Actor, Sydney Meyer, is known for playing Helena Blackthorn in Shadowhunters, a show beloved by fandom. Soon, you will see her in a new series called Departure as well as Netflix’s V-WARS alongside Ian Somherhalder.
Tell us about your new upcoming television show, Departure, and what was it like working with a cast that includes Archie Panjabi and Christopher Plummer? Who is your character, Sophie?
Departure is an exciting mystery mini-series centered around a flight disappearance. It’s absolutely beautifully shot, so cinematic, and it has all these rich entwining storylines that keep you guessing until the last episode. It’s a beautiful, exciting, emotional series. The cast was incredible. It’s funny, when I was maybe 14 I went to Shakespeare school at Stratford and I remember seeing Christopher Plummer in The Tempest and being absolutely blown away by him. He was an actor I so looked up to and respected. So being on a show with him was just an absolute dream come true for me. Archie is so fabulous and such an amazing woman to be around as a young female artist. She is so incredibly skilled and intelligent and kind. She’s just remarkable to work with, and to be able to do scene work with her and learn from her was such a gift. She’s truly an inspiration to me.
Sophia is the girlfriend of AJ (Archie’s son) and Sophia and AJ have a conspiracy theory about the plane that they’re working to prove, much to the dismay of AJ’s mother.
The thought of a passenger on a plane disappearing mysteriously is such a wild idea! What about Departure that intrigued you the most that you wanted to be a part of it?
The show is so well written and follows everyone involved in a crisis such as this, and does so in such a human way. It explores where our minds go when something like this happens and it covers every base and every point of view. For me, this is something I’ve seen in newspapers and never really stopped to think about and the way that this show was written really pulled me in. It just grabs you by the heart and the mind and dives deep into an idea we’ve all thought about. That to me was something special that I couldn’t pass up.
You got the play Helen Blackthorn in Shadowhunters, which sadly has just ended. What did you take away from being a part of a show with such a huge fandom? What was the best thing about having enthusiastic and passionate fans?
Being embraced by that fandom was an incredible and jarring experience. For me, walking away from Shadowhunters, the thing that showed me was that a show really can have an impact. We always hope that we can make something that can speak to people and effect them on some level. Being a part of Shadowhunters and seeing the reaction from the fans was so heartwarming because it really felt like we had made something that mattered to all of these beautiful people. A family had been built. The best thing about that for me, is that I get to learn so much from these fans everyday. They are so open, and so generous with their time and their words and their efforts. It gives me the chance to connect with people all over the world and see what their experience is, what’s important to them, what their life is like, what moves them, etc. That makes me a better artist and a better person and its invaluable.
On that note, can you tell us a little bit about Netflix’s V-WARS and your character, Ava O’Malley? Are you excited for the show to premiere?
V-Wars is based on the comics/novels by Jonathan Maberry. It’s about a virus that makes its way out of the melting Arctic ice and begins causing a genetic mutation, turning people into vampires. It’s a very dark, scientific, political take on a vampire show. My character Ava is one of the only characters that was created for the TV series and wasn’t in the source material at all. Ava is this incredibly intelligent, feisty young woman. When we meet Ava she’s been through a lot and she’s desperate to create a legacy for herself, to find something solid. She’s ambitious without tack, emotional and impulsive so her methods of getting what she wants sometimes cause trouble. I am so excited for the show to premier! I cannot wait for the world to see what we’ve created. This was a dream come true of an experience and I’m so proud of the show.
When did you know you wanted to become an actor? What motivates you everyday as a creative person?
I fell in love with acting pretty young. I was at a school for the arts and being on stage just fed me. That being said, I didn’t really think about pursuing it as a career until years later. I was all in when I was about 15. I had fallen in love with the act of acting, the act of creating and performing, but I couldn’t justify for myself why I should spend a life doing it. It felt very selfish to me. Then I went through a period where I was struggling and my friends were struggling and I saw how films inspired us, made us feel seen, heard, understood, encouraged us to take action, gave us strength, etc. I realized that maybe I could do something good and meaningful while pursuing what I loved. Then there was no turning back. What motivates me is that. That desire to tell stories that connect us, empower us, free us. I want to be able to heal through my art and so I work every day to find ways to do that. To communicate more clearly. To connect more easily. I’m motivated to be a vessel through which people can experience catharsis.
Do you have a dream role you hope you will be able to explore one day?
There are so many films/shows that I’ve seen and thought “that’s my dream role” but they were done so beautifully I would never want to remake them. I would love the chance to play Joan of Arc someday.
Thank you so much for doing this interview, Sydney! We have one last question for you. If you could pick one super power, which would it be and would you use it for good or evil?
This is probably a very dull answer but I would want the ability to materialize things, to create something out of nothing. I would definitely use if for good! I think it would be very useful.