Since Good Trouble started airing in 2019, Seri DeYoung has been in the cast playing Claire Badgely, and will be returning to set for the recently-announced Series 5. Amongst Seri’s other projects, she has worked on episodes of S.W.A.T., American Horror Story, Adam Ruins Everything, Code Black, and worked alongside Danny Trejo for feature film Bullet. Upcoming for Seri, along with Series 5 of Good Trouble, she has filmed for the thriller Maya, and as a writer, director and producer, she has worked on the documentary Tender Points: A Fibromyalgia Journey, with one of her previous short films Still Life winning a number of awards at film festivals. We spoke with Seri about playing Claire in Good Trouble, her upcoming film Maya and working on her documentary Tender Points: A Fibromyalgia Journey.
Can you tell us about your character Claire in Good Trouble and what is she like to play?
It’s been a blast playing a character like Claire, who is very much a fighter like myself. Like Mariana, she’s grown from being a young woman working in a toxic environment for a big tech company and into a capable and confident entrepreneur. She has ideas and wants to fight for them, which sometimes causes her to butt heads with her teammates and Mariana.
Was there anything that drew you to the script and what is Good Trouble like to be part of?
When I auditioned, they gave me this great scene where all the Fight Club Girls are brainstorming different ways to support and uplift each other at work, where they are up against pretty obvious misogyny. I knew then that this show had a real agenda to not just highlight societal problems, but also provide solutions, which is something I am extremely proud to be a part of. I love how ambitious this show is in tackling a wide range of issues. Good Trouble takes it all on and does it with so much heart.
How is it working with the rest of the cast and seeing the fan response to the series?
I love my Fight Club Girls! Getting to grow and evolve with these incredible women as a team over the years has been an experience I’ll always cherish, they’re my girls! The fan response to the show is fantastic. It’s amazing to see how much people passionately respond to all the issues we deal with.
What are some of your favourite highlights from working on the series so far?
I’ve gotten to shadow directors for a couple of episodes and that’s been an amazing way for me to learn and grow as an artist. It’s also just so fun to get to be on set and watch the other characters work! As an actress, I really only get to work within my world, so this was an amazing opportunity to observe the other amazing actors at work. They’re all so talented.
Can you give us three reasons why everyone should watch Good Trouble?
It’s fun. It’s artsy. And you have no idea what’s going to happen next!
Is there anything you can tell us about your upcoming project Maya, in which you play Jen?
This film deals with the issue of child sex trafficking, and my character works with victim recovery. It was a really powerful story to work on and something that I’m sure will be very impactful to anyone who sees it.
How was it filming your episodes of S.W.A.T. as Gelina?
I loved getting to play a criminal! I kidnapped a girl at gunpoint! I robbed a bank! I had an absolute blast, I’m honestly dying to do another role like this.
How was the experience filming as Female Gray in the episode The End for Series 8 of American Horror Story?
It was so mysterious! So AHS is a very secretive show and I genuinely knew very little about the story, even when we were filming. It was so cool to watch the episode and go, oh! The world ended! I had no idea!
What do you enjoy most about guest/co-starring in shows such as Adam Ruins Everything and Code Black?
Both of those shows were great experiences. Adam Conover was so cool. And Code Black was such a kind and welcoming show to work on.
In 2014, you played Jessica in feature film Bullet alongside a cast including Danny Trejo, what was this like to be part of?
Danny Trejo is so nice! It’s hilarious because he always plays these rough badass roles, but he is so genuinely sweet! My role had a lot of big emotional scenes, and I always felt like Danny was looking out for me.
You directed your latest work Tender Points: A Fibromyalgia Journey, what can you tell us about it?
Tender Points: A Fibromyalgia Journey is a documentary about a young woman and her brave journey with the illness and her search for hope and healing. The subject/star of the film, Lina Alvarez, is a close friend of mine. Helping her tell this story was such a huge responsibility, and I’m so honoured that she trusted me with this incredibly intimate and important job.
Your short film Still Life has won a number of awards at film festivals, how has it been seeing the success of your directing and can you tell us about the film?
I was so grateful that Still Life was so well-received! It was one of the first short films I’d ever made, and I was very much still teaching myself filmmaking – I didn’t go to film school so making shorts was how I learned and practiced. I made that film with my friend Hope Jaymes, and we put the whole thing together with very little money and a lot of favours.
Where does your love of acting and directing come from and how did you get into each?
Acting was just a fun hobby for me as a kid that I never really expected to pursue professionally. Fortunately for me, New Mexico instated a tax incentive program for film and TV production, so I had the opportunity to audition and work in the industry quite a bit while I was still in school. On one of the first films I worked on, I spent a lot of time observing the director and realised that if I wasn’t acting, that was the job I wanted. It just looked so cool and so interesting! I feel really lucky that as a kid from the middle of the country, I got the chance to work and observe so much before making the move out to Los Angeles.
What are some of your stand-out highlights from your career so far?
I’d say making the choice to also pursue directing marked a huge shift in my career and creativity. Once I was able to understand filmmaking from the other side, I began to enjoy my acting career so much more.
Do you have any favourite TV shows and films to watch?
My favourite shows are Succession and Euphoria, and also literally any documentary about cults. If you know a good one, please find me on social media and tell me!
What career plans do you have coming up that you can tell us about?
I’m working on something about cults and am loving doing all the research! That and getting ready to work on Season 5 of Good Trouble, which just got renewed!
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