Jason Thompson will be debuting as Billy Abbott on “The Young and the Restless” on Jan. 14, 2016. In a candid interview with Soap Opera Digest, Jason talks about the anxiety about disappointing his fans, worrying he’ll never measure up as Billy Abbott, and what led to his decision to walk away from Dr. Patrick Drake.
Jason said the decision to leave “General Hospital” was not an easy choice. He explained five months ago, he met with Jill Farren Phelps, and she expressed interest in hiring him on “Y&R.” At the time, she didn’t have a character in mind, but promised him better storylines, and not to be placed on the back burner The truth is when she started trying to get Jason on board “Y&R,” it is believed that Burgess Jenkins hadn’t arrived at his decision to leave the role of Billy Abbott. Jason explained that if he hadn’t decided to leave “GH” he would have fought harder for the soap to give him more airtime with a compelling storyline.
Thompson said he isn’t burned out. “I love what I do,” the handsome actor beamed. Thompson said that he wasn’t sure there was anything “GH” could have done to keep him on the show. He needed a change and a more challenging role, implying he may have outgrown the role of Patrick.
Jason admitted that he felt extremely nervous about being well received as Billy Abbott. Even though he is nervous about the new role, he admitted to a feeling of being excited about the endless possibilities of the iconic role of Billy Abbott. Jason Thompson said it will be nerve-wracking at first until he settles in the role, especially since there have been so many actors in the role in the past few years.
Jason Thompson smiled and noted that the ending “GH” gave him was fitting. He cannot wait for the fans to see it and see the reaction. Jason explained it was hard in the final scenes to separate Jason’s feelings from Dr. Drake’s emotions; however, in the end, it all came together.
Thompson said that he would not miss medical jargon, and is ecstatic about portraying a businessman. Jason noted another thing he won’t miss is the scrubs and welcomed ‘normal’ casual wear. He explained he would miss the hospital set and playing a doctor.
Jason Thompson explained how grateful he was for the opportunity to contribute to “General Hospital” legacy. He wanted the fans of “Y&R” to know that he will do whatever he can bring justice to the character of Billy. He hopes the fans will give him a fair chance. He noted he hoped they will give him some time to get to know Billy Abbott.
To his “GH” fans, he wanted them to know how special each one of them is to him. He explained how much the past few months had meant to him, and thanked the fans for the support for ten long years! Are you excited to see Jason Thompson’s debut on Jan. 14?