Is ChancComm in Jeopardy? ‘Y&R’ Star Jason Thompson on Billy’s Point of View
Not everyone works in media, but perhaps many of us can relate to accidentally hitting “send” on that email by accident. That might be how Billy Abbott (Jason Thompson) is feeling now that his exposé on Ashland Locke (Richard Burgi) has been posted on one of ChancComm’s news sites.
Billy had gotten the article slamming his ex-wife Victoria’s (Amelia Heinle) new husband and his arguably unethical business origins written, but hadn’t planned on posting it. He just wanted to use it as leverage to get the Newmans and their rival media company, Newman Media, to back off.
Is anyone going to believe that Billy didn’t mean to post the tell-all article? Will this exacerbate his rivalry with his former in-laws? And most importantly, what the heck could Billy and Lily’s (Christel Khalil) smush name possibly be? Read on to get Thompson’s thoughts on Billy’s current predicament.
How much of digging into Ashland’s past is honest journalism, and how much is Billy simply not liking that Vicki has gotten married again? Or his rivalry with the Newmans?
Jason Thompson: I think Billy’s aware of all of it. He feels a sense of responsibility to his mother [Jill, played by Jess Walton] for giving him the opportunity of putting him and Lily together in the first place at ChancComm. Billy’s come to love Lily. She’s honest with him and allows him to be who he is. [However] he’s got this disdain for the Newmans.
Billy’s been made to feel like he has to defend himself. He has journalistic integrity. That what’s he’s fighting for. Does he blur the lines and play the grey zone? Absolutely. But he’s trying to discover who Ashland Locke is and then, it becomes personal. There’s a lot going on and a lot to unpack.
Soaps have cut back on new sets and extras, so it’s hard to get a feel for how big ChancComm is as we’re not seeing a busy newsroom with writers writing and editors waiting for copy. How big is ChancComm?
I don’t know [exactly] but I feel like it’s a big company. We don’t shy away from saying we’re on a world level. These are big companies going at it. There’s a lot going on — personal feelings, revenge, cliques, and the business world. Reputations are on the line. What’s most important to Billy right now is Lily, who doesn’t deserve to be dragged through the mud. [Because of this story getting posted] Billy’s reputation in the business world is going to be tarnished. He wants to do the right thing. Lily’s worked really hard to rebuild herself over the last few years.
The reason I asked ChancComm’s size is that I’m trying to get a feel for how many people are working there — how could this mistake have happened and how far is Billy from the day-to-day operations of the site?
Billy got a reporter to start writing a report on Ashland. He says if he presses this button, it goes wide. It’s the one piece of leverage he has. He’s already promised Ashland and Victoria that he won’t publish it, but he’s trying to save ChancComm with the love of his life at this point. He has a responsibility to his employees. He wants to keep ChancComm above water and not let the Newmans get their hooks into it. Victor [Eric Braeden], as usual, wants to control everything.
Billy might not be believed that it wasn’t intentional given past dynamics with the people involved.
Billy doesn’t feel like a criminal [in all this]. The truth is, he’s trying to save his kids [Johnny and Katie]. In the beginning, it was because he didn’t feel that Ashland was who he said he was. At the end of the day, Billy’s trying to protect people. He doesn’t like Ashland and he doesn’t like the Newmans. Billy’s going to do everything he can to protect himself.
How much of Billy’s media war with Adam (Mark Grossman) is about their rival media companies and how much is lingering animosity over Adam’s role in the death of Billy’s daughter Delia?
That is always there. What happened with Delia and after that is always there. It’s not far-fetched for Billy to see the Newmans as criminals. Billy’s not innocent in any of this but he’s not really like the Newmans. The Abbotts and the Newmans are different, I believe. They conduct business in different ways. When their two worlds collide is when you get the most impact. [As actors], we have to keep that in the air. Do the Newmans and Abbots get along once in a while? Yeah. They bury the hatchet, but it’s never very deep.
Soap fans love to create “smush” names for their favorite couples. What’s Billy and Lily’s “smush” name?
We’ve gone back and forth on this…’Bil-lily?’ ‘Lib-ily?’
The Young and the Restless, Weekdays, CBS