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Jill Abbott: A Life Turned Upside Down

What happens to a person when they discover the foundation upon which they've built their life is not at all what they thought it was?

This is the question a stunned Jill will soon be asking herself. On the eve of Liz Foster's startling revelation to her daughter, Jill, we spoke with Jeanne Cooper (Katherine) and Jess Walton (Jill) about what they anticipate viewer response will be to this exciting new story.

Jeanne began, "Well, first of all, they are going to be excited. The "Pro Katherines" will say, 'You see, Katherine was right, Jill did crawl out from underneath a rock.'" Jeanne continued, "Our situation is a love hate relationship and the fans can't wait until we get into it. I guarantee when the fans find out the shocking news Liz Foster brings to town, they are going to say 'God, I hope Katherine has nothing to do with this!' Fans are very wise… as the writers bring the truth closer and closer, fans might start to say, 'Please don't let it be!' There are going to be a lot of mixed feelings in our audience."

Jess Walton said she was "thrilled because this is going to give me something internal to play. It's going to shake up Jill's whole world and force her to examine herself. When Jill is given this information, she will spiral into a place of real doubt but also, some elements of her past and the relationships she has had will slowly become more clear."

I wondered what lengths Jill might go to unearth clues to this extraordinary mystery. Jess responded, "She will leave no stone unturned. She is like a pit bull when she wants something. I assume Jill will involve other people to help her get the answers she desperately needs. If Jill thinks it's in her best interest, she might even turn to Katherine in desperation to get some help!"

"For the very first time, you will hear Jill say things like, 'I've made so many mistakes in my life. I've been my own worst enemy.' I think Liz's disclosure will open up a window for Jill to better understand some of the things Jill has done," said Jess.

Fans know Jill and Katherine have an extraordinarily contentious relationship. In the beginning, there was affection between these two but when Jill turned her sights on Katherine's husband, Phillip Chancellor, a vast and ugly rift was forged. Jill and Katherine later fought bitterly over the custody of Jill and Phillip's son, Phillip III (Thom Bierdz). Katherine's sole companion became her maid, Esther Valentine (Kate Linder) and, sensing the opportunity to play a joke, Jill made-over an ex-con she found in the park and introduced him to Katherine as Rex Sterling (Quinn Redeker). Although the start of their relationship was dubious, Katherine and Rex shared a tremendous joie de vivre, which made Rex's death at the hands of an intruder, an extremely painful loss for Katherine. Jill's fiery relationship with patriarch John Abbott produced a son, named Billy. Jill felt she might finally heal the wound she suffered when Phillip III died as a result of a drunk driving accident. Her relationship with John soon ended and Jill was suddenly faced with no place to live. She laid claim to the Chancellor estate and in an unusual ruling, the judge ordered a bitter and devastated Katherine to share ownership of the property she and Phillip had shared so many years ago. There has never been a dull moment since -- two queen bees in one hive.

This new story gives two outstanding actresses an opportunity to revisit some really rich landscapes dramatically. With Liz Foster (Julianna McCarthy) on the canvas, we will likely see a more vulnerable Jill, a Jill who still loves and needs her mother -- who, as we will discover, not only has disturbing news to deliver about Jill but alarming news about herself. Jess offered, "I think Liz is the only person that Jill truly respects. She holds Liz in the highest esteem. Jill can be totally real with Liz and wants her approval and because of this, she has power over Jill in a way no one else has."

And yet there is another person who also has power over Jill in a way that Jill would undoubtedly deny. Jeanne commented on the longevity of Jill and Katherine's feud. "Actually, we are like a couple. We have gone through as many adversities as any married couple has ever fought about. The secret the writers know so well is that the audience wants to see Jill and Katherine react to each other. The audience wants us to top one another but they never know which way it's going."

When it's pointed out that neither Katherine nor Jill is ever victorious over the other for very long, Jeanne, "absolutely agrees." She pointed out these characters deeply respect each other but both deny it vehemently. "They basically know they only have each other," Jeanne added. "Jill will always be there, if only to kick me in the teeth and I will always be there to point out her stupidity."

Jess had a different take on their fights. "I think Katherine wins the war, every time -- but Jill gets to win a couple of battles here and there. The crux of Jill and Katherine's relationship is that in the beginning, Jill was very fond of Katherine. I felt sorry for her. Then I did her dirty and she did me dirty which provoked tremendous anger -- but before that there was love. So you have huge conflict between love and hate in these two women"

Jess notes that once all the facts are in and Jill discovers what is at the heart of this matter, "Jill will likely blame all those involved. Then I think the interesting part of the story will be watching how Jill comes to terms with it."

Fans don't have to wait long to discover the devastating truth about Jill. Make sure to tune in on Monday, Feb. 3rd, for a not-to-be-missed episode of, The Young and the Restless.

By Victoria Curea

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