Exclusive

We were lucky enough to sit down with Mary Kate Wiles, star of hit web shows The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Squaresville. Check out part 1 of our extensive and exclusive interview now.

The bicentenary of Pride and Prejudice may have come and gone, but here at Hypable we are still celebrating Jane Austen through out love of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Hypable writer Marama Whyte recently spoke with Mary Kate Wiles, who stars in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (and spin-off The Lydia Bennet) as Lydia Bennet, to discuss her thoughts on Lydia’s journey, her experiences in the intense Lizzie Bennet Diaries fandom, and much more.

Following on from controversial episode 87, we can now present the unabridged transcript of our interview with Mary Kate in two parts.

Hypable’s exclusive interview with Mary Kate Wiles

Hypable: How would you describe your version of Lydia?

Mary Kate Wiles: My Lydia is very different from the Lydia of the book. I think my Lydia is very loyal to her sisters and loves her family. I think Lydia loves fiercely, as [Lizzie] says in the show, she doesn’t do “anything by halfsies.” She’s very energetic and sometimes loud, but everything she does comes from a desire to be valued by her sisters and her family.

What’s different about Lizzie Bennet is that there’s only three sisters, instead of five in the book, which just creates an entirely different dynamic. Because in the book, Lydia has Kitty following her around and letting her be the leader in that dynamic, and in our show Lydia doesn’t have that. She feels like the annoying younger sister. Obviously Lizzie and Jane love her but I think it’s been clear as the show has gone on that there’s this kind of dynamic where Lydia feels left out and not really understood by her sisters.

Did you imagine when you were cast that Lydia would become the breakout character that she has?

No. I never had any inkling. I honestly didn’t know what I was doing for a while, I was just like “This Lydia is a party girl, so I guess that means I talk like this and I have this crazy energy, and I hope this is funny.” Obviously as time went on, and even from the first rehearsal, Bernie was like “We need to always have a reason that Lydia acts the way she does, or she’s not going to make any sense”, so that was always clear to me.

But I didn’t ever imagine that we would get to delve into it as deeply as we have. Especially with her own vlogs, I never knew that that was going to be a thing, and I cannot tell you how glad I am. I never thought that Lydia Bennet would be a character that, as it turns out, I’m so proud of and so happy to play. I feel like we’ve been able to collectively make a Lydia that a lot of people are able to relate to, and respond to in ways that they never expected. And me too – I’m one of those people.

I never thought that her story would mean as much to me as it does, but I’m finding as time has gone on that I have found a lot of myself in her, when originally I thought that me and her were nothing alike. So it’s been really cool, and something that I think I’ll always remember as this amazing thing that I got to do.

When did you find out that Lydia would be having a spin-off series of vlogs?

I can’t remember exactly when it was. Bernie [Su, head writer, executive producer, director and co-creator] had mentioned off-the-cuff pretty early on that if we had other characters vlogging Lydia would obviously be the main proponent to do that, just because of her personality. As we got closer to Lizzie and Jane leaving for Netherfield Bernie was like “We’re going to do this and see how it goes” and I checked yesterday and Lydia has 72,000 subscribers, which is not as many as Lizzie, but that’s awesome.

It’s interesting that you’ve mentioned that. Obviously not everyone who subscribed to Lizzie subscribes to Lydia, and then those people don’t necessarily follow Lydia on twitter. How do you think their perception of Lydia would be different if they have only seen her pop up in Lizzie’s videos, rather than following this separate character trajectory that people who have been watching her vlogs have experienced?

Well you don’t have to watch them. You’ll still get the story either way, and I know that a lot of Austen purists have been not wanting to watch Lydia because it’s not her story, it’s Lizzie’s story. But as time has gone on it has become clear that Lydia acts a very different way with her own viewers than she does with Lizzie.

And again, all of these things that I never realized would become so important. That’s a huge part of the story now, that Lydia has not been herself with her sister, but she’s been herself with all of these thousands of viewers. So I don’t think you’re going to understand my Lydia if you don’t watch the vlogs, because how could I?

And twitter too, especially with all of the Wickham stuff, there have been some really intense things on twitter, that I personally think is just the coolest thing. It’s so cool to experience a character from these many different sides, and has really challenged me to make sure that all of those weave together and make sense. For a little while I felt disconnected, like “I feel weird, because Lydia is this way on her vlogs, and this way on Lizzie’s”, until I thought “You idiot, that’s why.”

That’s the whole point.

Yeah. So I hope that people watch her vlogs and like them because, again, this Lydia is just not a Lydia that happens in any other Pride and Prejudice adaptation and I don’t mean that to credit myself at all. It’s just really cool that the writers have been able to take her in this direction, and trusted that with me. I just feel really lucky and excited about it, and obviously now in this last arc, if the last time that you saw Lydia was before she went to Vegas and then you didn’t see her again until she just found out about the sex tape, those are two very different Lydias.

I think people would be really confused, and some of them are, because a lot happened in between. And that’s how Lizzie was, and if you want you can have that experience that Lizzie does.

I think this arc, more than any of the others would prompt a viewer to go back and watch Lydia’s videos to try and work out what had happened there, because there’s obviously a disconnect and it is very intentional.

It’s a weird experience. I understand how the Austen purists can have a hard time with the way that thing have gone with our adaptation, but it’s an adaptation – it’s not the same story. It’s based on it, but there are definitely different things, and if it’s going to be modern, there’s no way that things can’t change. It’s funny watching Pride and Prejudice again since we’ve done the show, I’ve been like “Oh wow, I look at this completely differently now.”

I think it’s really cool that we have created this whole world for fans to delve into, and it’s been really neat to see people have really well thought out, indepth conversations and discussions about Lydia’s character and actions – which is kind of cool and kind of crazy.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Read full article

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Free will and humanity. Sacrifice and love. The nature of reality — and even of life itself. Beneath the plot, surprises, and pain, that’s what’s really going on in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spring finale.

That, and the characters who get caught in the middle.

Jed Whedon is Not. Playing. Around.

Executive producer and showrunner Jed Whedon is the man behind the pen and the camera in “Self Control,” and he’s there for a reason. Whedon’s first try at the director’s chair on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is operatic, incisive, and perpetually gut-clenching.

Yes, there are lovely and disturbing vistas, an artistry that comes from a deliberate and careful eye. But more important is the unshakable Whedon impulse that animates Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, that builds through the episode like a cresting tide.

You know that unmistakable sense that someone is laughing behind the scenes? Yeah. That’s why Jed Whedon is here.

What’s next?

Well, that’s a very good question. “Self Control” leaves us with a few razor-like possibilities, all of which lead down spiky corridors of questions. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 is here to leave us thirsty for the season’s final seven episodes, and that’s exactly what it does.

Oh, and to answer your next question…

Cliffhanger?

Uh, yes. Cliffhanger.

Oh boy, cliffhanger.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, “Self Control,” airs Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.

What are your top theories for ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ 4×15?

Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

Read full article

Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

‘Liberty’s Kids’


Liberty’s Kids aired in the early 2000s on PBS. Liberty’s Kids follows three teenagers from varying backgrounds throughout the American Revolution, mentored by Benjamin Franklin. It is geared for children but is still pretty enjoyable for adults. In each episode, the teenagers encounter a significant person or event from the revolution, giving a concise and entertaining history lesson. The show features many important figures throughout the revolution, showing even more presidents than in Hamilton. As one can imagine, Washington is among these.

‘Lincoln’


Lincoln is a 2012, Oscar nominated movie, directed by Steven Spielberg based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of Abraham Lincoln, Team of Rivals. Instead of a biopic of Lincoln’s entire life, Lincoln is specifically about his passing of the 13th amendment. Essentially directed between each of his science fiction blockbusters, Spielberg also made many significant historical movies, Lincoln among them. Lincoln not only shows his power as a president, but also humanizes him through an Oscar winning performance by Daniel Day-Lewis.

‘1776’


Hamilton is not the first musical about American history. Thankfully, though, because this way there are other options, one of which is 1776. Even more conveniently, the musical 1776 was adapted into a movie in the early 1970s. Heavily implied by its name, 1776 is about the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 1776 definitely has a more classical musical theater vibe than Hamilton. The strange combination of American history and musical theater allows for a humorous yet educational experience. However, as reflective of the history of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Washington is not a character in the musical; yet, it obviously includes many other significant historical figures.

‘The West Wing’ or ‘The American President’


Unlike the other items on this list, these two are about fictional presidents. But it would be nice if they were real. Of the many politically charged movies and television shows by Aaron Sorkin, these two are specifically about presidents. If you have the day off and want to attempt to binge watch seven seasons, then you may want to check out The West Wing. The West Wing follows President Bartlet and his staff and advisors during their time in the White House. If you want a movie to help you transition between Valentine’s Day and President’s Day then The American President is worth watching. It is a romantic comedy about President Shepherd, who falls in love with a lobbyist.

How else will you celebrate President’s Day?

The first two cast members for Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Lion King have been announced by director Jon Favreau.

James Earl Jones, who voiced Mufasa in the animated movie in the ’90s, is returning as the character in the live-action adaptation. Interesting!

Meanwhile, Donald Glover — who will co-star in this summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming for Disney and Marvel — will play Adult Simba.

Read full article

The first two cast members for Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Lion King have been announced by director Jon Favreau.

James Earl Jones, who voiced Mufasa in the animated movie in the ’90s, is returning as the character in the live-action adaptation. Interesting!

Meanwhile, Donald Glover — who will co-star in this summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming for Disney and Marvel — will play Adult Simba.

Favreau tweeted the news Friday evening:

According to a statement from Disney, The Lion King “will build on the groundbreaking technology used in The Jungle Book to bring the story of Simba to photorealistic life.”

A release date for the film hasn’t been set. Favreau also helmed the live-action Jungle Book for the studio.

So far casting is off to a great start!