Amanda Cerny: From Playmate To Social Media StarAmanda Cerny is one of social media’s leading ladies and part of a new age of stardom. Here she talks The Red Bulletin about her rise to fame and why doing Playboy backfired
Amanda Cerny is a household name to millions of Millennials and Gen Z followers, and it’s not because she was Playboy’s Miss October 2011. In fact, most of her new fan base isn’t even aware of her Playmate status.
That’s because the 24-year-old has spent the past six years turning a successful modelling career (with clothing on) in Los Angeles into a lucrative social media career. She has over 4.6 million Vine followers who have watched over 2.2 billion Vine Loops, more than 4.2 million Facebook followers, over 4.2 million Instagram followers, more than 419,000 Twitter followers, and is the self-described “queen of Snapchat.”
The social media influencer is starring in her first feature film, Internet Famous, which is a parody of online fame starring real YouTubers and social media stars such as Shane Dawson, Christian Delgrosso, Steve Greene and Wendy McColm.
Here, Cerny talks to The Red Bulletin about her goals of turning internet fame into a big screen and television career.
THE RED BULLETIN: How did your work in front of a camera for Vine and YouTube videos help with your role in the feature film Internet Famous?
AMANDA CERNY: For Vine and Instagram, I play a role where I’m this ditsy, dumb girl walking around. When the casting came out for the role of Amber on Internet Famous, she was this girl that was very much in her own world and very ditsy. So it was like playing one of my characters that I do in my sketches, which made the actual movie a lot easier.
Having just worked on Internet Famous, what are your own Hollywood aspirations as you look forward?
I signed with CAA [Creative Artists Agency] recently. They represent me across the board, but my main interest in signing with an agency was to get larger and more traditional film and television roles. It’s weird to say “traditional” now because social media and the traditional world are colliding so much, so it’s all becoming one world now. I just want to do more movies. This was my first movie and I have a few more things I’m working on. I’m doing a few television shows with them, and I’ve done this virtual reality show. So more and more keeps coming my way, and it’s definitely stepping stones into building a larger career in film and television.
What is your virtual reality show?
It’s a television series; you put on the goggles and step into the world of a TV show. You’re able to look around the whole set. And the way we film it is so much different to any other film or TV production because it has to run like a play. Nobody else can be in the room with you, otherwise the viewer will see the director or the sound guy or the lighting. We shot in a closed room with the director outside hoping that you’re doing your lines right and running the script the way it’s supposed to be.
And if one person messes up a line, does everyone have to start again?
Yeah, that’s about it. Sometimes they moved the camera around the room just to get different angles for the viewer to go into. When they did that it’s like a memory game, you have to know where in the room you’re walking, at what time, and where everyone else is. It’s all in sequence so you can’t improve on every take. The next take has to be very similar to the first take you did so it can all connect.
How is Hollywood embracing social media influencers today?
I’ve noticed a huge change. Directors and producers are reaching out and are more interested in working with social media influencers these day. More specifically, the ones that are doing sketches and their own comedy shows on their own platforms are the most interesting to those directors to be a part of their films.
What exactly has changed?
Initially it was like, “Oh, you’re a social media influencer; you don’t know how to act, you can’t be in this.” But a lot of the social media influencers actually started out wanting to do more acting, but they didn’t have an agency or representation and they just had fun and came out with sketches on their channels. Some of them have backgrounds in acting, so a lot of different directors and producers are realising that and opening their minds to that prospect.
They are not just looking at social media influencers as numbers. Initially they were doing that, which didn’t work out because you also need talent with those numbers if you want them to act.
If you get a social media person that just blogs all the time and they have no interest in acting and then you put them in an action film, it’s just not going to make sense. So they did more research and figured out who’s going to do the castings, and not just by numbers. That’s definitely an added bonus and what opened the door for the influencers. Now when you go into the room, you’re not just the stereotype of a social media influencer. You’re actually able to cast for that role and be taken seriously.
What role did your Playboy experience play in building the social media empire that you have today?
It backfired. Being a Playmate is what got me out to LA, so I’ll never regret it. It’s a great platform to build off of. I had a small Instagram following and that following was only there to see sexy photos I would post in a bikini. It wasn’t the most loyal fan base to have. But when I started making Vines, my audience got a lot younger. And also I’m making comedy, so my videos would be shared a lot and go viral and reach a lot of different people. So I became known as a comedian on social media. When people would Google me, Playboy would be a secondary thing that they would find. But it’s funny because a lot of kids have no idea what Playboy is. Gen Z is like, “What’s a centrefold?”