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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

The upcoming 25th anniversary edition of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast includes a couple of first looks at next year’s live-action adaptation.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a quarter of a century since the animated Beauty and the Beast hit movie theaters. To celebrate the occasion Disney is putting out an anniversary edition, and its special features section includes a treat: Our first look at Cogsworth and Lumière in the live-action installment, as well as a glimpse of a scene within Gaston’s tavern.

As confirmed by producer Jack Morrissey on Facebook, this photo of Cogsworth (played by Ian McKellen) and Lumière (Ewan McGregor) is concept art, but it gives us a sense of the style that director Bill Condon is shooting for:

Read full article

The upcoming 25th anniversary edition of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast includes a couple of first looks at next year’s live-action adaptation.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a quarter of a century since the animated Beauty and the Beast hit movie theaters. To celebrate the occasion Disney is putting out an anniversary edition, and its special features section includes a treat: Our first look at Cogsworth and Lumière in the live-action installment, as well as a glimpse of a scene within Gaston’s tavern.

As confirmed by producer Jack Morrissey on Facebook, this photo of Cogsworth (played by Ian McKellen) and Lumière (Ewan McGregor) is concept art, but it gives us a sense of the style that director Bill Condon is shooting for:

cogsworth-lumiere-live-action-beauty-and-the-beast

While it’s nice to finally see a glimpse of a couple of the characters, a big question remains unanswered: How will these objects look once they have faces on them? (Cogsworth’s face might be hinted at in the center of the clock.)

Also on the Beauty and the Beast 25th Anniversary Edition is a shot from the the “Gaston” musical number. From left to right we see Alexis Loizon as Stanley, Josh Gad as LeFou (just over Gaston’s shoulder), and Luke Evans (with his back to the camera) as Gaston.

live-action-beauty-and-the-beast-gaston

Update: And here’s another look at the movie, courtesy of this person on Twitter — this time we get to see Dan Stevens as human Beast!

human-beast-dan-stevens

We’ll be curious to get our hands on the anniversary edition in September, because we expect we’ll see more from the new movie than the two stills above.

Disney released the first trailer for the live-action Beauty and the Beast in May. It was very much a teaser trailer, as it didn’t provide any looks at the characters — except Belle (Emma Watson), appearing through the glass casing protecting the film’s iconic rose.

In fact, the trailer’s first looks at the various settings (Namely the Beast’s castle) fell in line with the visual style we see in the above concept art.

Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens hit theaters March 17, 2017.

Apple — always one to push the boundaries by simplifying their products as much as possible — is reportedly looking to remove the all-important Home button in next year’s new iPhone.

Apple loves making their products as simple as possible. The iPod was a success because of how clean it looked compared to other MP3 players. With Apple TV, Steve Jobs bragged about how few buttons the device’s remote had.

But since 2007, every new iPhone has had the same number of physical buttons, switches, and ports: A ringer switch, a lock button, volume up/down buttons, a USB port, and a headphone jack.

Read full article

Apple — always one to push the boundaries by simplifying their products as much as possible — is reportedly looking to remove the all-important Home button in next year’s new iPhone.

Apple loves making their products as simple as possible. The iPod was a success because of how clean it looked compared to other MP3 players. With Apple TV, Steve Jobs bragged about how few buttons the device’s remote had.

But since 2007, every new iPhone has had the same number of physical buttons, switches, and ports: A ringer switch, a lock button, volume up/down buttons, a USB port, and a headphone jack.

That changes next month, when Apple is expected to announce that the iPhone 7 will be lacking a headphone jack. Instead, users will be listening to music via the Lightning port (which you currently use to charge and sync your iPhone).

And for 2017, Apple will reportedly go one step further by removing the Home button.

Ah, the Home button. It’s always been there for us — it’s our captain for navigating the iPhone. We use it to switch between apps, we use it to get to our Home screen, we use it to summon Siri, and we use it to read our finger print. Back in the “old days,” we used it to force quit apps when they froze on us.

In a new report, Bloomberg says Apple is planning to remove the Home button for the 2017 iPhone, which will presumably be called iPhone 7s. It’s billed as a “major redesign of the iPhone for 2017 that focuses more heavily on the display.”

Previous rumor mill reports have suggested that Apple will ditch the Home button in order to decrease the size of the top top and bottom bezels, thereby making the phone not as tall, or using the freed up space to add more screen.

Here’s a mock up of what that could look like, via TapSmart:

borderlessmockup1

What remains unclear is how users will be able to unlock and navigate their iPhone without the Home button. Reports have suggested that the whole screen will serve as a TouchID surface and a Home button (using the 3D Touch feature Apple launched last year).

Interestingly, next month’s release of iOS 10 will introduce a new way to unlock your iPhone: You’ll have to press down on the Home button to activate an unlocking. Previously, all you had to do was rest your finger on the Home button while your lock screen was awake.

Disney is making another live-action movie, and this time it’s James and the Giant Peach, to be developed by Director Sam Mendes.

To refresh your memory, James and the Giant Peach is the terrifying delightful children’s movie directed by Henry Selick and based off of the Roald Dahl story. It features nightmare-inducing adorable stop-motion animated bugs that helped James float away from his mean aunts in a — you guessed it — giant peach.

The original film was an interesting mix of live-action characters in the beginning and at the end, with stop-motion animated sequences throughout the middle.

Read full article

Disney is making another live-action movie, and this time it’s James and the Giant Peach, to be developed by Director Sam Mendes.

To refresh your memory, James and the Giant Peach is the terrifying delightful children’s movie directed by Henry Selick and based off of the Roald Dahl story. It features nightmare-inducing adorable stop-motion animated bugs that helped James float away from his mean aunts in a — you guessed it — giant peach.

The original film was an interesting mix of live-action characters in the beginning and at the end, with stop-motion animated sequences throughout the middle.

Now, according to Deadline, Disney is developing an all-live-action remake of the film. Nick Hornby will write the script, while Joe Roth is in negotiations to sign on as a producer.

If Mendes’ name sounds familiar, it’s because he directed the last two James Bond features, both Skyfall and Spectre, as well as 1999’s American Beauty.

You can check out the trailer for the horrifying original film below:

As of late, Disney has been announcing live-action versions of its properties left and right, including The Nutcracker (which has a huge cast of well-known actors), The Little Mermaid (with Lin-Manuel Miranda attached to help write the music), Beauty and the Beast (starring Emma Watson), and Cruella (starring Emma Stone), among others.

With the amount of remakes — especially in the live-action department — it’s no wonder James and the giant Peach is the latest to be announced.

Do you want to see a live-action ‘James and the Giant Peach’ movie?