Jess Walton (Jill, The Young and the Restless) is waxing lyrical about her 30-plus years on the soap...in particular, her relationship with on-screen frenemy (and off-screen pal!) Jeanne Cooper (Katherine).
When she first met Cooper as a recast Jill Foster Abbott, Walton was plunged into decades of history and dialogue...and immediately the Grand Dame of soaps took the actress under her wing. She shared with MichaelFairmanTV:
We were in the thick of this storyline revolving around Rex Sterling (Quinn Redeker), and what I remember is that Jeanne was really helpful to me. I had a tremendous amount of dialogue. We were just working together so much. I just grew to love her, and then I noticed how wonderful she was to everybody. Every new person who came on the show, Jeanne would take them aside. She would show them the ropes, and would give them advice. She was just fantastic.
Cooper already had put years into cultivating an on-screen rivalry with Brenda Dickson's Jill. In order to create believable chemistry, Walton recalled how the two put in hours of work. She noted:
But, I’ve got to tell you, we worked our asses off in the dressing room on our scenes. We would set each other up for the punchlines of the jokes, we would accentuate their character flaws, we would accentuate how ridiculous Jill was, and we would laugh about it. It was the most wonderful part of our time together. Jeanne was the heart and the soul of the show.
Walton also delved into some classic Katherine-Jill fights and storylines, including the 2000s maternity quandary. Jeanne hated it; she loved it, she divulged:
I also know she never liked the story of Katherine being Jill’s mother, and I always loved it, because I thought it explained the love/hate relationship so well. I think she thought it would damage their relationship, and it kind of did for a while.
When asked what Cooper would think of Y&R's "Katherine the Great" week? Walton quipped:
Oh, she’d adore it! Are you kidding? Nobody would love that more than her! She loved accolades. There is no doubt. She would be the first one to admit it, too.
Don't miss the rest of this fab interview; read it here!