Skyler Day is sunshine in a bottle, but she can also sing you the blues and make your heart break. A residency at the renowned Hotel Café is just the start. Day is also busy causing a stir on the new MTV series, Sweet/Vicious. We settled in with the red headed beauty to talk a little shop.
HYDROGEN MAGAZINE: Let’s go back to the start. Where did you grow up?
SKYLER DAY: I grew up in Cumming, GA. Then I moved to California with my family when I turned thirteen. It was a huge change for all of us, but so worth it!
HM: Were you that kid singing in front of the mirror with a hair brush? Hamming it up for family? Where does the performance bug come from?
SD: I was definitely that kid! During family get-togethers, I would gather everyone around, use the area in front of the fireplace as my stage and make them watch me sing. My mom tells me that I would also try to sing to anyone we were standing in a line with… grocery store, DMV, etc. I don’t sing to people in line anymore (because that would be weird…), but I do perform any chance I get. My Grandma was a stage actress, singer and pianist. I’m sure I got the bug from her. We would sit down at the piano, she would play and we would just sing. Song after song after song. We still do that now when I go home for Christmas.
HM: Who were some of your influences growing up?
SD: First of all, my mom. She’s always been the biggest influence in my life and my greatest supporter. Acting wise, there are too many to name! Kate Winslet, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep, of course! They were all huge influences. On the music side of things I’ve always been drawn to singer/songwriters like Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Sheryl Crow and Elton John.
HM: Big break…
SD: I consider “Parenthood” to be a turning point in my career. Suddenly, fans of the show were recognizing me and I was being brought into casting offices that probably wouldn’t have called me in before. It’s incredible to be a part of a show that’s so respected by the industry and has such a devoted fan base.
HM: A lot of people will know you from your role on NBC’s Parenthood, where you played Amy Ellis. Tell me about that role and the experience you had working on the show…
SD: It’s funny, originally, Amy was supposed to come in and be Drew’s love interest for 3 episodes. It turned into 3 seasons! Amy Ellis was a dream role to play because I really got to settle in and grow with her. She went through so many changes through those seasons and as an actor, it was thrilling to be given such an interesting arc. I learned so much from that show and I will be forever grateful to the cast, crew, writers and producers for giving me the experience of a lifetime.
HM: Let’s talk about your new MTV show, Sweet/ Vicious. What’s the premise of the show? What do we need to know?
SD: Sweet/Vicious is about two college students, Jules and Ophelia, who take on double lives as vigilantes in order to bring justice to those who have gotten away with sexual assault on their campus. I see it as Veronica Mars meets Gotham. It’s a dark thriller but there’s a lot of comedy and heart between the ass-kickings.
HM: Tell me about the character you play…
SD: I play Mackenzie, Jules sorority sister and the head of Risk Management at Zeta Zeta Psi. She is a stickler for the rules and is determined to keep the sorority in order, so she’s always causing havoc and getting in the way of Jules’ double life.
HM: What’s the method to your madness? How do you approach each role you take on?
SD: I read the script over and over again. I sit down with a pen and make notes as I go. I write down anything that informs my character, her relationships and the world she lives in. I really like to create a solid foundation for every character I play. And if it’s not in the script, then I make it up. I want to know where she’s from, what her childhood was like, her family, her friends, her goals, everything! That way, when I get onto set, the character is under my skin and I can just be free and play!
HM: You are also an accomplished musician. How would you describe your sound?
SD: Well, I consider myself a songwriter, first and foremost, so my music will always cater to the lyrics. I just love lyrics. As far as my sound goes, I usually lean toward acoustic/folk, simple and stripped down. But now I’m switching it up a bit and it’s so exciting! I’ve been in the studio for the past few months writing and recording my next EP with my amazing producer, Steven Solomon. The new stuff is different from anything I’ve ever done. It’s hard to pinpoint it exactly, but I would say it’s more on the alternative/pop side of things.
HM: Who are some of your musical influences and who are some of the artists on your playlist today?
SD: Carole King has been a big influence. The country music world has also been a major part of my musical life. I grew up listening to Faith Hill, Shania Twain and the Dixie Chicks. But I love all kinds of music and so many different artists inspire me. On my playlist right now… Maren Morris, Alessia Carra, Gnash, Jon Bellion and Frank Sinatra. Good ole Frank will always be on my playlist.
HM: You have an upcoming residency at the famed Hotel Café. What can people expect when they come to see you?
SD: They can expect me, my guitar and a lot of stories! I like for my shows to feel like we’re all sitting around a campfire or hanging out in someone’s living room, telling the story of each song, how it was written and why. I’ll also be playing some new music for the first time!
HM: Let’s talk a little style. Who are some of the designers you are digging right now?
SD: I’m obsessed with Free People and TopShop. If I walk into one of those stores, I will disappear for hours! I’m also a big Alice & Olivia fan.
HM: On a day off, what would you be wearing?
SD: T-shirt, jeans and boots. Although, I am the type that puts pajamas on the second I walk through my front door. So it really depends on where I am. But don’t worry, I have yet to wear pajamas in public!
HM: If you could raid one celebrity closet, whose would it be?
SD: Emma Stone or Blake Lively.
HM: Tell me something we’d be surprised to know about you…
SD: I’m a big horror film fan. I love ‘em! The scarier the better!
HM: What’s the master plan?
SD: To wake up every day and get to do the things I love surrounded by the people I love.
SKYLER’S HOTEL CAFE DATES:
January 7th 2017 at 8pm
January 14th 2017 at 7pm
January 28th 2017 at 8pm
February 4th 2017 at 8pm
‘SWEET/VICIOUS’ AIRS ON MTV, TUESDAYS, 10/9C
PHOTOS: RIKERS BROTHERS PHOTOGRAPHY