When Bryton James won his second Daytime Emmy Award for playing Devon Hamilton on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS this year, the moment was particularly special. “Yeah,” he admitted to Soaps In Depth. “The fact that not just my win, but the show’s win this year comes from a lot of the work that we put in that had to do with losing our amazing friend, Kristoff St. John (Neil). And to be able to honor him in this way and achieve this kind of recognition with the love that we put into honoring him on screen, it means a whole lot. We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. And I know that he’s looking down proud.”
Because the Daytime Emmys were held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, nominees recorded acceptance speeches at home not knowing whether or not they would actually win until the show aired on TV. But while accepting an award you haven’t actually won yet was unusual, James said it had its advantages, too. “In the moment of being up on stage, you’ve got all the nerves going through you and you want to make sure you say things right and remember the right people and deliver the right messages,” he explained. “And especially with what’s going on right now in the world, I thought it was very important to give note to that and I was glad I was able to revise it and try to make it as to the point as possible in the amount of time I was given.
“I think they allow you more time, they give you a little more grace when you’re up on stage, even when the music starts playing,” James added. “You still get some extra points out. But it was a good experience. And the fact that it was done this way and it was televised and we thankfully had like, three million people tuned in to the Emmy telecast this year, the fact that that many people got to see it, was even better.”
When asked if there was anyone he wasn’t able to thank in the 30 seconds he was allotted, the daytime star included his first Emmy win for Outstanding Younger Actor in 2007. “I wished the first time that I won that I mentioned a few people,” James revealed, “and one is Marnie Saitta, who was the casting director of Y&R when I got hired. She was the first one in the room to believe in what I brought to the table. Also the producers at the time, Kathy Foster and Ed Scott, writer Jack Smith, and Victoria Rowell (ex-Dru), all the people that had to do with creating the foster care storyline that brought my character onto the canvas.
“And also, anything that I achieve in entertainment, I always would like to thank a man named Dave Duclon, who was the EP on FAMILY MATTERS back when I was three years old and that really kinda changed my life quite a bit,” he continued. “And I will always repeat I want to thank the entire cast to give credit to the people that I have gotten to grow up around for the last 16 years and who I’ve gotten to learn from. They’re the reason why I’m here.”
Having won Younger Actor and now the Emmy for Supporting Actor, all James needs to do is win in the Lead Actor category to complete the set! “I’m with ya!” he laughed. “This has given me all the motivation in the world — not that I needed it — to do even better and better. yeah, I’ll try to go for that lead one eventually!”