Jacob Young - Young Gun

Jacob Young is now three for three. He has earned three Outstanding Younger Actor Daytime Emmy nominations for three different roles — Rick Forrester on THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, Lucky Spencer on GENERAL HOSPITAL, and now JR Chandler on ALL MY CHILDREN. He got “Lucky” in 2002, but this nod means more.

“The first nomination came out of nowhere,” admits Young, who turned 25 last September (meaning he’s eligible in the Younger Lead category for one more year). “I’d only been [on B&B] for a little while. It was very strange to me. I had good instincts, I believe, but I was young and kind of doe-eyed to the world. Since I’ve gotten older, it’s become more about training. I’m using the tools that I’ve learned in classes and my acting is becoming more refined.”

Young, who joined AMC in 2003, has put those tools to good use. “They twisted JR in a completely different direction,” shares Young. “They started off with JR not respecting his father and having a lot of elements of his mother in him. He was much more soft. Then they started toying with it and couldn’t believe what was coming out of me. I’d always been the nice, honorable guy; I’d never been the character who was stirring the pot.”

JR is now a Chandler in every sense of the word. “He has money and is used to the finer things,” says Young. “It’s a place I’m not familiar with. It comes to me when I get into the suits. They put me in these nice designer suits, and I suddenly feel like a million bucks. Then I take that million-buck feeling and go a little sinister with it.”

JR’s devious turn has given Young some delicious dialogue. “When the character is in a good mood and has the upper hand, he has all these one-liners,” grins Young. “Sometimes I shock Alexa (Havins, Babe) with the dialogue. She doesn’t know how I’m going to deliver it. I keep it hidden [during rehearsal]. You can break the wording down and make it a little more offensive, and I try to nail that because that’s what JR’s supposed to do.”

Young didn’t have to look far to make JR more of a Chandler. “They wanted it to be ‘like father, like son,’ so I watched David Canary’s (Adam) mannerisms and delivery,” explains Young. “I tried to mold those into my own, enough to where I could be his son. They started writing my dialogue like his. He has some one-liners that are pretty funny. David is as big a goofball as I am onset. He’s like, ‘Here’s my boy!’ We have a great dynamic together.”

Young has been blessed with some pretty amazing daytime fathers over the years. “Every person I’ve worked with has given me something different and that’s a privilege,” notes Young. “John McCook (Eric, B&B) was my first daytime father and my first introduction to soap opera. He taught me that cool Hollywood ‘Come here, babe’ attitude. Tony Geary (Luke, GH) taught me to be on my toes all the time. There were times where we’d be in a scene and I’d be mouthing off to him in character and he’d slap me across the face, out of nowhere. [It taught me] don’t fall out of the scene, stay in it. David Canary has his own unique style. He’s from the old school of acting.”

JR may now have the Chandler money and power, but he’s definitely lacking in the romance department, so some viewers are cheering for a JR/ Kendall pairing. “I’ve always told Alicia (Minshew, Kendall) that it would be fun,” smiles Young. “We have a great rapport.”

Young also appreciates having rapport — of the immediate variety — with an audience. He recently sang on AMC, and confides, “I’m interested in auditioning for Broadway. Getting that feedback immediately changes you as an actor. You have to let it all hang out.” Given the chance, Young would juggle Broadway with his soap duties. “I have outs in my contract,” he reveals.” This is my third contract. There’s a little more flexibility than the other contracts I had in the past.”

Young’s music career didn’t take off as he had hoped; it didn’t help that his self-titled CD was released on Sept. 11, 2001. “It was never meant to be, and I’m okay with that,” he shrugs. “It was a great artistic aspiration of mine, and I went after it and allowed it to do what it was supposed to do. Music will always be a big part of me and I don’t think I’ll ever stop it.”

One thing that has ended for Young is his four-year courtship with actress Julie Costello. “Relationships are so tricky,” he sighs. “We were doing that [long distance] for a year and it wasn’t working out. It was difficult for her, difficult for me and we decided to call it quits. I’m not one to give up on things, and four years is a long time.”

Single now, he’s playing the field. “It’s difficult to find people,” he confesses. “I don’t like to be going around dating a lot of people. I also need somebody with a little more understanding about the industry.”

So Young is focusing on his work and relishing his latest nomination. “I text-messaged Eden (Riegel, ex-Bianca) and said, ‘Congratulations are in order and regardless, you’re a winner in my book. But wouldn’t it be nice to get a little icing on the cake?’ She wrote back, ‘Maybe our little statuettes can date.’ I thought that was great. I’m having a lot of fun.”