The Young and the Restless: Soaps.com Chats with Wilson Bethel. Part II!
In Part I of Soaps.com’s chat with Wilson Bethel, who plays Ryder Callahan on The Young and the Restless, opened up about the challenges of playing Ryder. In Part II, Wilson dishes on his character’s current storyline, and gives a tease about what’s to come! Read on!
Soaps.com: Many were upset when Ryder drove off with Daisy from the amusement park, assuming he wouldn’t be back. Did you know you would be back at that point?
Wilson: I did. At the time that we were shooting those scenes, where Daisy and I were driving off in the car, they had already scheduled me to shoot a couple days later that month. So I expected that I wasn’t gone for good, although at the time I didn’t know what the next manifestation was going to be. For all I knew it was going to be me in a hotel room in some other city saying goodbye once and for all, you know.
Soaps.com: One of the biggest draws for viewers has been the Ryder/Kevin relationship as brothers, and it was upsetting to think they were going to drop that.
Wilson: Right! I don’t know what the fan response has been, or will be in the coming weeks or months, [laughs] but I feel like people are going to be pretty salty about the fact that I start, you know, doing my brother’s wife! As an actor, I’m glad to be able to play a flirtier, more romantic angle; I haven’t had the opportunity to do that since I’ve been on the show. And Emily [O’Brien, Jana] is great; she’s really sweet and all that. But it’s hard, because at the same time, I’m forced to abandon what was basically a year-long set up of how much I care about my brother. To be honest with you, as much as it’s fun to take your shirt off and roll around in bed, I also really like being able to bring to the screen other types of meaningful relationships that aren’t so gratuitous, I guess.
Soaps.com: The Kevin/Michael relationship has been valuable to have on the show, and I think many were hoping for more of that with Kevin and Ryder.
Wilson: Yeah, and I think a lot of that owes to the quality of the acting between Christian [LeBlanc] and Greg [Rikaart] playing Michael and Kevin. And yeah, that’s a hard thing to sell. I feel like there’s a lot to be said about selling good, on screen sexual chemistry, but my God, being able to sell really good fraternal brotherly, sibling, or family-loving chemistry, it’s a hard thing to pull off, and I think those guys do a great job. Hopefully I’ll be able to find that again. It’s hard to see in the future too much with these things, but I hope Kevin is not permanently hating me. [laughs] It’s hard to see how it’s going to come back around!
Soaps.com: Well, Jana’s not herself right now, [laughs] but that doesn’t really justify Ryder doing it!
Wilson: [laughing] Maybe Kevin will also have an aneurysm and then it will be like all this never happened. Then we can just go back to being good brothers again.
Soaps.com: How are you rationalizing Ryder doing this [with Jana] right now? Is he just needy at this point?
Wilson: I think that’s part of it, I think that he is definitely someone who needs other people, you know, he needs somebody to lean on. In the absence of having Daisy, or his aunt, or Deacon, when he was the go-to guy, or Kevin, he needs somebody. I think there was something real about his coming back to want to ‘man up’ and take his lumps or whatever, but when Jana kind of presented herself as being a potential crutch for him, I think he didn’t need too much convincing to jump on board with it.
Soaps.com: It will be interesting to see how viewers react, since many have wanted to see Ryder be loved - he’s got that 'little boy lost' thing going on.
Wilson: Yeah, so the question is, then, how do the viewers respond when it’s not a little boy lost anymore, but [Ryder is] making some very clearly adult, manly decisions? You kind of lose the innocence of it pretty damn fast when the shirt comes off and underwear starts flying around. [laughs] I feel like people are going to have a little Ryder backlash.
Soaps.com: Well viewers are excited about you being shirtless, I can tell you that much. So you’re definitely going to have some people on your side. [laughs] I have to ask you about a recent scene in the Club, in which Jana had bailed Ryder out of jail and defended him to Kevin, who then stormed out, and Ryder indulged in a private little grin - it made me worry he was up to no good.
Wilson: My take on that, because that was written into the script, is that there’s an element in this where he's genuinely tickled by the whole idea of how much his life has changed, you know. Honestly, he’s a good guy, he’s just confused as hell. I actually like that moment, I don’t know how it looked - I try not to watch that much of my own stuff - but what I was trying to convey there was his amusement with the situation, I guess. Like, how strange it is that he’s in this situation, and I mean in a good way obviously. But from a viewer's perspective, if it leaves it pretty open to interpretation, I guess it’s not a bad thing from the producer's perspective - keep people guessing. The way that I wanted to set it up was, here’s a guy who’s in and out of every bad situation you can imagine for however long, fifteen years, ten years, who knows, he’s been in and out of jail within the last year like what…five times. [laughs] Ridiculous. And suddenly he’s got this pretty girl putting him up in this swanky hotel room, and I think he can’t help but be a little impressed with the thought of this happening, you know. I like that moment though, and it wasn't out of malice.
Soaps.com: I had visions of Daisy showing up the next day…
Wilson: No, no. I’m trying to down play the malicious angle of it; the scheming, plotting angle, but people will read into it what they will. I think probably the people who are more innately on [Ryder's] side, and have been more on his side from the start will be more likely to see it as him being genuinely pleased with the situation, and the people who wish Ryder would ride off into the sunset will see it another manifestation of the schemer.
Soaps.com: What can you tell me about the upcoming story with Kevin and Ryder? I assume it will be quite adversarial.
Wilson: Yeah, adversarial is a good word for it. There will be a confrontation coming up. Yeah. Hopefully people will forgive me enough to allow me to be on the show a little longer, I don’t mind having a job. [laughs]
Soaps.com: Some viewers continue to speculate that Ryder may turn out not to be Kevin’s brother, or not Daisy’s brother, have you heard anything about that?
Wilson: I haven’t gotten any wind of that.
Soaps.com: Fans want to know which female character you would like to see Ryder involved with, other than Jana. Who would Ryder be good with?
Wilson: I could imagine Ryder and Chloe. I wouldn't mind having some romance time with Chloe. But yeah, who knows. For now I’m happy with Jana. Don’t get me wrong. Ryder’s perfectly content getting any. [laughs]
Soaps.com: Emotionless Jana…
Wilson: [laughs] Well, she's comin' around! You turn the lights down low, and Jana becomes a whole different woman!
Soaps.com: That's hilarious! [laughs] So, switching gears, do you have any other acting projects on the go?
Wilson: Yeah, you know, I’m always looking for stuff and working on different things. I hopefully am doing a movie in India next month - should be cool. Yeah, it’s one of the nice things of working on a show like this, is that I have some freedom to do other stuff. So yeah, we’ll continue to hope that I’m able to work in both Genoa City and elsewhere.
- Candace Young