Studio Alumni Carly Sullivan on “Happy!”

byActing Studio

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For her latest project, Carly Sullivan entered the bizarre world of Syfy’s Happy!, which recently aired its inaugural season. On the TV show, the actress plays Gala Scaramucci, wife to the big bad guy of Francisco Scaramucci, or Mr. Blue (Ritchie Coster). The two try to outwit and outsmart the efforts of Nick Sax (Christopher Meloni) and his imaginary blue horse, Happy (voiced by Patton Oswalt).

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“Happy!” SyFY – Carly Sullivan Maggie Flanigan Studio Alumni

This is not your grandparents’ type of television.

The arc of the Gala character was profound for audience members tuning in each week, and Sullivan seemed to love her role. However, it almost never happened for the accomplished actress.

“It’s been such a pleasure working on it,” Sullivan said in a recent phone interview. “Basically back in January of 2017, I was asked to audition for the pilot, so it was a very formal audition. I went in. I think probably about a week later, my agent was like, ‘You’re one of the top picks.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, cool.’ And then a couple days later he called me, and he’s like, ‘Unfortunately they’re going to pass on you because they’re going to go with somebody who has more of a name,’ which I have heard many times before in this industry. And I was like, ‘OK, no worries.’ And then a week later, he called me, and he was just like, ‘You got it. I don’t know what happened, but it’s all yours.’ So that was kind of the process of getting the part.”

When she secured the Gala role, Sullivan was excited and intrigued by the potential of the character and the offbeat series. Right before the audition, she acquainted herself with the graphic novel by Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson.

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Acting Program NYC – Carly Sullivan – Happy! on SyFy

“I had read the graphic novel actually probably the day before I auditioned,” she said. “I was familiar with Grant Morrison, but I had not read the Happy! series. And when I read it, I just thought, how are they going to do this? It’s a really out there graphic novel, and it’s so different. And I was like, wow, this is really exciting stuff, so, yeah, I was very, very, very excited. And it turned out to be all the things I thought it would be and more honestly, so very cool.”

Sullivan’s character of Gala is not in the original graphic novel, but Morrison and showrunner Brian Taylor decided to branch out from the source material and fill in some narrative blanks.

“So when I read the graphic novel, I was like, OK, I don’t see Gala in it,” Sullivan said. “It’s interesting, too, because in my audition, I think it was like maybe only two pages of [dialogue], so I didn’t have a real in-depth understanding of my character. But I could tell from just those two pages, I got a sense of who she was and what her marriage was like with Blue. Blue is the main bad guy this season, and I thought, wow, there’s a lot I can do here, a lot. And it’s interesting, I watched Big Little Lies this year [on HBO], and I remember Nicole Kidman’s character. I was like, you know, I feel like there’s part of Gala here, and so Nicole Kidman’s performance not only excited me but really inspired me. I was like, OK, I can do a lot here, and I can bring this repressed woman to life. I don’t know why. It just really excited me. I feel like it’s the perfect time in our environment to kind of play these women who are in abusive relationships and then become very empowered, so, yeah, I was very excited when I realized what I would be doing.”

Sullivan said that even if she wasn’t involved in Happy!, she probably would be watching the show. She counts herself as a “sci-fi nerd,” and she loves TV, especially in this time that she calls the “golden era” of dramas and comedies.

“I just loved the structure of it,” she said. “I love the longer work schedule because I love to work. Even if I was not in it, I would love to watch it, and I’m not just saying that. I like shows that push boundaries. I like shows that make you think. Happy! has that element of everything is connected, fate, there is no such thing as coincidence. And it reminds me a little bit of Lost or The Leftovers, two of my all-time favorite shows. Yeah, I definitely like shows that are out there, and I love comedy. I mainly work in comedy, and this is definitely a very dark comedy.”

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Acting Program NYC – Carly Sullivan – Maggie Flanigan Studio – (917) 789-1599

About Carly Sullivan

Born in Plantation, Florida, Carly began her artistic career as a ballet dancer where she studied with The American Ballet Theatre and Miami City Ballet. After an injury at 17, she decided channel her artistic passion into acting and after graduating from the University of Florida, moved to New York to study at the Maggie Flanigan Studio and UCB. She has gone on to appear in numerous commercials, films, television shows and voice overs. In 2016, she created Baus Lady Films with her creative counterpart, Caroline Duncan. They went on to co-produce, co-write and co-star in their short films, “Fashion Faux Pas” and “Pick Me”. Most recently she can be seen working opposite of Chris Meloni is Syfy’s adaptation of Grant Morrison’s graphic novel Happy!.

This news about Carly Sullivan and Happy! on Syfy was first seen online here:
https://www.hollywoodsoapbox.com/?p=19338

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