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Y&R: Interview with Jess Walton some spoilers

Chris B

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This has some light spoilers, but mainly is about her contract and whats been going on. Credit goes to OceanView from the Nick/Phyllis site! He/She is fabulous for posting these interviews.

Spotlight On: Jess Walton

After months of simmering on the back burner, Jess Walton jumps to the front this week on Y&R. First Jill gets all hot and bothered with Will, then she gets all fired up with Katherine. Finally.

What's happening with Jill?

JW: All I know is that Jill and Will are going to be an item - and there's this triangle with Gloria - and we're reverting back to Katherine and Jill at each others' throats, which feels so good. I always believed in the mother/daughter thing; it added a new dimension. But unfortunately it wasn't written with a new dimension. They cut out all the animosity.

You re-signed, but the show had nothing for you to do. Was that frustrating?

JW: No, because Lynn [Marie Latham] kept apologizing to me and I believed she was sincere. She kept saying, 'I feel so bad I don't have a story for you guys.' For a while, I wasn't going to re-sign, but they wouldn't let me go. That convinced me they were genuine. They wouldn't have kept me if they didn't have plans for me.

Do you like working with Ted Shackelford (Will)?

I've known Ted for about 25 years. He is a dream. He's perfect in the role and he's perfect for Jill. Jill is not crazy like she used to be, like Gloria is now. You know Judith [Chapman] played Jill one day when I was sick with pneumonia about 12 years ago.

Y&R no longer has rehearsals. Is that difficult?

Sometimes we have them if there are a lot of entrances and exits and complicated camera work. I thought, 'Oh my God, if I blow a line it's going to go on the air.' I was nervous, but it's lightened up. It's gotten everyone on their toes. Lynn hired a dialogue coach, too.

When you had time off, how come you didn't work on other projects?

You know what? I'm such a lazy woman. I just live my life, see my people, read...I'm interested in two things: getting into voice-over work and writing. But I haven't taken the action yet. About eight years ago, I did a cameo in a movie, playing this trailer trash mom. I had a scene with my daughter (in the movie) and it was emotional on both our parts. I saw the ease with which she ripped herself apart to get down to the emotion. Then it got to be my turn, and I just didn't want to do it. I didn't want to rip myself apart anymore. For 23 years I'd been crying [on daytime]. I'm tired of it.

Plus, Jill is familiar.

It's much easier for me because I am this character. I can pull that out of nowhere. I've got history with everybody I'm working with. This is what I've always wanted. I've always wanted to be in a rep company where I worked with the same people, where I felt comfortable, where I didn't feel like I had to prove myself, where everybody had confidence in me and I was surrounded with people who expected the best from me. I remember when I was under contract at Universal and going into a new show every week. They didn't know me from Adam. I was never comfortable or free enough. I don't have that burning drive to do that anymore.

And now?

I've got this dream job where I laugh all day and I love the people and I know the character and I have my private life at the same time. When I think of these actors who have to fly all over and be on location, leave their babies, leave their husbands, that does not appeal to me. I'm happy with the way things are.


People say Latham is a Nazi and that she doesn't care about the fabric that is Y&R, but I never saw that. I saw that much more with Jack Smith. Based on what he was doing Jess Walton was considering leaving the show and it took "Nazi" Lynn Latham to convince her to stay.

We can add Walton to the list of actors ran off (or almost) by Jack Smith:

Ashley Bashiom

Heather Tom

Victoria Rowell

Kristoff St. John

Jeanne Cooper

Eric Braeden

I don't care how long he worked with Bill Bell, he needed to go! I can't wait to see Jess Walton and Jeanne Cooper in a new storyline and I'm loving that Jill has a sex life again.

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Wow I had no idea Jess was close to leaving.l Yeah I mean Latham has maybe done some controversial things but she respects the history of the show and has really given the talented cast awesome material to work with. Jack Smith should have never been allowed free reign. He was taking the show down a dark path and I was glad they stopped him before it became too serious.

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