I Am Syd Stone – an actor navigates his dwindling career, while questioning his sexuality
I Am Syd Stone is a six-part series written and directed by Denis Theriault and produced by Gharrett Patrick Paon. The series, which sprung from the 2014 Iris Prize-nominated short film of the same name, had its world premiere at Toronto’s Inside-Out LGBT Film Festival. It’s based on Theriault’s own experiences circumventing his sexuality within the film industry as an actor.
Syd Stone, a former A-List actor, finds himself in a small town, reluctantly shooting a B-movie. While getting drunk in a hotel bar, he makes an instant connection with Matt, a young lawyer on the verge of his biggest case yet, and it’s more than friendly.
Syd’s repressed feelings about his sexuality resurface as he enters a secret affair, the ensuing drama potentially derails his life and career. The unexpected arrival of his girlfriend Rachel only serves to further complicate the situation. Meanwhile, Syd is also playing phone tag with his agent, Geri about a potentially career-defining role, which he’s hell-bent on turning down for fear of being “outed”.
On set, he meets a young actor, Jake and his showbiz father, Nathan. Syd begins to see parallels between their lives and feels protective of him. As his private life threatens his career, Syd is confronted with an ultimate decision: remain shackled to a false ideal he’s helped create or live truthfully.
With this series, the producers aspire to shed light on, as well as celebrate, the increasing number of pop culture figures choosing to come out. Visibility and transparency are helping give a voice to people from all walks of life. Our desire is for the queer community to find themselves in these characters, while giving them hope and strength to live their truth.
Shot in Halifax, the series stars Travis Nelson as Syd Stone and Benjamin Charles Watson as the lawyer he falls for. I Am Syd Stone is another success story out of Telefilm’s Talent to Watch Program, which supports emerging Canadian filmmakers’ discovery and career progression. Click here for some background on the production team.
This six-part series can easily be binge-watched in a couple hours, as the average length of each episode is 15-20 minutes. It’s well done, and ends in a way that leaves the possibility open for more. Let’s hope so!
The series is distributed internationally by levelFILM, and will be airing on OUTtv beginning on April 22 at 8:30 PM with the first two episodes and one new one each week following. Available to stream at Inside Out as well, and you can watch the original short film below, before diving into the series.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.