As The Young and the Restless gears up to celebrate its 50th anniversary next week, The TV Watercooler had the opportunity to speak with Bryton James and Camryn Grimes.
The two stars each joined the series at a young age, with Camryn first appearing as Cassie Newman in 1997 and later returning as Cassie’s twin sister while Bryton first appeared in 2004.
Bryton and Camryn look back at some of their most memorable moments, give us a preview at what’s coming up for their characters and which former co-stars they’d like to see make a return!
It must be an exciting time at the show with the 50th-anniversary celebration underway!
Camryn Grimes: Yes, it’s nice to celebrate. We work at a very fast pace, so it’s not often that we get time to sit back and reflect and kind of enjoy this show that everybody has built, which is now celebrating 50 years! It’s nice that we get to come together and do some cool things. It’s always fun to just hang out with the [rest of the] cast in general. So, it’s been really nice.
The show will have some special guest stars drop by. Veronica Redd is returning as Aunt Mamie. I don’t recall if Devon ever shared scenes with her, Bryton?
Bryton James: They did not. I’m very excited about her return! I know about her history a bit. I’m more so excited about the storyline that she’ll be involved in. I can’t give too much away, but it’s going to be a great tribute to the history of the show and there’s some exciting stuff going on during these scenes as well.
I’m guessing she’ll have to act as a referee between Devon, Lily (Christel Khalil), and Nate (Sean Dominic)?
Bryton: We’re in the middle off a big fight! And now Lily has brought Devon’s ex-girlfriend into the fold!
What can you tease us about Mishael Morgan’s return as Amanda?
Bryton: It’s going to be fiery. The last time she was here, she caught Devon in the arms of another woman [Abby, Melissa Ordway]. So, now she’s coming back to fight me with a lawsuit. There are going to be fireworks! Don’t miss it.
Mariah is a new mom! But this story has mainly been off-screen. Can you speak about the challenges of doing a story that has pretty much be relegated to off-camera? How do you tap into the emotions?
Camryn: I think the writers did a good job at capturing Mariah’s journey to discovering that she wanted to be a mom and everything that happened previously with the Dominic story, as well as Tessa’s journey to where these both characters meet each other [at this decision] and be on the same page [about having a baby].
They are taking their time to enjoy their new baby, which is never a bad thing. But we will see that on screen. We will have that celebratory moment that everybody wants, where they’ll introduce their child to their world. You will get to see that!
And for me, there’s no better prep [than this story] because I want to be a mom more than anything! So, just put a baby in my arms and I’m good to go! I’m right there [for those scenes]. Oh, they’re so scrumptious! [Laughs]
That’ll be great. I know the Teriah fans felt a bit left out that they didn’t get to witness the journey unfold as much on-screen.
Camryn: Totally. I get that and the thing that I’ll speak to you is that, especially with the 50th coming up, you know, there’s a lot of people coming in and a lot of stories going around. Sometimes you need to shift focus and lean into one or lean into another. That’s the game with soap operas. It’s always kind of shifting and it’s always flowing – but you can try! You’ll make it back to [those] stories that you need to make it back to.
That’s good to know. Will Mariah factor into any of the big celebrations? Nikki is throwing a Bicentennial Masquerade Ball for Genoa City.
Camryn: No, I wish. Mariah and Tessa will not be in attendance. They’ve got a brand-new little baby to take care of, but it sounds like it’ll be so much fun. Bryton’s got the scoop!
What are we in for?
Bryton: It’s going to be huge! A lot of drama. There’s going to be a big twist that is going to happen and it’ll affect the lives of a handful of residents in Genoa City.
As you know, there are going to be a lot of familiar faces coming back, but it’s not just this month! We’re celebrating all year. We’re keeping the 50th alive throughout the year and we’ll have more of the older characters return, so stay tuned past the anniversary month.
Do you have a wish list of the characters you would like to see return?
I’d love to see Olivia’s (Tonya Lee Williams) return! Or maybe an appearance by Malcom (Shemar Moore). Maybe they’ll find Drucilla (Victoria Rowell) at the bottom of the cliff somewhere? I don’t know!
Camryn: I mean, Diane (Susan Walters) just came back from the dead! I came back [as a new character]. So, it’s not impossible.
I’d love Jennifer Gareis [Donna, The Bold and the Beautiful] to come back as Grace. That would be fun! I love her and Sharon (Sharon Case) needs a rival.
I think Sharon just needs to step outside of Crimson Lights!
Camryn: Yes! Crimson Lights can trap you there.
Devon’s penthouse is beautiful. If your characters could live on another set, which one would you choose? Devon is also a Chancellor…and the Chancellor Mansion is just sitting there.
Bryton: I was just thinking that. I would like to one day live in the Chancellor Mansion.
Abby wouldn’t need to move out. She can trade in one Chancellor for another.
Camryn: Mariah and Tessa live in the tack house now, which we’re not seeing, but I’ve always liked the tack house set. I also loved the apartment above Crimson Lights, especially the kitchen! But I don’t need a lot! I’m a girl of simple means.
Bryton: Which one was the tack house?
Camryn: It’s where Nick (Joshua Morrow) used to live [at one point]. It’s on the Newman property, but it’s much smaller and more subtle. So, like you get the benefits of living on the Newman Ranch, where you can ride the horses or whatever, but then you still have a cute, quaint, little house.
It used to be Victoria’s (now Amelia Heinle) back in the day! When Heather Tom was playing her.
Camryn: See, I didn’t even know that!
I think it was remodelled when Nick moved in.
Bryton: Remember the campus house? Jack got it and let Devon, Lily and Daniel (Michael Graziadei) live there together.
Camryn: Oh, that must be after Cassie died. That sounds cool!
That’s where Daniel’s porn addiction happened!
Bryton: That’s right! And Devon punched him in the stomach.
And Devon slept with his aunt Tyra (Eva Marcille)!
Bryton: You have a great memory… She wasn’t his aunt! [Laughs] He thought she was his aunt at first, and then he realized she wasn’t.
Tatyana Ali walked in on them!
Bryton: Yeah, that’s right.
Camryn: I have to go back and watch some episodes! I am missing out on some history here.
Bryton: Tatiana Ali played my girlfriend, Roxanne, and she caught us!
Speaking of these memories. You both started on this show when you were very young. Are there any memories that stick out for you both? Do you have any favourites?
Camryn: The two stories that I’ve to do that were the most impactful are obviously Cassie’s death and then Mariah coming out. Those were so wonderful to play.
As an actor, you just want something challenging that you can sink your teeth into and both of those were incredible on a personal level.
Some of my earliest memories are just being on set and playing football with Josh Morrow. But the football was the doll that I carried around as Cassie and we used to try to get it caught up in the lights, which I’m sure was not frustrating at all to the lighting crew, who had to occasionally knock it down from getting stuck up there!
I just remember that it was never a chore or taxing to come in to work. It was always something that I look forward to and I credit that to the people who very quickly become like a second family [to me].
The most fun scenes were always the pool parties at the Newman Ranch where I got to eat snacks! As a kid, I was living the good life!
Bryton: My favourite storyline was when Devon was deaf. Just because the challenge of having to portray something like that as an actor, it’s something you dream of.
Another one was when I first came onto the show, which was portraying a kid who grew up in the foster care system. I knew it was an important story to tell and it was not only important to all the people in the world who dealt with that but for Victoria Rowell herself because he brought that storyline to the show. It was very important to her.
Victoria Rowell spent the first 18 years of her life in foster care, and Devon wouldn’t be a character [on The Young and the Restless] without her input.
She was able to help me understand what my character should be feeling and thinking about when they put Devon through all of it because a lot of those storylines were things that happened to her in real life as well.
So, just the meaning behind the foster kid storyline was important and it was an honour to portray it.
The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on Global and CBS. Canadians can catch up with episodes on demand, the Global TV app, STACKTV, and at GlobalTV.com.