recently had the chance to catch up with the sweet and funny actor, Wilson Bethel, who plays Ryder Callahan on The Young and the Restless. Wilson began our chat by telling me that although he had always acted in theater in school in his native New Hampshire, he actually wound up acting in Los Angeles because his car broke down while traveling and he couldn’t afford to fix it! One sincere agent contact later, and Wilson’s career was off and running. Lucky for us! Wilson continued to be candid as we dished about his Y&R character and storyline – check it out! There have been a few twists with Ryder, with regard to his true nature. He embodies a mix of different qualities; one day he seems sweet, the next kind of sly. What’s it been like as an actor to play this character?

Wilson: Really tricky to be honest with you. Less for the different sides of him, most of which I can kind of relate to on one level or another, and had a lot of fun dealing with. But what makes it tricky is trying to figure out where the writers are going with it as you give it time, you know what I mean? It makes it difficult if you don’t know what the ultimate end point is for him, y’know? It kind of makes it fun in some ways too, ‘cause you have to leave it all ambiguous. But, it’s tough because you don’t know how shady to make him, so that hopefully down the road people won’t have fully written him off, or how sweet to make him so that when he makes another kind of shady turn, that it’ll be unbelievable. So they didn’t really sketch him out?

Wilson: Yeah well it’s been kind of one of the interesting things I guess, from the get go – the evolution of it. When they originally brought me on the show, I don’t think anybody really knew what was going to happen with him [Ryder]. I’m not even sure if they really intended on having me around for very long to be honest with you. I think the casting directors were just kind of throwing me a bone [laughs]. They were like, “Uh well you didn’t get the part you auditioned for which is Chance, but maybe we can give you a couple days work in the mean time,” and I’m like “Sure, why not?” But what it’s meant over the course of the last year or whatever is that I feel like the writers and I are kind of discovering the character somewhat at the same time, or maybe them a little bit ahead of me I guess. They’re kind of figuring out what to do with Ryder, as I am, you know? And now that things are heating up with Jana, I get to like my little romantic thing. It’s pretty cool, pretty interesting. We assume that you guys know what’s going to happen way ahead of time, so that’s really interesting.

Wilson: It’s actually a kind of ongoing joke on set, you know, like how much information different actors can glean out of the writers. [laughs] They’re playing it pretty close to the vest!

Wilson: Totally! [laughs] But it definitely keeps us on our toes, that’s for sure.