Soap Opera Digest: Christel, what was your reaction when you learned that Lily and Billy would be giving romance another whirl?
Christel Khalil: I was really excited. I knew Jason was a good actor and would be easy to work with, so I thought it would be fun. I was also excited to try something knew since I had been with Daniel [Goddard, ex-Cane] on the show for 13 years, so it was nice to try another dynamic and work with someone new, in general. I was really excited see what the writers would do with them.
Digest: Jason, what did you think about Billy and Lily getting together?
Jason Thompson: I was really excited about it, as well. Christel and I hadn’t worked together that much before because Lily was with Cane. Even back in the day, when we were at Brash & Sassy, Christel would come in and out, but we never really did too much together, only when Lily was modeling and we had scenes here and there. I heard talks about [Billy and Lily] throughout the year Christel wasn’t here, and if she came back, what the potential might be if they paired us up, so I was excited about it.
Digest: Christel, were you elated about your character embarking on a new romantic story after years of Lily and Cane?
Khalil: Yeah, definitely. And when I found out that she and Billy would be running a company together, I thought that was a really interesting dynamic because it’s a part I never played before.
Digest: Jason, did you like seeing Billy move on from Victoria?
Thompson: Yeah, I mean, when I think about Victoria, she’ll always be in his life, especially with the kids and all. I do feel this is a way for him to mature a little bit and step out on his own. He had a challenging year where he tried to figure out what made him tick and what did he want out of life, so I think when the relationship [with Victoria] ended, he had a sense of freedom and self-worth for the first time in awhile. So I think it was interesting to see what Lily brought out in him, and vice versa. Billy is playful and not so serious, so there’s room for smiles, which helps to build a good kind of relationship.
Digest: It’s interesting that they started your characters off on an even playing field. They’re both in charge at ChancComm, 50/50, as opposed to Billy being Lily’s boss.
Thompson: I think that was a good move. Lily has a way of keeping Billy in check, which I think works really well. She gives Billy enough freedom to be who he is, but at the same time, she’s not afraid to call him out if he’s straying one way or the other.
Khalil: As a work relationship, I think it’s a great environment for two characters to get to know each other and let the sparks fly. At the same time, it can be a little complicated, which I think is what we do really well in this genre.
Digest: How well did you know each other before this?
Thompson: We didn’t see each other that often.
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