Sean Carrigan On His Y&R Return

Over four years since Sean Carrigan last played Dr. Ben “Stitch” Rayburn, the actor is back in the role of the hunky physician, who first appeared in 2013.

“I always imagined that at some point Stitch would reappear because the character had never been killed off,” says Carrigan. “I had no idea when, but in the back of my mind I always knew that the chance would come up.” Still, he admits to being “pleasantly surprised” when he learned of Y&R’s intentions. “I was visiting my mom in Florida when I found out that Y&R was interested in having me come back for a story arc,” he reports. “It was pretty nice to get that call. My first response was, ‘I’m interested.’ From there, the ball got rolling.”

However, Carrigan — who has kept busy since his Y&R exit with projects like the 2019 feature film Ford v Ferrari — was already committed to another project. “I also booked a movie called Grace Point and I’ll be shooting that in North Carolina,” he explains. “It’s a psychological thriller/horror film and let’s just say my character is the antagonist and the opposite of Stitch. I’m really excited about it because it also includes Jim Parrack from 9-1-1: LONE STAR, Charlie Esten from NASHVILLE, who’s now on a show called OUTER BANKS, and also Johnny Lowe, Rob Lowe’s son, so we have a pretty awesome cast, and I’m really excited about that. Luckily, the dates for shooting the movie and Y&R all worked out. I’m able to sneak the movie in and then get back to Genoa City.”

As soon as Carrigan began receiving his Y&R scripts, he was reminded of the rigors of daytime. “It’s a fast-moving process and there’s a lot of material to be done at a rapid pace,” he points out. “You forget what a challenging medium it is but it’s also fun because you have to keep on your toes and really be in the moment. Fortunately, it all came back to me and I had that moment of, ‘Oh, yeah, this is what it’s like.’ ”

Still, he admits that his first day on the Y&R set, “I had butterflies. It was very fitting that the first place you see Stitch this time around is at the coffeehouse because that’s where my very first scene was with Dylan. It’s funny, but I didn’t expect to get hit with this wave of nostalgia. It was a pretty awesome feeling and humbling. I felt incredibly honored to be back. Right as they were about to say, ‘Action!’ for my first scene, I had chills.”

It didn’t take long to settle back into a comforting rhythm. “I forgot how it feels like a family on that show,” the actor smiles. “There are all the familiar faces, from the cast to the crew. Seeing everybody is like going back to school again after having the summer off and you’re so excited. I have so many great memories from my three-and-a-half years on that show. I feel a little more seasoned and I hope that shows in my work. I feel like I know what to expect a little bit more.”

Carrigan enjoyed reconnecting with his former co-stars. “I saw Eric Braeden [Victor] on my first day, which was pretty awesome,” he shares. “I also ran into Amelia [Heinle, Victoria], Bryton [James, Devon] and Mishael Morgan [Amanda] and Jason Thompson [Billy]. It’s been really awesome to catch up with them. I haven’t seen Eileen Davidson [Ashley] yet and would love to work with her again.”

Carrigan’s most gratifying reunion was with former soap wife Melissa Ordway (Abby). “She’s always been like a breath of fresh air, and seeing her again was wonderful,” he raves. “Melissa and I have such a mutual respect for each other and we always had a great working relationship. I’ve cherished every moment working with her, so it feels really amazing to be on the set with her again. This time around, I’m taking in the experience a whole lot more.”

During his first stint on the show, Carrigan was juggling his soap duties with a bustling career as a comic, but, he reports, “I gave that up to focus solely on acting. I won’t say I’ll never go back to stand-up but right before the pandemic hit, I had made the conscious decision that I would take my acting to the next level. I felt I reached as far as I wanted to with stand-up comedy and I didn’t want to push it any farther. You have to go out on the road and my heart just wasn’t into it anymore, so I stepped away from it to concentrate on acting. It’s nice to have my nights back instead of bouncing around in different comedy clubs, trying to get stage time. I live near the beach so I can watch the sunset, jump in the water, run and learn my lines. It’s been a nice change of pace.”

For now, Stitch is back for a limited visit, but Carrigan is open to the possibility of a longer stay. “My most memorable TV work has been on Y&R,” he declares. “I’m game for wherever this goes. I’m happy to be here so we’ll see what happens. To say I’m more then thrilled to be back is an understatement.”