From gracing your TikTok FYP with captivating content to making his mark in a Halloween horror film, Kio Cyr, renowned for his influential presence on social media, is embarking on an exciting acting journey with a thrilling debut in the horror genre. In “The Puppetman,” a spine-chilling tale of a convicted killer on death row who vehemently claims innocence, attributing the gruesome murders to an insidious force manipulating his actions. This eerie, malevolent puppetmaster exerts control over individuals’ thoughts and minds, compelling them to commit heinous acts and sow chaos. In our exclusive interview, we delve into Cyr’s experiences with the film and much more.
How are you doing? I know it’s only 10:00 AM over there, so thank you for hopping on the call in the morning. But how’s your day going?
I mean, just started.
So, I know you kind of got started in the industry on social media—you’re kind of pivoting. You’re trying to pivot, I would imagine, to acting, hence the Halloween movie. What were your first steps since trying to get into the industry? Did you expect social media to be your way into it or were you trying other avenues?
Well, when I decided I wanted to be an actor—I mean I wanted to be an actor since I was a kid. It was I’ve always wanted to be an actor. I would watch movies and be at the movie theatre and go, “Wow, I want to do that” every single time I would leave. And I told my mom and dad that, but they never really knew what that meant to me. They more thought it was kind of just “Ha-ha cute.”
And then I was planning to move to LA to pursue it and just figure and learn about how to pursue it because I knew nothing at the age of 19 in my state of Washington. And when I moved to LA, obviously, the whole social media thing happened and, in my mind, I was like, “Wait, this could be a good way to use it as a stepping stone to get my foot in the door.” And it has worked out that way. I got my foot in the door with a lot of agencies and now I’m under amazing management for acting and yeah, that’s where I’m at now.
Was there any hardship at the start of? I think, what was it called? Sway? Was there any hardship during that time where you found it harder to land acting roles? Because I know, I remember there was that time of the Hollywood industry almost not taking social media stars as seriously when it came to acting. So, was it harder back then to try to get an acting role compared to now?
I wouldn’t say “Hard.” I mean, I will say there is definitely a prejudice against influencers or anything like that who want to break into the acting space because it’s almost a perception thing where once you’ve been known as just this one thing for so long and then you try to be something else, to other people it’s just like they’re trying to be something they’re not but for me, in my mind, I’ve always been an actor and the social media thing is just kind of there.
And on the flip end, the social media comes hand in hand with acting so they’re going to get that presence online no matter what happens.
So, for me, it’s more so about changing that perception of overtime as opposed to overnight. And I wouldn’t say it was harder because acting is already a very difficult job because you’re not going to get every single role, you’re not going to get every single one unless you’re at the top 0.1%.
And they’re never going to tell you that. So, I really don’t know whether it’s been harder or easier because a casting director is not going to be like, “You didn’t get the role because you’re an influencer.” It’s just like, they just won’t cast you and you’ll never know why.
Yeah, I know that. That part of it would eat at me. I’m like, “Wait, I want to know why,” because then, you want to get better at it so it just is annoying when they don’t give you a reason. Okay, so as you aim into expanding into acting and securing more roles is this Halloween movie—horror film—is this your first official acting debut?
I wouldn’t say it first official, but first movie that I’ve co-starred in. Probably one of the more serious ones. Everything else has always been little one-offs or smaller series but this is probably the first movie that took a big chunk of my life and time to make and prep for.
What was that for you? I remember seeing on social media when you guys were filming it—it was in New York somewhere, wasn’t it?
Yeah, it was in Buffalo, New York during Winter.
Oh God. Oh, that’s painful. What was making the movie like there? Were there any memorable days when making the movie on set?
The most memorable day was probably the first day because I can’t even describe that feeling of walking to set for the first, being driven to set for the first time and then stepping out of the car and just seeing everyone ready. Yeah, it’s a very surreal feeling. And then probably the next most memorable day was the last day—first and last.
Yeah. Yeah, that’s a pretty general consensus, I feel like, for the most memorable days. So, I know what also was filmed in Buffalo was—oh my god, what? The Quiet Place.
So, was there anything like correlation when trying to…? I don’t know if you had any say in where it was going to be filmed, but did you know if the directors or the producers had any inspiration to film in Buffalo for a specific reason? Because I know the Quiet Place was filmed there too, so I’m like, “Huh, I wonder if Buffalo is just starting to become a new horror thriller Halloween-y place to make movies in.”
There is a warehouse in New York in Buffalo where they actually film a lot of movies that you’d be surprised about. A Quiet Place II is probably just the most notable and recent one but I think it’s just the mood, the lighting, the tone of the whole place. It’s very easy to film a horror movie there.
As opposed to why they chose Buffalo, New York, I’m not exactly sure, but I didn’t really have any say where we could film. I wish I did because I would’ve picked somewhere a little more tropical.
Oh my God. Honestly, I don’t think about it. I feel like there’s no real horror films that take place in anywhere Tropical or Warmth—they really should make a movie like that—because it would be kind of a misinterpretation of the whole vacation and then just like it’s a horror film. So, the movie is called The Puppetman.
What about the script? When you got the script in person, what about it drew you to it? What stood out to you that made you want to be a part of it?
I mean, for me, I’m just an actor through and through so whenever I get a script, it’s I’m always excited to try to work with it. We actually didn’t know the name was going to be The Puppetman until probably a month or two after we were finished filming. It was actually called Let It Lie and that gave me no context as to the film.
And then I read the script and I guess the thing that stood out the most was the gruesome deaths.
Yeah, because every script when it’s just back-and-forth conversation or just things are happening that aren’t intense, they’re kind of all the same when they all kind of become a blur. But then I got to some death scenes and I was like, “Oh, oh Jesus.” And I was very curious about how were we going to film them after reading them.
Were those death scenes complex? Were they jigsaw-level death scenes or what type of?
I wouldn’t say jigsaw, just very technical deaths.
You couldn’t just have someone stick a fake knife through your shoulder armpits and just fall over. They’re very technical deaths. Shout out to the CGI team and the VFX team, they did an amazing job.
I know. I feel like it’s kind of funny. I feel like horror films in general, they get praised during the Halloween season, but then like after Halloween is over, they just get forgotten about it.
And I feel like those have the most complex effects because those deaths look so surreal and that’s part of the reason why I rarely watch them because I can never stand Gore. I’m not a big bloody person fan, but I’m just like, “That is talent.” That takes some intricate filming, yeah. Wait, so I know it’s coming out around Halloween, so few fun questions. What is your go-to Halloween costume this year?
I actually have an interesting one. I wanted to be Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars.
Hey, Anakin sounds like a legit costume. What about your favourite Halloween candy? When you were a child trick or treating, what was your favorite Halloween candy to get?
Oh my gosh. It was more so like a mix of my three favourites, which would be a Twix, a Kit Kat, or a Snickers. Those are the three that I would always want. Whenever I’d open my candy bag at the end of the night, I’d always separate those three from everything else because everything else is kind of whatever, but just those specific three I’d want the most.
Oh my God, I actually did, yeah. I feel like all the other candies is like, “Eh,” whenever I’m feeling like it. Okay, so I’m actually curious. So, did you feel like acting came naturally to you when you were first on this set?
Because I know you are used to creating TikToks and everything, so did you have any creative inspiration and did you chime in into whether or not something should be placed somewhere else? Because I know you creating TikTok. I mean, as silly as that sounds, a lot of people would find that silly. TikToks actually take a lot of time and effort into preparing them, so I feel like in a way that would probably relate to your acting. Does that compliment your acting at all? Did you have any creative advice from making this movie?
I’m not really sure if it helped me while I was acting. I’ve always done drama and theatre as a kid so film wasn’t a lot that different, I guess. And I’ve already done some things before. My first ever acting job was actually in 2019, so I kind of got those jitters out of the way in that first job.
But then as opposed to the creative, the director was actually very open to creative input from his actors. If we were shooting a scene and it just felt awkward or didn’t feel right, he let us relay our thoughts to him and he would sometimes make changes or ask us what changes we’d like to make.
He was actually very receptive of anything that the cast… Even sometimes the crew would mention. So, I’m not saying we got really involved in the creative process, but we were involved at some points here and there.
That’s cool. And I have a few more questions. If you could offer any advice to up-and-coming talent, what advice would that be for somebody looking, seeking to get into the industry? Whether it be social media or acting?
Well, social media is more so just post the content you want so that if you do get to a place where a lot of people look at your content. You’re posting what you enjoy posting and not something you don’t.
And then for acting, I would do the self-tapes because you get so many that you sometimes just don’t want to do them, but I promise you, getting yourself on tape is very important. And getting your face in front of casting directors—even if you’ve done 10 self-tapes in the past week—getting your face in front of casting directors is infinitely more productive than not doing a tape.
Even if you don’t like the script, it’s about getting yourself in front of casting directors, and just consistency and persistence.
And then last question, when you were making that transition, how did you make the transition from primarily being heavily social media to trying to pivot and being labelled as an actor?
Because I know there’s so many influencers like Addison Rae, I guess, even though she does music, people still call her an influencer. So, how are you going about it trying to pivot away and be viewed as an actor before social media?
I find myself very blessed to be in a very specific point of the influencer world where I’m a decent size, but I’m not big enough to where whenever someone sees me, they’ll just recognize me as an actor or I mean, they’ll recognize me as influencer or they’ll recognize me as this or that. Addison suffers from too much success.
In the influencer world if that’s even a thing where she got her name and brand very much out there? So, a lot of people, and everyone knows her. She’s almost a household name and most American younger people conversation.
And it’s like she’s suffering from too much success, which is why for her it’s kind of difficult to change that perception and why people label her as just an influencer when she’s obviously very talented, multiple things and she’s trying to show the world that talent but it’s just like a perception thing.
Whereas for me, I find myself very blessed because I’m nowhere near as large as her in the social media world even though I am… I would say on the larger end of influencers, I’m by no means the biggest.
So, it’s almost a blessing and a curse to have less of a following on social media when you want to break into other things, because then sure there might be some people that recognize you here and there, but not enough to where it’ll affect their perception, be like, “Oh, he’s just an influencer.”
I get that. That makes sense. Yeah, that’s probably true why Addison Rae is still labelled as an influencer because she’s so massive, but yeah, that makes sense. Well, that was all the questions I had. I’m excited to see this movie. When does it come out? And does it come out in theatres? How can people watch it?
I’m going to be honest, we aren’t really given that much information, we just kind of find out as the days come. It premieres in LA for me to see for the first time officially. I haven’t even seen it yet, but I used to see it finally for the first time on the 11th at the Chinese Theatre.
Oh, that’s so cool.
There’s a little premiere here and all the cast members will be there, but we have been getting random pictures from friends and families of just random showings of the movie throughout the US, some in New York, some in Colorado. It’s just we don’t know where the movie’s being filmed, but it officially comes out on the 13th on AMC+ Shudder
On AMC+. Okay, well we are looking forward to that release. I hope that’s actually a really cool location to have it premier at, so that’s a little surreal for you.
Yeah, I did well.
But thank you again for taking the time out of your morning. I appreciate you chatting with me and I’ll send everything over when everything is published. I’ll try to get it up for the movie release so it correlates with that.
All right, wonderful.
Anyways, all right, enjoy the rest of your day, Kio.
Yeah, have a nice day, Man.