Debby Ryan’s Top 5 Dopest Women of Right Now
You may know Debby Ryan from the Disney Channel, but she’s come a long way since her Disney Days — particularly as a voice for young women in all of her projects and finding a way to appreciate others.
Besides being an actress, Debby has also directed and produced for TV, and fronted her own rock band where she also produces and writes the music; all at the young age of 23 — talk about #girlboss, right?
Her most current project, a film shot in Australia called “Riptide”, was shaped by a female director, and mostly female cast and crew. Being encouraged, inspired, and challenged by other women is something that Debby finds personally important, so much so, that she started her own hashtag #Dopewomen2016, to celebrate and acknowledge any of the women she found to do these things.
Take a cue from Debby, and know that supporting other women is the best thing you can do right now — check out our Q&A with Debby below, and hashtag any women you see on the socials that inspire you!
Tell us about #Dopewomen2016.
This year more than any other year in my life, I’ve seen and been affected by women of all fields and backgrounds encouraging, inspiring, challenging, and supporting one another. The hashtag actually just came about as I realized how frequently I was compelled to acknowledge these people on social media. As much as social media is a pastime, it’s also something I want to use to learn more and make a positive change, and this was just sort of an accidental product of that. It’s hard enough for us, and really cool to support one another.
What are the qualities that make someone fit the list?
There’s something worth celebrating about every woman, and every woman fits the list in her own way, but as it’s developed, it’s become more about spotlighting excellence. Women who are bringing something different to the table, giving us a slice of life that we haven’t seen. Whether it’s someone I come across at work, an article I read, a teacher, friend, crew member, etc. Anyone that has inspired, intrigued, or affected me in a different way.
Who are your Dopest Women of Right Now?
Rhiannon Bannenberg, who wrote and directed “Ambrosia”, deals with chronic pain herself. She’s a super young director but I’d follow her anywhere… which got me to the funniest places in NSW Aus. Between her nuanced eye for storytelling, built on her lowkey spirit and insatiable education, it’s hard not to trust her appreciation of beauty. Plus, she looks so cool when she surfs. The director of photography she hired on this film, Tania Lambert, is a talented cinematographer, gracious communicator, total babe, and badass cancer survivor. Met them both, as well as a whole slew of beautiful babes, through the film Rip Tide.
Melissa McCarthy is the ultimate; she’s brilliant, genuine, hard-working, the best boss, an even better mom, a driven and fair fashion designer, her relationship is #goals. Her sense of balance is dope and she’s the most beautiful.
Gillian Jacobs; great listener, educated in all the nerdy ways, total weirdo, and incredible friend. Smart as a whip. Bettered by our conversations. She has a warmth and honesty that I find really brave and charming and magical and… very dope.
My grandma! We text and she goes through my fan mail with me and is so strong, and warm and funny. She knows what not to worry about and reminds me what’s important. I want to be her. She’s incredible.
Also — it was so cool to vote this year, and I met some women who were alive during women’s suffrage and weren’t able to vote.
Do you think it’s important for young women to become entrepreneurs?
I think some of the most inspired women play with the boys, but play like a girl. It’s a cool time in history to celebrate the nuance, intrigue, and passion of a woman.
What do you love the most about making music?
I love the evolution of my relationship with music. Writing it, writing about it, sharing mixes and playlists, production, performance… Finding new ideas and ways to put the things I like on their feet. It’s an amazing time in music to see women owning it in music.
Do you have any fun acting projects coming up?
“The Cover Versions” is a movie I wrapped recently, the writer/director Todd Berger enforced a really respectful perspective in regards to the women in it — he was so non-exploitative, a lot of the crew were women. Not just hair, makeup, and script supervisor; but Director of Photography, camera operator, first and second Assistant Directors, the sound department, so many dope women built that film. From there, walking onto other sets this year, I’ve noticed women employ more equally; ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity, disability, etc.
Also, “Life of the Party” w/ Melissa McCarthy, Gillian Jacobs, Maya Rudolph, Adria Arjona, Julie Bowen, Molly Gordon, Jessie Ennis, even Christina Aguilera! That was an amazing experience with a whole bunch of dope women.
How can we stalk all of your projects/find out more?
I’m obsessive on Snapchat at heytheredebby, reply a lot on Twitter, and keep my personal IG pretty current. Plus, stalk the Riptide.film IG — because I’m logged in there as well.
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Photos by Glenn Nutley