INTERVIEW

Quick Take With Jason Thompson (Billy, Y&R)

What was your initial reaction to hearing that Billy would be working outside of Jabot? “I was really excited when they told me what the plan was and I love any time I get to work with Jess [Walton, Jill]. I think there’s a lot of room to grow for Billy at Chancellor Industries, so I’m looking forward to it playing out. I think it’s going to be cool.”

Why was Billy so hesitant about working for his mom? “At that point, I think he was trepidatious about working with anybody because he had been dealing with so much. I think you could have given him a handful of money and a trailer on a beach with a never-ending supply of cold beer and he would still be apprehensive because nothing is for free and there are always strings attached. So, he was wary about working for his mom, who had been telling Billy that he was wrong every day that he wasn’t with Victoria. When he really looked at what she was offering, he realized, ‘I could do the things that I really love to do.’ ”

Billy and Lily didn’t really trust each other at first. Why do you think that is? “He didn’t trust the reason why she was even there. He thought this would be his business to run the way he wanted and then he suddenly has someone working alongside of him, so it took a minute for him to buy into it. On top of that, she’s trying to prove herself to him, he’s trying to prove himself to her and they’re both trying to prove themselves to Jill. Billy is used to going behind people’s backs to get things done. I think he sees that he doesn’t need to do that with Lily.”

Do you think they make a good team, despite their different working styles? “I definitely think they do. He can respect the checks and balances with Lily, so he’ll listen to her. When she says, ‘Rein it in,’ he knows that it’s for the greater good and not meant to demean him. It’s her saying, ‘There’s something more important here than you.’ ”

What does Billy appreciate about Lily? “Everything Lily has been through — the car accident, the jail time, everything with Cane — she’s above judging anybody’s actions. I think she really understands Billy and that’s what he gravitates to.”

Do you think there’s potential for a romance between your characters? “They have a common denominator now, because of all the emotional stuff they’ve both been through, which I think can be exciting about two people that like working together. There can be fireworks or something more subdued than that. We’ll see.”

How do you like working with Christel Khalil (Lily)? “She’s great. I was super-excited when Christel came back. I think she’s a great asset to the show. She comes prepared and knows her stuff. To be frank, I feel that she’s personally dialed in. I think the time away from the show and taking a breather after a long run did her really well. In talking with her, I think she has a fantastic outlook on life and really enjoys her job. It’s always fun to work with someone who enjoys coming in to work.”

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