Actress, Writer & Director Troy Byer Talks About Her Hot New Lionsgate Comedy Film “I Really Hate My Ex” and Her Work To Empower Those Living in Poor and Disadvantaged Communities. The Film Will Be Used as a Platform to Address Domestic and Sexual Violence Against Women
Domestic and Sexual Violence is a major public health, human rights and social justice issue that continues to be a hot topic as we celebrate Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) in April. The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities about how to prevent it, as well as find help for the victims. We caught up with Actress/Writer/Director Troy Byer who has a funny new film coming out this month entitled: “I Really Hate My Ex,” distributed by Lionsgate. We all know that when we break-up with the one we love it is always rough and rarely smooth, with a lot of tension and HATE going on. Sometimes the separation leads to uncontrolled rage, threats, violence and/or sexual assault with women being affected the most. We thought this film was a creative way to inject some humor into a very serious issue and plan to use it as a vehicle to start a conversation around the country at schools, on college campuses and community centers about the need to address both Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, especially amongst our youth and young adults.
Women, who are mainly the target of this crime, need to learn how to protect themselves while walking the streets at night, at parties on and off campus, and during or after a relationship has ended. Victims can not be afraid to seek real help and/or report any crime because this is the only way we will be able to bring perpetrators to justice and put an end to this vicious cycle. We can lead this charge by confronting and changing insensitive attitudes wherever they persist.
Survivors too often suffer in silence because they fear further injury and are unwilling to talk about their experience. So let’s work as a team to address Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Against Women and other genders. It gives us great joy to work with seasoned beautiful talents like Troy who are committed to the community and a host of worthwhile causes that educate and empower those in need of support. Now let’s talk to her about this “Super Hot Film” that is ready to take the market by storm.
Q: Tell our readers a little something about you: where were you born, raised and now reside? What hobbies do you enjoy?
A: I was born in NYC and moved to Idaho when I was 12 years old. Although I love show business I secretly wanted to be a psychologist so at the age of 35, I decided to complete my college work and go onto grad school. I am currently in a PhD program earning my doctorial degree in depth psychology with an emphasis in Jungian Analysis and Archetypal studies.
When I am not working or studying I enjoy hiking, DIY home projects, gardening, sewing, cooking and hanging out with my family and our 13 year old dog, Enzo. Between my two parents I have 6 brother and 3 sisters. I also have one teenage son and I am divorced.
Q: How did you get involved with the Film Industry?
A: I began my career in show business at the ripe age of four on Sesame Street. I continued to work as an actress well into my 30s.
Q: How many hats do you wear?
A: Many. Mom. Writer. Director. Actor. Grad Student. Transformational Coach.
Q: What part of the industry do you like best between Writing, Directing, Producing and Acting and WHY?
A: I love to write more than anything because it allows me to tap into a part of my creative mind that is full of wonderful surprises. It’s is truly a discovery journey in which I engage in this intimate dance with my imagination and on a good day I could write all day – time just disappears.
Q: Tell us about “I Really Hate My Ex,” who is starring in the film and when will it be released?
A: Three women kidnap their exes and hold them hostage until they get the answers they think they need in order for their hearts to be free. The film was inspired by a book I wrote entitled, “Ex-Free: 9 Keys To Freedom After Heartbreak.” The cast includes me, Leon, Chris Spencer, Shari Headley, Daphnee Dupliax, Tomiko Hines-Fraser, JD Lawrence, Darrin DeWitt Henson and newcomer Curt Bailey.
Q: Domestic Violence is a hot topic today, what role can this film play to address the issue?
A: The film has a very strong message for those who think they can dominate others be it emotionally or physically. The message is basically, in the end the only way to find peace in the face of chaos is to turn within and find the gratitude.
Q: Gun & Gang Violence and Black on Black Crime are destroying our youth and communities. We created the Hip-Hop Against Gun & Gang Violence Project and the End Black on Black Crime Project to address both issues, what are your thoughts and can we count on your support?
A: You can absolutely count on my support. I feel this is an issue that continues to cause our youth to self-destruct. If there is ever going to be a solution to this problem it must begin with elevating the awareness within the community that this is a problem and not one that they have to perpetuate for survival – there are other ways. By making other options available for our youth through mentorship, scholarships or what have you, I believe they will be inspired to make better choices. When people know better they are more inclined to do better.
Q: What projects are you presently working on to help those living in poor and disadvantaged communities?
A: Since 2004 I have been leading a community transformational program for a global organization. The program is decided to provide opportunities and new possibilities for disadvantaged and underserved communities. I also mentor young girls who are in transitional housing.
Q: What words of Wisdom do you have for our youth?
A: Find your passion and pursue it as if your life depended on it because it does.
Q: We have a project called “Hip-Hop Goes 2 Hollywood.” What advice would you give young people looking for a career in the Film Industry?
A: Pursue your career as if there is no help coming! You want to direct, learn how to write or hook up with a writer and direct your film. You cannot wait for anyone to give you a hand up in this business. Don’t rest on the “take what you can get” philosophy, instead I urge you to stand on the “I get what I take” philosophy and then take it all, leave no marbles on the table.
Q: Any new projects coming up?
A: Yes, my film….I Really Hate My Ex and TroyTalks, a show designed to provide a safe space to reveal and discuss things they have never had the courage to discuss before.
Q: How do our readers get in touch with you?
SPECIAL FEATURES: http://youtu.be/66zOOjmNz1A
Posted by Charles Fisher and Randy Fisher (Twitter / Facebook / Instagram @HHSYC).