JOY SUNDAY: A MAGNETIC PERSONALITY
May 3, 2023
Avni Desai Rajpal
On Sunday, April 9, Joy Sunday met with Fashion@Brown members before attending and speaking at the Ivy Film Festival. The actress was born and raised in New York City, where she first stepped into the performance world through singing. She later studied theater at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, before attending USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles. Sunday made her television debut in an episode of MacGyver in 2018, and followed up with short performances in Bad Hair, Shithouse, Dear White People, The Beta Test, and Dog. Her 2022 performance in the supporting role of the siren Bianca Barclay on the Netflix hit-series Wednesday, directed by Tim Burton, proved to be her breakout role.
In regards to her time working on Wednesday, Sunday remarked how much fun she had with the role of Bianca Barclay, the most popular student at the prestigious gothic school Nevermore Academy, and one who often came into conflict with Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega). As a siren who can persuade people with her words, Bianca is aware of her magnetizing qualities, but also tries to balance them with organic connections. Sunday “loves the ambiguous place of someone who isn’t exactly morally correct,” and she saw this quality especially as Bianca used her confidence and self-assuredness to assert herself over others. She spoke about her time on set in Romania fondly, as it was a place she never would’ve thought to travel to on her own, but ended up learning a lot about. The costume and set design informed Sunday’s own understanding of Bianca’s character, as she commented on how the boots that came with her uniform allowed her to tap into Bianca’s fun, spunky side. The cast leaned on each other for support, and were receptive to any questions she had, which made her feel more comfortable on set. Sunday was also able to observe director Tim Burton in action as he seamlessly brought together hundreds of people to execute his vision, despite it being his first directed TV series. As one of the few Black characters featured in Burton’s work, Sunday felt that she brought a fresh perspective and an important form of representation to this new show.
Sunday also shared some advice for aspiring young actors. On getting cast, remember that “rejection is normal, but it’s also hard for beginner actors when you’re not sure exactly what you’re doing, so it’s important to stay self-confident and keep pursuing the path.” Sunday also emphasized the importance of research for young actors; reminding them to read everything about the roles they are interested in and tips for acting. She also thinks that it makes a big difference when everyone “leaves their moods at the door” and generally “doesn’t let their personal life come into the workspace,” as it creates a more collaborative environment for people to perform.
Although it was short-lived, Fashion@Brown enjoyed meeting Joy Sunday and learning about her professional life.