Interview

ICYMI: Brytni Sarpy Interview

Brytni

Credit: JPI

With A New Soap Role And Other TV Projects, Y&R’s Brytni Sarpy Is Hitting A Career High

“It’s been nothing short of peaceful and pleasant, it really has,” enthuses Brytni Sarpy of her time so far on Y&R. “It’s been a really nice transition, as far as going from one soap to another and understanding how things work on a different soap set. That’s been really easy for me. Plus, I happen to really like the people there.”

Although she’s only been playing Elena since March, Sarpy is already feeling comfortable in the role. “I would even say in the past couple of weeks that Elena is really kind of finding her roots, and Brytni as Elena is finding her roots,” she explains. “I can see a trajectory of where she’s going and the wave that she’ll ride. I admire that she’s incredibly protective. She puts the livelihood and the well-being of others before her own, and I think that’s definitely a trait I would like to showcase more in my life.”

Working with Bryton James (Devon) has been rewarding from the get-go, Sarpy reports. “He and I have become friends pretty quickly. He’s a great human being and it shows through his character and how he acts. His energy is pure and nice. He’s a phenomenal person to work with.” And Devon and Elena’s potential for romance is intriguing to the actress. “Even from reading with Bryton for the first time, I noticed our chemistry,” Sarpy recalls. “I really like that we’re exploring the Devon/Elena storyline. It’s going a little quicker than I thought it would, but in a good way. I think that they’re finding a lot of layers with everything that’s happening with Neil Winters and Devon having lost his wife. Devon and Elena both have experienced loss, and the amount of bonding that they’re having, they’re going a lot deeper than the surface level of the relationship. We’re getting into the depth of things.”

Sarpy admits she was concerned about how the “Hevon” fans would react to Devon moving on; she had already encountered audience displeasure while on GH when Valerie came between Dante and Lulu. “I definitely had a lot of apprehension and I’m treading lightly,” she shares. “However, I think that enough time has passed [since Hilary died] and the connection between Devon and Elena is rooted enough that it’s seen as something real. From my perspective, the fans are really gravitating toward them being together.”

Sarpy is already making pals on the Y&R set and has bonded quickly with Loren Lott (Ana). “She’s a hoot and has a lot of great energy,” Sarpy laughs. “She took me under her wing and kind of showed me the ropes. The CBS lot is huge and really confusing, and Loren was like, ‘This is where we do that,’ and ‘That’s what happens there.’ We went to lunch together on my first day. She’s the best. I still get lost on the lot and Bryton’s shown me like four different shortcuts. He’s more my map.”

The party scenes of the grand opening of Devon and Abby’s restaurant, Society, helped Sarpy feel more connected to the cast. “That was really fun, actually,” she smiles. “That’s when I really got an idea of what the energy and the chemistry of the whole show is. I run into a lot of the actors in the hair and makeup room, but it’s different when you’re all working and playing and having outtakes together. Those scenes took a while but it was good. For me, it was reconfirmation that these are great people that I’m working with. It’s a really good environment.”

Sarpy says she still has strong ties to her former GH co-stars. “Chloe [Lanier, ex-Nelle] and I try to hang out at least a few times a month,” she relays. “Ryan [Paevey, ex-Nathan] and I will probably always be close. I call Rob [Palmer Watkins, ex-Dillon] and Hayley [Erin, ex-Kiki] my classmates because we all came in around the same time, and [are in] the same age group.”

The actress is thankful for her first soap job, noting, “I learned about essentially applying my work ethic. I’m a hard worker, and GH was the first time I had ever really tested it out. It was my first time being on a truly professional set for a long, steady period of time, learning how to handle so much material, how to handle being on your feet, how to handle working under pressure and how to complete scenes in one take. I learned how adaptable I am. Our little community of soap actors knows that we do a lot of work. We’re able to put under our belt a lot more episodes than actors in prime-time or feature film actors. So just the ability to be able to do so much in so little time kind of prepares you to be able to do anything and that’s invaluable confidence.”

When Sarpy decided to make the move from Port Charles to Genoa City, she got a lot of positive feedback from co-stars who previously toiled on Y&R. “I told Emme [Rylan, Lulu; ex-Abby, Y&R] first and she was really excited for me,” Sarpy enthuses. “She said, ‘You’re gonna love it over there. It’s a really good place to be.’ Michelle [Stafford, Nina] had nice things to say and now she’s coming, too [to reprise Phyllis]. I’m really excited.”

And Sarpy is thrilled that she’s starting to get recognized as Elena. “At my bank, there’s a woman who watches soaps,” says the actress. “She was actually really upset that I was leaving GH. When I came in a month or two later, she said, ‘I like you as Elena more!’ ”

 

Just The Facts

Birthday: September 21

Hails From: California

Middle Name: Melicia

Relationship Status: “Not married, not divorced, haven’t been engaged and still in this ambiguous state of seeing what I like. In other words, I’m dating [laughs].”

Soap First: Sarpy played Valerie Spencer on GH from 2015-19.

Right And WRONG: Earlier this year, Sarpy filmed a TV movie, THE WRONG HUSBAND. “I basically make a cameo in it. Paul Ruddy cast me in TRUTH OR DARE and KARMA and he thought I’d be good for this part. She’s a character that no one’s seen me play on camera.”

Group On: She has joined the cast of Tyler Perry’s THE HAVES AND THE HAVE NOTS. “I’ll be recurring for their seventh
season. That should be a really fun arc.”

Ad On: Yep, that’s her in those Lay’s Potato Chips commercials. “It’s one of my favorite things
I’ve ever done.”

We’re All Connected: Sarpy attended UC Santa Barbara with Noemi Gonzalez (ex-Mia). “She was a year under me and I loved hanging out with her and talking about our theater days.”

On The Go: “Staying active is a big thing for me. Hiking clears my mind and I like being out in nature, going to the beach and working out. In the past three years, I’ve put yoga under my belt.”

 

Pet Project

A constant male companion in Sarpy’s life is Charli, the dog she rescued nearly seven years ago. Since Charli had a rough life before she adopted him, the cute canine had many behavioral issues, including a distrust of men. “I got him when he was 6 months old — which you’d think would be a good thing that I got him early — but unfortunately, a lot of trauma was done to him,” Sarpy sighs. “It’s been a battle working with him and his separation anxiety and fear of being around humans. But it’s taught me a lot in patience and being able to care for something and just having that responsibility.” Years of TLC is paying off. “He’s gotten better and better,” she smiles. “Slowly but surely he’s becoming the best version of his pup self and he’s doing well. I’ve thought about getting another dog but the problem is that I travel enough that it’s already hard because I have a dog that was abused. I can’t put Charli in boarding and there are very few people who can actually watch him. So just the idea of having me travel with two seems daunting. And I can’t leave one home or put in boarding while I take the other with me. I think when I’m at a point where I’m engaged or married and I have a partner who can help with those things, it’ll be a better time. But I definitely have eyes on getting another dog.”

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