was still a comfort there and knowing who the characters were.  Then there was that confusion between the hate and love, and the mother and daughter … that was a little muddy.

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

When you look at your life’s big picture, what has Y&R meant to you?

JESS:   It’s such a huge part of my life.   I would never have dreamed it would have lasted this long.  I remember when I first got the job.  My husband and I had to go to Park City.  We were sitting outside at some table and we said to each other, “Our lives are going to change so much,” and they certainly have.  I’ve written this book and that’s really given me the opportunity to look back and see that it has been incredible 30 years, and it’s almost been half my life.  It’s always strange for me when the new regimes come in, because I am part of the original history of the show with Bill Bell (co-creator, Y&R), and then people come in with their different ideas and their different actors, storylines, and characters.  I realize I have to take a step back and be a little hands-off, because it’s their baby now.  You can’t have the attitude of, “Well, that’s not what it was like back in the day.”  I had to let go of a lot of that.   Now, I am just there when they need me and when they want to use me, but it’s not as personal to me as it once was when I was in the thick of things.  However, I very much admire all of the talent that work on the show.

So, what did you think of Jess Walton’s recent performances as Jill tries to deal with the impending death of her son, Billy?  Are you looking forward to seeing  upcoming scenes between Jess and Jason Thompson? What did you think of Jess’ comments on her leading men, what Y&R means to her, Jeanne Cooper, and all of the Billy’s in her on-screen life? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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  1. CeeCee says:

    I have already given my little sentence (or two) previously on the Janyary 12th, pre-nom site.
    Jess Walton transcended the ‘norm’…..she truly proved herself as the accomplished actress that she is. When an actress/actor is able to move me; to take hold of my heart and make it weep, that is huge for me. Jess Walton is just a few steps behind Kassie DePaiva. There is no parallel, yet. Kassie hit the finish line….won the race.

    Reply

  2. Harry says:

    Oh thank you for this, Michael Fairman. I was astounded at the wealth of emotion was able to pull out of herself after being off canvas for way too long.
    She jumps into the scene and manages to pull off an utterly gut wrenching performance and she did so seamlessly.
    I do wish Jill and Colin had more scenes together–love their mutual understanding of each other and their senses of humor.

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    Timmm replied

    Jill was like Peyton Manning coming off the bench after missing several weeks and throwing three touchdowns! Great job Jess!

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    Tomas Torquemada replied

    Peyton without the cheating allegations HGH consumption, LOL.

    Harry replied

    And I neglected to add that Jess was able to pull of this emotionally riveting performance not only dealing with a fourth Billy, she manged to do so speaking to a body double.

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    Rose replied

    Harry…I only started watching Y&R just after Katherine died. So I never had a chance to see Jill/Jess. I was very moved during her scenes with Billy at the hospital. Just goes to show when they let the fine, vet actors do their thing it can really set the bar higher for everyone. Same at GH when they are allowed to come out and play. Also found it interesting how Jill has responded to different “regimes” over the years. She’s a survivor.

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  3. eliza says:

    Jess’s performance was wonderful. Jill had me in tears. But then she disappeared without explanation. It makes me so mad. We see non-stop Victor & Jack, but they can’t write Jill into the full story line?

    Jill brings a history and depth to the stories that can’t be written in. Y&R should increase her episodes. She’s more than a Mom, she’s the only character left from 1973. Some viewers have followed her life for decades. It’d be nice to see some of it on-screen once in awhile.

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    JUDY K replied

    JESS IS A TERRIFIC ACTRESS….I AGREE WITH YOU SO MUCH….GIVE HER THE TIME SHE DESERVES…WHERE IS JILL NOW THAT BILLY IS AWAKE???? WAITING FOR HER TO APPEAR FOR TWO DAYS….DOES NOT MAKE SENSE…HER PERFORMANCE HAS DEFINITELY BEEN EMMY WORTHY!!!

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    Patrick replied

    Thanks Judy K

    yeah…. I’m still waiting as well

    ??? can’t believe this err

    she’s so emmy worthy… It crossed my mind… if she’s in best supporting (yeah, she’s lead contention) but… JW will tell you first… her 30 years plus is what she accepts… anyway…

    I’m not going to like this at all … come 2017 emmy nominations… if Jess Walton and Suzanne Rogers (Maggie @Days)… are both nominated in the same category

    woah

    Patrick replied

    Eliza : “well written”

    I am so sick of Victor, mostly… and I add in just Jack

    ???? it confounds me how much time is spent on these two….

    we are to believe they are adversarial leads still ?

    “I will never, watch Eric Braedon, again”

    I record Y&R every day…. and I’ve been watching only scenes, w/ Jason Thompson

    I was stumped… that when Victoria told Jack and Phyllis that he woke up and spoke

    in walks Nicholas and Sage ???? REALly ? ! I thought to myself… why wasn’t Jill a part of this

    Jess Walton’ history and “depth” and emotional trigger is tantamount to best of the best on air

    I laud this woman

    believe you me: I was devastated when Brenda Dickson was “fired”

    it took me a while… to get Jess Walton

    WOW

    what a lady with keen insight intellect and integrity

    I’m so glad that posts… (marySF) and such are agreeing that it’s an honor to laud Jess Walton in this fashion… that this nuBilly is so much like Jill

    what a teary eyed damn this is so good thank you Jess

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    Patrick replied

    In “all” my years of watching Serial…. near 4 decades

    I’ve never seen a recast take…. in the blink of an eye

    hence! I’m aghast at Y&R production

    “why” ??? wasn’t Jill right their front and center…. when Billy opened his eyes

    it was squandered with Billy…. making joke with Nicholas about his beard…. 5 a clock shadow… seriously!

    I’m sure we’ll be seeing Jill and Billy with alone time… just the two of them

    this is Magic

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    k/kay replied

    Patrick I am totally with you they have shoved Sage & Dylan in every storyline since they were brought on because buddies of JFP that is why I was concerned when JT came on but saying that. JT will work because he is playing a legacy character and two he can act. Let’s get JW some scenes now that Billy is awake. I am glad they finally remembered Jill had a real son Billy all for years I have seen her with is Cane the con artist.

    toscanti replied

    I could not agree more! No one could have kept Jill away from Billy’s bedside. Another example of people writing and running a show where they have no concept of the history. Great acting by all and I was especially thankful for Beth Maitland as “Tracy Abbott”. Her presence was wonderful. I hope to see more of “Jill” in the near future.

    Harry replied

    Exactly! Listen, I mean no disrespect to Jenkins because I think he is a perfectly good actor. However, I never much cared about Billy while he was playing him.
    Jess comes in out of the blue and has me weeping about Billy.
    My heart was bleeding for her and this speaks volumes about Jess’s acting prowess. Then her son comes back from the dead and suddenly, Mama Joad, er, I mean Mama Jill is gone.
    All we got was Victoria who is always, always just there.

    Ron replied

    Harry– Mama Joad! We English teachers get it! Ma Joad is a tough cookie and can break your heart but not her own. Wow.

  4. Sheila says:

    As usual Michael an A+ interview!!

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  5. damien says:

    jill is best when she s in attack mode! i miss her and also when she s squabling with the abbotts! there s so much history between them
    would love for nina to return and start up the nasty nian jill feud! no that cain is on the rocks with lily it would be fun to see nina in cains orbit and move into the chanecelor house!

    Reply

  6. Mr. X says:

    Thanks for the interview Mr. Fairman. Those were some Emmy worthy scenes by Jess Walton. I hope Chuck Pratt finds more for her and Tristan Rogers to do once he returns.

    I liked the whole Jack decision about Billy part of the story and thought Jason Thompson did a fine job stepping into the Billy’s shoes. Watching him for a few years on GH tells me he’ll have no problem making the character his own over time.

    And kudos to CP and JFP. While a couple of stories need to get moving (i’m looking at you Dr. Anderson and the Winters clan), I’m enjoying Y&R more now than any other time since that regime took over the soap. And the ratings tell me i’m not the only one.

    Reply

  7. Sandy J. says:

    I’m with Judy K. Where is Jill now that Billy’s awake? Hasn’t Victoria called her mother-in-law to tell her the great news? Same question about Tracey Abbott. Very strange writing, I must say, but I do look forward to Jess’ scenes with Jason. She was phenomenal when Jill was giving everybody grief about their part in Billy’s downfall although she herself was absent from Billy’s life on many occasions.

    While reading Michael’s interview with her, I couldn’t help thinking that, now that Jason Thompson is now on Y&R, his former father-in-law is currently his step-father! Jason and Tristan Rogers, when the latter leaves Port Charles and returns to Genoa City, will be reunited and part of a different family, though still related by marriage. Only on soaps, eh?!

    Reply

  8. Heidi says:

    The scenes were great and I LOVED that Jill told everyone what we viewers have been saying for months. I’d have to say my favorite was when Jill called out Victoria. The sad thing is that Jess hasn’t been on our screen since then. Billy is awake and talking to Sage? Huh? He’s having conversations with Kevin and Mariah but his own mother is nowhere to be found? My hope is that we see much more of Jess in 2016

    Reply

    Timmm replied

    I thought the same. You had Jill rise to the top and put on a unforgettably performance and then nothing? DONT bring actors on screen if your not going to follow through with the story!

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    JUDY K replied

    WHAT A LET DOWN….HOW CAN THE WRITERS NOT HAVE HIS MOTHER THERE WHEN HE WAKES UP…BIG BLUNDER!!!!! JILL NEEDS TO BE A PART OF THIS STORY LIKE 3 DAYS AGO.

    Tomas Torquemada replied

    Heidi, from your lips to God’s ears.

    Jess is the real deal. Effing nailed it. I was so glad to see what she said about Gina and that scene. I remember noting it at the time that the two (top tier) actors absolutely connected and had a very special moment. My guess it’s when Gina cupped Jess face in her hands. Such a soft, delicate and wonderful moment.

    I love her taking over part of function that Jeanne had on the show. Katherine, too, was a flawed individual who learned and grew from the damage she caused. Jess could do this. More Jess, please.

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  9. Penny says:

    Very happy to see her and very greatful for your interview!

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  10. James R. Poissant says:

    This lady totally blew me away with the scenes she had in the hospital. What was great was how she ripped into everybody and pointed out their flaws. This is going to be one hell of an Emmy reel and I will watch those scenes again and again on YouTube. How can they not be on that site? Everything else is and most don’t even compare to the work Jess did with those episodes!!!

    Reply

  11. mike says:

    She does not appear often, but when she does, WOW.

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  12. Jonboy says:

    You’ve all got to be kidding! It was the same old screeching through clenched jaw and gritted teeth. I for one have never “appreciated” her “talent.”

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    CeeCee replied

    Maybe so, Jonboy. But, the tortured expressions on her face did not come from a clenched jaw….they
    came from extreme struggle and conflict; they came from a mother’s chocking pain on the brink of losing her child. Jess surpassed my expectations, in my opinion.

    Reply

    JUDY K replied

    BEAUTIFULLY SAID….

    Harry replied

    Say Goodnight, John Boy!
    That was not screeching! That was a mother speaking from her gut as she spoke about her son never ever being able to make it in this world. That was a mother who gave birth to her son and who was still fighting for his next breaths.
    I never really appreciated her talent either–I am a tough sale and not a cheap date by any stretch of the imagination.
    If I was moved by her performance you can bet your bottom dollar that she was damned good.

    jonboy replied

    Differences of opinion. If you enjoyed it, good. I did not.

    CeeCee replied

    @JUDY K.
    Thank you, Judy….

    CeeCee replied

    Hurray!! We agree on something, Jonboy…..differences of opinion. The difference is, I am a mother who lost a child. Therefore, I know from where that pain comes. I understand, how you wound be indifferent to that sort of anguish.

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    jonboy replied

    Not at all fair.

  13. Dylan says:

    BEST. RECAST. EVER!!!!

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  14. Diane says:

    I was so enthralled by Jess’s performance that day in the hospital when she spoke to everyone with all that emotion. I actually cried along with her. I’ve seen her in lots of scenes when she was very compelling and get you’re full attention but that particular scene in the hospital was riveting! She should definitely win an Emmy for that scene.

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  15. Chrystie_Delancey says:

    What a professional she is!

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  16. Sally says:

    I was blown away by Jess Walton’s performance. Jess is an outstanding actress and she definitely met the challenge of being a Mother about to loose her son. We need to see more of Jess on The Young and The Restless. Emmy worthy, INDEED!

    Reply

  17. Donna Dykema says:

    Terrific interview! So impressed with Jess’s honesty. Heck, your interview had me in tears too!!! She is one classy, beautiful actress that needs an even bigger storyline. My hope is that she stays on Y&R for years to come!

    Reply

  18. Bart says:

    I love you, Jess Walton, but your character has been decimated by the current and regime of Jill Farren Phelps and Chuck Pratt!!

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    Tomas Torquemada replied

    Decimated is the absolutely correct word

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  19. Michael says:

    I started watching recently out of curiosity since Jason Thompson joined the show and she has been riveting to watch. This show is more interesting than GH right now.

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    Patrick replied

    “…This show is more interesting than GH right now ”

    absolutely

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  20. Barbara from Atlanta says:

    I like Walton very much but I like Jill even more. It irks me that Jill appears so infrequently on the show these days. As others have commented, where the heck is Jill now that Billy is going to live? In a trend that has become too common over the past five years, Jill simply has disappeared.

    Jill, the only original character remaining on Y&R, deserves better treatment than this. Jill should be a prominent character in plots. She is connected to the Abbotts, friends with Cane, and a rival to Nikki. Given Jill’s long history and her involvement with all of these characters, the possible plots for her are endless. It is ridiculous that, after finally gaining control of Chancellor Industries after pining away for it for eons, Jill suddenly is gone with no explanation. She then randomly appears with some inane explanation such as she’s been working at Chancellor Industries’ Asian operations. Jill is Y&R and Y&R wouldn’t have gone so far without her. It is unacceptable that the character is reduced to “guest” appearances like we saw with Billy’s hospitalization.

    I don’t know if Jill’s absence is an overall lack of interest from the writers in the character, Walton’s apparent desire to work fewer days, or a combination of both. Whatever the reason, it is wrong. Walton is good; however, she’s not around enough. If the underlying issue is Walton’s unwillingness to play Jill on a regular, weekly appearing basis……I’d be in favor of a proper recast for the role.

    The recent episodes with Walton were excellent. However, it doesn’t solve the problem: Jill needs to appear more often!!!

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  21. Timmm says:

    I thought Jjill would take over Mrs C’s position as the shows Matriarch BUT Jill doesnt seem to have the warmth in her heart and the wisdom that Kathrine had. Plus the Chancelor name for now is ruined! They should have filled that mansion with family after Katherine died! Jill and Colin are barely seen and Esther was fired! Katherine would have never done that or done it and change her mind! Bring back Mac, Tucker, Phillip, ect!

    Reply

    eliza replied

    They could easily write more warmth & wisdom into Jill. Remember Katherine was a drunk who was sleeping with stable boys, who drove her husband off a cliff to his death- on purpose. Murderer to Grand Dame. But I think they over-did it with Katherine. Way too much of the Grand Dame treatment and she lost her edge. Kay was best using her power moves and being a bit devious. Being too much of a saint takes all the fun out of character.

    I really miss the mansion too. The Chancellor mansion gave Y&R some glamour and old Genoa City history. Victor’s ranch & the Abbott home are rather ordinary even though the inhabitants are quite wealthy.

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    Timmm replied

    I agree with you. Mind you , they only have so much space so the Abbotts and Newman house cannot be as extravagant as we would think but they do those exterior shots to help us build our imaginations.

    Tomas Torquemada replied

    Yep, fill the mansion.

    This Jill does have the warmth to take over. Remember, early Katherine wasn’t the same as later Katherine. Early Katherine was a hot drunken mess and total B! She evolved. Jill needs to evolve too. After all its been awhile since we’ve seen scheming Jill.

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    Timmm replied

    I do remember Kay’s shenanigans! Maybe she is just more grandmotherly than Jill?

    Ron replied

    I agree 100%. The writers are missing a golden opportunity here. Have friction develop between Jill and Colin, let her go to the bottle and then bring in some young trollop to do her hair, be a companion, and make the moves on Colin. And Billy can help her see the light (like Brock did for Kay) but it doesn’t work (like it did not work for Kay for a long time.) Bang! Colin and Jill divorce and Jill exacts her revenge on him in a car accident…. jeepers, sounds just like yesterday: I guess memorable storylines are always fresh in our minds.

    Abruzzfan replied

    Timmm. .. I agree. Did they fire Ester? I was wondering what happened. All of the sudden she is working for Dullan at the coffee shop and then we never see her again? Strange. I find the stories really disjointed. It is really a shame that they lost Tucker due to JFP. He was such a great character, and he really had a good chemistry with Jill. I don’t care for the Colin character and his relationship with Jill.

    Reply

    Timmm replied

    I thought it was cruel for Jill to fire Esther but I thought it would be a golden opportunity to have her nosing around the coffee shop in EVERYONE’S business but they dont ever have her on! They can bring back the original Tucker. I believe his name was William Russ? He was great and he could be a triangle with Jill and Colin!

    4ever DAYS replied

    I’m assuming you mean a Tucker recast, Timmm, because Stephen Nichols is playing Steve “Patch” Johnson on DAYS in a long-term contract.

    Reply

    Timmm replied

    Yes William Russ, the original Tucker. I love Mr. Nichols but I thought William was better with Jill.

    jaybird369 replied

    Timmm…I felt that Jess Walton had better on-screen chemistry with William Russ. And…I could never understand as to why TPTB of Y&R replaced him with Stephen Nichols.

    Just saying……….

    Reply

    Timmm replied

    Probably because Stephen is a bid daytime get!

    Lillian replied

    There were complaints from Y&R viewers that Russ was too old to be Katherine’s son.

  22. Ron says:

    Jess was and continues to be a powerful actress, rising to the challenge– in this situation, a devastated mother about to lose her son to death: she was the voice of all parents. It doesn’t matter how old your child is (5 or 35 or 55); having to deal with that loss is unbearable.

    One thing that could have really impressed me more from the writers was having John Abbott as part of this story… with Jill (in some sleep-like state) or with his son Billy as he approaches the “after life.” Jack and Ashley have had their “father” experiences… the writers should have had Billy experience John, also.

    And yes, Jess was right: one day she should be the voice of reason, the voice of wisdom for Genoa City… but first, I’d like to see her become like the Katherine of the 70s–the drunk woman who loses her husband to a younger woman. Let history repeat itself.

    Reply

    Tomas Torquemada replied

    THIS: ” but first, I’d like to see her become like the Katherine of the 70s–the drunk woman who loses her husband to a younger woman. Let history repeat itself.”

    Reply

  23. victoria mccurry says:

    love jess walton’s jill character.. no one else on the planet could portray jill… she brings reality to a scene that does not always happen with other actors. please writers, get jill more on screen time.

    Reply

  24. Tani Sterling says:

    I didn’t carefully read all of these comments. The storyline tension between implementing measures to keep Billy alive or puling them was really quite well done. With all of the silly things we have been watching the internal message should not be lost. Pulling support and letting one go is a timely and relevant debate.

    For me, I miss Jill. She is a tremendous actress. She is loved and deserves a comfortable reason for pulling back. The storylines don’t always do that. Good writing can but this has been rough writing.

    Writing for a “Soap” ‘has got to be tremendously difficult; no time, just get it done. Those who can muse over ideas, sentences, words, and whatever, please, respect the challenge.

    But there is another element to all of this. Technology let me find this site when the roof fell on Valentine’s Day last year. I find venting my frustration is perhaps as silly as some of the stories. Thank you for letting me vent.

    You don’t get off that easily: The stories need to to improve!

    Reply

  25. blake says:

    Her scenes at the hospital were amazing. I loved it when she lashed out at people for what they did to Billy. I hope she wins the Emmy for it next year. I think Gina Tognoni (Phyllis) should win best actress, she’s always been amazing.

    Reply

    CeeCee replied

    There’s no denying Gina Tognoni is one of the best in the soap industry, blake. I love all my OLTL alumni. But, she does not have one scintilla of the fire Phyllis NEEDS to possess to be the true Phyllis. That character got lost somewhere….I miss her; her spunk and fortitude should be omnipresent. Gina is doing nothing out of the ordinary, as Phyllis, except to be Jack’s extra appendage. It’s all about Jack. Her whole being seems to revolve around Jack, Jack, Jack!!!!!!!
    I don’t know, blake, maybe it was the writers’s intention to have transformed Phyllis, once Stafford left.

    Reply

    Timmm replied

    I agree CeeCee, Gina is a fine actress but either she just doesnt cut it as RED or the writers decided once she rose from the coma they were going to smooth her edges and become more dependent on Jack.

    CeeCee replied

    Hey, Blake,
    Have I spoken too soon? Wow! That’s the Phyllis I have missed. She is behind the ‘intricate’ kidnapping? She is the mastermind?…. I am loving this. I can’t wait to see what unfolds. FINALLY!!!!!

  26. Nellie says:

    is it me or are the newmans all becoming weak characters. This show is supposed to revolve around the residents of Genoa city not port Charles. The GH actors are great but why do they all have to be entwined with the newmans.

    Reply

    CeeCee replied

    How so? I don’t understand, Nellie. Once an actor is a member of the Y&R cast, there’s no escaping the Newmans nor the Abbotts. They own the stage. Actors belong to no one…..they go where their job takes them. How is the cast of GH entwined with the Newmans? I’m somewhat confused?!

    Reply

  27. MrCapehart says:

    I really hope they find a way to use Jess/Jill more. Although Jess Walton is not an original Y&R cast member, Jill is the only remaining original character, and, as Jess Walton alludes to in the interview, it is important that she remain an integral part of the show. Because we’ve gotten to see Jess as Jill for the last 30 years, we know her as such, so her presence is definitely missed when she’s not around.

    Reply

  28. jaybird369 says:

    As always, Jess Walton is such a CLASS ACT!!!!! AWESOME INTERVIEW!!!!! Thank You, Mr. Fairman.

    Peace.

    Reply

  29. writing_me says:

    “It’s not as personal for me as it was once before.”

    That saddens me. She is saying this show is way differently run than before. She remembers when it was consistently excellent, actors were respected, the genre was still alive.

    A sad former shadow of its former self.

    Reply

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