TVSource Magazine caught up with William DeVry (Julian Jerome) at the ABC Television Critics Association Cocktail Party this past weekend. During our interview, deVry expressed his happiness over the rebounding daytime genre, working with co-stars, embracing social media and if the New Year will bring romance for Julian and Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn).
William deVry’s been on General Hospital just six months, but he’s already taken the show by storm. Julian Jerome, aka Derek Wells, is a mobster and business man looking to reclaim the power his family once wielded over Port Charles. One person stands in his way of achieving that goal, current mob boss Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard).
DeVry says he’s grateful he gets to play a role that gets to interact with so many characters, adding that Julian’s bachelor status helps him out a little bit. One thing that was very apparent in our conversation is just how much he enjoys working with his co-stars. “I am so fortunate that I’m having, just fantastic partners like Maura West [Ava Jerome] and working opposite Maurice Bernard [Sonny Corinthos]. Bryan Craig [Morgan Corinthos] is just a fantastic, young, up and coming actor. [There's] also Nancy Lee Grahn and I’ve got Kelly Monaco [Sam Morgan] and Ryan Carnes [Lucas Jones], who [are also wonderful].”
DeVry spoke highly of the recently returned Carnes, who was last on the show in 2005. “I was blown away [by] the gentleman who plays my son now, Ryan,” said the actor with in awe. “I was just blown away at how talented he was.”
The actor wears his General Hospital stripes like a badge of honor, showering his peers with praise for their talent and professionalism. “I am surrounded by the best of the best that’s left in daytime.” It’s a stark contrast to some stars who join a show and believe they put the ‘I’ in ‘team’.
“We’ve all done movies, we’ve all done primetime, and we all just love daytime. We just love the challenge. It’s a pleasure being here. I’m really, really fortunate [to have such wonderful people to work with,” he said with a smile.
As an alum of All My Children and The Bold and the Beautiful, deVry is aware of the dark cloud that once hovered over the medium, but with a brighter outlook ahead, he credits the fans for re-energizing the genre. “Coming back to daytime – ratings are going up, all the shows are healthy again. We’re not getting any cuter,” said the actor laughing. “People are watching the show. People are excited again. [Look at] social media – we’re talking with the fans!”
The actor has been able to forge a loyal and growing fan base by embracing social media platforms such as Twitter. He admits that while there are benefits of social media, it can also be a bit of a double edged sword at times. “You know, that’s what the block button [is] for,” he remarked, discussing the small minority who send rude messages. “I mean it’s quick, it’s painless. Goodbye, everything disappears. I love to Twitter, tweet on Twitter, but you know, sometimes the fans get can get a little…passionate.”
He notes their passion on social media, and desire to interact with the stars, underscores their love for the show. “You know you get on there and you do it once and they’re like ‘Hey, you didn’t tweet me today!’ and I’m like ‘Listen, I am working!'” he says with a laugh. “So it’s good, it’s good. But you know I think the more you have fun with them, the more they’re going to watch the show. It’s great.”
Switching gears, deVry is hopeful that Julian’s flirtation with Alexis leads to a pickup in the romance department. “I think the fans are really wanting that, first of all. I think Nancy has kind of been on the show for you know, 10 years with no real love interest that’s really worked out well. So I think the fans are dying for that,” adding that he thinks a relationship between the two is important.
“I think that [the fans] would love to see us get back together,” said the actor, noting that while actors don’t have any say in storyline direction, it would be great to visit a pairing between them. “I can’t wait to see what happens.”