It's been nearly six years since The Young and the Restless' Adam Newman accidentally struck Billy Abbott's daughter, Delia, with his car, leaving the little girl to die on the side of a darkened road. Though it appeared as if the characters had somewhat moved on from the tragic hit-and-run, the CBS soap opera is reminding viewers that tragedies such as that never really go away, as witnessed in its current storyline for Billy and Adam, who are now being played by Jason Thompson and Mark Grossman, respectively.
Adam's recent resurrection has sent Billy into an emotional tailspin that is having serious psychological consequences. Viewers are seeing the grieving father relive the anguish of losing Delia, and he's hearing his lost little girl's voice. The trauma has set Billy on a course of separating from reality, a deeply unsettling storyline that Jason Thompson is grateful to be playing.
"Part of why I was definitely intrigued and excited about it is because, I, as Jason, haven't been able to portray any sort of bigger storyline as far as Delia and dealing with her loss goes," the actor tells TV Insider, referring to the fact that actors Billy Miller, David Tom, and Burgess Jenkins were the performers to play Billy in the initial wake of Delia's death. "The trauma doesn't go away. He's trying to 'unpack' his emotional and mental state related to [her death]. I'm coming up on four years on the show in November. I haven't had a lot to play on that aspect, which is one of the most profound moments of his life. I was excited to see more of what it meant for Billy and try to understand this storyline."
Viewers are understandably intrigued to know how far Y&R will take the storyline and just how deep down into Billy's psyche the writers plan to go. The answer, according to Thompson, is "very deep."
"He's dealing with amnesia at some point, which is what can happen with this kind of [condition]. There's potential to go really far," the actor previews. "Circumstances might dictate how far he goes, but he feels like he's ready to go all the way. What that means is something Billy doesn't know. There's no stopping him. There's no talking him out of it."
Thompson continues: "It's this thing inside him that Billy has not gotten a handle on in a healthy way... He's dealt with this for [a while but] now the trigger of Adam coming back has made all that go away. It was a terrible tragic accident. I can say that logically. It doesn't mean Billy can. He can't come to terms with it. That's where he finds himself."
For more from Thompson on Billy's psychological state, what it's like to share intense scenes with Y&R newcomer Martie Blair (Bella), and how the character's spinout might affect his other children, check out TV Insider's full interview with the actor here.
What do you think about Y&R delving into a storyline in which Delia's death six years ago triggers psychological instability in Billy today? How far would you like to see the soap opera go with Billy's fractured personalities? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.