Felicia Day of Geek & Sundry on what’s next for the nerdosphere

Web-series pioneer and geek icon Felicia Day talks Comic Con culture, women in media and the harsh democracy that is the Internet.

Felicia Day

Felicia Day

Felicia Day’s road to success could only have been paved in the Internet age, when niche creators don’t necessarily have to go through a middleman to reach their fans. In short order, she’s gone from playing supporting roles on TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer to being a Web-media mogul and geek icon. As a creative force, she’s a regular Swiss Army knife: writer, producer, actor, singer and expert in everything from online gaming to playing the violin.

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On her Web series, The Guild:

“You can overlook things that used to separate people if you have a common love for something. In The Guild we have an older guy, we have a mother, we have a teenager, and they’re all held together as friends because they love something together. And I think that’s what can be beautiful about the Internet, that you can bring people together that you would never be exposed to otherwise if you have a common love of something. And you can learn more about yourself and about the world if you’re exposed to people outside your comfort zone.”

On the negative side of geek culture:

“I did a video this year called ‘State of the Sundry,’ which was my statement about geek culture and how there is a tendency to exclude people from it because of some defense mechanism or something. But really, regardless of whether somebody is pretending to like comics or not because they think it’s quote-unquote cool, if that person grows to love comics because of that, then that means that more comic artists can work in 20 years or ten years or five years. And that’s good for everyone, because then we’ll bring more of a diversity of voices into the world, and that means we’ll grow versus staying stagnant.”

On her cameo in Husbands as “Sexy Pizza Girl” (at 7:38 on this video):

"[Laughs] Oh my gosh. That was usually the thing that I don’t do, but I did it for them, ’cause they’re amazing. There was an animated GIF made of it that went viral on Tumblr, which was quite… You know, that’s the Internet. You could spend a year on a video and release it, and maybe 5,000, 10,000 people will give it a thumbs-up. But you release a slutty GIF set of you downing a pizza, and… [Laughs] Oh boy, that’s the Internet. You gotta love it. It’s a harsh democracy, but it is a democracy, which is kind of cool.”

On her dream collaborators:

“I’d love to work with either Bryan Fuller [Hannibal, Pushing Daisies] or Ron Moore [Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek: The Next Generation]. Those two guys make some of my favorite TV shows in the world. Wes Anderson and Edgar Wright, if I really want to go out there, would be on my dream list too. [Laughs] For TV shows, I’d love to work with Graham Linehan, as well, who did The IT Crowd. I know he’s [from the U.K.], but what can I do? [Laughs] I would go to England for that. I also really love comedies, so there are certain shows that are coming out—like Hello Ladies has Stephen Merchant, so that would be pretty fun to be on, or New Girl. I like to bridge the world between comedy and genre, which is a tough line, because most people don’t really understand it.”

On her career inspirations:

“[Former president of ABC entertainment] Jamie Tarses was the network executive behind some of the shows that I loved when I was in college. Tina Fey, of course. Even screwball ’30s women like Carole Lombard and Katharine Hepburn. There seemed to be more of a celebration of independent women in other eras. They went backwards in the ’50s, but there are certain eras that resonate as celebrating a free-spirited woman who’s liberated from the perception of what you should be. I think that it’s interesting that after the feminist movement of the ’70s, we dipped back into something very odd in the ’90s and the ’00s. And now I think we’re coming back into a reinterpretation of women embracing who they are in all sorts of ways.”

On the state of TV:

“[Netflix original series] Orange Is the New Black is representing women in a way that you don’t normally see women represented on television now. It’s more diverse, which reflects what we actually see in our real lives. If any of us were dropped into a network comedy or a soap opera, we wouldn’t recognize that world, you know? It’s not real to us. And that’s kind of what The Guild did too—I was trying to show gamers and the way that I knew gamers look like and act like. I think that’s why for so many years we were so attracted to reality television. And now with these new digital platforms opening up, we can maybe tell those higher-value stories, but have that reality reflected in the look and the feel of it.”

  1. Q&A: Felicia Day
  2. Felicia Day in videos

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