TVSource Magazine interviews Internet series fan favorite, Squaresville and L.A. Girls star Kylie Sparks.
Kylie Sparks is an actress forging a name for herself and climbing the Hollywood ladder of success and using new media to do it. You may not know her by name yet, but you will. She’s a new age star. In the past, that label may have been used to describe actors who are, “not famous enough,” however, in the case of Sparks, she’s redefining that label.
Instead of being the focus of a carefully crafted public relations campaign from a major movie studio, one that vaults into the mainstream dubbed “the next big thing” only to vanish from the public eye and memories of those once obsessed; Kylie Sparks is taking a different, more ‘modern’ approach. The Tulsa, OK native has risen to prominence due to her work on the YouTube web series, Squaresville, along with a few other gigs over the years.
Don’t believe it? Search her tag on Tumblr and check out the loving, devoted posts from her fans around the world. Kylie Sparks has the ability to reel you in; make you care for her characters and want to make sure the girls she portrays will be okay in the end. She’s the kind of girl you root for because you want to, not because you’re told to.
Her work as Esther on Squaresville earned her an International Academy of Web Television nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy. Although she didn’t win her category, her show took home the award for Ensemble Cast. In the last year, she’s parlayed her web series success into success on television as well, landing roles on Desperate Housewives, Melissa and Joey, Bones and several other projects.
We sat down with the Los Angeles based actress to talk about her newest series, LA GIRLS, a spoof of Lena Dunham’s Emmy nominated HBO series, Girls. Sparks plays the LA version of Hannah.
TVSource Magazine: So, tell us about how LA GIRLS came to be?
Tiffany [Ariany] and I have been trying to come up with a project we could work on together because although Squaresville was awesome, since we met and became friends as well as colleagues there, we wanted something we could call our own. Tiffany called me one night and said ‘we have to do a spoof of GIRLS.‘ It was absolutely perfect and snowballed from that point on.
TVSource Magazine: Are you fan of Girls?
YES. I love the show. I watched Season 1 and 2 when they came out every week and enjoyed it, but to prep for the show I binged re-watched and I absolutely fell in love and discovered new things about it, so I’m excited for season 3!
TVSource Magazine: Would you say that people who have not seen Girls would still be able to enjoy this?
Definitely. While LA GIRLS is a parody, we also call it the “west coast companion” because it really stands on its own, so everyone can enjoy the ridiculousness of being a twenty-something in LA trying to chase the American dream…and not quite getting it.
TVSource Magazine: You and Tiffany worked together on Squaresville, how is the dynamics of working together different on this show?
What I really appreciate is that Squaresville helped lay down the foundation for Tiffany and I’s working relationship-we went from cast members to friends in a flash, so with us being on both sides of the camera for LA GIRLS, the chemistry on screen as well as discussion and troubleshooting behind the lens was seamless and easy, which is a dream. Even though making a show is hard, LA GIRLS was so much fun to shoot because it was my friend and I gathering all of our friends to make something and laugh a lot along the way.
TVSource Magazine: Let’s talk about nude scenes. It is a big part of Girls, so of course it happened on LA GIRLS. How was that to film?
You know, I didn’t really think about how it would be on camera until I saw rough-cut. For me I knew it was part of the show and Lena is really awesome about the fact she just doesn’t care what people think when she’s fully nude, so I just dove right in-I was told I could wear my bra and I thought about it…and immediately took it off. If you’re going to work on a show, especially a spoof, you gotta go all out, otherwise, what’s the point? It was actually my favorite scene to shoot-under the covers I was wearing my pajama pants and some of the improv from Carl [Gabino, (Adam)] was absolutely gut-busting hilarious. I will say when I saw the rough cut, the first thought I had was ‘well, I’ll be getting an angry phone call from my dad on this.’ But at the end of the day, you have to go 150% if you’re going to make any show, especially a parody.
TVSource Magazine: What can you tease for the next few episodes?
All of the LA GIRLS will be having problems they have to solve in the upcoming episodes, and you’ll really get to see our LA guys (Carl Gambino [Adam], Erich Lane [Charlie], and Kyle Colton [Ray]) in action. We’ve teased glimpses here and there but the final two episodes of the season, you’ll get to experience the dynamic of the guys with the gals. Plus we have a special guest-star in Austin Rogers (Squaresville’s Percy) coming up, which he was brilliant when he came to play with us.
TVSource Magazine: Is there a plot line from your own life you would like to include if there is a season two?
It’s really funny because a lot of the storylines in GIRLS mirror my life (like Lena Dunham get out of my damn head!) but I would absolutely love it if Hannah had got a puppy. I recently was surprised by my own bundle of stubbornness, my pug puppy Scarlett, so I would love to see what Hannah would do with a new dog. I also hope Hannah goes to WeHo and runs into an ex-hookup who also came out of the closet since it would reaffirm the big question posed in episode 3, “IS EVERYONE GAY?” but we’ll have to see. Tiffany and I chat all the time about storylines so who knows!
TVSource Magazine: How is your Hannah different from the Girls’ Hannah?
I think my Hannah is a little more on the ‘bright’ side. She’s a little delusional and clueless, but she’s like a golden retriever-happy, sunny, and loyal, but still self-centered. She’s trying to figure things out while chasing her dream, but unlike NY Hannah, LA Hannah is a liiiiiittle out of touch with reality. She just does not have a clue how to become a successful working actor, and is stuck. NY Hannah at least has the balls to go to blogs and get an eBook deal. LA Hannah is just kind of kicking around at this point in the series.
TVSource Magazine: Finally, what else can we expect from you in the future?
As of right now, there are a couple of things in the hopper. New Media-wise, Squaresville season 2 will have its season finale around the same time as LA GIRLS has its season finale. I am starting my new project, a new web series The Walking Tedd, which is a parody of The Walking Dead, Ted, and Wilfred all rolled into one, in a few weeks which will be AWESOME, and we are hoping for a Halloween-ish launch. I am a series regular on the show and play a crazy scientist/wannabe YouTube celebrity named Olivia who is quickly becoming one of the most ridiculous girls I’ve ever met, so shooting is going to be intense but also really fun.
Film/TV wise, I worked on a movie last summer called “Mr. Intangibles” that is in post-production and currently Kickstarting for the final touches & festival submission costs, which if you want to check out, the link is here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/805444151/mr-intangibles. It’s a really great little indie college football slacker comedy, and I play Lisa, the co-worker and foil to the lead character, Junk, at this ice-cream shop on campus. It was such a fun and lovely shoot, even if it was a crazy, whirlwind 12-day shoot for everyone, I loved getting to work with all the fabulous cast and crew on it. Other than that, just tweeting up a storm, auditioning, and loving life with three dogs in my house.