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Supporting Actor Nominee Interviews – Soap Opera Digest


Bryton James (Devon, Y&R)
What scenes did you submit for consideration? “Devon being kind of confused or worried about his role, moving forward, in Dominic’s life. As the biological father, he was feeling on the outside and not as significant as the father who’s raising him. It was all affecting Devon more than he thought before going into being a donor.”
How did you feel about your two leading ladies, Mishael Morgan and Melissa Ordway, getting nods as well? “I was beyond excited for Melissa because this is her first nomination and she’s ridiculously deserving of it. She had a crazy amount of material last year that she performed beautifully. I was extremely happy for Mishael, especially that she made it into the lead category, where she truly belongs. No one deserves it more.”
Were there any glaring omissions as far as you’re concerned? “I was very disappointed that Camryn [Grimes, Mariah] didn’t get nominated. She did amazing work last year with all of those scenes where she was by herself. She was fantastic.”
Will you be attending the awards ceremony? “No, I plan to sit this one out. Of course, I’m going to the awards ceremony [laughs]! The best part of the whole thing is being there in person. I’ll be taking my mom.”
Will you have a prepared acceptance speech or go off the cuff? “I will do what I always do and have the basics ready. I never like to wing anything. So, if there’s a chance that I could ever be called onto a stage, I’ll have an idea of what to say.”

Jeff Kober (ex-Cyrus, GH)
What did you submit? “The only thing I put on the reel were the scenes from the very end of my run — me threatening suicide and taking my sister [Genie Francis’s Laura] with me, the episode where I let my hair down and sweated and yelled a lot. Genie is such a gem, so talented, and made the acting easy. We’ll see how it plays!”
How does it feel to get your second nomination? “Just delightful. I’ve been doing this for a long time and the last time I was at the nighttime Emmys was 30 years ago [for CHINA BEACH]. These moments are few and far between, but it feels a little lighter and looser than last year. [The in-person ceremony] will certainly be an experience! I am looking forward to going and talking to people I haven’t talked to in a while. I’m not a big social butterfly, so it will probably use up all my social skills for one month.”
Who were the first people to congratulate you? “Frank Valentini, Johnny Wactor [Brando], my son. My sister wrote me, a little bent out of shape because she found out about it on social media. But she survived [laughs].”
Will you prepare a speech? “Yes. Just in case, you know? I’ve got a one in five chance, right? It’s going to be so brief and straightforward. I have things I could say, things I could speak to, and no one wants to hear it! So, basically: ‘Thanks for giving me a place to play.’ GENERAL HOSPITAL gave me this amazing outlet during Covid when so many of my fellows were not working, and they handed me an opportunity to work, the chance to go in there and just have so much fun and hone my willingness to step into the unknown and see what happened. And I’ll be forever grateful for that.”

Aaron D. Spears (Justin, B&B)
How does it feel hearing Emmy nominee in front of your name? “I was in shock because I was not in that frame of mind. I’m always so busy being a dad and a husband, I never expected this. It hasn’t sunk in yet, but it is a nice thing because they can never take the nomination away from you. As an actor, this is what you love to do, so this is just a blessing.”
How did you react? “I went from making a shake in the kitchen, and my hands were so wet, I could barely answer the phone. Brad [Bell] called. My mom called. I’m just taking it all in.”
Justin was on the bench for a while but he came roaring back when he imprisoned Thomas. How did you feel when you got that storyline? “It felt very natural and I think we gave it what it demanded. It didn’t feel hard. It just felt right and I had a great time working with Matt [Atkinson, Thomas] because we worked together so well. It was a breath of fresh air and fireworks all at the same time.”
After the pandemic, how excited are you to attend the Emmys this year as a nominee? “That, I am totally looking forward to. It’s going to be refreshing and exciting. When I came on this show [in 2009], I felt like so much a part of the team, so to be able to be back with my friends, and we are all so close-knit that if one person wins, everybody wins. We are all dancing and celebrating and having a good time. To be able to do that again now, in person, with this extra caveat of a nomination? I could not ask for more.”

James Patrick Stuart (Valentin, GH)
Congrats on your third consecutive nod! “Thank you! The only shot I got is that Max Gail [ex-Mike, GH] isn’t nominated this year [laughs]. Listen, by the time you get in this grouping, the competition is so fierce, you’d be a fool to start counting any chickens, but to be in this basket of guys feels pretty good. I don’t mind not winning — it worked out pretty good for Susan Lucci [ex-Erica, ALL MY CHILDREN]! Of course, it would be nice to get the chance to thank my mom and give credit to the crew. ”
What did you submit? “Some stuff with Finola [Hughes, Anna] — supporting her is easy and she makes me look good — and then some of the Bailey stuff. I think brevity is important in making a reel, and Cady McClain [ex-Dixie, AMC et al] taught me that it has to have a structure to it, a flow — open with something flashy, then in the middle, you put some heart, and you close with some romance or a joke.”
Will your wife, Jocelyn, accompany you to the ceremony? If I want to stay married she is! We’ve never gone together before — I’ve only been nominated during Covid! I am definitely looking forward to being in person this year. The first year [when the Emmys were virtual because of the pandemic], they had the nominees do videos from their house and I was a smart-ass and I made a tape of me making a Hot Pocket in the microwave saying, ‘I only have 30 seconds to thank everyone in my life!’ And then the next year, it was very frustrating because they said, ‘Let’s make you dress up and make speeches pretending you’ve won.’ What’s interesting is, the tapes they showed from the people who won were so fabulous, I thought they should have given an Emmy for Best Speech!”

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Jordi Vilasuso (ex-Rey, Y&R)
What scenes did you submit for consideration? “Rey confronting Sharon about Adam. It was right after they got back from the honeymoon, and Rey drew a line in the sand when it came to Adam. I was even like, ‘Man, how much more can this guy endure and take in this relationship?’ I also included when Rey confronted Adam about the situation as well. Finally, after tolerating this b.s. for so long, Rey spoke up and I was grateful for that opportunity for my character. Next, it was Rey sitting with Faith in the hospital when she was there for her kidney transplant. I literally used all of the 15 minutes we were allotted. I was grateful to compile these scenes to show Rey’s heart and humanity.”
Who were you surprised didn’t make the cut? “Melissa Claire Egan [Chelsea]. I had judged the female leads as well and thought she was a shoo-in. She was phenomenal, so I was very disappointed that she was overlooked.”
Will you have a speech prepared if your name is called? “When I won my first Emmy, I was 21 and didn’t have anything written down. I thought I would just really savor the moment and I even danced on the stage. But not being prepared meant I forgot to thank some very important people who’d gotten me to that point in my career and I felt really bad about that. So if I win, you can bet I will have a list of people to thank, so I can close that door. It’s very important for me to acknowledge those people.”
How did you like coming back to Y&R for the photo shoot of their nominees? “I had been gone for two months so it was really great to come back. I loved seeing everyone again and people were so kind and congratulatory, and I was just so appreciative.”



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