Actor, Sydney Meyers, is known for her roles in shows such as Shadowhunters and The Expanse. Now, she stars in Netflix’s Grand Army, a show that represents and explores many social issues that teenagers are facing today. Season one of the show is now available on Netflix.
Tell us more about your new show on Netflix, Grand Army. What is the series about and what drew you to the project? Who is your character, Anna Delaney, and what role does she play in the story?
The series is a true to life look at five teens in Brooklyn and their lives in school and online as they struggle to find themselves and their voices in their community. I was working the casting sessions in Toronto as a reader and I was immediately drawn to the rawness and authenticity of the scripts. I was invested right away and knew that I wanted to be a part of the project. Anna is Joey’s best friend since childhood and Tim’s twin sister, she’s also the motherly figure of her group. She is put in the middle of a conflict that arises between Joey and the rest of her friend group and Anna is forced to pick a side and ultimately to deal with the consequences of having to do that.
What was the most compelling aspect about playing someone like Anna for you personally? Do you relate to her in any way, or what do you admire the most about her?
It was really interesting for me to play someone who is 16 years old, it felt like such an interesting exercise in hindsight to play a high school student and look at her actions and decisions as an adult and try to really take myself back to the place I was when I was that age. I relate to Anna’s nurturing side and her desire to do well.
For the young adults who will be watching, how do you hope they’ll respond to the show and to your character plus the other people in the show?
I’m really just hoping that young people will watch this show and feel seen and heard and represented. I hope that this show will act as a catalyst to open up conversations that need to be had. I hope it will give young people the courage and the space to discuss these issues with the people in their lives.
Why do you think it is important to explore these harder topics and situations that many teenagers are now facing today? What makes Grand Army’s story-telling authentic?
I think it’s important that young people feel their struggles are being heard and are being represented and I think it’s important that adults look at shows like this and understand what the young people in their life are potentially dealing with. It’s important to bring these issues out of the shadows and create a space for conversation and solutions and healing. The story telling in Grand Army is authentic to me because it is messy. It isn’t glamorized, the kids don’t always get it right, they don’t always make the right choice, it isn’t always fun. It’s real, and it’s messy and it hurts and often they fail. That is real life.
If you could go a few years back and give the teenage version of yourself advice, what would it be and why?
To be blatantly honest, I feel like when I was in high school I had so many adults telling me “these are the best years of your life!” with the best of intentions, but I think that really was hard for me to hear because high school sucked. I read a book later in my life that said “if life were to suddenly get easy, I doubt it would happen in High School”, and that felt so relevant to me. I guess I would say to my teenage self, you don’t peak in high school and that’s a beautiful thing. You have your whole life to blossom, have patience with the process. These hallways aren’t the whole world. That might not be the shiniest answer but I think that’s the truth for me.
As an actor, you’ve gotten to play in different worlds– Shadowhunter, V-WARS, The Expanse, etc– do you have a dream project or role you’d love to play one day?
I feel like there are so many roles that I’ve watched brilliant artists do and thought “man I would love to play that”, but the truth is, that role was so special and impactful because it was unique at that time and the artist portraying it was at a particular place in their life that they brought something unique to it. So it’s hard for me to point to any role and say “that’s a dream role”. There are things I would love to do, people I would love to work with, challenges I would love to take on. But I’m hoping that there will be a role, or roles that come my way that when I see that script I feel inspired, and it feels right and I’m at a place in my life where I can bring something to it and the story is relevant and that would be a dream. That’s all I can really hope for. I don’t think I can draw that out at this point.
Thank you so much for doing this interview! For our final question, if you could choose one super power, which would it be and will you use it for good or evil?
I’d love to be able to learn/adopt any new skill I wanted. I would obviously use it for good, what are you talking about– the world needs no more evil. We’re set there.