Wednesday, 18 December 2013
Introducing Evelyn Ryan - Morley's New Feminist Girl Crush, and Star of Upcoming Web Series, The Young Ones!
There's nothing cooler than meeting a super rad chick, who is not only intelligent, quirky, funny and a total feminist; she's also a damn good actress to boot...and she's just getting started! Yay.
So who is this fabulous chickaroo I hear you all ask? :) Her name is Evelyn Ryan, and she is one of the stars of new dystopian future web series The Young Ones. The project of Scottish boys Stuart Gilmartin and Craig Wallace, The Young Ones is a great opportunity to show the progression of a strong female character in a world that's hard to know just what your role essentially will be when the world goes to shit!!
To me I guess, part of the basic concept behind The Young Ones is kind of like when someone asks me that if I was stranded on a desert island/mountains/somewhere isolated to hell, that would I eat an animal...or resort to cannibalism!?! The thing is, we don't know how the hell we're gonna react until we're put in that situation. Sometimes the people that are the so-called "tough guys", they just fall to bits when everything they were used to crumbles down around them. And then there are the characters who were perhaps quieter, and not really sure who they were meant to be, and they turn out to be complete bad asses. :) For example, Carol in The Walking Dead, another example of a strong female character in a world gone to shit! She will literally do anything she needs to survive, and to protect her people.
The way I see it, Evelyn's character Jo in The Young Ones is essentially the latter. Now as the series is still in production, I'm totally not giving anything away....just because I'm like that! HA! Instead however, I'll let Evelyn herself drop you few cheeky wee hints, interview a la Morley style! Ooh, and just because I'm nice and stuff, you can get a few behind the scenes peeks, and screen shots too...just to give you an idea why I'm totally on board with this project! We're talking dark, dank, dreary awesome...kind of like my personality. Bwahahahaha. ;)
So without further adieu....
Your character of Jo in The Young Ones is merely a child when the shit hits the fan. I guess at first it's hard for her to know what her role will be in this world. How hard was that for you as a person to essentially play a "weaker" character in the sense of Jo having to find her way?
Chances are when you first look at a character as an actor you're going to think "well that's totally not what I would do at all," and it would be easy to just kind of half ass it and play yourself saying the words in the script. But what good acting is about (and hopefully, eventually, I'll be a damn fine actress) is not seeing a character as a separate entity that you have to somehow find but realising that all you need for a performance you probably already have. No character is either weak or strong just like no person is either weak or strong and even though I like to hope I'm a strong person, there have definitely been times in my life when I haven't known what the hell I've been doing, or felt totally out of my depth in an alien situation. In a way Jo's journey, although its so different to mine in the setting, is pretty similar to the whole filming process in general. I came into acting just wanting to act, really having no clue what that actually meant, and in the process have came across a lot of people, sometimes it feels like its everyone, who knows a fuck tonne more than me. So if I just think of the way I've had to deal with that and how I felt it's easy not to see Jo as "weaker" than the people around her, but as someone I can relate to.
Hopefully as soon as possible! There's nothing more fun to play than badassery. But I think what's cool about this project is that you aren't just thrown in to the world, you get to see what's made these people into what they are now and what they've had to do to survive and since my character is the newest to it all it's going to take a little time before she becomes the kick-ass woman I know she'll turn in to. Still I think you get glimpses of it in the first few episodes, in between the crying, but hey who says you can't have moxy and cry, sounds well adjusted to me. (*giggles* MOXY!! Makes me think of one of my bestest buds and partners in crime from when I worked at Vue Cinema, zee Mox! Aka BBC Radio Devon's film critic, sports boy and all round persony majig of awesome sauces!!)
I think I kind of lucked into the project really, Stuart got in touch one day and said they needed someone that weekend to shoot a promo episode and so I postponed my plans to do nothing and said I'd help out. Probably the best decision I've made in a while especially since it means I've been with the project for a while and have been able to spend a lot of time getting to grips with my character, its definitely the longest time I've spent on one role. It definitely counts as a credit to the show that I haven't gotten bored by now and wandered off, since I have the attention span of a gnat and it takes a lot to hold it. Filming's been hard work but still really fun and I've definitely learnt a lot through the whole process. Really can't complain that I get to run around in the mud looking like a mess since it's one of my favourite things to do. (Me too, me too!! *Morley instigates mud fight*)
This project so far has been a bit of a sausage fest, what's it been like working with the guys?
The guys have been great, you always feel lucky when you actually get on well with the people you're working with since it makes everything seem a lot more fun. I hadn't really noticed the sausage fest bit, although now you mention it I guess it is. Plus they've really helped me perfect my spitting technique (feel free to leave that out :P). (PAH...I never leaves anything out!!)
I can't wait to introduce you to all my women in horror peeps, and it feels amazing to have met such an awesome chick that shares my views...and that isn't on the other side of the world, haha. What have your experiences been like so far as an actress, and have you found that there has been a lot of sexism in the industry, both from studying and work?
My experience so far has been pretty great, since I'm still at uni and don't have a lot of free time it means I can only work on projects that interest me. I don't think there has been any intentional sexism but when you're going through casting calls it always seems to be the guys story that is the main thing and you get woman in the role as girlfriend or random girl number three who the main man sleeps with. I tend not to apply to those since for starters its probably not going to be a very original or interesting script and second you can tell its just going to be a character that is lumped into the category of 'generic woman' as though that's a thing that actually exists. It gets frustrating when you see that only a third of speaking roles in film are women parts and really I think it's bullshit when people say it's because men aren't interested in seeing a story about women or that, since the majority of writers are men, that they can't write interesting female characters. If a writer can't write an interesting woman they obviously aren't a very good writer. I saw an amazing article the other day which a website published showing the differences in the pitches of male and female writers. While the male pitches generally went along the lines of 'you have to publish this, I'm fucking amazing' the women usually said things like 'I'm sure this isn't very good but I figured I'd send it to you anyway.' I felt like finding them all and shaking them while shouting 'no I'm sure you're fucking brilliant! Write! Write about everything! Don't give a damn what people think!'
Actress wise, probably my biggest inspiration would be Kate Winslet. She's an amazing actress, she takes no shit, she stands up for women's rights and is constantly speaking out on eating disorders and what it's like to be working in what is unfortunately still very much a mans world. Who are some of your favourite actresses, or just women in general that inspire you?
My favourite actress hands down has got to be Audrey Hepburn, apart from being such a natural and charming actress on screen she was also a pretty kick-ass woman. She just always seemed so kind and loving and those are qualities which no one seems to hold in massive high regard these days. Besides when growing up she transported messages for the Belgium resistance, how much cooler can you get? In general I'd have to say Caitlin Moran is high on my inspirational woman list. Her book 'How To Be A Woman,' was at the same time poignant and fucking hilarious. Who says feminists have no sense of humour? Idiots that's who.
What is the one thing you are most excited for people to see with The Young Ones?
Everything. The great thing about The Young Ones is it doesn't have a clear cut definition of good and evil which you see in a lot of films, so it'll keep the audience guessing of who they should be rooting for. They're just real people who've found themselves in a situation which isn't that far detached from what the world could become and they're just doing what they have to do to survive. No one really knows how they would act in that world but hopefully people will definitely talk about it.
And lastly (for now, BWAH!!), if you could choose anyone character/actor to have with you in this type of situation, who would it be? Actually, fuck it...I'm nice, you can have three choices!! ;) And by nice I mean that it would be impossible for me to choose just one. Moooahahahaha.
I'm guessing you mean who I would have in The Young Ones world? That's totally easy, my three main female inspirations that I had growing up... Samantha Carter from Stargate, Katherine Janeway from Star Trek, and Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. In fact I'd be pretty superfluous if I had those three, I could I dunno cook? Actually I'm a shit cook.