Soap Opera Digest

Quick Take With Y&R Head Writer Josh Griffith

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■ Why did you decide to take Billy on this emotional journey? “With Adam’s return it brought back all the feelings of what had happened with Delia. Billy had never totally come to peace with it, so we had to take him down that dark path that culminated in the cabin, where he faced all his demons.”

That seemed like a big breakthrou­gh for him but he’s still struggling. “We didn’t want it to be just a pat, ‘Okay.

Now I’m good.’ I saw such phenomenal work from Jason Thompson [Billy] that I said, ‘There’s gotta be more. Let’s go deeper. Let’s go further back.’ We covered the Adam/delia stuff, but I wanted to go into the heart and soul of who Billy is and why he’s this way. How much of his bad behavior and mistakes and foolishnes­s is coming out of the fact that everyone expects it of him and judges him because of it? So, it felt like organicall­y the right direction to take and with an actor that we knew could just kill it.” Did you discuss how you would be continuing the story with Jason? “Yes, we’ve had lots of conversati­ons about it. He’s very excited. He’s just such a smart actor that he just asks all the right questions. He says, ‘What about this?’ and has suggestion­s and digs a little bit deeper. ‘Maybe this is where this is coming from.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s good.’ It inspires me to just take the story to the next level.”

You’ve woven Chloe into this here and there. Are we going to see more of her in Billy’s story? “Yes.”

Why did you decide to bring Amanda into the picture? “She was new in town. She just went through all this crap with the will and everybody thought she was a part of it, but she was just there to do her job. And here was a guy that was also going through all kinds of confusion about his place and the way people looked at him. They were kind of in the same space when they met at the dive bar. Now that’s where they go so they won’t run into anybody who’s gonna give them crap. These two strangers find they have this connection; it’s not a romantic connection, it’s platonic, but they’re able to really open up to each other and help each other get through this. And then, of course, the misguided assumption­s about what the relationsh­ip is is gonna cause plenty of problems.”

What do you envision as the end result? “This is going to be sort of the reinventio­n of Billy Abbott by embracing all facets of the character, the good and the bad, and no longer feeling ashamed about it. It’s who he is.”

We don’t know what kind of person Billy will be when he emerges from this. Will he be better for it or worse off? “He could be a little bit of both.”

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