Sydney may have superpowers in ‘I Am Not Okay With This,’ but she’s far from perfect. HL spoke with co-creator and EP Christy Hall about why Sydney is the kind of female protagonist we need right now.
Sydney Novak, played by Sophia Lillis, has mysterious superpowers but she doesn’t have a picture-perfect life. She’s navigating the highs and lows of high school, trying to figure out her sexuality, and dealing with the tragic loss of her father. Even with her superpowers, Sydney is one of the most relatable young female protagonists we’ve seen on TV in a while. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with I Am Not Okay With This co-creator and EP Christy Hall about why the character of Sydney is so important to have on TV.
“I like that she is a representative of the kind of female protagonists that we’re starting to really see just in terms of the complexities of what it means to be a female,” Christy told HollywoodLife at the Feb. 25 premiere in Los Angeles. “I like that we really allowed Sydney to not the perfect. I like that she’s kind of a dick sometimes. I like it that she’s pulling on levers and, again, it’s just very deliciously human and raw and real. I think what I like most about her is that she reminds me of myself and I want her to remind young women — but all humans of themselves — just in terms of perfect imperfections.”
Sophia stars alongside Wyatt Oleff, who plays the quirky and adorable Stanley Barber. Sophia and Wyatt starred together in the IT movies and reuniting these two talented young actors was a real treat for Christy. “I think it’s a master class in acting watching them work because they weren’t afraid to be fully exposed, fully raw, [and] be themselves,” she continued. “Again, it really helped that they already had a history already as friends.”
The series is based on the Charles Forsman graphic novel. Television adaptations can be tricky because of fans’ loyalty to the source material, but I Am Not Okay With This has found a way to embrace the original story while making the show unique. Christy revealed that Charles “gave us a lot of permission to play and reimagine and reinvent” the story. I Am Not Okay With This season 1 is currently streaming on Netflix.