Catherine Dyer played the role of the no-nonsense character Agent Connie Frazier on the Netlfix huge hit series “Stranger Things.” Born in New York and raised in Atlanta this seasoned emmy nominated actress can boast roles opposite Sandra Bullock in the Oscar-winning movie “The Blind Side,” Robert De Niro in “Dirty Grandpa,” and with Samuel L. Jackson and John Cusack in “Cell.” Lately she can be spotted as Nancy Stryker on “Sleepy Hollow.” On the big screen she will be in “The Founder” opposite Michael Keaton, “Megan Leavey” opposite Kate Mara, “Steel Country” with Andrew Scott, and “An Actor Prepares” with Jeremy Irons.
Colleen Bement: “Stranger Things” is one of the most creative and original shows to come along in a while. What can you share about your experience playing the role of Agent Connie Frazier?
Catherine Dyer: The casting process took several months & when I was booked it was only for 2 episodes, I was eventually written into the subsequent 3 episodes that I shot. I remember the directors (Matt & Ross Duffer) saying to me, “people are going to love to hate you”–I took that as a compliment. We had no idea that the show was going to be so incredibly popular, but when Stephen King tweeted about it BEFORE it premiered in July, I knew we were onto something big. The script was fantastic and different and fun, and I was thrilled that it resonated with all ages not just in the U.S., but globally.
CB: What can you share about filming a season four episode of “Sleepy Hollow?”
CD: Without giving too much away, I relished playing a strong woman (lawyer for the DOJ) who goes through a harrowing transformation. Everyone on that set was terrific to work with, from the special effects make-up department to the leads, and the director, it was a very welcoming set.
CB: You have so many fabulous projects in the works. Tell your fans about your role in “The Founder” opposite Michael Keaton?
CD: This is the second time I’ve worked with director, John Lee Hancock, he cast me in “The Blind Side” several years ago. I play Mrs. Horocheck who is the wife of one of the wealthy investors of Ray Kroc’s. She is sort of your typical upscale housewife of the era who doesn’t work, and enjoys the finer things in life. The hair & make-up department as well as costume department did beautiful work on this period piece, and both Michael Keaton and Laura Dern were exceedingly professional. I always learn something when I work, and I enjoyed watching and learning from both of them.
CB: I read that you received a 2003 Primetime Emmy Nomination for your role as a producer. What is it like for you to be behind the camera versus in front?
CD: I adored being a part of Biography on A&E when it was in its heyday; we had an outstanding team of producers both in the field and in-house. As trite as it sounds, it was an honor just to be nominated; but it really was! While I was a producer I was also doing theater in NYC, so I never really stopped being an actor. I’d work my full-time job during the day then do theater at night. I was tired, but it was a fulfilled and exciting type of tired as I was doing two things that I loved!
CB: How do you split your time between LA and Atlanta where you own the acting studio Drama, Inc. with your husband? What do you do with what little spare time you have?
CD: Currently, I’m in LA for pilot season and will head back to Atlanta in several weeks; depending on what happens out here. When I have to come back out for work, then I’ll be happy to do so. Drama Inc. was started by my husband (Jason MacDonald) and I as well as another acting couple from Atlanta. We opened our doors almost four years ago. The four of us so strongly and passionately believe in what we’re doing that we have garnered a solid reputation for being honest and enthusiastic about our students. We’re raising the bar for actors in the Atlanta market.
Spare time? What’s that? Seriously though, we have a close-knit group of friends that we get together with when we’re in Atlanta. You could call us “foodies.” We love going out to restaurants and trying new places as well as cooking at home—well, Jason cooks. We are huge dog people and passionate supporters of several Atlanta-based animal rescue groups especially LifeLine Animal Project.