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Welcome to Sanditon‘s Joel Bryant speaks to Hypable about auditioning with Allison Paige, his frustrations with his character, and what it is like playing the “bad Mayor.”

Joel Bryant portrays bad guy Mayor Tom Parker on Lizzie Bennet Diaries’ spinoff Welcome to Sanditon. While Sanditon is picking up in plot, Bryant took the time to speak exclusively with Hypable about his experiences on Welcome to Sanditon, how he dealt with fan expectations coming off The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and much more.

Hypable exclusive interview: Joel Bryant

What was your audition process like?

I saw the posting and immediately submitted for it. I didn’t recognize the title of the project, but I saw Bernie Su and Jenni Powell attached to it, and that it was a spin-off of Lizzie Bennet. I’d work with those two on anything, and the LBD connection only sweetened the deal.

My manager actually called and said, “Um, I’ve just got a call for this audition. For something called Sanditon.”

And I said, “Yeah. I’m going in on that one.”

He said, “You sure? It’s just a web series-”

“Absolutely! Not only do I know Bernie and Jenni, I know they make good stuff. That people actually watch. And it’s a spinoff of a hugely successful web series. Yes, I’m reading for it!”

The audition was pretty to-the-point. I read for Margaret, Jay and Stuart. At the callback, Jenni and Bernie joined in. Plus, I got to read opposite Allison Paige. It was so fun and so comfortable. There’s nothing better than going into a room where you know people and can play and have fun and get a chance to really nail the part.

Did anyone sit you down and explain the level of fan response that ‘Welcome to Sanditon’ would probably receive, based on ‘The Lizzie Bennet Diaries’?

Oh yes! That was the whole first half of our rehearsal. When I got there, I met Kyle and Lenne, and then Jay, Bernie and Margaret started giving us the run-down on the amazing fanbase. Truthfully, you learn to take things with a grain of salt in this industry, but their summation – and warnings – were on-the-nose.

What has your experience of the fandom been?

Nothing short of awesome! Which is refreshing in this age of internet anonymity and accessibility. As soon as the first episode aired, it’s been nothing but positive interactions on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, you name it. Of course, anything with the hype of an LBD spinoff would have it’s work cut out for it to meet expectations, but even if they critique, the fans are sincere and invested. And so dang nice. Thank you!

I’ve heard nothing but positive towards us “newbies,” and one of my greatest joys has been following the RP building of Sanditon by the fans from afar. It’s mesmerizing!

I’ve been GIFed, glittered, followed, liked, and welcomed. Even as the “bad Mayor.” This kind of fandom is something one could get used to…

Do you follow your character’s transmedia interactions on Twitter, Facebook, etc.?

I try to follow @TomPofSanditon, but it’s hard. For two reasons. First, there’s just so much to follow with Sanditon and its “residents.” Honestly, I don’t have enough time to invest all 24 hours into it. I do my best to see what Tom’s up to, but there is so much interesting stuff going on in make-believe Sanditon.

Secondly, wow, is he frustrating on Twitter! Which is a testament to the writers. He’s kind of been exposed as being not as “tech savvy” as he thinks he is…which frustrates those of us who have a working knowledge of this social media thing. But he makes me laugh. Which is about the most narcissistic thing I’ve ever said…

Were you familiar with ‘The Lizzie Bennet Diaries’ before beginning this project?

Absolutely! Anyone who works in the New Media space was immediately aware of it. There is so much content out there that as soon as something breaks from the pack and becomes a bonafide “hit,” then it turns some heads. I didn’t watch it from the beginning but had to tune in to see what the fuss was about. And it’s place on the pedestal is well-deserved. It’s such a brilliant concept and execution! The good stuff should be unavoidable, right?

What was your previous experience with Jane Austen and ‘Sanditon,’ prior to beginning?

I had absolutely no knowledge of Sanditon. So its concept was lost on me while I was auditioning. And thankfully I’m not the only one, even among Austen-ites, so that statement isn’t totally sacrilegious. As far as Jane Austen goes, I had read Pride & Prejudice and certainly seen its TV and film incarnations, as well as Emma and Sense & Sensibility.

Truth is, I didn’t read as much Austen when I was growing up. I wasn’t necessarily the demographic. I was more into comic books, Ralph S. Mouse, and Choose-Your-Own Adventures. But I’m always re-watching Pride & Prejudice because it has a permanent place on my DVR – with a shout-out to my wife for that one!

Finally, where else can fans find you? Any upcoming projects?

I’m always very active online on Facebook and Twitter. I’m also on Tumblr, LinkedIn, you name it…though I use those less (unless I’m seeing what WTS fans are mocking up on Tumblr). My YouTube channel is just a collection of YouTube vids I’ve done and/or been in. And finally, you can always check out my website. It has more videos, more info, and a direct link to my wife’s work…which is amazing!

Also, if you’re in LA, I’m in a well-reviewed play at the Zephyr Theatre. Hit up The Boomerang Effect for more info on that. I’m in the run until July 13 and it’s Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm.

Photo: Courtesy of Joel Bryant

In interesting but potentially brilliant casting news, comedian Amy Schumer will be taking on the role of Barbie for a live-action film.

Take a moment to soak in the news. Now revel in the idea. This could be awesome.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amy Schumer is not only leading the project on screen, but she’ll also have an influence on the script.

Read full article

In interesting but potentially brilliant casting news, comedian Amy Schumer will be taking on the role of Barbie for a live-action film.

Take a moment to soak in the news. Now revel in the idea. This could be awesome.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amy Schumer is not only leading the project on screen, but she’ll also have an influence on the script.

Last year, Sony had their pick of three complete scripts for a live-action Barbie movie. Of those three, they chose Hilary Winston’s. Now that Schumer is on board, THR says to expect her and her sister, Kim Caramele, to rewrite Winston’s original idea.

The plot, given that Schumer doesn’t change the major details, “begins in a perfect land of Barbies where one woman slowly awakens to the fact that she doesn’t fit it. She is expelled from the idealistic land and journeys to the real world, where she discovers that being unique is an asset.”

The outlet also addresses the fact that Mattel has had to deal with plenty of criticism regarding body image and race when it comes to the Barbie toys. Schumer’s casting is a great way to speak to some of those issues, and will hopefully provide a positive and uplifting message by the movie’s end.

There will be, of course, some hesitation given Schumer’s previous work. One only has to look as far as Trainwreck and Inside Amy Schumer to see her comedy is often brutally honest and raunchy. Barbie would be shocked.

But Schumer is an actress, after all, and a brilliant comedian. For this “contemporary spin on beauty, feminism and identity,” she seems like just the right fit.

What do you think of Amy Schumer as Barbie?

It’s arguably the biggest day for Hamilton fans since the release of the original Broadway recording: The Hamilton Mixtape has arrived!

Following years of development, the Hamilton Mixtape was released around the world on Friday, December 2. Mixtape features, well, remixes of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton hits, sung by artists both big and small from various genres.

To celebrate the album’s release, a special #Ham4Ham was hosted at the Richard Rodgers Theater on Thursday night, where names like Ashanti, Ja Rule, Regina Spektor, and Andra Day performed their songs from Mixtape:

Read full article

It’s arguably the biggest day for Hamilton fans since the release of the original Broadway recording: The Hamilton Mixtape has arrived!

Following years of development, the Hamilton Mixtape was released around the world on Friday, December 2. Mixtape features, well, remixes of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton hits, sung by artists both big and small from various genres.

To celebrate the album’s release, a special #Ham4Ham was hosted at the Richard Rodgers Theater on Thursday night, where names like Ashanti, Ja Rule, Regina Spektor, and Andra Day performed their songs from Mixtape:

Stream ‘The Hamilton Mixtape’:

Spotify users can easily stream The Hamilton Mixtape below. You can also listen here via Apple Music.:

And you can purchase a physical copy from Amazon here (you know all the Hamilton fans in your life will want a physical copy):

Hamilton Mixtape tracklist

1. No John Trumbull (Intro) – The Roots
2. My Shot (feat. Busta Rhymes, Joell Ortiz & Nate Ruess) [Rise Up Remix] – The Roots
3. Wrote My Way Out – Nas, Dave East, Lin-Manuel Miranda & Aloe Blacc
4. Wait For It – Usher
5. An Open Letter (feat. Shockwave) [Interlude] – Watsky
6. Satisfied (feat. Miguel & Queen Latifah) – Sia
7. Dear Theodosia (feat. Ben Folds) – Regina Spektor
8. Valley Forge (Demo) – Lin-Manuel Miranda
9. It’s Quiet Uptown – Kelly Clarkson
10. That Would Be Enough – Alicia Keys
11. Immigrants (We Get The Job Done) – K’naan, Snow Tha Product, Riz MC, Residente
12. You’ll Be Back – Jimmy Fallon & The Roots
13. Helpless (feat. Ja Rule) – Ashanti
14. Take A Break (Interlude) – !llmind
15. Say Yes To This – Jill Scott
16. Congratulations – Dessa
17. Burn – Andra Day
18. Stay Alive (Interlude) – J.PERIOD & Stro Elliot
19. Slavery Battle (Demo) – Lin-Manuel Miranda
20. Washington’s By Your Side – Wiz Khalifa
21. History Has Its Eyes On You – John Legend
22. Who Tells Your Story (feat. Common & Ingrid Michaelson) – The Roots
23. Dear Theodosia (Reprise) – Chance The Rapper & Francis and The Lights

What are our favorite performances on ‘The Hamilton Mixtape’?

Chris Pratt is currently on a press tour for Passengers. Jennifer Lawrence may or may not be there too.

Passengers, the new sci-fi epic starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, comes out later this month. The promo tour has kicked off in Europe, with the two stars on hand to answer all our questions.

To entertain himself (and his fans!), Chris Pratt has been updating his Instagram with funny photos and captions from the tour.

Read full article

Chris Pratt is currently on a press tour for Passengers. Jennifer Lawrence may or may not be there too.

Passengers, the new sci-fi epic starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, comes out later this month. The promo tour has kicked off in Europe, with the two stars on hand to answer all our questions.

To entertain himself (and his fans!), Chris Pratt has been updating his Instagram with funny photos and captions from the tour.

There’s some real gold in there, but the best part is when he realizes that fans really want to see some pictures of Jennifer Lawrence — who doesn’t have her own social media accounts — and proceeds to very decidedly not include her!

Update: He did it again.


See some of the hilarious posts from Chris Pratt below:

Finally got that selfie with Jen y'all wanted. #passengersmovie

A photo posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Just hanging with my bestie Jen. #passengersmovie

A photo posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Here Jen and I pose with @elrubiuswtf

A photo posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Here's an extremely artistic and meaningful video I made in which Jen is heavily featured. #passengersmovie

A video posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Another day down with me and my best buddy Jen. #London #passengersmovie

A photo posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Not going to lie — we’re almost as excited for the press interview videos as we are for the movie itself!

‘Passengers’ hits cinemas on December 21