Exclusive

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

Quiz: Which ‘Mean Girls’ character are you?

9:02 am EDT, September 29, 2016

Ever wondered if you’re more of a Cady or a Regina? Today is your lucky day!

To celebrate Mean Girls Day (October 3rd), Episode, the world’s largest mobile network for interactive stories and creators of Mean Girls: Senior Year, has made a quiz to determine which Mean Girls character you are.

Once you’ve found your Mean Girls spirit animal, continue the fun by downloading both seasons of the Mean Girls story on Episode for iOS and Android. Rejoin all of your favorite characters as you navigate everything from new crushes to sorority pledging. You choose how the story plays out.

Read full article

Ever wondered if you’re more of a Cady or a Regina? Today is your lucky day!

To celebrate Mean Girls Day (October 3rd), Episode, the world’s largest mobile network for interactive stories and creators of Mean Girls: Senior Year, has made a quiz to determine which Mean Girls character you are.

Once you’ve found your Mean Girls spirit animal, continue the fun by downloading both seasons of the Mean Girls story on Episode for iOS and Android. Rejoin all of your favorite characters as you navigate everything from new crushes to sorority pledging. You choose how the story plays out.

You go, Glen Coco!

Let’s play! Which ‘Mean Girls’ character are you?

Play Mean Girls in the Episode app today!

Note: This quiz was sponsored by the advertiser.

WB has revealed that it will take the threat of an alien race, The Dominators, to unite the heroes of Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl.

With Supergirl entering the Arrow-verse, she will be bringing aliens along — though it remains unclear how her Earth will integrate with Earth-1, where the casts of the other three series reside; Barry visited Kara’s Earth on Supergirl last season when he ran fast enough to open a portal.

“This year, for our mega ‘Arrowverse’ crossover, we’re taking inspiration from a DC crossover from the late 1980s known as Invasion!, which featured an alien race called the Dominators, who’d previously vexed the Legion of Superheroes,” Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow EP Marc Guggenheim says in a press release.

Read full article

WB has revealed that it will take the threat of an alien race, The Dominators, to unite the heroes of Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl.

With Supergirl entering the Arrow-verse, she will be bringing aliens along — though it remains unclear how her Earth will integrate with Earth-1, where the casts of the other three series reside; Barry visited Kara’s Earth on Supergirl last season when he ran fast enough to open a portal.

“This year, for our mega ‘Arrowverse’ crossover, we’re taking inspiration from a DC crossover from the late 1980s known as Invasion!, which featured an alien race called the Dominators, who’d previously vexed the Legion of Superheroes,” Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow EP Marc Guggenheim says in a press release.

“We’re using cutting edge prosthetics and computer effects to achieve a feature film-quality look which is faithful to Invasion! artist Todd McFarlane’s interpretation of the characters.”

The Dominators

The Dominators, collectively known as the Dominion, are an alien race from the farthest reaches of the universe. A technologically-advanced species who specialize in genetics, their society is extremely hierarchical, with status depending on the size of a red circle that appears on their foreheads.

Invasion! was a major, three-issue crossover event in 1989 that featured the Dominators joining an Alien Alliance to wipe out humanity due to the threat the meta-gene that allows for humans to develop superpowers presents.

When they traveled to Earth, heroes and villains alike teamed up to fight to protect the world. The Dominators were also an enemy of the Legion of Superheroes in the 30th century.

It’s also worth noting that Arrow‘s 100th’s episode will air during the crossover, so we should definitely expect something special.

Are you looking forward to the crossover between ‘Arrow,’ ‘The Flash,’ ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ and ‘Supergirl’?

Need a little extra dose of Gilmore Girls music in your daily life? Then you’re going to want to put this Gilmore Girls playlist on repeat!

When it came to music, Gilmore Girls really had its finger on the pulse of amazing music, both modern and otherwise. From The Bangles to The Shins to Elvis Costello, the show incorporated an eclectic yet fun mix of music into every episode of every season.

To celebrate the show’s impeccable choices (in addition to our undying love for the show itself), we’ve carefully crafted a Gilmore Girls music playlist. Relive all of the ups and downs in each of the seasons and perhaps throw an impromptu dance party with these tunes. With our Gilmore Girls playlist, you can now indulge in Gilmore Girls 24/7.

Read full article

Need a little extra dose of Gilmore Girls music in your daily life? Then you’re going to want to put this Gilmore Girls playlist on repeat!

When it came to music, Gilmore Girls really had its finger on the pulse of amazing music, both modern and otherwise. From The Bangles to The Shins to Elvis Costello, the show incorporated an eclectic yet fun mix of music into every episode of every season.

To celebrate the show’s impeccable choices (in addition to our undying love for the show itself), we’ve carefully crafted a Gilmore Girls music playlist. Relive all of the ups and downs in each of the seasons and perhaps throw an impromptu dance party with these tunes. With our Gilmore Girls playlist, you can now indulge in Gilmore Girls 24/7.

Hypable’s ‘Gilmore Girls’ music playlist

‘Where You Lead I Will Follow’ by Carole King and Louise Goffin

What better way to kick off a Gilmore Girls playlist than with the show’s famous theme song? It’s the perfect opening song. (And if you choose to play it on repeat, that’s completely acceptable.)
 

‘This is Hell’ by Elvis Costello

It makes perfect sense that Jess’ first impression of Stars Hollow would be narrated by this song. After all, the starry-eyed small town life can be kind of overwhelming at first.
 

‘There She Goes’ by The La’s

Fact: This was the very first song played on Gilmore Girls! It accompanied an introductory look around Stars Hollow before introducing our favorite gals. Oh, the memories!
 

‘Then She Appeared’ by XTC

What a perfect song to mark Rory and Jess’ first kiss. It’s perfectly sweet and tender and just oh-so-totally them. It’s hard not to imagine the scene when listening to this song.
 

‘Fell in Love With a Girl’ by The White Stripes

This was one of the songs that Hep Alien played at their very first gig! Sure, it wasn’t really a great night for Jess/Rory or the band, but it started out well enough!
 

‘Reflecting Light’ by Sam Phillips

As if Luke and Lorelai weren’t cute enough together at Luke’s sister’s wedding, they had to go and dance beautifully to this tender song.
 

‘Human Behaviour’ by Björk

What would a Gilmore Girls playlist be without including a song from one of the girls’ biggest inspirations? Just take a listen and think of their famous snow creation.
 

‘Eternal Flame’ by The Bangles

Make one of Lorelai’s favorite bands one of your favorite bands by listening to this track on our Gilmore Girls playlist on repeat!
 

‘One Line’ by PJ Harvey

“I love you, you idiot” is probably one of the most quotable lines on the show. This song just set the mood and really made it that much more memorable. It’s nothing less than perfect.
 

‘So Says I’ by the Shins

Who could ever forget the spring break scene where Paris tries to make out with Rory on the dance floor? The fact that The Shins were playing this song live during the scene just made it so much better.
 

‘Time Bomb’ by Rancid

Not only did Lane dance to this catchy tune in Rory’s room toward the beginning of the first season, but Hep Alien eventually covers it during a performance later in the series!
 

‘When You and I Were Young Maggie Blues’ by Bing Crosby and Gary Crosby

Watching Rory and Richard bond over this song in the hospital room is still one of the most memorable scenes of the series. Pour one out for the wonderful Richard Gilmore. We miss you, friend.
 

‘Inside Out’ by The Mighty Lemon Drops

The Gilmore Girls series finale was such a bittersweet episode, but this song definitely made for one of the most memorable moments: Luke and Lorelai kissing!
 

‘If I Could Write’ by Sam Phillips

This emotional song sums up the Gilmore girls’ love for each other perfectly, especially in times of sadness. Who could ever forget this song playing as Rory packs for a grip to Europe with Emily after fighting with Lorelai?
 

‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ by Cyndi Lauper

Lorelai and Emily Gilmore walking a catwalk to Cyndi Lauper’s greatest hit? Classic. Though they may not have gotten along often, at least they could bond over this song.
 

‘O’Oh’ by Yoko Ono

Remember that time when Rory skipped school to walk through New York with Jess, stopping for food and record shopping? This song was the perfect accompaniment for their adventure.
 

The La La Tunes by Sam Phillips

Okay, so these aren’t really actual songs per say, but Gilmore Girls wouldn’t be Gilmore Girls without them (and so neither would the Gilmore Girls playlist)! They’re so iconic!
 

‘My Little Corner of the World’ by Yo La Tengo

We decided to end our Gilmore Girls playlist on a cute note with this sweet song. The mental image of Rory and Lorelai runing at each other from across town during the season 1 finale is enough to make anyone smile.

 

What song(s) would you add to our ‘Gilmore Girls’ music playlist?

 
Related: Everything I know about Gilmore Girls I learned from pop culture (and my crazy friends)