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Y&R’S Thompson Weighs In On Billy's Story

Billy’s recent behavior has infuriated most of the people in his orbit, but for portrayer Jason Thompson, it’s been an interesting ride. “I do feel a sense of responsibility along with the writers to show that there’s an evolution with Billy, because it’s not always entertaining to just see the same thing over and over again,” the actor offers. “He’s going through this stuff in order to get to a place that makes sense to him. That’s not a short story, that takes time. That’s hard to do because it’s a lot of self-acknowledgement and work, so it takes a while. That’s the beauty of the medium that we’re in, things can unravel a little slower.” Thompson shares that he gained more clarity about Billy’s plight recently when he had an evening to himself. “My wife was sick in bed, the kids were asleep and since I didn’t have to work the next day, I didn’t have any lines to learn, so for the first time in a very long time, I sat down and watched some episodes that were shot months ago,” he explains. “I got to see how my story really played out. Usually, I only see it through Billy’s perspective, but this time, I got to see what we’re trying to say about him as told through Victoria’s story. I saw it from both sides.” Which offered an interesting point of view. “What hit me was, ‘The guy is trying. He’s really trying,’ ” Thompson notes. “He’s not great at it but he’s not scared of trying, and I really appreciate that about him. He’s not the most elegant guy all of the time, but he’s trying. When I was watching those episodes, it was kind of fun to see. He’s not the kind of guy who goes, ‘I had kids, I’m responsible now.’ That’s not who he is, He wants to live a little more honestly. With Billy, it was always about fitting into his family and what they expected from him. It’s not what he feels inside.” Thompson reports that the story has kept him on his toes. “It makes me think and the way I think about it helps me in my personal life and being able to hear things differently,” he explains. “Every day I have my ear open for Billy-isms or little quotes to myself but it’s something I can use and go to for understanding him. That part has been so much fun.” But will Billy ever find himself? “I don’t know,” Thompson shrugs. “I don’t know if he ever will flip that switch or if he even wants to. He’s struggling to find out who that person is in his world and I appreciate that struggle.”

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