Last year was a tumultuous one for The Young and the Restless' Devon Hamilton (Bryton James), who first struggled with the fact that his dead wife's look-alike (Mishael Morgan) continued to make herself at home in Genoa City and then was dealt the devastating blow that his girlfriend, Elena (Brytni Sarpy), had cheated on him. The emotional material probably would have been decent no matter who had played it, but it was elevated to heartbreaking heights with beautiful performances by James and Sarpy, whose real-life connection as romantic partners added a more powerful level of pain to the scenes.
The great news is that James earned a Daytime Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actor category for his work during Devon and Elena's dramatic roller coaster of a year. The sad news is that Sarpy did not. But James credits the talented actress for improving his performances on the show and says that any honor -- whether it be the nomination or an eventual win -- will be equally shared with her.
Soap Central: Congratulations to you on your Emmy nomination! I know you've had several nominations over the years -- this is your ninth -- so, does it feel different each year?
Bryton James: Thank you! It gets better and better, each one. The more that they're adding up, it's kind of unbelievable, to be honest -- as is the fact that I've been able to be a part of a show that is this great for this long. But to be recognized by my peers and by the people that I admire and respect so much, it never gets old. It's an honor every time.
Soap Central: You just saying "the more they're adding up" made me think of Scrooge McDuck swimming through his piles of gold coins. Do you remember that cartoon image?
James: [Laughs] I do! Although, I did some research and looked up other nominations, other actors and how many they've gotten, and man, when I came across Peter Bergman's [Jack Abbott] list -- whoa! 23! Does anybody realize? He has 23 nominations! That's amazing.
Soap Central: He has definitely racked them up, that's for sure! How did you find out that you were nominated?
James: Our fantastic publicist, Matt Kane, gave me a call, and I was actually here at work, in between scenes and getting ready for the next scenes. He shared the news, and I called my mom. But I was extremely shocked and disappointed that Brytni Sarpy wasn't nominated alongside me, because the scenes that I submitted, it was all of our stuff during the breakup storyline. But it was a good day, nonetheless.
Soap Central: Have you and Brytni been able to celebrate together, though? Because even though you were the one who got the nomination, I would imagine that her performance helped elevate yours. Is that how you view it?
James: Oh, absolutely. There would be no performance out of me if she hadn't given her all the way she did during those scenes. So, of course, I share this nomination with her and I [will share the win] if I am lucky enough to win. It's ours, not mine.
Soap Central: I'm guessing your reel has the scenes where Devon found out that Elena was cheating?
James: Yes, it started with the scene where she tells me that she cheated, and then the next two scenes, where I asked her why she did it, back in my penthouse, and telling her that I don't want her to live there anymore. And then I submitted the scenes a couple of weeks later, where she's living at Lola's [Sasha Calle], and I get to confront her and tell her off all over again! [Laughs]
Soap Central: There was some super intense, emotional material in those scenes. Do you remember how you got in the mood or prepared for any of them?
James: Oh, of course. Her and I got to rehearse together quite a bit on our own at home...
Soap Central: And your neighbors are like, "Why are they always arguing?!"
James: [Laughs] Exactly! And then it makes it really easy, though, when we're on set. Seeing the person that you care about that much get that emotional about anything, you can forget that you're acting, and it becomes very real. So, we prepared quite a bit, and I think for her, too, our relationship dynamic has made it pretty easy for the emotion to be there when it needed to be.
Soap Central: What do you think about the competition in your category?
James: Oh, man, the Supporting Actor category is the most difficult, I'd say, to get into and win. Everybody, I respect their work like crazy and admire them. I'm very happy for Darin Brooks [Wyatt Fuller] over at [The Bold and the Beautiful]. It's an honor to be recognized among them because I admire their talent so much.
Soap Central: Did you do anything to celebrate on Tuesday after you learned about your nomination?
James: I did my favorite thing, which was just to be at home, studying work for the rest of the week! [Laughs] I had about three episodes this week, so I stayed home and stayed low key. I'll look to celebrate if I end up bringing it home again.
Soap Central: That would be your third win, and they say the third time is the charm, so you'd have to celebrate big!
James: Oh, yeah! Absolutely, oh, my gosh. That would be unbelievable.
Soap Central: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
James: I just want to say thank you again to the fans and to everybody that voted, too, and allowed me to experience this nomination. It's such an honor. And stay tuned for what's coming up on the show! We have some really good storylines.
What do you think about our Emmy interview with Bryton James? Do you think he'll win the Outstanding Supporting Actor category for the second time in a row? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.