Beloved The Young and the Restless star Bryton James (Devon Hamilton) is once again celebrating an Emmy nomination, and even though it's an honor that he's experienced many times, he tells Soap Central that the excitement and gratitude he feels always matches up to what he felt the very first time he was nominated back in 2006.
However, what makes this year a little different from years past is the material that he submitted for his reel, which was quite a big departure from the work he's chosen to showcase in the past. Keep reading to find out what he submitted and see what he has to say about why he hasn't considered entering himself in the Lead Actor category -- yet, anyway!
Soap Central: Congratulations on your Emmy nomination!
Bryton James: Thank you so much! I appreciate that.
Soap Central: How do you feel about being honored in this way? Again!
James: It feels the same as the very first time. It's always an incredible honor to be recognized by my peers and by people who I look up to and try to be as good as. And for anyone to think I'm doing a decent job at this work, it's a great feeling.
Soap Central: You've been doing this for a really long time, but do you still get nerves or jitters before the nominations are announced?
James: No nerves or jitters, but I'm really competitive, so it's a normal sense of anticipation, more than anything else. Not nervous, but more anxious, I'd say.
Soap Central: How did you find out that you'd been nominated this year?
James: Our publicist did a great job at announcing the nominations. We were all on set, filming -- just about all of us were together in a scene -- and he gave a very nice dramatic reading, one by one, to reveal who was nominated. So, it was very suspenseful! [Laughs]
Soap Central: Oh, wow! That's pretty rare, that you'd all be together during the nomination announcement. That must have been a pretty dang exciting day filled with celebration!
James: I know, right? We were so fortunate. We were already shooting some party scenes, so that was fun, and we were able to really have a good time during lunch, as well.
Soap Central: As soon as you were able to share the news with others, who did you contact first?
James: The first person I told was my mom, of course! She was over the moon about it. She's always telling me to collect all of the nomination certificates, and she's always bugging me to get every single one of them framed and to put them up somewhere. She always gets pretty excited about it.
Soap Central: You should frame them and hang them somewhere in her house in the future! That would be a really special gift at some point.
James: That would be nice, but she's always telling me to put them on my wall! [Laughs] She wants me to put them up for myself, but I always tell her, "Oh, come on! I don't need to do that." [Laughs]
Soap Central: As you mentioned, you were on set with most of the other nominees, so who did you share congratulations with and vice versa?
James: Melissa Ordway [Abby Newman] was on set with us, as were Peter [Bergman, Jack Abbott] and Jason [Thompson, Billy Abbott], and then just the very next day I believe, Jordi [Vilasuso, Rey Rosales] got to come in, and we all did a nice photo together. Mishael Morgan [Amanda Sinclair] was on set with us, of course -- really most of us. It was a fun time. And it was really nice to see Jordi again, as well.
Soap Central: What scenes did you submit for your reel this year?
James: I mostly submitted scenes involving the baby storyline with Devon's son, scenes where Devon was talking with Amanda about how he was struggling with knowing and understanding his role and what his role was going to be in Dominic's life, being on the outside but knowing he is his biological father. I also put in the scene where Abby asks Devon if he would be the donor after they discussed his feelings of a mixed child being raised with a white family. And then I added some scenes that came right on the heels of that with Elena [Brytni Sarpy] and Devon. Elena and Devon had slept together again, and then we're kind of just saying that that was the end of their relationship, and it was just to see if there were any residual feelings left. And then I added one scene, which was at the end of the episode that honored Neil [Kristoff St. John], Neil's tribute episode.
Soap Central: Your scenes covered several storylines, but do you remember anything specific about filming any of the material that you included on your reel? And standout moments or memories from filming?
James: The only thing really about all of the scenes that I picked was it was kind of the first year where I didn't have anything that was overly dramatic. There weren't any high, high intensity moments of being angry or sad or anything like that. It was a little more down-to-earth, quiet type of conversations. But they felt real when I was in them and when I watched them back, so, that's really what stands out to me.
Soap Central: I know that a lot of actors decide which category to submit themselves in based on the storyline they were given and whether or not they think it was Leading or Supporting. If you were given the right material, would you ever consider submitting yourself in the Lead category?
James: Yeah, but so far, it's really been about my age and how I look at the category. I don't see myself as a Maurice Benard [Sonny Corinthos, General Hospital] or a Peter Bergman or a Tony Geary [Luke Spencer, GH] -- people who that category belongs to. Those people really made their mark on their shows, and I'm on my way there, but I think with my age, too, Supporting just makes more sense. I think I've had Leading material -- the show has definitely been kind enough to give me the volume of material to be considered in Lead, but I've never seen myself as that yet. So, I'll give myself a few more years! [Laughs]
Soap Central: I can understand that, especially when you think that many of the Lead contenders are, as you said, legends in daytime who have been on their shows for decades.
James: Yeah! And if Kristoff were still around, he would be in Lead, and I would not consider myself on that same level, regardless of the volume of material that I had.
Soap Central: Bringing it back to the level you are currently blessed to be in, the Supporting category, how do you feel about the other nominees you're sharing the category with?
James: I know it's the best of the best, every year. The Supporting category is extremely difficult because there's a lot of great talent, and this year is no different. I think it's going to be very competitive. I'm actually rooting for Jordi because I remember watching the scenes that he submitted when he was actually filming them, and I just remember being blown away. So, I'm excited. It's competitive, and I am that! [Laughs]
Soap Central: As competitive as you are, are you also a good sport if you don't take home the gold?
James: Oh, of course! I've experienced that quite a bit -- it's old hat! [Laughs]
Soap Central: What are you most looking forward to about the Emmys in June? It's going to be in person again, which is really exciting.
James: Yes, that is exactly what I was going to say! It'll be in person, and nothing beats that. The experience of being able to get dressed up and go outside and be around all of your peers; that's the best part of the Emmys, is to be around the people who are in this genre, the people I've grown up with. It's really the one time that we get to see each other and hang out with the people from other shows. And our parties afterward are always a blast, so, really, I look forward to the social part of it.
Soap Central: Are you the type to prepare an acceptance speech beforehand, in case you win?
James: Absolutely! Yes. I don't like winging anything; if there's a chance that I could be called up on stage anywhere, I always have an idea of what I'm going to say, for sure.
Soap Central: Especially in a moment like that, where you'd be so full of emotions!
James: Oh, absolutely! I will never forget the first time [I won] -- I was so glad that I prepared it to a "T" that first time, because it feels like a dream when they call your name; it's like you're not in control of your body anymore! You go on autopilot. [Laughs]
Soap Central: Is there anything else that you'd like to add?
James: I'd just like to reiterate how much of an honor it is to receive this nomination, and I'd like to give my thanks to every single person that cast a vote.
How do you feel about Bryton James being nominated for an Emmy? What did you think of his work as Devon last year? Do you think he will take home the gold during the 2022 Emmy race? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.