When the nominees were revealed for the 43rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards to be he handed out on May 1st, a very familiar name to daytime audiences made the final round once again in the Outstanding Supporting Actor category … none other than The Young and the Restless’ Steve Burton. The popular star received his second nomination in a row for his work as Dylan McAvoy, a role he began playing in early 2013, after an over 20-year-run on General Hospital as Jason Morgan, where he won an Emmy for his performance in 1998.
Speaking to On-Air On-Soaps from his home in Nashville on Wednesday, Steve shared: his excitement at being honored once again by his peers, his nominated work with Jessica Collins (Ex-Avery), being anchored in story with on-screen parents: Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki) and Doug Davidson (Paul). While Burton expressed his admiration and Davidson, he also gave kudos to Christian LeBlanc (Michael, Y&R), Maurice Benard (Sonny, GH), and others who have made an impact on him throughout his daytime soap journey.
Here’s what Steve shared on Daytime Emmys 2016, being made to feel at home at Y&R, and who he thinks should host the Emmy ceremonies, and more!
You scored your sixth Daytime Emmy nomination last week! What did you submit for contention that landed you in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series race?
STEVE: I submitted the break-up scenes with Avery, and I think a goodbye scene with her, as well. So the majority of my stuff was with Jessica Collins (Avery).
What did you like about the scenes that made you go with those?
STEVE: Sometimes, it’s so arbitrary. I usually get a lot of people’s input, because every year the voting system changes and you have to adapt to that in a way. For me, I want to pick the most honest work, and that’s what it’s about. It doesn’t matter if it’s over the top or not, because sometimes that wins, but that’s not always how I am. I just picked what I felt was the honest, and I went with that. I try not to labor over it to much. I just picked it, and submit it, and then let the cards fall where they may.
Those were sad scenes: Dylan and Avery just couldn’t make their relationship work anymore, and for them it was the realization of that and the finality of it that made those moments so heart-tugging.
STEVE: Yes, and I just felt the scenes were really well-written. Obviously, Jessica Collins and I really enjoyed working together. And it wasn’t that we even had to work for it in the scenes, because Jessica was leaving the show, and it was a natural progression for our storyline and our characters. The whole thing was sad too! We didn’t want Jessica to leave. Hopefully, we captured all of that essence in our scenes, and we will see what happens. Jessica did reach out to me when she found I was nominated, and I am so glad she was nominated, too. I am one of her biggest fans.
And you created the Dylan and Avery relationship from nothing – you had to bring their back-story to life on-screen – when neither of you had been on Y&R previously. I think that is a very hard thing to have to do and make work, especially in front of a loyal show fan base that could be dismissive of a never-before-seen duo.
STEVE: It was a very interesting how it played out. Like you said, usually the fans don’t care, quite honestly. They didn’t really know me, and Jessica was new to the show, and Avery was with Nic (Joshua Morrow). That was her root for a love interest. But it worked with us and the history was there. I think people felt that, and obviously it was a lot of fun.
Since you won a Daytime Emmy for your work on General Hospital and have been nominated several other times, does it still feel as exciting that your peers voted you in the final round, and acknowledged you?
STEVE: I think it’s great, because being on a new show with a new group of people, and just the whole transition for me to The Young and the Restless, and working into the storyline. Obviously, it was a big transition for me in my life and acting-wise. So, it’s very nice to be recognized for that. I really do appreciate it as it never gets old, and it is really cool.
Dylan is now anchored to core Genoa City residents. His mother is Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott), and his father is Paul Williams (Doug Davidson). Did it exceed your expectations on how it all evolved with Dylan … and how Y&R tied you into the canvas?
STEVE: One hundred percent! And remember, originally Ray Wise (Ian Ward) was going to turn out to be Dylan’s dad, and that’s cool, because I love Ray. But, Doug Davidson and I are very close. I think they saw something there and changed direction midstream and made Doug my dad, which I love. We love working together, and we spent a lot of time together. Having Victoria (Amelia Heinle), and Nick as my half-sister and brother, and tying Paul and Nikki together with Dylan, was just great.
Last week with Y&R celebrating their 43rd anniversary and the show landing 27 Daytime Emmy nominations, the series is still in high gear, and you are evolving in story now with Sharon Case (Sharon), and then you get a nomination yourself. I think they have set you up pretty well here on the top ranked daytime drama.
STEVE: I agree, man. I just go in and try to do the best I can do every day. I am in a different place in my life, where I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore. You go in and make the story work and you go home.
How did you find out you were nominated?
STEVE: We were doing a scene on stage and Christian LeBlanc (Michael) got a text from our Associate Producer Jimmy Freeman saying that he was nominated. We weren’t sure what time the nominations were coming out. So he looked them up and that is how I found out. I texted my wife immediately and she was very excited.
You started out in this business as a young actor and have come full circle to being one of the well-known veterans. On Y&R, do you have younger actors come to you for advice?
STEVE: I talk to the younger kids on the show. All I try to say is: “Work as hard as you did your first day on the job. Don’t get complacent and lazy. Show up on time.” Most likely, if you have somebody who has the talent and has those work ethics, usually they are around for awhile. One person I have encouraged is Robert Adamson (Noah). I think he can go very far as he is very talented. GH’s Maurice Benard (Sonny) pushed me to the max, and that is why I have that perspective. Maurice was the greatest mentor in the world. He pushed me to the hilt in terms of acting, work ethic etc. I could not have had a better person in my life at the time.
You have honed your craft over the years, where you come at your work with subtlety and much of it is told in your eyes. Is that something you try to do in your scenes?
STEVE: I don’t think it’s something you try. I will give you an example: like Christian LeBlanc (Michael). I am a huge fan of his. Obviously, he is an amazing actor. He’s more animated than me, and I would say we have different styles of acting, but he is very honest and truthful. I think it really comes down to the individual of who they are, and what their style is. It’s not something that I necessarily work on that is just part of me, I guess. Obviously, if I try to be more animated in my style like Maurice Benard or Christian, I would feel awkward and I would probably look pretty awkward, too! (Laughs) I will leave that to the professionals! (Laughs)
When you look at the nominees, and having voted yourself, what was your overall opinion on this year’s pool of performances?
STEVE: I thought a lot of great people had great tape submissions this year that had not been recognized before. We have a lot of new nominees this year who have done a lot of good work for a long time, and they are finally being recognized. On a side note: Are we getting Doug Davidson to host the Daytime Emmys? I would love for him to host them. This guy is awesome at stuff like that. He is so good, and he would keep the ceremonies to where my kid’s could actually watch! (Laughs)
For more with this year’s Daytime Emmy nominees make sure to listen to Soap Nation Live! with Michael Fairman Daytime Emmy Nomination Special.
So, were you happy to hear Steve Burton is in the running for the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series at this year’s Daytime Emmys? Do you recall the break-up scenes between Dylan and Avery, and Avery’s heartbreaking goodbye? What do you think about the on-screen chemistry between Steve and his on-screen dad, Doug Davidson? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!