The Young and the Restless has much in common with its sister soap The Bold and the Beautiful. Both series were created by the late William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell, but not everything they do in a COVID-19 world is the same.
Jason Thompson: Thrilled To Be Back
BB’s use of blowup dolls and doubles for more intimate scenes is well-publicized, but according to Jason Thompson, who recently won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of Billy Abbott, YR won’t be employing such methods — at least not at this time.
“No replacements on our set, no mannequins,” Thompson told Oregon-based TV station KOIN’s AM Extra. “I don’t think anybody’s doing that on ours. We’ll figure it out as we go [on] how to get more intimate and closer. We’re about four to five weeks in and everybody’s been safe. It’s been a positive work experience for everyone.”
“It’s definitely been interesting,” adds Christel Khalil (Lily), who joined her co-star in the segment. “We have to stay six feet apart, obviously. We’re wearing masks up until the time we actually tape. That’s been an adjustment, for sure. We have less crew on the stage, but everyone’s so focused and just happy to be back. We’re all doing our part the best we can. It was an adjustment, but now we’re getting in the swing of things again.”
If there are no mannequins or spouses of actors doubling for kissing scenes as BB is doing, how is YR handling more intimate moments? “I think we’ll get there,” says Thompson. “Right now, we’re trying to keep our distance. We’re trying to keep the physical distance yet keep the emotional closeness [we have] in the show.”
YR’s first show since the pandemic began aired this week. The show’s writers wrote in media mavens Billy and Lily doing a story on the late Katherine Chancellor (Jeanne Cooper) and Chancellor Park. It made sense for the interviewers to stay at a distance from their interview subjects. Time will tell how the stories will play out given social-distancing and production protocols that are being adhered to in order to keep cast and crew safe.
“It’s been really great to see everybody and get back to the stage…” Thompson shared. “And do what we love to do. We’re excited to bring new episodes to people.” The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS. Check local listings for air times.