Carly Craig, Star & Showrunner Of ‘Sideswiped,’ On New Series, YouTube, Stepsister Mandy Moore [VIDEO EXCLUSIVE]
Carly Craig sat down for an exclusive interview with uInterview on Sideswiped, a YouTube Premium series she created and stars in. It’s similar to Sex and the City, with the spin of online dating. The show is partly based on Craig’s dating experience and her character is a workaholic who’s sad and alone at 35-years-old. Craig performs alongside Rosanna Arquette and Chelsea Frei to demonstrate the challenges of online dating in a comedic and authentic way.
The idea was developed from her own experience when she got out of a 12-year relationship at 35-years-old, entering the online dating world. “Being 35 and just getting into it was really intimidating and I felt weird and desperate because I had never been on there before,” Craig told uInterview. “It wasn’t normal for me, so just getting into that world in general was interesting to me to write about. But when I actually started dating, there’s endless stuff. The material writes itself.”
Craig said her stepsister Mandy Moore has been particularly supportive during this process. “I mean she’s completely supportive, she’s always just cheering me on which has been amazing,” she said. “I constantly want to talk to her about her life but she’s like ‘No, tell me what’s going on with you.’ She’s just been beyond supportive and I think that’s been the best thing from her. Like a cheerleader, like I want to cheer you on. Her career is going pretty well.”
Sideswipped is now available on YouTube Premium.
Q: How did you develop Sideswiped?
CC: I mean I came up with Sideswiped – I was in a relationship for 12 years and got out at 35. And so I thought, you know, I was in it for so long that I would be with that person forever and I would skip out on the whole app thing and never have to do it and I was really excited about that. Being 35 and just getting into it was really intimidating and I felt weird and desperate because I had never been on there before. It wasn’t normal for me, so just getting into that world in general was interesting to me to write about. But when I actually started dating, there’s endless stuff. The material writes itself. I like to write about embarrassing things that happen to me, you see it opens in the gynecologist office like that happened to me. So I just write about things that happen to I think a lot of girls that would be relatable. Something as simple as having the gynecologist saying like scoot, scoot up on the table and then you scoot up, you can never scoot up enough. I feel like guys will watch that and say that’s funny. Girls will go, “Oh my god, that’s every trip to the gynecologist” and it’s terrible.
Q: What was it like working with Jason Sudeikis?
CC: I started working with Jason on Hall Pass, so I’ve known him for a long time. We actually shot that before I sold it, so we shot it as like a teaser. Here in New York, it took like a day and we had an awesome day together, cause he’s really funny and is giving me a lot to work with. Even when he’s not on camera he’s giving it 100 percent, he’s doing improv or whatever and you can’t even see him on camera. So for me, he’s a dream to work with so that was really fun.
Q: Has Mandy Moore given you any advice?
CC: I mean she’s completely supportive, she’s always just cheering me on which has been amazing. I constantly want to talk to her about her life but she’s like “No, tell me what’s going on with you.” She’s just been beyond supportive and I think that’s been the best thing from her. Like a cheerleader, like I want to cheer you on. Her career is going pretty well.
Q: What’s the challenge of being the showrunner and the star?
CC: I mean just being on the show, sometimes you’ll have nine pages in a day to memorize and act out and stuff like that. We have those really heavy days, when you’re showrunning – I had a co-showrunner so I always had someone who was a partner with me, Robin Schiff who is amazing. She wrote Romeo and Juliet’s high school reunion and stuff, so she’s really funny and a great writer and great person to help support me in that role. But you take on a lot of responsibility, you’re making all the decisions. People are coming to you with wardrobe stuff, budget stuff or the script needs to be like this, so you’re kind of juggling and wearing a lot of hats but for me, because I felt like it was so much work, I never put too much pressure on each job so they were all very present and it made it almost like easier in a way because I was just going. I really loved it.
Q: Who was your favorite guest star?
CC: They were all so great that they all have their own stories, but Tom Lennon brought so much. I’ve known him for a long time but hadn’t worked together yet, so it was really fun to see him in action. His improv is crazy good, he’s in the blooper reel a million times because he’s constantly coming up with new things. We do everything to the script too, but then we kind of let loose and have fun and a lot of great stuff came from that and made it on the show. Rick Springfield was playing on his guitar in between takes in front of the makeup artists, he was just over there playing his guitar all day, which I’m like that’s cool. Peter Gallagher is full of stories, I mean he’s done every movie ever and has worked with every huge director so he’s full of amazing stories about Hollywood and has a ton of energy every time he comes on set. And Tyler Posey is hysterical and has no inhibitions especially in episode two which I know you saw, I don’t know if he’s done a lot of comedy but he should because he’s funny and has no inhibitions. He was so crazy in a good way that he made it – that scene was very vulnerable for me, just as an actor playing that and he made it fun, so it didn’t feel that uncomfortable and it probably should’ve been.
Q: What’s Rosanna Arquette like?
CC: She’s awesome. She plays my mom and I’ve always loved that character.
Q: Is Rosanna’s character based on your mom?
CC: Part of it, it’s based on a few people I know. Some of the fights that we had on the show are based on the fight that me and my mom have had, that I told her “I’m putting this fight on the show” and she’s laughing about it. But the idea of her being this woman who’s never had a job, you know she came from living with her parents to getting married, being a mom, that’s all she knows. She has no skills beyond that, so when her husband dies she needs to move in with me because he left her with no money. So she has no money and I’m the responsible one and our role reversal was something that I always found really interesting. That is not based – my mom is very independent and married and having a great life. She [Arquette] just brought it to life in a way I never thought it would be. She’s funny, a little rock-and-roll, she’s a little kooky, but very, very nurturing and motherly, so you can see that in her character and she’s like that in real life. She’s very nuturing to everyone. There were fires in LA before we starting shooting and she was sending me texts – we hadn’t even shot yet – what supplements to take in order to keep my lungs healthy. Stuff like that is Rosanna.
Q: What’s the advantage of working with YouTube?
CC: Big difference. First of all, you get to binge it. It’s all going to come out at one time, which I think is an incredible way to watch TV. But secondly, because there’s not all the rules that come with network TV, I was able to do my thing and they were really open to what that was. So I feel like I can really have my voice come out on the show and it can be exactly what I wanted to do as opposed to on a network show where there’s a lot of cooks in the kitchen. It ends up being more of a collaborative thing because there’s a lot of people that want you to go a certain way, or you can’t say it like this, there’s no way we could do some of the things we’re doing on a network channel just because it’s not allowed. So I feel like it was the perfect place for us to go, plus it has to do with the digital era and Youtube is right on the top of that. It becomes like a lot of people’s voices or jokes, there are many points I want to make and in the most subtle way and this was a really fun way to kind of do it, the things I want to talk about and the real-life experiences I wanted to share that I think a lot of people don’t even talk about in real life because it’s embarrassing or it’s whatever. If you see my character go through it and whatever our characters go through, I think it helps. People go through things and can relate to it and laugh really hard hopefully.