I’m taking some artistic liberties here with my portrayal of Sydney. Charlie and his older brother were very close and Sydney looked out for Charlie ever since their childhood. Sydney was extremely instrumental in Charlie’s success, helping him learn his lines early on in his vaudeville days, helping him land his first big break and managed his career. And by all accounts, he was extremely supportive of Charlie, and even shot all of his scenes in The Great Dictator.

But this isn’t a factual account, and by necessity, I need to set up some road blocks for Charlie to overcome. And I feel that Sydney is far more interesting if I portray him as a more pragmatic, conservative, paternal figure against Charlie’s foolhardy, passionate enthusiasm.

In other words, I needed a straight man to play off Charlie being the comic foil.

Sorry Syd.