bookcon 2015

Felicia Day Is Totally Cool With Playing ‘Very Killable’ Characters

Felicia Day isn’t scared of death.

Felicia Day, best known for roles on Supernatural and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the web series she created, The Guild, took the stage at New York’s BookCon on Saturday to give fans a preview of some of the stories she tells in her upcoming memoir, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). After being homeschooled and entering college early, she said her early years trying to make it as an actor in L.A. came as a shock. “It is a very tough business,” she said of Hollywood. “It’s one of those things where you’re useless until you’re incredibly valuable. You don’t know where your ego’s supposed to be. When you’re auditioning, there’s literally signs everywhere: It’s like, ‘No actor parking.’ If you’re an actor, you’re not worth a parking spot.”

Day found the constant rejection and scrutiny demoralizing. “I was really not happy being an actor, and I didn’t know that I could change anything. So I decided to be a warlock instead,” she said of time she spent obsessively playing World of Warcraft. She thinks she got so deeply into the game because at that point in her life she just wanted to achieve something, anything. Writing the book gave Day the chance to go beyond her public persona and reminded her that “the things that we do artistically or creatively are for other people.” She was also able to discuss her loneliness, anxiety, and depression and come to the conclusion that “the things that make you weird and unique are the things you want to play to.” “I don’t know if that’s something the world tells us,” she added. While writing, “every step of the way, I was always thinking, What can somebody take from this?” she asked. “I was hoping that in sharing this and impostor syndrome and many crazy things I went through, that that would encourage somebody to either acknowledge they have a problem or be brave enough to speak out about it. And that’s really the crux of the book. This is something that it’s not just me feeling it, and if I can share that and allow somebody else to do something about it, that’s fantastic.”
Day also spoke about her acting experience and why she doesn’t mind playing “killable” characters. “When you kill a character, you never kill one that everybody wants dead,” she said. “You kill somebody off as a vehicle because you sympathize with them, [writers] know the audience loves them, and they will be emotionally impacted by them. So the great thing is that I’m very killable.” She went on to explain, “That means that the writers of the show did something great. They created a real person out of nothing. And that’s kind of amazing. If you can create a living breathing person, and an actor can collaborate, with some words on a page and create someone people believe existed in some alternate universe, that’s like magic. It is a little bit of magic.”

Felicia Day on Playing ‘Killable’ Characters