Bradley Stryker plays the sleazy character Skipjack, opposite Christina Ricci, in the Lifetime series, “Lizzie Borden.” On screen, he is intense, and not a bit likeable.
“To be honest, I showed up to set with no idea what I was walking into,” Stryker says of his Lizzie Borden role. “A period piece with a slasher feel on Lifetime? But they wanted us to go for it and so I did. My character was scripted as a bit of a brute, but I thought, that alone, wasn’t enough. It was when I figured out that he was smarter and slimier than anybody would ever give him credit for, that his true power became apparent.”
Off-screen, his production company, Stryke-Force Films, is wrapping up its first, major release, “Land of Smiles,” which is set in Thailand. He describes the film’s plot, “The story concept is pretty simple, actually. A young woman goes to Thailand to meet up with her best friend for the backpacking trip of a lifetime; instead, she receives a video in which her best friend is tied to a chair in a dungeon and she is terrified. A madman in a clown mask then leads her through the beaches, jungles, and villages of Thailand searching for her best friend.”
His choice of projects makes Stryker seem like the type of guy you wouldn’t want to say hi to on the street, but in reality, he is a nice guy who spends what precious down-time he has by helping others to participate in events like the AIDS LifeCycle Ride to End AIDS, and keeping in touch with the young man he mentored as a volunteer for the Big Brother Big Sister organization.
“I’ve only made it to where I am today by being motivated by others around me, and that came before me.” I ask him about the motivational quotes he has on his website, and he says that they are to, “remind me that it only takes a little bit each day, to be open to learning, and you never know what could come your way.”
What have come his way are a 15-year career, a production company, and awards. His screenplay, “SILENT HERO,” was a Top 3 Winner in this year’s Final Draft Big Break screenwriting contest. When I asked him if awards are important to him, he answered both yes and no.
“Yes, it’s always good for someone to let you know they like your work. It takes a ton of hours and mental strength to get things done in this business, both as an actor and a filmmaker, and so sometimes positive feedback can be sent your way in the form of awards. It feels good and in the moment you should do nothing but enjoy it. The, ‘No,’ answer is because what we do is a creative endeavor, and thus it is subjective. Just because your film wins an award doesn’t mean it’s great. And just because it doesn’t, doesn’t mean it’s not. A lot of time it just comes down to the taste of whoever is judging. And because of that, it’s dangerous to take awards that are either won or lost too seriously.”
His personal goals are, “To spend my life making movies. And if I’m lucky, to make movies that actually affect people. Movie theaters go dark for more than one reason [and] I love knowing it’s a safe place for people to have authentic, emotional experiences. I would love to be someone who gets to facilitate that for a living.”