Meet AMC’s William deVry
All My Children’s newest cast member, William deVry (Michael Cambias), deserves kudos for being possibly one of the nicest guys around. Aside from taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to Soapdom on a rare day off, he was genuinely excited about his new role, and the adventures that await him in Pine Valley.
Prior to our phone conversation, I started surfing the web, eager to hear what the fans thought about deVry’s first day on air. Although I was quite impressed by his performance, I was also aware that AMC fans have been reluctant to warm up to any new character. After all, who could blame them? In the past year, the show has pushed most of its veterans to the back burner and introduced so many new characters, that it’s difficult to know if this is the same AMC from a mere 12 months ago.
However, the powers-that-be seem to have struck gold with the deVry casting. His portrayal of Michael Combias is intriguing and mysterious. In addition, it doesn’t hurt that deVry is not only easy on the eyes, but he is extremely believable and talented as well. Also, AMC might have finally realized that when introducing a new character, it isn’t such a good idea to shove them down our throats. Thus, deVry was introduced last week, but won’t show up in Pine Valley until February 3. Even then, it’ll take a few days and weeks for the story to really develop.
So, when I checked out the message boards, I was thrilled to see that 95% of the fans were excited about both deVry and his character. One fan noted that she hadn’t seen so much chemistry between two people since the early days of Brooke and Edmund! Now that’s quite a compliment!
It was a pleasure for me to tell deVry about his quick success in Pine Valley. After all, I really didn’t want to get on the phone and tell him that the character hadn’t quite warmed up to the fans yet! As I explained this to deVry, he couldn’t have been more sincere or excited. deVry had one response for me—“I’m humbled.”
Ok, so now that we know what the fans think, I had to ask deVry what he thought of his performance. “I did watch myself. I had to check it out because we had such a good time on the first day (of taping). We were having such a ball, and the scenes were going so well. Susan Lucci (Erica) seemed to be surprised that I was enjoying myself so much. She told me that most people are so overwhelmed on their first day, kind of like a deer caught in the headlights. I attribute that (my preparedness) to working on Port Charles (deVry appeared numerous times on the fellow ABC soap). All I needed was that first day on Port Charles to kinda know what the heck I was in for.”
It also didn’t hurt that deVry instantly clicked with future on-screen love interest Alicia Minshew (Kendall). “She’s fantastic . . . a very generous actress and she reacts really well to the spontaneity of the scene. It’s a pleasure to work with her.” Speaking of Kendall and Michael, is it too early to say that they are a match made in heaven? As deVry points out, “Michael seems to be a guy that has been driven toward monetary success. Obviously, it can be a lonely road for him at times, and even though he has a bit of mystery and an agenda behind his story, I think that no matter what, his intentions aren’t bad. He’s just so driven that sometimes (he forgets what’s really important).” Hmm, sounds to me like Kendall and Michael have more in common than meets the eye!
With everything going so well, I had to wonder what deVry’s audition process was like. Auditioning is never easy, especially when you aren’t even in New York at the time! “The show already had two screen-tests in the prior weeks/months, and I kinda got in on the last wave, because I was unavailable during the first round of auditions. I auditioned in LA on tape for Judy (Blye Wilson, AMC’s Casting Director), and then I was offered a screen-test, for which I flew to New York. I screen-tested on a Friday (in December), and I got the job on the following Monday!” deVry goes on to explain, “my audition process was pretty painless. Judy Wilson is phenomenal. She’s got a reputation, and makes everyone feel so comfortable. It’s a well-oiled machine over there (at AMC), I gotta tell you.”
deVry doesn’t stop there—he goes on to praise the casting assistants who helped him during the audition process. There (are two assistants) by the name of Bob and Ty, who really honestly just made everybody feel at home. There were nine guys screen-testing that day. (Bob and Ty) made everybody feel really comfortable and we all felt like a million bucks when we walked out the door.”
Upon receiving the news that he had nabbed the role, deVry immediately called his parents, who reside in Florida. After the initial excitement wore down, deVry had to figure out how he was going to pack up all his belongings and get settled in New York. After all, the chaos was for a good reason, but if you’re William deVry, moving isn’t as easy as you think! Why, you ask? Well, he currently has a house in Florida, an apartment in Vancouver, and a townhouse in Los Angeles. In addition, he’s hoping to soon have a condo in Manhattan as well.
According to deVry, “I’m probably going to get rid of my Vancouver apartment this summer. In the meantime, I’m just trying to get organized. I haven’t even opened up a bank account here yet! It’s really busy, and you kinda have to have a checklist to make sure all your ducks are in order before you make any moves.”
From the looks of it, deVry will have plenty of time to get situated in the Big Apple. After all, the Montreal native signed a four-year contract with All My Children, and couldn’t be happier. So far, deVry has spent most of his time hanging out with Max Alexander (Carlos). “We’ve been going to the gym since we are staying at the same hotel. So we hit the gym and then go to work. It has been a lot of fun.”
For a guy who started acting in 1991, and got his big break on Steven Spielberg’s “SeaQuest DSV” in 1994, his role on AMC is a dream job. “Everybody talks about the respect you have for daytime actors and it’s true. Once you do the show, it just really opens your eyes about what the truth is. You are learning 18-35 pages a night, every night, and nobody is on that pace in any kind of format in film and TV. You really have to be serious, and anyone working in daytime is doing their work. They’re serious and not wasting any time, I can promise you that, that’s for sure.”
Well, fans, take it from me, you have yourselves a winner. Not only is deVry friendly and personable, he’s got a great head on his shoulders, and is committed 110% to his new role. As a result, All My Children just might have discovered the gold mine it needs.
Did you know?
William deVry is related to the deVrys of the deVry University. His grandfather, Herman deVry founded the deVry Institute now deVry University.
Visit deVry online at his official sites:
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