San Diego native, Carly Craig, moved to Los Angeles at 18 with hopes of making it in Hollywood. With time and hard work, she eventually landed films like Role Models, Hall Pass and Dumb and Dumber To. Her newest project, Sideswiped, is a multi-generational story based on her experiences. PACIFIC spoke with Craig about her journey in entertainment, her latest work and what she hopes to do in the future.
Tell us a little about yourself and your time in San Diego.
I was born and raised in San Diego, went to Monte Vista High School, with Nick Cannon, actually, who graduated the same time I did. I moved out right at 18, so I was here my whole childhood, basically, and then moved to Los Angeles.
How was it being in Los Angeles? Did you have the intention of making it in entertainment?
It's really cheesy, but I saw Titanic when I was a teenager and I decided I wanted to be an actress. Six months later I moved out to L.A. to do dramas and then just got into the comedy world through The Second City. I started writing and that became the goal, just to write things for myself to kind of get my foot in the door that way. But, definitely, I came (to L.A.) with that intention.
You've gotten roles in films with well-known comedians. How did you get your foot in the door?
It took a long time for me but it was a lot of when I went to Second City and started writing and doing shows. Bernie Brillstein was a manager in Los Angeles that came to one of my shows. I was a waitress at a restaurant he came to and I invited him (to my show). I would do that for years and eventually he signed me over after seeing a lot of my work and got me an audition for Role Models. Bobby Farrelly (co-director for Hall Pass) came to a show I was doing at The Stella Adler Academy. They cast me in all their movies after that, it was a lot of hard work and years of putting up stuff and trying to prove what I was capable. Once people started seeing it, I started getting more opportunities.
You do a lot of work in comedy. Would you see yourself working in a different genre?
Yeah, I mean I came here to do drama and I went to Stella Adler, which is a great school for drama and theater. I produced a bunch of plays, had Mark Ruffalo direct Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf where I played Honey. I like doing both drama and comedy. I'm hoping (Sideswiped) opens the door to do more of that.
Sideswiped is loosely based on your experiences. Do you want to touch a little on that?
I was in a relationship for a long time and I never did the app dating — the whole new digital world dating. So, when I got out of that relationship at 35, it was very shocking and a little bit intimidating. My mom became single in her 50s and I wanted to do a multi-generational story. The younger generation is played by my sister Chelsea Frei, where she's married, has a kid and is trying to live life by soceity's rules. Now, she's feeling a little bit stuck and she's still growing into herself, living vicariously through my and Rosanna Arquette's character who are discovering themselves at an older age. It's fun to have that mulit-generational aspect of dating in the digital era.
What do you hope Sideswiped brings to light about dating in the digital world or expectations about women in this dating scene?
I know that it can be amazing in certain ways because there's so many choices out there and that can be great but that can also be exhausting. I met my boyfriend on Tinder, like my character did — I had a night where I swiped on a bunch of people, got a ton of matches and he was one of them. In reading all the messages, he popped out and I got to know him. With this show, the message I want to get across is it's not all about finding the right guy to live happily ever after; the characters are going through so much together and on their own to figure out who they are and love themselves. If somebody steps into (a relationship), then great.
Did you prefer online dating or that face-to-face, meet at a bar kind of thing?
I feel like because I met my boyfriend (on Tinder) maybe I prefer online because it worked and I met this really great guy I don't think I would've met. Even though we had friends in common, we later found out, I don't know if I would have ever met him and the timing was perfect. I think opening my mind to that wasn't a bad thing.
Do you have any other projects in the works?
I've been on a show called American Housewife on ABC for the last two seasons and they're doing season three so I'm going to go back and do that. Hopefully we get picked up for season two of Sideswiped becuase it's been a blast.
Sideswiped is available on YouTube's paid streaming subscription service, YouTube Premium, starting July 25.
Until the third season of American Housewife comes out, catch up online.
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