SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Bonnie Ryerson: My name is Bonnie Ryerson and I am an actor/director/ theater teacher and most importantly, a Mom. I have been involved in theater my whole life one way or another. I attended The Boston Conservatory and worked as a professional actor in NY and Boston and enjoyed traveling on two national tours where I met my husband. A few years after my son, Max was born we decided to open a youth theater in Carmel, NY The Pied Piper Youth Theater. We now live in Myrtle Beach, SC, and have opened a second youth theater, The Pied Piper Youth Theater South. I have found it deeply rewarding to work with so many young people over the past 20 years.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actress?
Bonnie Ryerson: When I was 5 years old, I played Mother Nature in a girl scout production directed by my mom. I remember thinking… I wanna do THIS for the rest of my life!
SKSM: How did you become involved in That Feeling Dollar Baby film?
Bonnie Ryerson: I submitted an audition through a casting call in Backstage and was called back for the role of Isabel. I was so excited when I booked it.
SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?
Bonnie Ryerson: There is something fascinating about the idea of living parts of one’s life over and over again and never being able to get it right. Every human being has wondered what they would change if they had the opportunity to live their life over again. Only in the movies and in books do we have the chance to live out that daydream.
SKSM: You worked with Paul Inman on this film, how was that?
Bonnie Ryerson: Paul was great to work with. He’s a friendly and well organized director. He created a fun and positive working environment with his cast and crew. His adaptation of Stephen King’s short story was terrific.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Bonnie Ryerson: After being cast in the role of Isabel I noticed they were looking to cast actors to play young and middle Caroline and other roles. I immediately thought of my acting students. I was thrilled that they cast 4 Pied Piper Kids, Izzy Pike, Mattie Washburn, Jack Fitzgibbons, Madiyn Kowalkowski. I has so much fun playing the Grandma next to Izzy as my Grandchild.
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
Bonnie Ryerson: I still teach Izzy, Jack, Mattie and Madelyn and I also connect with many of cast and crew via social media.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Bonnie Ryerson: I’m auditioning a lot for film and commercial work. I’m also back to work at my youth theater. We recently produced an original musical called “Darkest Before the Dawn”, based on the experience of the teenagers living through the Pandemic. The Music and book is written by my husband, John Ryerson in Collaboration with the Teen cast.
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
Bonnie Ryerson: I think Stephen King is an amazing writer! I have read many of his books. My favorite is “Misery” as I also loved the film adaptation staring Kathy Bates and James Caan. I hope to one day play Dolores Claiborne in the Stage adaptation.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Bonnie Ryerson: I jumped back into acting after almost a 20 year layoff when the Pandemic shut down our Youth Theater. I was lucky to sign with a wonderful agency and started auditioning. Since then I booked the lead in a feature film, 3 short films and 2 pilots and a ROMCOM pod in the past year. I’m having fun being an actor again!
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Bonnie Ryerson: I hope you enjoy “That Feeling”!!