Check our interview with talented actress Sydney Meyer who will be starring in the new high-octane conspiracy television series Departure alongside Archie Panjabi and Christopher Plummer that follows the mystery of Flight 716, a passenger plane that vanishes over the Atlantic Ocean. The show is set to premiere this 2019.
She can also be seen as a series regular in the highly anticipated Netflix original show V-Wars based on the print anthology series of the same name starring alongside Ian Somerhalder.
Hi Sydney, please tell us a little about you?
I’m 23, I live in Toronto, I’m a dual citizen of Canada and Britain. I love reading (paperbacks preferred), my favorite authors are Chuck Palahniuk and Norman Mailer (although I don’t exactly endorse the latter as a person). I collect stuffed animals, yes, still. I have seven copies of the complete works of William Shakespeare and climbing. I’m highly superstitious.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Nerdy. Odd. Indomitable.
Name one your strengths?
I’m very resilient. I always joke and say “I’m very hard to kill”. But it’s true. I think perhaps my best quality is my ability to persevere in the face of adversity. I owe that quality entirely to my parents. It’s not my own. It was learned. Trained. And I’m grateful for it.
Who is your biggest supporter?
That definitely goes to my father. He’s supported me from day one and continues to. He used to drive me from London, Ontario to Toronto (2.5 hours) and back in a day for a five minute audition all the time. When I was in Winnipeg and upset, he flew out there. He’s always believed in me, even when everyone in our hometown thought they were insane for letting me pursue acting. He’s be so vocal and unrelenting in his support. I would not be where I am without him. He’s believed in me but never pushed me, it’s always been my journey but he’s been by my side the whole time. I’m so thankful to have had that.
How did you get started in the industry?
I went to a school for the arts in elementary school and fell in love with Shakespeare and being on stage, then I moved to Toronto and went to a high school for the arts. We had a friend I grew up with who happened to have her own show “Heartland” and she came over for dinner and gave me some advice. She took me to an acting class in Toronto and helped me get an agent. It all kind of snowballed from there.
What was your first acting role?
I’m not sure I really remember. My first I think was at Lester B Pearson School for the Arts in grade four when I was nine, we did A Midsummer Night’s Dream and I played Hermia. That year I did a student film called Ruby Red. My first professional gig was when I was 12 I did a play of Alice in Wonderland where I was Alice. My first professional TV role was when I was 16 and it was for a docudrama series called Dangerous Persuasions.
What is the best and worst part of being an actress?
The best part is getting to explore the human condition every day. I learn more about myself and the people around me. I get to make art that moves people and affects people and connect with people from all over the world. It’s truly a gift. The worst is the toll it can sometimes take on your sanity. When so much of your career feels like it is in other people hands it can be anxiety inducing. It’s difficult to know who you are and stay true to yourself when you go through years in this industry feeling like no one wants you. Because that’s what you’re selling. Yourself. It’s an odd thing and something I’ve had to make peace with but it definitely plays on your psyche at times.
Best advice ever given?
In terms of acting – No one will ever care about your career as much as you do. So as much as everyone has their opinions you have to go to bed at night happy with your decisions. Win, lose or draw the outcome has to be yours.
In terms of life – it’s a Chuck Palahniuk quote “Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home. It’s your responsibility to love it or change it.” I do my best to live that.
How do you prepare for a role?
It really depends on the role. If there’s source material for the project I’ll always read that. I tend to look for inspiration, either in characters on TV or Film, books, plays, animals. I’ll draw from different places to build the different facets of their personality. I’ll work on their voice, their speech pattern, their physicality, the way they think, I have a journal for every character. I’ll try to build a playlist for them. I spend a lot of time trying to work through that characters emotions, how they feel, how they process what they feel, how they communicate what they feel, etc. I’ll find what I think they’d wear. Just try to feel at home inside that character for a little bit. I want to feel like I know them outside of just the lines that I’ve been given. It’s always a really fun and exciting process for me and every time it’s something new which I love. I get to draw on everything I’ve learned from all my teachers over the year and its a very satisfying process when you feel like you get it right.
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
I think it’s evident in the books I like that I kind of love the dark side. I love really human dark roles. I love exploring the sides of ourselves we aren’t allowed to in the day to day. I think it’s an important and cathartic thing both for us artists and for the audience. To discuss these things in a responsible way really opens peoples minds and hearts and starts a dialogue. That’s my goal. I love Emmy’s role on Shameless that’s a dream role. Ellen Pages role in Hard candy. Charlize Theron in Monster. Those are my type of dream roles.
Now tell us about your work in new high-octane conspiracy television series Departure?
Departure is a really exciting show about flight 716 disappearing as it’s on its way into Heathrow. It has this incredible ensemble cast where each character is on their own journey trying to unravel this mystery right until the very end. My character Sophia is the girlfriend of Archie Panjabi’s step son AJ, he and I have a conspiracy theory about the plane and are sneaking around trying to prove it. It’s a really fun role and was such a wonderful shoot.
And about Netflix’s original show V-Wars?
V-Wars is based on the comics/books by Jonathan Maberry, it’s about a virus that gets out of the arctic ice and triggers a mutation in those that have the “predator gene” turning them into vampires. Our vampires are different than what you’re used to. We have different breeds and it goes into vampire lore a bit. It’s quite interesting. Ian’s character is a doctor working to find a cure to save his friend. My character Ava O’Malley is one of the only characters that was created for the show and wasn’t in the source material. She’s a really exciting addition. Ava is brutally ambitious. She’s a young, emotional, impulsive girl who’s really been through a lot when we meet her. She’s looking to find solid ground and create a legacy for herself. While she’s extremely intelligent, she’s reactionary and the way she goes about this isn’t always ideal.
What other projects have you been a part of that you’d like to share?
Right now I’m really excited about the work I’m creating. I’m writing a novel. And I’ve written a short and a feature film that we’re looking to produce this year. That for me is the next step of my journey and I’m so excited to step into that world.
What is next for Sydney Meyer in 2019?
I’ve learned so much from the people I’ve been lucky enough to be around this past year. I’m so inspired right now. This year, I’m hoping to use that to really nurture my creativity and take some more risks, I want to create my own work, make art that matters to me. I want to keep writing. I would love to see V-Wars come back. I’m working on some music. I’m trying to branch out a bit. I’m excited to see what comes.
Who is your favorite Actor/Actress? And why?
Oh theres so many. I think Charlize Theron is incredible and I respect so much that she isn’t afraid of getting gritty. I love Emmy Rossum, I think she’s such a brilliant actress with such range and she’s so well rounded as an artists, she’s an incredible singer and now she’s producing. I hope to be that way. I love Benedict Cumberbatch, his Hamlet is unmatched for me and his performance in Patrick Melrose is maybe the best performance I’ve seen from anyone in a decade. I was blown away. Also Denzel Washington, I think he’s the picture of a versatile actor. He can just do absolutely everything he is so talented. I also love how hard all these actors work, they are good people and work hard to create somethings great. There’s so may others but those are the ones coming to me right now.
What music do you like?
A little bit of everything. I really love Panic! At The Disco, I think Brendon Urie is just incredibly talented and his love for what he does is so obvious and infectious. I love Marianas Trench, I think their lyrics are gorgeous and they write beautiful harmonies, Josh Ramsey is amazing. I love Stevie Wonder. I love Billy Joel. I think Bilie Eilish is doing something really interesting right now. I love Pink, Carrie Underwood, Ed Sheehan, Andrew McMahon (and Something Corporate), Mayday Parade. So many.
Your idea of a perfect Sunday is?
A perfect Sunday is a BBQ at my parents, sitting by the pool with a book and some lemonade. Or just going for a walk around my neighborhood, without a plan or a timeline, exploring. Being in nature.
What is your own definition of happiness?
For me, happiness is freedom. Freedom to say yes to the things I want and to say no to the things I don’t. To love who I want and what I want. To feel what I’m feeling. To make my own choices and mistakes. To give freely. To build a life that is my own.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I think I would want to meet Joan of Arc. I would really want to talk to her about her experience. About what her conversations with God were like. How she felt during her trial and execution. I’d want to know how she feels that she’s celebrated as a saint now. Joan is a real fearless hero for me and I would want to just be in a room with her and let her speak. Have her be heard.
What do you like to watch on TV?
Some of my favorite shows aren’t on TV anymore. But I watch and re-watch them. I loved Pushing Daises, and Regenisis and Chuck. Breaking Bad. I love Shameless, Scandal, Killing Eve, Animal Kingdom, Brooklyn 99, I tend to really love the British and Irish series. River, The Fall, Broadchurch, Luther.
What is your favorite healthy food?
I’m addicted to roasted Brussel Sprouts, my dad makes the absolute best.
And your favorite cheat food?
I really can’t eat most things, but there are these “Smart Sweet” gummies I can have which I love, or like low sugar chocolate. Lily’s makes really good chocolate I can eat.
Do you support any charities?
I really can’t say enough about the ME to WE tree of charities. I also support the Equal Justice Initiative and Everytown for Gun Safety. There are other but these are the one’s I’m really passionate about right now.
Where we can follow you?
Quote: “Please know that there are much better things in life than being lonely or liked or bitter or mean or self-conscious. We are all full of shit. Go love someone just because, I know your heart may be badly bruised or even the victim of numerous knifings but it will always heal, even if you don’t want it to, it keeps going. There are the most fantastic, beautiful thing and people there, I promise. It is up to you to find them.” – Chuck Palahniuk
“The best gift I’ve ever gotten, I’ve gotten every day of my life, and that’s waking up, I love waking up, I’m a morning, afternoon, and evening person. There are two small words that are the most important words in the English language: over and next. If there were a hammock in the middle between over and next, that would be living in the moment. Waking up in the morning is the next moment. The next moment to me is the taste of coffee” – Norman Mailer
Holiday Destination: Standing favorite – Italy, Next up – Japan or Greece
Song: Konstantine by Something Corporate
Sports Team: The All Blacks and The Sharks
Movie: Garden State. All time favorite. Zach Braff is a genius for this film.