Fenton’s teenage actress has roles in Netflix, ‘Batman v. Superman’
FENTON, MI – When moviegoers across the country go to see the impending blockbuster “Batman v. Superman” next summer, all eyes will be on the big screen to see how the legendary heroes coexist.
But when Fenton’s teenager Saylor Spees sees the movie, she’ll likely turn away from the screen at some point – the bubbly actress doesn’t like to see herself onscreen.
She did the same during a red carpet screening of “I Declare War”, a Netflix series in which she appears with a recurring role. When she appeared on screen, she put on her headphones and played with her phone until the end of her scenes.
“I am too critical of myself,” she said. “I like the process, but I don’t like watching the end.”
At 15, she already has nearly a decade of acting experience. She made her kindergarten debut performing in plays, when her mom noticed her love for the spotlight and how articulate she is. She performed in community theater shows, but the plays began to bother her after about seven years.
“I practically sang and danced so I could play, although I didn’t like singing and dancing that much,” she said.
Saylor decided to get out of the theater and focus on cinema instead. Her first role with lines was in a 2014 short called “Kops”. She began building her resume by finding an agent, building relationships with independent film directors, and being easy to work with.
She soon realized that the cinema suited her talents and personality better. Both mediums require a sense of community, she said, but immersing yourself in a scene and ignoring the camera has become more natural than the theater’s demands of projecting louder voices and more exaggerated movements.
“In theater you have to make everything big and over the top. In cinema you have to make it more real, down to earth and relevant,” she said. “It’s more natural and real to me once you step into the character, and you don’t think about your lines anymore. You are literally the character, the lines are right at the back of your head. cool to forget yourself and fully step into the character. “
While Saylor takes care of acting, his mother, Angie Koester Spees, acts as manager. She makes sure Saylor’s resume and photos are up to date and takes phone calls. Plus, since Saylor is under 18, her mom has to be on set every time she shoots.
“It can be as busy as you want it to be. It can be a full time job, which is sometimes the case for me,” said Angie Spees. “It’s really busy, and we’re always looking for things.”
Saylor’s most important role is that of Laura Demarco in “I Declare War”, a Netflix series set in Detroit and covering the war between three Mafia families. Saylor plays a recurring role as the rebellious daughter of a Mafia King, and she appears in five of the first season’s eight episodes. Filming for season 2 will begin in the spring of 2016.
In “Batman v. Superman,” she is an extra – she stands near the mayor of Gotham City as he gives a speech. She shot the scene in Pontiac in June 2014. She doesn’t have a major role, but she said she enjoyed the experience.
“It was a really cool learning experience, working with such experienced directors and actors. It’s amazing working with green screens, helicopters, stuntmen and all the big cameras,” he said. she declared. “I know the basics of what’s going to happen on the show, but it’s cool to tell people that I was there whether they see me or not.”
The next step is a busy schedule for Saylor. In the spring, she will shoot the second season of “I Declare War”, an independent television show in Detroit, and play roles in music videos. She would like to one day play a role in a horror movie – “I made a horror movie, but I was the one who was scared. It would be really fun to be the scary one,” she said. – and, long term, she hopes to land the kind of dramatic roles that her favorite actress, Jennifer Lawrence, has delivered in “The Hunger Games”.
So far, she has been able to do it while getting A’s straight from school, even when she has to miss days for the shoot. Juggling school and a place on the Flint Powers Catholic High School varsity golf team is tough, she says, but it’s worth it.
“If we offered him a role, we would definitely find a way to make it work,” says his mother.