Friday, May 01, 2009

Interview Y&R: Jess Walton Sets the Record Straight, Part 1

There was a weekend last month when Jess Walton was no longer Jill Abbott. Different magazines reported various reasons for her leaving, as well as for her change of heart. One outlet printed that after Jess “discussed the matter with a beloved The Young and the Restless co-star, she and the show hammered out a new deal.”

Jess wants to set the record straight, stating: “It had nothing to do with my co-stars. It had to do with my family and this economy. I felt so bad that so many people have lost their jobs, that all of a sudden I thought: ‘This is really silly. I have a wonderful job, and I really think I owe it to myself and my family to continue on.’

“But I really was off and done. I really did come back in that one weekend. I am very fond of Maria (Bell, co-headwriter) and the Bell family. I am very fond of my co-stars and the crew. But, ultimately, it was a decision between my family and me, and had nothing to do with anyone at work.”

Another big piece of news happened around the same time: the cancellation of long-running soap-opera mainstay Guiding Light. When Jess and the rest of the Y&R cast found out, she reveals: “We were shocked. I was walking down the hall, and Eric Braeden (Victor Newman) asked: ‘Did you hear? Guiding Light just got canceled.’ The first thought that came to mind was gratitude that we are still on and that our show is still going strong, and we have a really nice place to work. We get along so well and we laugh all the time; it’s really, really nice working there.”

Aside from monetary or economic reasons, Jess has an even better reason for further exploring the character of Jill: “I have to say that the turn the character is taking (finding out she is not Katherine Chancellor’s daughter) is really intriguing to me. This came up right before the negotiations. It’s kind of hard to say goodbye to her when she is just turning a corner and becoming all feisty again.”

Dedicated viewers know the reason behind her feistiness: Jill is reeling from the news that she is not Katherine’s daughter. Jess recalls when she first realized something was fishy.

“As I was reading the scripts, I was thinking, ‘Who’s screwing with the DNA?’ Then I realized, no one is screwing with the DNA; the DNA isn’t matching. I am very excited about the new story line. I am always glad when there’s a big change.”

Although Jess is grateful for the new angle to her relationship with Jill, she admits: “I very much liked the fact that they were mother and daughter. I just don’t know that it was ever handled right. I just thought that we’d been playing one thing for so long that the new direction would have to add something interesting, it would add other dimensions, instead of just ‘You old cow!’ and ‘You tramp!’”

Now that these old rivals are no longer related, Jess is anxious to see where this will lead them. “We’ve now had 32 years of a feud, and I don’t know how long you can just flat-out play that. With this new discovery, we’ve had a whole new change-up, and we could play off this. Now we can come back to the feud with renewed vigor, with fresh eyes.”

Check back next week as Jess discusses the emotional impact of this revelation on Jill, and the new Jill we can expect to see.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Byrne Gets Political on General Hospital

As the World Turns fans might want to tune in to General Hospital this summer. One of the soap's most popular actresses, Martha Byrne (ex-Lily/ex-Rose), has just been hired by GH for the recurring role of Andrea Floyd, the first lady of Port Charles. Andrea's husband, Mayor Garrett Floyd, is played by John Bolger (who had a run as Phillip Spaulding on Guiding Light after Grant Aleksander exited the role the first time).

ATWT recast beloved heroine Lily Walsh with Noelle Beck when contract negotiations fell through with Byrne. Byrne had wanted a guarantee to appear in the same number of episodes as her previous year on ATWT. Not too much to ask for, but apparently the show didn't feel the same way. Recently, Byrne started a trial run as a scriptwriter for The Bold and the Beautiful, a job that allows her to stay on the East Coast with her family. The GH role is recurring, so she will have a bicoastal commute for now.

As a longtime Byrne fan, I can't wait to see if Andrea is more like Lily or like Rose--Lily's spitfire, big-haired New Jersey twin. Let's hope it's a little of both.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rick Springfield Featured in 4 Episodes of Californication

From Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello:

Rick Springfield has signed on to play himself in four episodes of Californication.

Producers of the Showtime dramedy put out a casting call looking for "an actor who experienced huge fame in the '80s to play himself as a now down-on-his-luck ex-celebrity waiting tables to get by."

It would also appear that the role requires "tasteful nudity" and "simulated sex." He showed his bare bum in Hard to Hold. It'll be nice to see how it is all holding up, huh?

Days: Such a Tease!

*Lucas comes upon Chloe (Nadia Bjorlin, pictured) talking to Father Matt about secrets in marriage.

*Sami admits she has feelings for EJ that will never go away.

*EJ learns that Victor has Stefano.

*Will and Mia run into Kinsey - an old acquaintance of Mia.

*Kate clues Chloe in that she knows about her affair with Daniel.

Thursday – Rafe takes Sami on a romantic date, and they get caught in a compromising position.

Friday – Philip proposes to Stephanie.

Monday, April 27, 2009

GH: Such a Tease!

Jason’s suspicions about Claudia (Sarah Joy Brown, pictured) are confirmed.
Luke wants answers from Ethan.
Robin agrees to get the help she needs.

Claudia questions Sonny’s feelings for Carly.
Tracy warns Luke that he’s playing right into Ethan’s hands.
Patrick struggles with being a single father.

Things heat up between Nikolas and Elizabeth.
Luke asks Ethan to take a DNA test.
Maxie comes up with a plan to win Spinelli back.

Ric puts the pressure on Claudia.
Sonny and Jax remain at odds over Carly.
Maxie’s plan backfires in a big way.

OLTL: Such a Tease!

Cole makes a painful confession to Starr.
Brody and Jessica take their love to the next level.
Todd gets under Tea’s skin.

Todd and Tea go to war in the courtroom.
Starr tries to help Cole through his withdrawal.
John (Michael Easton, pictured) follows up on his hunch about the killer.

John makes a mysterious discovery.
Starr is forced to leave Cole when he needs her the most.
Matthew’s ordeal draws Bo and Nora closer together.

John turns to Viki for answers in his quest to catch the killer.
Cole faces his demons as he suffers through withdrawal.
Will Bo and Nora be able to deal with what is happening between them?

AMC: Such a Tease!

Reese hopes that Bianca can find a way to forgive her.
Zach’s father warns Ryan there’s a killer on the loose.
Zach questions Kendall’s motives.

Bianca and Reese make a decision about their future.
Kendall tells Ryan he’s the man she wants to be with.
Adam lays out a challenge for Scott and JR.

Amanda has a change of heart about her baby.
Tad is on a mission to find out who really killed Dixie.
Zach remembers the good times with Kendall.

Opal (Jill Larson, pictured) is plagued by ominous visions.
David has plans for Adam.
Zach and Liza are equally matched.

B&B: Such a Tease!

•Ridge receives an emotional plea.

•Brooke makes a staggering realization.

•Karen Spencer (Joanna Johnson, pictured with Susan Flannery) returns for the reading of her father’s will.

•Eric attempts to comfort Stephanie during a time of sorrow.

•Rick begs Brooke to make a stand against Ridge.

Y&R: Such a Tease!

•Are Ashley's past battles with mental health returning or is someone gas-lighting her?

•Will Kevin stop hallucinating and return to his old self?
•Phyllis is arrested.

•Kay (Jeanne Cooper, pictured) and Murphy get married.

•Will Nick be able to stop Sharon from handing over her letter of confession before it is too late?

ATWT: Such a Tease!

•Damian risks his life to save Luke's (Van Hansis, pictured).

•Carly pays the consequences for teaming up with Craig.

•Dusty begs Lucy to keep her part of the deal.

•Emily meets her new partner.

GL: Such a Tease!

•Alan, Beth and James follow Lizzie to Florida with Daisy, Christina, Ashlee, Dinah and Shayne not too far behind.

•Bill (Daniel Cosgrove, pictured) proposes to Lizzie.
•Doris drops a bombshell on Frank.

•Dinah procures DNA samples to find out the truth about Henry.