Like many brothers and sisters, Felicia Day and her brother, Ryon, would fight about a lot of things. They had plenty of time to get into sibling matches as they were both home schooled.
One thing they could agree on? Their passion for the cable series “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” They were unified by their love for the show about space travelers forced to watch the worst movies in the galaxy.
That passion resulted in Felicia Day landing the role of Kinga Forrester in the 11th seson of “MST3000” that will debut on Netflix this week. Her character is the the daughter of mad scientist Dr. Forrester who brought the evil to the first 10 seasons of the comedy show that was the brainstorm of Joel Hodgson.
“My brother is the reason I got the job,” Day says. “Because he is such a huge fan I bought him a signed poster one year. I was at a convention and ran I up Joel to get selfie with him so I could rub it in my brother’s face.”
She got the photo and after talking to Hodgson about her family’s passion for the series, she got a job. She initially was looked at as a writer but ended up also being one of the on-air talents.
In the new season of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” Kinga Forrester and her loyal henchman, Max (Patton Oswalt), have revived the infamous experiment started by Kinga’s father 29 years earlier. In the new version, her test subject is Jonah Heston (Jonah Ray), a space pilot who gets trapped responding to a distress call from the dark side of the moon.
Confined aboard the Satellite of Love, Jonah lives with his robot friends, Gypsy (Rebecca Hanson), Tom Servo (Baron Vaughn), and Crow T. Robot (Hampton Yount). The space prisoners are forced to watch movies that are so bad, they can’t resist commenting.
Guest stars include Mark Hamill, Jerry Seinfeld, Neil Patrick Harris and Joel McHale.
Day found her onscreen work with Oswalt to be a lot easier than writing the banter for four of the movies featured this season. Netflix isn’t revealing the movies that get the verbal barbs but Day promises the first episode is “jaw dropping.”
She liked writing for the show because the tone Hodgson uses to poke fun at the movies is not mean-spirited. She describes it as friendly awe of the movies, not mockery.
Coming up with the material to poke fun takes weeks of work. A team of writers for each episode watches the films repeatedly trying to write comments to be used every 15-20 seconds.
“There are lengthy places where you have nothing and that means digging deep to come up with an angle,” Day says.
One area that she was able to mine is her passion for video games. Her scripts include references to video games and gamers.
Day’s career is a broad mix of network, cable, streaming and online programs, both dramas and comedies. She has come a long way from when she graduated from the University of Texas at Austin as a double major with bachelor's degrees in mathematics and violin performance.
The degrees sound like a conflict of left and right-brain functions but Day says there are studies that say there is a lot of math in music.
Although she’s a professional-level violinist, Day is better known for her work on “Eureka,” “Supernatural,” “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” “The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange” and “The Guild.”
These days, her time is split among acting, production and her new baby. When time allows, she wants to get caught up with her TV watching and video game playing. If all goes well, she will be back in space for another season of “MST3000.”
Don’t feel too bad for Day’s brother as he also got to live out his “MST300” fantasy working as a writer on one of the episodes in the new series. His sister still has the edge.
Mystery Science Theater 3000
- 12:01 a.m. Friday, April 14, Netflix