DC Exclusive: Young and Restless Star Wilson Bethel, Soul Man





A funny thing happened when The Young and the Restless introduced Ryder, the latest member of the soap's ever-expanding Fisher-Baldwin clan. For once I didn't flinch. In fact, I had quite the opposite reaction. Instead of bitching about "another Fisher-Baldwin", I found myself intrigued by one Wilson Bethel, the intense, young actor playing the role of Kevin's (Greg Rikaart) nefarious half brother.

Recently I spoke with Bethel, who gave his breakout performance as Cpl. Evan "Q-Tip" Stafford in the Emmy-winning 2008 HBO miniseries Generation Kill. We chatted about what it's been like making the jump from primetime to daytime. We also talked about his artistic family, including author mom Joyce Maynard, and his love for a little soul. 

Daytime Confidential: I have to admit, when I usually hear about a new Fisher-Baldwin coming to The Young and the Restless, I am less than enthused, but I have loved Ryder from day one! How did the role come about?

Wilson Bethel: I came in for the role of Chance, but I wasn't right for the part. I had a prior relationship with Camille, who does the casting for Y&R, and I guess through some random course of events I ended up playing Ryder.

DC: You were in the critically acclaimed HBO min series Generation Kill. I bet that was a vastly different experience from doing a daytime soap? 

WB: Oh yeah, it was very, very different. Both fun, but in different ways. I spent seven months in Africa in 2007 for Generation Kill. With soap operas, it was leaping into the unknown. A lot of my friends told me "man, soaps are totally different. They're like nothing you've done before." I was incredibly nervous. The pace moves so much faster in daytime, and it demands a lot more memorization, but at the end of the day, it's still jumping inside someone else's shoes and trying to tell their story. I'm still finding out who exactly Ryder is.

DC: On Y&R, you are primarily working with Sean Kanan and Greg Rikaart; what's it like working with those chaps? 

WB:Oh, amazing on both fronts. Both are really talented cats. They have different styles, and keep me on my toes. Basically Ryder is very two-faced with Deacon and Kevin, so I get to play different things with both guys. I can't say that I really followed soap stars before joining Y&R, but I know Sean is like a huge soap star and a cool, cool cat. Greg is also a great guy. We've become a lot closer in real life, which lends itself to the strong, fraternal chemistry you see in the emotional scenes between Ryder and Kevin.

DC: Your mom is popular novelist Joyce Maynard. She actually broke the news of your joining Y&R on her website,right?

WB: Yeah my mom is my biggest fan! [Laughs] Both of my parents are artists. My mother is a terrific writer. Dad is a painter. That's the kind of environment I grew up in. All of my brothers and sisters have a strong connection to the arts. My brother is a musician and my sister is an artist, who does beautiful work.

DC: I see from your Facebook page, you are really into music, and always promoting some club event! What kind of tunes are you into?

WB: I am an avid record collector, and yes, I do DJ [laughs]. I have an outrageous, unwieldy collection of music. I love old soul music, the Motown era. I also like some obscure jazz, rock, reggae, Latin, Brazillian. Music is a really good creative parallel to acting. I always have my iPood with me on the set. If I need to spark my creative energies, I can usually get what I need for Ryder from the right song.  

Photo by PR Photos


Comments

AlistairCrane's picture
Member since:
4 May 2008
Last activity:
2 years 36 weeks

Tawny Moore is Ryder's mom. Called it!

Smitty's picture
Member since:
30 March 2009
Last activity:
6 days 10 hours

Tawny Moore is Ryder's mom.

***

People on the message boards have been spreading this around since that scene with Ryder and his mom. I don't believe it and I hope Y&R doesn't bring Andrea Evans in for it since she used to be Patty Williams.

Smitty's picture
Member since:
30 March 2009
Last activity:
6 days 10 hours

I have to be honest I don't like his character just because he is apart of the Fisher/Baldwin clan. I just can't separate it, but after today's US episode I am starting to think he may not be truly a Fisher...so that gives him MANY cool points LOL.

I will see where he goes on Y&R. Interesting that he read for the part of Chance first.

Dax's picture
Member since:
4 August 2008
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1 year 2 weeks

Hmm. I think he would have had great chemistry with Chloe.

AlistairCrane's picture
Member since:
4 May 2008
Last activity:
2 years 36 weeks

Smitty,
Not really a problem re: Andrea Evans as Patty because they recently showed a pic of Lillibet Stern as Patty. THAT's what Patty looks like to the people of GC.
My first choice for his mom is of course Sheila, but she might be too obvious. They might try to trick us like they did with Mary Jane---remember, all signs pointed to her being Mari Jo Mason at first.

soapjunkie88's picture
Member since:
3 July 2008
Last activity:
7 hours 26 min

Andrea Evans wasn't playing Patty that long. I don't see a problem there if Evans appears as Tawney. Oh wouldn't that be great to have her behind all that. Amber sure would have a lovely family reunion. LOL

I really like Ryder and I think Wilson Bethel is a great actor. I'm not the biggest fan of this family clan either, but Ryder can be there to stay.

Smitty's picture
Member since:
30 March 2009
Last activity:
6 days 10 hours

They might try to trick us like they did with Mary Jane---remember, all signs pointed to her being Mari Jo Mason at first.

***

If I remember correctly actually all signs were pointing to Mary Jane being Patty. I never had any hint that she was Mary Jo except for Jamey's speculation that it could be her. Well actually the signs pointed to it being on of Jack's jilted ex lovers so I guess Mary Jo could have fit the bill.

AlistairCrane's picture
Member since:
4 May 2008
Last activity:
2 years 36 weeks

Another BIG sign was the fact that Mary Jane Benson sounds so much like Mari Jo Mason. If Ryder's mother is named Shelley Carver, certainly a lot of people will believe she's Sheila Carter.

Chrystie-Delancey's picture
Member since:
29 May 2008
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1 year 3 weeks

Add me to the camp that thought Ryder was Sheila Carter's son. I was on hiatus from Y&R when this Tawny character was on (or maybe it was before my time?). At least with his mother in charge it gives Ryder some backbone. He has been painted as Deacon's lap dog and it is nice to see the character grow.

AlistairCrane's picture
Member since:
4 May 2008
Last activity:
2 years 36 weeks

Tawny is Amber's mother from the Bold and the Beautiful.

Also, rumour has it Sean Kanan (Deacon) is out.

ldylkng's picture
Member since:
14 July 2009
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1 day 10 hours

""Also, rumour has it Sean Kanan (Deacon) is out.""
Where did you hear this? also I really think shiela is Ryder's mother

Member since:
29 April 2009
Last activity:
3 years 40 weeks

There was a scene when Ryder's mom came to visit him in jail but they never revealed her face which we probably all knew they weren't going to do. In a way that scene sort of reminded me of when this mystery lady saunters into the court room (face cleverly concealed from view beneath a wide brimmed chapeau and not shown b/c I don't think at the time the producers had cast the role yet) at the end of Season 1 of Dynasty when Blake was on trial - having been accused of murdering Stephen's (Blake's son) boyfriend. Of course when Season 2 opened, the mystery lady's face was revealed and it was Joan Collins playing Blake's ex-wife Alexis Carrington. That was an totally awesome cliff hanger for the season 1 ender and an even more totally awesome reveal for the season 2 opener.

Member since:
8 May 2008
Last activity:
7 hours 35 min

He should of been Chance, maybe he would of been more liked than this Fisher character and more personality than JD>

Member since:
30 August 2009
Last activity:
2 years 12 weeks

I don't know who his mother is going to be, but just the thought of Andrea Evans coming back to the soap world makes me giddy!!!!