Along for the ride with Joy Sunday

“Wednesday” actress Joy Sunday with friends. Sunday had a whirlwind year, from Bucharest breakfasts to Brooklyn art parties. (Photos: NYTimes)
Before “Wednesday” premiered on Netflix in November, Joy Sunday thought her role in the show would not change her life much. “I think I was bracing myself, in a way,” she said, “by being in denial.”اضافة اعلان

An “Addams Family” spinoff, “Wednesday” imagines Wednesday Addams, played by Jenna Ortega, as a teenage sleuth, investigating monstrous murders at a boarding school for “outcasts”, including sirens, gorgons, vampires, and werewolves. Tim Burton produced the series and directed four episodes, lending his playfully macabre influence.

Sunday, 26, plays Bianca Barclay, a siren and popular girl who clashes with Wednesday. Her character can influence people with her words, which serves as both a cool magic power and a complex emotional predicament when it comes to her love life.

The show became a record-breaking success. It surpassed “Stranger Things” for most hours viewed in a week for an English-language series, according to The Hollywood Reporter, citing Netflix’s internal data. It inspired a viral dance trend in which people re-created Ortega’s wonderfully weird school dance moves. Soon, Sunday found herself in the spotlight, amassing fans and followers, and embarking on her first press tour. On Friday, Netflix announced that the show had been renewed for a second season.

“It’s a completely new playground for me,” she said. “I’ve learned a lot in the past month, just outside of the actual explosion of the show, but even just how to walk a carpet.”

“Wednesday” actress Joy Sunday with her two co-stars, Laura Jordan and Sarah Street, during a break from a rehearsal of a play for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. 

A filmmaker, Sunday grew up in the Staten Island borough of New York City and graduated from LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in Manhattan and the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. She previously appeared in the Netflix show “Dear White People”, “Good Trouble”, on Freeform, and the CBS reboot of “MacGyver”.

But “Wednesday” was her first lead role, and Sunday is excited to use the new momentum to develop creative projects with her friends.

Days in the life of an actressSpeaking on a video call from her home in New York, Sunday took a look back at glimpses of her life over the past year through photos in her camera roll. Here, in an interview that has been edited, is Sunday in her own words.

“A struggle for a lot of the cast and everyone who was in Bucharest for ‘Wednesday’ was the food. It was hard to stay healthy. A lot of people had dietary restrictions. Because of my character being so athletic, it encouraged me to just be more mindful of how I was eating. The fruits were quite good in Romania. I did a lot of home cooking. It was actually the first time I got to live by myself, and so I really enjoyed making my meals and sitting down and enjoying them.”

“I took a flight to Paris. I was going to just vacation in Europe for a week. It was raining, but I didn’t have any umbrella or anything, so I just draped a napkin I had in my pocket over my head. I’m an avid solo traveler, so I love capturing moments by myself when I’m traveling. ‘Wednesday’ was actually my first time in Europe. Then I got to mini-tour after wrapping. I went to Paris, Amsterdam and Rotterdam [in the Netherlands]. I had dragged my bags through the Paris streets, got to my hotel, dropped my stuff at the hotel. Then I wanted to go get a hearty, American breakfast. I went to this fantastic restaurant. I had not slept at all.”
“It’s a completely new playground for me,” she said. “I’ve learned a lot in the past month, just outside of the actual explosion of the show, but even just how to walk a carpet.”
“My friend Joy Ofodu — who’s essentially my twin, we both have the name Joy O — is a comedian and an influencer. The Empire State Building had invited her to come make content in the building. This was my first time there since I was a kid. I found a picture of me going to the Empire State as a child that I had no memory of at all. So going in, I thought it was my first time in the building. And she’s from California, so I was very much in my tourist bag. Joy and I ended up hanging out here and having a really long conversation, just catching up. This was within a month of me returning back from Romania, so it was a reintroduction to New York.”

‘Trip of the century’“I did a play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this past summer in Scotland. These two ladies, Laura Jordan and Sarah Street, were my two co-stars in the play, ‘Intelligence’. We had rehearsal almost every day in July, in New York. We flew out on a red eye; it was a connecting flight from Boston to Edinburgh. The festival scheduled our tech rehearsals for the morning that we arrived. So we landed, essentially just dropped our stuff at the apartment, walked around to try to find food, but when we got to the rehearsal there were technical issues, so we just ended up sleeping for some time. I think Laura was being a good actor and actually going over her lines. What was really special about this is it was the first play I’ve done since high school. It was so intimidating. These two ladies are giants of theater. I couldn’t have asked for a better stage debut.”

“Wednesday” actress Joy Sunday steering a boat during a tour of Venice, Italy, with her friend Hans. 

“On a trip to Venice for the Biennale, my friend Hans and I ended up on this boat tour with our Italian driver who didn’t really speak a lot of English. We had so much fun, so much so that the driver at some point turned to me and said, ‘You want to drive?’ Mind you, you know, we’re poppin’ bottles and everything. I don’t think Hans heard the interaction, so he just saw that I suddenly was driving the boat. There was music blasting, and it was a beautiful first day in Venice. Trip of the century.”

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