Q&A: Ryan Devlin, of ABC’s ‘Brothers & Sisters’

Devlin’s Darlings: Grand Rapids native and Michigan State grad Ryan Devlin is becoming a familiar face well beyond the Midwest. Devlin, 30, has squired a bevy of TV-land lovelies, including Mandy Moore (Grey’s Anatomy), Busy Philipps (Cougar Town), and now, Calista Flockhart (Brothers & Sisters).
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Photograph courtesy of © ABC

Is playing the love interest to Calista Flockhart awkward because of the age difference?

The joke is that I went from Cougar Town to Cougar Town. I absolutely adore [Calista] as an actor and a person. To be thrown into the fire with this successful, older, beautiful woman … was a lot intimidating.

What’s the age difference between you and your wife?

[She’s] five and a half years older. It’s not as extreme as Calista Flockhart and Harrison Ford, [but] it gave us something to relate to. [Calista] made it clear that Harrison probably wouldn’t beat me up, [but] I’m still expecting [a] sucker punch from Indiana Jones.

What’s it like to work with Calista Flockhart, Sally Field, and Courtney Cox?

The intimidation level kind of varies, depending on the mood of the set. Cougar Town and Brothers & Sisters are very relaxed, creative, and inclusive. Courtney is so warm and hands-on with the show and very easy to get along with. It’s intimidating going in there, because I watched Friends for a decade. Sally Field has won two Oscars and multiple Emmys and is just a force on screen, so I step onto the set like a fan smiling ear to ear.

Is it difficult to join an established series?

Brothers & Sisters has been on for five years and they’re … a family. I couldn’t have stepped onto a warmer set.

You’ve done films and TV. Any preference?

If I had to choose … I think I would prefer TV. In a movie, you have to wrap it up in 90 minutes. In television, it’s a lot more personal. You’re welcoming these characters into your living room each week. I like telling the story in a course of years, rather than hours.

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