I recently had the chance to speak with Skyler Shaye about her creative processes and her character of Cindy in season three of Showtime’s “Ray Donovan.” Skyler was absolutely awesome during the interview and it was such an honor to get to chat with such a talented actress.
Well I’d like to start by focusing on you if you don’t mind. You’ve been acting since you were young correct? When was it you first knew you wanted to be an actor?
“I’ve been acting since I was six years old. I grew up in it. My mom’s side of the family is all in it. I was always around movie sets and I always would fool around with the set and hang out. I was probably five years old and I was like, “I want to be on film. I want to act and just be able to do what these people are doing”.”
Awesome, and one of your earlier roles was in The Tin Soldier which was directed by your godfather, Jon Voight, whom you’re now working alongside on Ray Donovan? How does that feel to be working alongside him on such an awesome show?
“The Tine Soldier was near the beginning of when I started. My Godfather directed that movie when I was about eight years-old. It’s been a great experience because I’m older now and to be able to do a show like Ray Donovan and to be able to work with great actors. It’s a dream come true.”
Now, on Ray Donovan, you play Cindy who’s one of prostitutes that now work for Mickey Donovan. What drew you to the role of Cindy and what do you look for in a character before accepting roles like this?
“What drew me to Cindy was how compelling a character she is. You’re always trying to tell a story with the character. It’s a complex role and that’s what you get with Cindy. I think she’s a great character and to be able to tell a great story is what… That’s the frame I look for with my characters.”
It’s definitely a great story going on so far with Mickey, Darryl, Cindy, and all of the girls. For those that don’t know kind of what’s going on, what can you tell us about Cindy without being to spoiler-y? Unfortunately we haven’t been able to see that much of her yet.
“You just have to expect to see Cindy to be throwing out some of her hooker moves.”
Cool, cool. I’d like to jump ship real quick because you portrayed a variety of other characters. You’ve done Kylie from Baby Geniuses and Cloe from Bratz to name a few. What are some of the challenges that you’ve had to overcome on Ray Donovan that obviously differ from the challenges you face in those roles?
“I guess this is more of a dramatic role. I wouldn’t really say its really a challenge. You kind of just adapt. A challenge? I don’t really think is the right way to put it. It’s just more researching a different character and learning how a hooker would live. Cloe in Bratz was just bringing a doll to life. That was already bringing a character that children have seen and would watch in the morning and play with these dolls. That was bringing a doll to life. Kylie in Baby Geniuses was just a young girl living.”
Speaking of Bratz. I understand that they just returned to the selves this past week. How does it feel to be directly involved with something that’s so huge and influential as the Bratz life?
“They did. It’s actually amazing. I was just on the street the other day and it’s amazing how many kids the song has touched, the dolls have touched, and how it’s a really exciting time. I’m actually having dinner with all the Bratz girls tonight to talk about future plans. You never know.”
All right, so we can look forward for more from you with Bratz?
“Hopefully, fingers crossed.”
What would you say is one role that you would just absolutely love to play that you haven’t had the chance to yet and what would you say has to be your favorite role so far?
“The role that I would play? I don’t really know. I do know my dream is to work with Tim Burton. Any character that Tim Burton would come up with, I guess, that would be a dream role. My favorite roll so far… I can’t say I have a favorite role, because every role is different. Different character and a different… Bringing somebody to life. Every role has been great to be quite honest. I think Bratz was probably the most fun… Kind of like candy pop. Then there’s like Ray Donovan which was just dramatic. Yeah, I don’t know if I have a favorite role to be quite honest.”
This is a question I like to ask during everyone of my interviews, because the answers always one of a kind and unique to the actor that I’m speaking with. What do you feel is probably the most important lesson that you’ve learned from your experiences?
“Good question. While acting… That’s a really good question. I think, just to be an honest person. Honest with yourself and honest to others. When you think about all of my characters, it’s really just being honest and being real.”
What do you think is one thing that you hope your fans will learn from you and your characters?
“Well if it weren’t for me… Just to be positive good role model out there. For my characters that’s you know, the characters are always tell a different story. I mean, I don’t know if I want anybody to take much advice from Cindy, to be quite honest, but I also think at the end of the day Cindy is a really good person. She just trying to survive and she doesn’t mean any harm.”