‘The Young and the Restless’: Bryton James Shares ‘Family Matters’ Memories with Christel Khalil

Christel Khalil and Bryton James may play siblings on The Young and the Restless, but did you know they were on-screen together in a 1990s sitcom? Most fans are familiar with the fact that James starred on Family Matters as a child, but less familiar with the fact that Khalil was a guest star.

Christel Khalil Bryton James
Christel Khalil and actor Bryton James in 2008 | David Livingston / Getty Images

Bryton James and Christel Khalil play the Winters siblings on ‘The Young and the Restless’

Lily is an integral legacy character on The Young and the Restless the daughter of Neil and Drucilla Winters. She is the biological daughter of Drucilla and Neil’s brother, Malcolm. Khalil is a longtime cast member, first debuting on the show in 2002. James is also a longtime cast member, debuting as Devon a couple of years later in 2002.

The character of Devon was first introduced when he was in a group home for foster children. He is taken in by Drucilla and Neil and stayed with the family. Devon would go on to be officially adopted by the Winters family.

Later years would see Devon’s biological family were written onto the show, including his younger sister, Ana Hamilton, who initially was thought to be his first cousin. His mother, Yolanda “Harmony” Hamilton was also reintroduced in later years and Devon’s storyline was retconned so that he would be the biological son of Tucker McCall. Tucker, in turn, was proven to be the long-lost son of Katherine Chancellor. This made Devon a Chancellor heir.

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The two acted alongside each other on ‘Family Matters’ before the CBS soap

In an interview with Soap Opera Digest, James talked about working with Khalil and memories from them being together on Family Matters when she made a guest appearance. James said that he remembers “absolutely” remembered Khalil, despite the fact that they were younger, because all of the children had to do schoolwork.

“That week that she was on, we shared a classroom together,” he said. “I remember very much. We were hanging out in our downtime together. We got along great back then. I think I have a couple pictures from that time. It was crazy. It seemed like it was meant to be when I ended up getting [The Young and the Restless] and having her there. I did my screen test with her, actually. That was the first time I realized that was the same person.

Their characters close bond has resulted in a lifelong friendship

A lot of times, people that star opposite each other on-screen may not be that close in real life. However, this is not the case for James and Khalil, who look at each other like family.

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“Well, I mean, it’s hard not to become family when you’re on a soap opera, especially when you’re on it for as long as some of us have been,” he said of his relationship with the actress. “She’s such a great and loving, warm person that it was easy to get along with her and become that close. We just went through very important times in our lives together. Her getting married at a young age, having her son, I was right there. Same with me. I got married at a young age, too, and went through a separation. Just these very important times in our lives. When you share it with someone that you see every day and you work with every day that you’re constantly together running lines with and hanging out off set, too, that natural bond kind of just develops. We have very similar personalities. We have the same taste in music, which helps a lot ’cause we love to dance. She’s always had my back and I’ve always had hers. She’s the closest thing I have to a sister.”

The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS.