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Billy Miller Interview: Actor Discusses His Roles on 'All My Children' and 'The Young and the Restless'

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Billy Miller

Born on September 17, 1979, Texas native Billy Miller’s first breakout role on television was the character of Richie Novak, Annie Chandler’s murdering, blackmailing brother on the ABC daytime drama All My Children. Ironically, his first appearance on the show was as a bartender, an interest the actor has kept over the years.

Miller went from All My Children to the CBS soap The Young and the Restless in 2008 and is the fourth contract actor to play the charmingly sexy, but seriously flawed Billy Abbott, son of the late John Abbott and Jill Foster Abbott.

“I think all womanizers have hearts, big hearts … room for many many people.”

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Hi Billy, how are you?

Billy Miller: I’m doing fine, sounds like you’re a bit from the South.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): I’m in Alabama.

Billy Miller: Alabama … you had to beat my football team this year!

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): We had to beat everyone this year (laughs).

Billy Miller: Yeah, yeah.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): So, you’re from Texas … family still there?

Billy Miller: I grew up in Grand Prairie and went to UT. Parents are still there and I have two sisters, a niece, and a nephew.

Billy Miller

Billy Miller (James/Levy Management)

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What made you want to become an actor?

Billy Miller: I don’t know really. I went to film school first and went to acting classes while I was going through film school … and it was kind of a bet really. Some guys that I went to school with bet me that I couldn’t make it in this profession, so I gave it a shot.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): And you proved them wrong, didn’t you?

Billy Miller: At the moment, but you never know.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Did you ever do any modeling?

Billy Miller: Well, I was talked into signing with a company named Wilhelmina which back in the day, I was like, “Willa who”? I did some stuff but not a lot.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What was your first professional acting job?

Billy Miller: I did a pokerparty.com commercial. From there I did a bunch of national commercials, guest spots here and there, then All My Children and now The Young and the Restless.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Yes, on All My Children you played Richie Novak, a pretty bad fellow.

Billy Miller: Just misunderstood (laughs).

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Would you rather play a villain than a good guy?

Billy Miller: Oh for sure. You get to do everything you want to do as a bad guy even if you go to jail for it.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): When did you know you would be leaving All My Children?

Billy Miller: When they told me they were going to be killing me off and I’d be leaving the show. It was about a year and a half ago in the summertime. It was during my best friend’s visit to New York City, which prompted maybe our largest drinking bender ever.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): So they just basically told you one day that you were terminated.

Billy Miller: Yeah, basically. I got called in for a meeting and she said she had a storyline for me (laughs). But, it all worked out great.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Of course you went back to appear a couple of times as a ghost.

Billy Miller: Actually more than just a couple of times. Getting fired was the most lucrative couple of months of my life. I kind of extended the contract on a handshake and worked every day up until five days before I jumped on this job.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Yes, you went straight to The Young and the Restless. Had you already auditioned for it when you knew you were leaving All My Children?

Billy Miller: I auditioned there in New York and they flew me in here to test and I had about a week to get back there and start work. On All My Children I tested in New York and had two days to move there to go to work.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Since that was really your first big job, was there anyone there at AMC who showed you the soap opera ropes?

Billy Miller: You know, everybody was a great help there just like they are here. I would say that Alexa Havins was the first to show me around and then Colin Egglesfield became a good friend of mine. Michael Knight was always great; Thorsten, Cameron … they were all really good to me.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What is it like to work with David Canary?

Billy Miller: He’s a great guy … great story, hell he was on Bonanza!

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Moving on to Billy Abbott … I’d describe him as a bad boy womanizer with a heart, how about you?

Billy Miller: I think all womanizers have hearts, big hearts … room for many many people (laughs).

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Do you think he’ll finally find his true love one day?

Billy Miller: Well, he’s working on what, number 8 right now? I guess he might eventually.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Which woman would you like to see him with next?

Billy Miller: He’s been paired up with pretty much everyone. I don’t know … he hasn’t hooked up with Phyliss yet.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Some fans really liked Billy and Heather together, but that didn’t seem to last.

Billy Miller: I think that’s just Billy’s character. Billy just likes to hang out with attractive girls … and less clothes.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Do you share any similarities with your character?

Billy Miller: Are you trying to ask me if I’m a man whore?

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Well, not necessarily (laughs).

Billy Miller: Well, I’m not a rich kid and he is.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): You seem like a bit of a practical joker, though.

Billy Miller: I am a bit of a goofball, but there’s not a lot of time for practical jokes. You’ll have to talk to Kristoff about that – he’s got a fart machine that he likes to use.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Is it intimidating working with such great veteran actors as Jeanne Cooper, Eric Braeden, and Peter Bergman?

Billy Miller: Everybody has been extremely welcoming and helpful, so not at all. Actually Peter Bergman contacted me in New York as soon as I got the job and gave me some pointers from his experience of moving from NYC to down here. They’ve all been very supportive.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Did you watch soaps at all before you joined AMC?

Billy Miller: Not really, you know, being a film school brat, I didn’t really appreciate the workload but I definitely have now.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Do you think that soaps will still be around in 10 years?

Billy Miller: I hope so.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Would you like to get into films or be on Broadway?

Billy Miller: I’ll stay away from Broadway and save everybody the headache. I do not sing unless you want everyone to leave the room.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Billy Miller: I’ll take what work that comes to me. Right now I’m working on building a bar and we’ll see what happens on this run.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): You bartended before you became an actor?

Billy Miller: Bartended, built and ran bars … been doing that the better part of my life.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): And you own a company?

Billy Miller: Yes I do. We buy, build, and operate bars … and we are in the process of buying a bar as we speak in Silver Lake.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): You also have an interest in graphic design and media editing?

Billy Miller: Yes we do our own advertising and web work. Photography got me into film school so … things you try to use to diversify you know?

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Absolutely. What kind of charities are you involved in?

Billy Miller: I support some charities that donate to Sunflower Children. They sell t-shirts and the profits go to ill children and I try to support them when I can. Hopefully this year will be a year where I can do that in a bigger way for sure.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): You’re a bit on the shy side and don’t like to talk much, do you?

Billy Miller: I’m from Texas. We don’t talk much … we let our work take care of itself.

© 2010 Smashing Interviews Magazine. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the express written consent of the publisher.

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