Last month production restarted on “Y&R”, with the first new episode airing on Global on Friday, August 7 in Canada.
This week “Y&R” stars Christel Khalil (who plays Lily Winters) and Jason Thompson (Billy Abbott) spoke with ET Canada’s Morgan Hoffman about what it’s like to film a daytime drama in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and what fans can expect to see now that the show has returned.
Khalil admits that it’s taken some adjusting to adapt to a “new world of masks and distancing, especially as an actor when you’re trying to have some sort of emotional feeling and you’re far away from somebody, it’s different. But it’s been good. Everybody’s been working hard and doing a good job, and I think we’re all getting used to it now.”
She adds: “We’re wearing masks the whole time, we have to stay six feet apart, we’re getting tested regularly. We have less of the crew on set. We’re having to walk around each other to make sure we’re apart, so it definitely is an adjustment.”
As for what fans can expect in upcoming storylines, Khalil talks about what it’s like now that her character Lily and Billy are “now co-CEOs of Chancellor Communications.” And she explains that “because they’re so different, it’s the drama of them butting heads on how to do things and how to move forward in the company.”
“She’s trying to hold the horse back a little bit, and Billy doesn’t like that,” adds Thompson. “He wants to run free. But she’s going to try to do everything she can to try to keep me in place. Which is probably a good thing.”
Khalil quarantined with her family in Toronto before heading back to Los Angeles to begin work again on the set of “Y&R”.
Back in May, Khalil posted a photo of her son and longtime partner, while in quarantine, when the Daytime Emmy nominations came out. Khalil was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her role as Lily.
And with Lily back in Genoa City, Morgan wants to know if it is safe to say that fans will be seeing a lot more of her?
“Yes, absolutely,” says Khalil, explaining that her character’s new situation is “kind of the storyline I’ve always wanted Lily to have. So it’s nice to have her being the CEO now after all the other jobs she’s done. I feel like I’m playing a new character, which is really nice.”
After “Y&R” ran out of new episodes during the production halt, themed weeks of vintage episodes were aired. “I managed to catch a few,” noted Alberta-born Thompson, “and I learned some stuff about my character that I didn’t know, which was fun.”
Before heading back to set, Thompson talked about spending time with his family in Kings Canyon.
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The best 4 VERY distanced days in Kings Canyon at our friends 100 year old family shack. No one around. No power, no water, fire cooked food, lakeside lunches, outdoor baths, nature walks and family exploring. A perfect time to disconnect, reflect and reconnect with my loves. And let me take a second to give a shout out to all the continued work from our medical professionals and essential workers. 🙏🏼♥️
But he’s glad to be back to work, telling Morgan that even under such challenging circumstances, it has been exhilarating. “The band’s back together and we’re really excited about it,” he says.
For more on Thompson’s Emmy win for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series while in quarantine, watch the uncut video of the interview above.