Take a scroll by means of TikTok’s For You web page on any given day, and you will doubtless encounter footage of Caitlin Reilly doing what she does greatest: impersonating folks you like to hate. The 31-year-old actress unexpectedly catapulted herself into the TikTok highlight in 2020, attracting nearly 2 millions followers who cannot get sufficient of the painfully correct and oddly particular characters she’s created. Within the blink of an eye fixed, she will morph into the stuck-up mother asking for almond-shaped nails on the salon, and moments later, you simply may mistake her for the lady who ran the horse camp you went to in eighth grade or the man who thinks loving canines is a persona.
Merely put, Reilly’s movies have that secret sauce: a rotating mix of cringe-worthy facial expressions, spot-on vocal inflections, and impeccable comedic timing, with the occasional prop or green-screen background sprinkled in to actually set the scene. It is hardly a shock that she’s such a pure in entrance of the digicam; though sometimes called a “TikTok star” as of late, Reilly has years of on-screen (and never simply telephone display screen!) performing expertise underneath her belt. The LA native has appeared in various shorts, together with Die! Sitter! Die! Rupert!, Love and Paint, and Downstairs, and he or she’s set to star on an upcoming Common Hospital episode that pays tribute to her late father, cleaning soap opera icon John Reilly.
Seeing as Reilly was a supply of much-needed levity for me and numerous others throughout an in any other case heavy previous yr, I craved extra particulars in regards to the lady behind the viral movies. Throughout our latest telephone interview, she obtained actual about how TikTok helped her rediscover her ardour for performing, the pressures of getting an enormous social media following, the touching messages she’s acquired on-line, and a lot extra. Take a look at our dialog in full under, and put together to your obsession with the comic to develop tenfold.
Her and Trey broke up 7 years in the past.
CelebrityPie: When did you first specific an curiosity in performing?
Caitlin Reilly: I did performs in highschool and likewise my dad was an actor for a very long time, so I grew up round it. I wished to behave once I was about 10 years outdated. I wished my dad and mom to tug me out of faculty and be a toddler actor, they usually refused, rightfully so. After I graduated highschool, I went to a theater arts conservatory, The American Academy of the Dramatic Arts, and I graduated from there. Since then, I have been performing and hustling and auditioning and doing the actor hustle, as they are saying.
PS: The hustle has positively been paying off as a result of you could have such an enormous following on social media! What made you need to be a part of the world of TikTok?
“It is introduced me again to having my ardour be my principal focus.”
CR: I used to be in a very bizarre place in my life the place I used to be going to take a break from performing. I began this job, two months earlier than lockdown occurred, working for an actual property agent. Then we went into lockdown, so I downloaded TikTok. I wanted a artistic outlet. I began making movies, after which the remainder is historical past. It is introduced me again to having my ardour be my principal focus.
The primary couple of weeks of lockdown, we did not actually know what was occurring and what this was all going to show into. TikTok kind of grew to become this consolation blanket for me. Even earlier than I began posting movies, I’d simply spend loads of time being like, “What is that this all about? What is that this world?” There are such a lot of totally different sorts of movies, totally different sorts of pages you possibly can be on. I began simply posting character movies, they usually took off and I used to be like, “Wow, I used to be not anticipating that in any respect.”
PS: Do you keep in mind the primary TikTok video that basically took off and went viral for you?
CR: The primary one which took off was the very first “WASP Mother” video that I did, the place she was Facetiming together with her associates. I posted it, I put my telephone down, then I checked my telephone an hour later, and it had 10,000 likes, which on the time was astronomical for me. Then, it simply stored going. I posted “The Coworker You Hate on Zoom,” and that one took off as effectively. I used to be like, “What is occurring?” I simply stored posting all these characters that I cooked up in my head, and folks appreciated them, which is beautiful.
PS: Do you ever really feel any kind of stress to be always cranking out new content material to your followers?
CR: Oh yeah. Proper now, I am at present experiencing content material anxiousness. I used to submit two movies every week once I was simply doing movies and this was all beginning out for me on TikTok. Fortunately, I am loads busier now and I am doing loads of different enjoyable, thrilling profession issues, having conferences, auditioning loads. I am too busy to submit as many movies. After I do submit a video, it is as soon as each 10 days, and I am at all times worrying, “Is that this humorous? Am I not humorous anymore? Have I exhausted all of my characters? Do folks not care?” You fall into that speak so simply.
What’s actually exhausting is it’s a must to not try this and simply give attention to, “What do I feel is humorous?” If I really feel like posting, I am gonna submit, and if I do not really feel like posting, I am not going to. On the finish of the day, it is artwork, it is creation. Entrance-facing comedy has positively turn out to be its personal style now — do what you need and do not overthink it, which I attempt actually exhausting to do, despite the fact that it is troublesome.
PS: For what it is value, I positively nonetheless assume you are humorous! You will have all of those hilarious characters you impersonate — there’s the overactive listener, the influencer, the lady who bullied you in highschool. What made you need to hone in on a majority of these characters particularly?
“It was this bizarre catharsis of me working by means of my very own melancholy, my very own insecurities, my very own frustration.”
CR: To be completely sincere with you, it was this bizarre catharsis of me working by means of my very own melancholy, my very own insecurities, my very own frustration. Once you dwell in a metropolis like Los Angeles and also you’re an actor, it is powerful and it is exhausting, and you are feeling such as you’re operating in place. Different life issues are occurring, and also you begin to get actually cynical. You begin to sit again and observe, like, “God, why accomplish that many issues and so many alternative sorts of individuals piss me off?”
I had this one particular person message me and requested, “How come you submit movies of annoying folks you may’t stand? Why cannot you submit movies of cool folks?” Properly, what is the enjoyable in that? That is not comedy. One thing that I additionally love is cooking up these characters the place they’re so deeply flawed and you’ll inform that they are type of barely holding themselves collectively in a manner. Everybody’s experiencing imposter syndrome and there are such a lot of folks on social media and in society which might be attempting to suit into this mould that they’ve created for themselves — like influencers, I simply assume they’re fascinating.
PS: Oh my gosh, so fascinating.
CR: What’s additionally bizarre is that after I began to get well-liked and get a following, I began to by accident turn out to be an influencer myself, doing advert movies and feeling pressured to share political data and needing to reply questions. All the sudden, I used to be like, “Wait, have I turn out to be the factor that I hate?”
After you have a really giant following and a blue verify subsequent to your identify, being your self on-line feels slightly scarier. Thoughts you, I do not assume I am anybody particular. I’ve shared my political beliefs on-line, I’ve shared my views about issues on-line. I assume you wheedle out the crazies over time. I’ve gotten some loopy messages. It is part of this that I by accident stepped into, that I didn’t count on.
PS: The web is usually a scary place.
CR: It is not scary, I imply, it’s, however it’s unusual. Thank God I am on the age that I am at. I’ve gone by means of my 20s and am 31 years outdated. I really feel like I do know myself fairly effectively, so I do not let it get to me. Social media is such an exquisite place, but in addition it is such a bizarre, loopy type of scary place.
PS: Honing in on the positives of social media, your movies have been such an superior supply of comedian aid and escape throughout a reasonably darkish previous yr. How does it really feel figuring out you’ve got offered that to 1000’s of individuals on-line?
CR: I did not count on that. I’ve gotten loads of messages from folks being like, “Hey, I went by means of a miscarriage and also you mainly pulled me out of my melancholy,” or “Hey, I am a nurse at a hospital and through my five-minute break from serving to COVID sufferers, I watched your movies they usually put a pep in my step.” I do not understand how to answer it. I am so grateful that they shared that with me. I am grateful that I could possibly be that for them. You simply do not understand how issues have an effect on folks.
It is bizarre for me as a result of firstly of lockdown, I used to be in an extremely darkish place. I used to be actually depressed. I did not know what this lockdown and what this pandemic was going to appear to be for my life. I used to be residing at dwelling with my mother. I had no cash. I used to be in a long-distance relationship. My profession was nowhere. Then all of this TikTok stuff began occurring, and my life drastically modified due to all these those who confirmed me help and shared my movies and commented. I owe my life to these folks. To get these messages from them that I put a pep of their step throughout a darkish time, that is one of the best factor you possibly can ask for.
PS: I do know you had been forged in a Common Hospital episode that can pay tribute to your father who was on the present and not too long ago handed away. Can you share a bit about what your look will entail?
CR: When the information got here out, I feel everybody was actually confused why I used to be forged on Common Hospital. My dad was really on the present for 11 years. Earlier than his passing, he had been retired for a really very long time, however he was very cherished as an individual. They devoted an episode to him and requested me if I wished to be concerned, and I mentioned after all. I believed I used to be going to have a really small involvement as a result of cleaning soap operas are huge operating ships they usually have heaps occurring. However I ended up having a really, very giant involvement within the episode, which was surprising, however tremendous thrilling and likewise very particular and cathartic for me. It’s extremely particular to my household as kind of our personal little mini memorial. We’ve not been capable of have an enormous, large celebration social gathering for him but as a result of I’ve 9,000 members of the family in Chicago. Nevertheless it was probably the most unimaginable factor to honor him that manner.
PS: That sounds unimaginable. What would you say is your dream performing gig, in addition to with the ability to honor your dad on display screen, after all?
CR: Oh God, I do not know. I really like comedy. I additionally love drama. I really like darkish comedies. It is bizarre, I am kind of all over. I’d like to be on a present like Succession or Search Celebration, which I feel is without doubt one of the most good exhibits I’ve ever seen. I’d like to be on Saturday Evening Stay. I imply, that is the dream for thus many individuals. I am excited to see what the long run holds.
PS: Do you could have any recommendation for aspiring TikTokers or actors generally?
“Put up or create what you assume is sweet, fascinating, humorous, shifting, or unique.”
CR: I fairly often really feel like I am the oldest particular person on TikTok, despite the fact that I do know that is not true. I haven’t got a lot recommendation for TikTok stars. Regardless that I am technically seen as one, I do not know that world very effectively. I’d say, in the event you’re an actor and we’re nonetheless in an area the place we’re very a lot on our personal island and needing to create ourselves, do what you assume is sweet or humorous. Do not attempt to do one thing that another person has already carried out. Do not attempt to match into some type of mould or some type of character that you just assume is well-liked. Put up or create what you assume is sweet, fascinating, humorous, shifting, or unique, as a result of I really feel like social media, within the final couple of years and particularly within the final yr, has actually catapulted careers and totally different mediums.
There are totally different types of content material, even not comedy, that I feel are good as a result of individuals are fearlessly placing out what they should put out from their hearts, what their viewpoint is or their mission or what they should say. Do not attempt to have a look at what’s working and what’s well-liked as a result of the rationale that grew to become well-liked is as a result of it was totally different and unique.