After the coronavirus lockdown began, people started falling on a spectrum ranging from total couch potatoes who have memorized everything on Netflix to über productive robots who have mastered everything from baking artisan bread to coming up with ways to rule the planet. After having a chat with The Young and the Restless' Bryton James (Devon Hamilton) about his recent Outstanding Supporting Actor Daytime Emmy nomination, we think it's safe to say that he falls firmly on the latter side of the quarantine spectrum!
In addition to celebrating his eighth Emmy nod, James reveals that he has been quite busy since the stay-at-home orders took place. Never one to rest on his laurels, he is writing several scripts and staying fit with regular workouts; he released a matching app called Bildbord with his pal, Daniel Goddard [ex-Cane Ashby]; and he is even already somewhat preparing for the Y&R scenes he was given just before the lockdown took place. At this rate, fans should definitely get ready for a Bryton Bakery, because artisan bread is probably right around the corner!
Soap Central: Congratulations on your Emmy nomination!
Bryton James: Oh, thank you very much. I appreciate that.
Soap Central: How do you feel?
James: I feel honored! It's always a wonderful surprise. There's so much great talent, especially in this [Outstanding Supporting Actor] category. It's a tough category, so you never really know for sure how it's going to go, but to find out that I got nominated was a great surprise.
Soap Central: I know you've been nominated before, but does it feel a lot different this year, just because you're not on set, you're not working, and it's just a totally different environment?
James: Yeah, absolutely. The way you find out and everything is the same, but going into Emmy night is going to be a completely different experience. But I think it's pretty cool. Considering what we're all going through in the world with everything, it's a great thing that they're having the Emmys in the first place and that it's going to be on CBS primetime. I think it's a great thing for the medium, which definitely deserves it. It's very different, like, do I think about what I'm going to wear, and do I get myself a suit? [Laughs] But it's going to be fun.
Soap Central: This has been such a scary time for everyone, so having the Emmys happen brings a lot of excitement, and it's something for people to look forward to, which hasn't happened in a while. It almost gives things a much-needed sense of normalcy!
James: Absolutely. It was up in the air for a while, whether or not it was going to happen, and how it was all going to go down. But to know that they've organized it in this way, it's a nice thing and, like you said, something to look forward to.
Soap Central: Have you been in touch with any of your Y&R cast mates or vice versa to congratulate each other on your nominations?
James: I have! A bunch of cast mates sent me very nice messages, and I reached out to Christel [Khalil, Lily Winters] when I found out that she got nominated, as well. And also Mishael Morgan [Amanda Sinclair], I talked to her for a little bit. But, yeah, that's the thing about being a part of this family, is how supportive we are of each other. It's a great feeling to know that everybody has your back and appreciates what you do.
Soap Central: How about with family and friends -- who was the first person you told the news to?
James: The first person I told was Brytni [Sarpy, Elena Dawson], because Brytni and I live together. I was out on the patio, doing some other work, and she came out to give me a hug and let me know pretty soon after I got the first text. And then, of course, I called my mom. She was probably the second person I told, and I think she's probably the one who spread it to everybody else! Because I started to get messages from a couple of other people in my family, like my godfather and a few other friends, so I think I didn't have to do much spreading. She did that for me! [Laughs]
Soap Central: Leave it to moms, right? So what scenes did you submit for your Emmy reel?
James: They were scenes when Devon speaks at Neil's [Kristoff St. John] funeral; and then a scene where I'm explaining to Elena why I paid off her student debts and explaining how it had to do with one of Neil's last wishes, which was for Devon to pay things forward in life and give back whenever he can; and the scene where Elena and Devon say I love you for the first time to each other; and the scene where Devon has a pretty bad panic attack after seeing Hilary's ghost; and then the scene following where he gets defensive and doesn't really want to talk about it when Elena is trying to help him; and I think the last two are a scene where I'm getting heated with Elena about what happened with the whole will situation and giving my money away, and then a short scene with Nate [Sean Dominic] where they kind of recap all of Devon's loss over the last couple of years.
Soap Central: Was it difficult for you to narrow it down at all?
James: I kind of knew instinctively. Throughout the year when you're doing storylines, you usually feel it in the moment that it might be something good to use down the line. So, I had some ideas, but I also got a lot of help and input from friends and Matt Kane [from our publicity department].
Soap Central: Did you celebrate receiving your nomination? Or will you celebrate at all?
James: I didn't do anything really special. We just kind of relaxed for the night and had a nice dinner that Brytni and I made together. All of the celebrating was really just being on the phone with my friends and family and sharing in their excitement. There's not too much we can do right now to celebrate, anyway.
Soap Central: This is true! What have you been doing in your time at home, just in general?
James: I've been working on a few other side projects. I've tried to stay busy as much as I can. I'm itching to get back to work, because it's tough for me not to do anything. I've also been working out, because I'm trying to stay active and fit, too. But I've been helping with writing a film script. Brytni actually has the rights to a book and we're laying out an outline to convert it to a script. I've also been doing some writing on my own and some with Daniel Goddard [ex-Cane Ashby], too. We've actually been doing stuff together the last few years. So we've been working on that, and also Daniel Goddard and I have been working on an app that we recently built and released called Bildbord that is in the Apple store and the Google Play store. It's available right now. It's a matchmaking app that we've been working on for a little over a year. We finally got it to a place for release, so it's been full force on that.
Soap Central: Yes, congratulations on that! It seems like a really neat way for soap fans to connect and come together.
James: Thank you very much!
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Soap Central: I'm curious if you are so missing Devon and dying to get back into his shoes?
James: [Laughs] I am. I hate not working. I'm one of those people who usually doesn't like to take time off of work during the year. They have to slow down the storylines and then wrap them up until you get back, so I'm very much dying to get back to work. Also, I think it's been too long since I've made my mind work trying to memorize a lot of dialogue! So, I definitely need to get back into the practice of that, so that when we do start up, I can transition back in smoothly.
Soap Central: They do say that it's like a muscle, so maybe you need to start memorizing the phone book or a novel or something.
James: I think you're right! You are absolutely right. It definitely is a muscle. We had some scripts that we were in preparation to film before the whole lockdown and everything happened, so I'll probably revisit those.
Soap Central: Well, you have an advantage, living with a cast mate. You guys can slip into character so you don't forget who you play!
James: [Laughs] You have no idea! That's been one of the best things about our relationship. We started out as friends, because we both love to run lines and we both love to over prepare, so we were constantly rehearsing. We'll take the dog for a walk and rehearse lines at the same time, every single day. It's great.
Soap Central: Well, congratulations again on your nomination, and thank you for giving us some of your time. Is there anything else you'd like to add that I didn't ask you about?
James: I appreciate your time, and I'd like to say that this whole thing, being nominated, is an honor. I'd like to thank everybody and anybody who was involved in the voting process and also say thank you to the fans. And if you haven't checked out Bildbord yet, check it out!
What do you think about Bryton James receiving an Emmy nomination for his work as Y&R's Devon? Do you think he'll take home the gold this year? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.