From upcoming #BoldAndBeautiful
TELEVISION :: It takes a certain kind of man to get the attention of iconic daytime bad girl, Jill Abbott. Soap guru Nelson Branco is that kind of man, and sat down with the woman behind Genoa City’s force of nature, Emmy Award winning Jess Walton (fun fact: Walton attended Toronto’s prestigious Catholic school, Loretto Abbey). The two divas talked about Walton’s disappointment over losing Tristan Rogers as her definitive leading man, what soap fans really want, and leaving Y&R:
As a respected soap vet, how do you feel about all the recent soap cancellations? Did you see this coming?
It’s strange…. Everything that’s been happening in the soap world. But yes, I did see this coming. I saw this whole thing coming years ago. There’s nothing that can be done to change it, I don’t think. Years ago, my husband said, “You guys have to do something about all this reality stuff.” But there’s no changing it. People want reality, and they’re going to get what they want. What can I say? I think there are ways we can delay [the inevitable]. I have my own ideas of what soap fans want from a soap…
What are those ideas?
I think they want to see their favourite characters. They want the families intact. They want to see interpersonal relationships. They want to see everyday life instead of cops and car chases. They want to see character reactions. After something dramatic happens, they want to see what Gloria will say. Do you know what I mean?
And when I say “they,” I mean our old-fashioned, diehard fans. I don’t think this new generation will become the soap fans the way you and I became soap fans. But, having said that, I think we still have a huge amount of baby boomers left that like soaps. Niche advertising to the baby boomers could easily solve the problem because it’s a huge, lucrative market. I also don’t buy this erroneous assumption that older consumers are stuck in their buying habits. It’s simply bullshit Madison Avenue has created. [Groans] It’s such a lie! I’ve never understood why networks are buying intothat [corporate propaganda]. I change brands all the time, and I’m in the forefront of the baby boomers.
What are you talking about? You’re 39, damn it! [Laughs] What do you think of the influx of all these ALL MY CHILDREN and GUIDING LIGHT actors on Y&R?
Well, I make an exception for Tristan Rogers. But he was off GH for a long time. And he became such a Y&R favourite. There is no doubt there are wonderful actors from other shows on Y&R now, and I love them, but I don’t think fans want to see the Y&R brand watered down. I hope our show isn’t unrecognizable to a lot of fans. I don’t want to be disloyal to our show, and I’m sorry if anyone doesn’t want me to say that, but I feel it needs to be said because I love this show. It’d be easier to digest if the addition and introduction to these actors and characters was more organic and happened slowly, you know what I mean?
I think if the right role comes up for a soap-hopper, then cast a fan favourite. But unfortunately, I think Y&R is working backwards. They cast the actor first, then come up with a role. Character should come first — always. Marcy Rylan worked, for instance. Did the passionate audience reaction to Colin and Jill’s surprising romance take you by surprise?
I didn’t realize it! When I remember our first scene together, Jill was sitting in a coffee shop, and Colin came over to sit down but nothing much happened in the scene. But slowly, the love story started to develop. It was interesting to see a man, who really is a mob boss, truly fall in love. It was a really nice idea. Jill, who had always been deceitful, really opened up to Colin because he was so nice to her, especially after Cane “died.” Colin and Jill’s love affair truly made these people who were really flawed better human beings. They were really happy together. Unfortunately, we were alone in that argument! [Laughs] That was the only fly in our ointment.
The fans have mobilized on social media and are demanding you guys be reunited. There was a bit of mystery involved for me, which made your coupling more fascinating, because I wasn’t sure if Colin really loved Jill, and vice versa. I suspected Jill and Colin truly loved each other — but I wanted them to start fresh without the lies. The psychology their love story introduced made them an atypical romance, which got me all wet as a soap fan on many levels. Colin and Jill had a five-year love story ahead of them, tops! Thoughts?
They loved each other to death. They adored each other. They also adored the best in each other — and their love made them feel like good people. I think Tristan and I are on the same page with Colin and Jill. But we were really fighting City Hall because there was another story being told [with Cane’s history]. Colin and Jill evolved almost by accident. I just wish someone in power had recognized the magic of Colin and Jill.
Colin and Jill have a lot of young fans out there. I know because they tweet me every day demanding Tristan’s return to Y&R.
I also thought Y&R handled Colin and Jill very tastefully, too. I’m always cognizant of the fact if things get too risqué. And it didn’t. Well, the only time it got kind of risqué was when handcuffs got involved at the end there!
Tristan’s aged very well… he’s such a handsome man.
He’s a very, very handsome man. I really felt like Tristan and I were collaborators.
You’re not so bad yourself, you Tigress! Have you given up hope that Tristan may not come back to Y&R? He’s currently on GH —poor guy! — but we don’t know how long that will last, especially since ABC has given away its timeslot to KATIE.
Exactly. There’s always a possibility that he could come back. It would be so wonderful. At least for me, anyway. The door is not shut.
One beat of the love story I really dug and appreciated was the fact that in the end, Jill became a mother, albeit a stepmother, to Cane, a man she always thought of as her son —and, at one point, believed he was. It was kind of karmic.
It really was a great story! I thought! [Laughs] Thank God I can laugh about it now, because if you had interviewed me a few months ago, Oh my goodness! [Laughs]
Jill’s on the back burner. How are you playing where Jill’s heart is at with Colin? Because clearly it’s not on the page.
She’s totally in love with Colin.
Well, that’s what I think the character is feeling — and as an actress, I have to be true to it. I’m not interested in flirting with other men on the show. It’s been even written that Jill should be flirting but I soft-pedal it because I can’t go against that love. I can’t negate Jill’s love for Colin. I think Colin is the greatest love I’ve ever played on that show.
What was it like working with two GH superstars, Genie Francis and Tristan?
Genie and Tristan were brought in to be a couple, and I was just the foil. I loved working with Genie! I just love that woman. I loved the comedy that ensued when Gen found out Jill and Colin made love on her desk and she had tosterilize her desk. God, I thought I was going to die, it was so funny! I just can’t get enough working with Genie and Tristan. I mean, they’re daytime icons, so it was a privilege to work with Genie and Tristan. That’s the upside with having an influx of actors from other soaps on your show. We’re getting the best of the best.
And they get to work with the bestest, too! What did you think of Jill’s paternity retcon? Personally, I hated it.
It never felt real, and it’s been dropped, so it still doesn’t feel real. I loved working with Tracy, though. I like the fact that her new family ties make for fun holidays with the Baldwins, Gloria and Jill in the same room! [Laughs] But you’re right; I still think of myself as Jill Abbott because that was her name for so long. It’s been an adjustment… I have to remind myself I’m Jill Fenmore. It’s
weird that Jill owns half of Fenmores — and fought for her stake — when she’s working at Jabot.
Are you submitting yourself for the Emmys this year? You had some kick-ass stuff, especially with Cane’s death.
No! I’m done. I’ve told you that before.
I know, but I’m a dog with an Emmy, er bone!
I have my two Emmys and that’s good for me. One for supporting and one for lead… that’s all I wanted.
Don’t you want a Younger Actress Emmy?
Yes! [Laughs] Wouldn’t it be great if they accidentally did that.
Knowing NATAS, you never know — it could happen! [Laughs] Your contract is up. You staying or leaving?
I’m not sure. I’m not sure.
You’re going to re-sign; do you hear me?!
Follow Nelson Branco at @NellieBranco and subscribe to his weekly soap e-book!
….She committed murder. He took the rap for her and went to jail. Now The Young and the Restless’ Victor and Nikki — played by suds greats Eric Braeden and Melody Thomas Scott — are back in each other’s arms. But will it last past Valentine’s Day? Thomas Scott gave TV Guide Magazine the gloomy scoop.
TV Guide Magazine: We’re loving this umpteenth Victor-Nikki reunion! Who’s going to screw it up this time?
Thomas Scott: Victor does the whole Valentine’s thing, bringing in a pianist and a violinist, candles and champagne, which of course leads to sex. They’re madly in love. But Nikki will find out he lied to her about his involvement in the Chelsea-Anita scam and she leaves him. Just like that. Over! Pow! Nikki gets her s—t together and says, “I can’t stay here anymore. I’m done!”
TV Guide Magazine: Then what? Nikki goes back to the bottle?
Thomas Scott: As we know, it’s never really over for Victor and Nikki but it’s my guess she’ll get hooked up with Jack Abbott [Peter Bergman] again and they’ll probably marry. She’s visiting him in the hospital every day and being a really good friend. [Laughs] We all know where that leads! When Peter and I first saw those scripts we could read between the lines. But it’s just my speculation.
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