Sydney Chandler

Sydney Chandler

Tiziano Lugli
Sydney Chandler

Sydney Chandler as Chrissie Hynde 

Miya Mizuno/FX
Sydney Chandler

Sydney Chandler as Chrissie Hynde 

Miya Mizuno/FX
Fill 1
Fill 1
May 30, 2022
In The Mix

Sydney Chandler Rocks Out

The actress learned to sing and play the guitar after being cast as Chrissie Hynde in the FX on Hulu limited series Pistol.

Christine Champagne

After being cast as Chrissie Hynde in Pistol, the new limited series on punk rock band the Sex Pistols, Sydney Chandler visited the rock star at her London home.

"To be honest, I had no idea what to expect, or ask, or what I would or would not receive," she says, noting, "You're knocking on a legend's door and saying, 'Hi. I'm playing you. You don't know me. Who are you?'"

Turns out Hynde was happy to talk, Chandler says, and the Ohio native generously shared memories of befriending the Sex Pistols in London in the 1970s and forming the Pretenders.

"As she was talking she said, 'One thing I make sure to do is, I don't overthink things. I let things roll off my shoulders, and if there's something that I can't control, I don't focus on it. I focus on the present, and I just jump. That's how I am,'" Chandler recalls, adding, "That's something I really took to heart for my character, and I am personally trying to incorporate that into my life as well."

Chandler, who will be seen this fall as a 1950s housewife in actress-director Olivia Wilde's feature film Don't Worry Darling, is no stranger to television. Her father is Emmy-winning actor Kyle Chandler of Friday Night Lights and Bloodline fame.

Thanks to her mom, Kathryn, Chandler knew Hynde's music well. "She's known to sing 'Ohio' around the house quite a lot," Sydney says, referring to the Pretenders' iconic 1982 song "My City Was Gone." Kyle helped record her audition tapes.

The biggest challenge in playing Hynde? Learning how to sing and play guitar. Chandler joined her costars at director–executive producer Danny Boyle's band camp before Pistol went into production in London.

Calling the training a brilliant move on Boyle's part, Chandler says, "I felt like it helped me to earn my character and figure out who [she] was by forcing me, Sydney, to really do what she did — pick up the guitar and learn how to sing."

All six episodes of Pistol, from FX Productions, will drop May 31 on Hulu.

This article originally appeared in emmy magazine issue #4, 2022, under the title, "School of Rock."

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