Tai Freligh interviews actress Syd Wilder from Rideshare…
Syd Wilder is an actress, comedienne, digital influencer, writer, and producer and will next be seen in the horror film Rideshare, which will premiere Friday October 13th on Amazon Direct. She has appeared in numerous Funny Or Die sketches and parodies, which have garnered over 60 million total views. No stranger to the big screen, Wilder starred as Scarlett in the Universal Pictures film Laid in America. She has over 11 directing credits and 16 writing credits including shorts such as Break Up Moving Service, How to be an Actress in LA, and 5 Guys Every Girl Has Dated in LA. to name a few. Wilder has her own production company, Beyond My Wildest Dreams Productions, where she produces original content. We talked to her about her movies and the influencer culture in today’s digital world.
Tell me about “Rideshare” and the character you play.
My character’s name is Alyssa and she is a party girl who opens the movie! I always love playing those types of girls because they are the exact opposite of who I am as a person. I always have to be serious and on my game for my 10 other jobs.
What is it like doing a movie for Amazon Direct?
It’s wonderful when you make an indie movie and there is a substantial distribution company behind you.
How did you land the role?
I was coming home from a work event and my mom told me I had to put myself on tape immediately. I had another appointment an hour after I received this news, so I couldn’t read the script, I only had time to read the sides. I did a self-tape and I shot three takes before submitting. I found out the next day I booked the role. So, the lesson here is sometimes you book the roles that you put no preparation into.
Describe your character in “Laid in America” and what the movie is about.
Laid in America is a teen buddy comedy, targeted for the digital influencer world. I play Scarlett KSI and Caspar Lee’s online sex coach. I may end up hooking up with one of them in the film but you’ll have to download the film and find out!
You star alongside other YouTube influencers. Is this a new trend of influencers becoming actors and producers?
Influencers are definitely becoming actors and producers, as well as tech entrepreneurs, authors, talk show hosts, fashion designers and directors. Influencer’s are really paving new ways to expand the entertainment industry and it’s crazy to think I’m a part of that squad. I started out as a classically trained actress, sketch comedy writer, stand-up comedian and producer so it’s still weird to hear that I am now considered an “influencer”.
How was it different working on a movie done by a major movie studio and one done by a streaming content company?
When you’re working on a bigger budget movie, you’re usually on a studio lot or an exotic location. You usually have a trailer and you get a bigger check. When you’re working on a lower budget movie you don’t always have a trailer and you get a smaller check, but you have a better idea of when the movie will be released but most importantly you get to make art. Which is what I’m all about! I love making art, it’s my passion and my purpose!
What are your thoughts on streaming content providers like Netflix and Amazon getting into the original programming business with exclusive movies and television shows being done in house?
I love all of the opportunities that Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and other companies are giving to creators! I hope my pilot will be made by one of those companies!
Where do you see the future of digital content going and who is leading the field going in that direction?
I think Livestreaming will be a bigger business. I can definitely foresee digital dominating traditional media in the near future. I really love what Lilly Singh does. I also have a huge girl crush on Laura Cleary! The content they create always brings a smile to my face!
What goal do you have for 2018 and beyond in terms of your career?
I have worked all summer on my half hour comedy pilot that I hope to make next year! I’m in the market to find the right producing partner for my project and if I could be making it next year, that would be a dream fulfilled! I’m also writing a lot of sketch content right now for my social media platforms, so I showcase more of my characters and comedy. As far as my goals beyond 2018, I want to do so much with my career. My brand is “versatile.” I write, direct, produce, dance and I have several comedic characters. I am very good with accents and dialects and I can sing. I’m great with many different styles of comedy and I can act my ass off but I get boxed in this “hot girl” model stereotype because of my Instagram. I created these modeling images that helped me grow my online following but now it’s frustrating because I don’t get taken seriously as an artist because of those images. I am not that model girl every day, I am a content creator and business woman. I don’t like being put into one category, especially by people who don’t know who I really am and what I’m capable of.
I want to do a lot of things in my career – I want to make my TV show, have it run for 6 seasons like Lena Dunham’s show Girls. I also want to continue to write, direct and produce both comedies and dramas for short and long form mediums. I want to write a self-help book, a poetry book, start my own charity. I want to have my own talk show like Ellen later in my career. I want to be on Dancing with the Stars. I could go on but I really want my work to leave a positive impact in this world. I hope I can make people laugh, bring them joy, feel accepted and help them find the fun in their life’s dysfunctions.
With so many “influencers” out there, how do you stand out from the crowd?
You stand out by being true to who you are and not caring how others perceive you. You also have to have laser focus and a strong work ethic.
What other projects do you have going on?
I will have some new comedy videos coming out on my social media accounts. Mainly Instagram and YouTube. So, stay tuned and make sure to follow me!
How do you survive the zombie apocalypse?
Stay inside and stay asleep at all times.
Favourite comedian of all time?
It’s hard to pick one but it’s a toss-up between Richard Pryor and Robin Williams.
If not doing what you’re doing for a career, what would you be?
Honestly, I have no clue. I don’t have a back-up plan or a desire to do anything else.
Who wins in a leather-clad cage match, Eddie Murphy or Andrew Dice Clay and why?
Andrew Dice Clay. I’ve met Eddie and that pairing doesn’t seem like it’s the same weight class.
What is the funniest comedy special you’ve ever seen?
Richard Pryor Live at the Sunset Strip or Eddie Murphy Delirious or Zach Galifianakis Live at the Purple Onion. I can’t decide they are all so good.
Rideshare was originally slated for an October 13th release, but that has been delayed as they are in last minute distribution talks.
We thank Syd Williams for taking the time to chat with us here at Flickering Myth. She can be found on social media at the handles below:
Photo Credits: Syd Wilder
Tai Freligh is a Los Angeles-based writer and can be found on Twitter.