USC MFA / WGA
Caroline Ryder was born in Madrid, Spain to an Irish Catholic businessman father and a Brazilian Protestant housewife mother. When she was five, the family moved to London. She was an avid reader of fairytales, an actress in TV commercials, and student of classical piano. She began studying the Tarot when she was seven. When she was eight, she wrote a spec episode of Dynasty, fueled by her obsession with Joan Collins. She really wishes she could find it.
She bought her first bootleg cassette in front of Camden Town Tube station in the 1990s—Sonic Youth’s Dirty, with Mike Kelley’s sad stuffed bear on the cover. A revelation to her virgin ears, it set in motion a lifelong passion for rock, indie, and pop music.
Caroline went to the London School of Economics and gained a B.Sc. in Environmental Geography with a focus on climate change. (Later, when she moved to the US, she was surprised to encounter some who considered her entire degree a work of fiction.) Her first job out of college was at MTV Studios in Camden Town, where she made cups of tea for many of her pop and rock heroes, including Chris Cornell and the Spice Girls.
A few low-level jobs in the record business later, she was fired from Warner Music for being shit at packing boxes, and experienced her first (and not last) dark night of the soul. She got a job in a veterinarian’s office deep in the ‘burbs, ordering pens and paper. Maybe it was all the stationary, but soon she realized her true calling lay in the written word. She got a job as a newspaper reporter for the Camden Chronicle and Islington Gazette, studying law, media ethics and shorthand, conducting a surreal interview with US President George W. Bush when he visited the British Museum and she snuck into the press corps.
During a three-month road trip across America in 2004, a voodoo priestess in New Orleans told her she would have to leave her home in order to find her heart. So she moved to Los Angeles, where she was taken under the wing of Joe Donnelly, deputy editor of the LA Weekly. He invited her to write the LA Weekly’s short-lived but hilarious fashion blog, The Style Council and since then, she has contributed to dozens of US and UK publications, including Swindle, Variety, the LA Times, T magazine, New York magazine, AnOther, and Monocle, writing dozens of celebrity cover interviews for Dazed, Cosmopolitan, Paper magazine, BULLETT, Rankin’s The Hunger and Flaunt.
Especially memorable interviews include Snoop Dogg, Yolandi Visser, Cameron Diaz, Slash, Udo Kier, Bobby Seale of the Black Panthers, Yoko Ono, Pam Grier and Larry Flynt. In 2010, she tracked down a then still-unknown Odd Future after stumbling upon Earl Sweatshirt’s video EARL, writing the first print features on them for the LA Weekly, Village Voice and Dazed.
She has been known to (unintentionally) make interview subjects cry, and has shed a few tears in interviews herself.
When she interviewed deaf champion motocross racer Ashley Fiolek for Paper magazine, she was so moved by Ashley’s story of courage in the face of severe disability and industry misogyny, she convinced Harper Collins to let her write Ashley’s autobiography, “Kicking Up Dirt”. The book was optioned by Sony Studios and, still ranks among the top-selling memoirs in motorsports.
This lead to numerous other book projects, including “Dirty Rocker Boys” (Simon&Schuster), the high-octane, best-selling memoir of Sunset Strip sex symbol Bobbie Brown and its follow-up, “Cherry on Top” (Rare Bird, 2019), which explores Bobbie’s reinvention as a comedienne aged 50, as she struggles in the face of industry ageism.
Caroline lived in Joshua Tree for two years, returning to LA to commence her MFA in Screenwriting at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. Her mentor Mary Sweeney encouraged her to write her desert-based homage to “Harold and Maude”, an indie feature called “Mimi and Ulrich”, which is now under option by London-based Blonde to Black pictures.
She was commissioned to write a feature screenplay about the death of Mark Rothko, in collaboration with the artist’s daughter, Kate, which earned her entry to the Writers Guild of America. She spent a year developing a screenplay with Siobhan Fahey (Bananarama/Shakespear’s Sister) about 16th century Irish rebel heroine, Grace O’Malley. Other scripts include “Don’t Call Me Daughter”, a feature tackling adulthood PTSD resulting from childhood abuse, “Odd Women” a TV period drama about Victorian-era feminists in London adapted from George Gissing’s novel, and “Angels” a TV period drama about John Dee, Queen Elizabeth I’s magician and astrologer.
Her screenwriting accolades include Second Round, Sundance Lab 2015; Next 100, Academy Nicholl Fellowships competition, 2016 Hedgebrook Screenwriters Lab, Winner, Best Graduate Screenplay, Ivy Film Festival 2016, and Austin Film Festival Second Round. She was awarded her Master’s degree in Screenwriting on May 11, her late father’s birthday.
Touchstone cinema that inspires her includes “Harold and Maude”, “Withnail and I”, “2001: A Space Odyssey”, “Orlando”, “Adaptation”, “Heathers”, “Drugstore Cowboy”, “Point Break”, “The Wizard of Oz”, “Paris Is Burning”, “The Piano”, “Live at Pompeii”, “The Song Remains the Same”, “Lords Of Dogtown“, “My Own Private Idaho”, “The Rider”, “Meshes of the Afternoon”, “Sunset Boulevard”, “Badlands”, “Halloween”, “This Is Spinal Tap”, “The Decline of Western Civilization”, “The Life of Brian”, “The Outsiders”, “Over the Edge”, “The Deer Hunter”, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, and “The Lost Boys”. She also really likes David Lynch’s “Dune”, and doesn’t care what anyone says about it.
She shot a short Super 8 film
about a beautiful girl who goes to get a vampire facial in Tijuana and ends up at Lucha Libre.
And she wrote a poem about puffins.