Young & Restless’ Bryton James Reflects On the Role That Changed His Life — and the Job That Nearly Kept Him From Becoming Devon
“What does a soap opera want with me?”
Fans often wonder what led stars to landing their soap opera roles and The Young and the Restless actor Bryton James (Devon) shared with Maurice Benard (Sonny) just that during an interview on the General Hospital vet’s State of Mind podcast. The daytime stars discussed various topics, including James’ stance on marriage and children, as well as details into the last day he spent with Kristoff St. John (ex-Neil).
So, where did it all begin for the soap fave? James first admitted to Benard, “You were my introduction into daytime television.” Though his mom watched General Hospital every day, James hadn’t really paid attention, due to the adult storylines, but when Sonny, Carly and Jason appeared he took notice and confessed, “You’ve been my favorite.”
However, soaps were the furthest thing from his mind in the beginning of his career. At 3 ½ years old, James began his role as Richie on the sitcom Family Matters. His mom helped him with lines during the nine-year run… he was a kid, he was having fun but said, “I’ve always considered The Young and the Restless to be my first real acting, acting job because I understood what it was to get better.”
Having been a singer as well, after Family Matters ended, he wanted to take his music more seriously and signed with Universal when he was 12 or 13 and did music in Europe for over a year and released a single. After 9/11 happened, James put his music on hold, due to being cautious about traveling, and started auditioning again.
“The first audition I got for a TV show was for The Young and the Restless,” James revealed then shared how the very same day he had an audition for a National Coca-Cola commercial. He remembered saying, “I really want the commercial. There’s no way I’m going to get this soap opera because I’m 17. What does a soap opera want with me?”
And just like that, he landed the role of Devon and had his first scene with Eric Braeden (Victor) and, as viewers will recall, his storyline was with Victoria Rowell (ex-Drucilla) and Kristoff St. John. “I was on a fast track to try to get better, quickly, that’s when I knew… I can do this.” And that he did — and went on to become a Daytime Emmy Award winner!
Watch the full interview segment for more from the actor.
Before you go, take a look at our Young & Restless Year in Review gallery below, featuring highlights from 2021, including James’ part in one of the biggest Genoa City storylines!
Video: Maurice Benard: State Of Mind/YouTube