Sarah Snook talks about her new film “Predestination”

Australian actress Sarah Snook starred in the horror film “Jessabelle” last year and stole the attention of Hollywood due to her performance. Her latest film “Predestination”, co-starring Ethan Hawke, features her in a major breakout role. If you get a chance you must see this film, which hits theaters on January 9th. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Sarah to discuss the film and her transformation

Eric Schmitt: What interested you in the role in Predestination to begin with?
Sarah Snook: The main thing was really the challenge of acting as such an amazing character. You don’t really ever get to act as a man, if you’re a woman.

ES: What preparation went into playing the role of John?
SS: In the physical, I did some training to bulk up my muscular frame. It helped to get into a very masculine feel, testosterone driven. Everyday I would go to one of those “Pumping Iron” gyms, so I’d be surrounded by those testy (testosterone filled) men, and I’d be like “Yeah, brother! We’re one in the same!” Otherwise, I did a lot of research into transgender and how people adapt to that sort of lifestyle change.

ES: What about your voice? You went from a southern belle in “Jessabelle” to almost a city guy in John, how did you train for the voice acting?
SS: The did help a little by distending my voice in editing. I kinda wanted to look at movies like “Barfly” to study those types of down and out characters, get a gravely tone. It definitely helped with the pitch bending, though. It gave my voice my color. The difference between those two characters (Jessabelle and John) is really the fun part for me.

ES: It honestly took me a few minutes to even realize that it was you playing John. When I saw it, I was like “Whoa!”. How long did the make up take to transform you?
SS: It was a 3 hour make up job. It was mostly very fine, thin pieces – three or four layers to define my chin, stubble, a broken nose and earlobes. The earlobes were strange at first, but it lengthened my face.

ES: Did anyone mention to you, when you did go through the transformation, that you resembled a young Leonardo DiCaprio?
SS: (Laughs) Yeah, they did! It was also a random group of characters. “Hey, you look like-”.

ES: Did they take you off set to see how you would blend in as a man?
SS: (Laughs) No. No, I was too shy. There was one instance that was great – I was walking with the make-up artist to the set and I was walking ahead of the artist by maybe a meter or so. This group of girls walk past us and they looked about 18 or 19, three girls. They walked past us and giggled at the make-up artist “Oh my god – he’s so hot!” Then one of the girls said “Wait, who’s that other hot guy?!” (Laughs)

ES: That must have been very flattering!
SS: (Laughs) I don’t know about hot! I didn’t think I was necessarily a hot guy!

ES: The bar scenes with you and Ethan seemed very “organic”. How did you and Ethan develop such a natural looking relationship in front of the camera?
SS: We did rehearsal all through production, the two of us with Peter and Michael (Spierig). And also we started working on the weekends, Sundays we would get in the same room and make sure we were on the same page with our characters. With the bar scene, we did that in the 2nd or 3rd week of shooting. So by then, we had developed a pretty good relationship. The best part about the bar scene is that they shot it in one big sequence, which allowed Peter and Michael to just cut it up in the editing room. The whole thing was one scene – the bar, the pool table and the booth.

ES: How do you think the story will translate to audiences? Do you feel that audiences will see Predestination as a “complete” movie, and that they’ll be able to digest the content?
SS: I think overall, the story for me is what was great. It’s a very compelling script and a very compelling idea. It’s something that people can have a debate or dialogue about. All the questions that would come up about the characters and the storyline – audiences can actually engage it.

Sarah Miles talks about her first full-length album “One”

Sarah Miles is a singer/songwriter who has just released her first full-length album via Rock Ridge Music titled “One”. Media Mikes had the pleasure of talking with Sarah recently about the new album and what first drew her to music.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us what first interested you in music?
Sarah Miles: I grew up in a pretty musical family. It was something I was always surrounded by starting at a very young age. I sang in choirs and a cappella groups all through high school and college. In high school was when I got my first guitar and around that same time is when I started writing music as well. I also started doing some performing on my own. The more I started doing that the more I started to realize that music was something that I wanted to do full time. I went to college while still doing music on the side and after I finished college I moved to New York and have been doing music ever since.

AL: What was it like working on your first full length album?

SM: It was an awesome experience. I had released two EP’s prior to this on my own which was a lot more difficult as I didn’t have a fan base yet so the music was just kind of there. With this new album I have been around now for awhile doing shows and I got myself a manger to help with things as well. I released the album through Rock Ridge Music so I had a lot more support and backing with this release which was very exciting. The actual recording process for the album was really cool as I worked with a great producer by the name of Dave Pittenger. The recording took almost a year and I had been writing for about two years. It was a very long process but totally worth it because I was able to pick out my favorite songs. Everything was really cool and I got to meet a ton of great musicians along the way.

AL: Having taken so long during the writing process was it hard to pick out or reconnect with some of the songs during the recording process?
SM: It was definitely tough. Even while I was recording the album I was still writing. You are always changing as is your music so it was certainly a challenge. I tried to pick out songs that all worked together and which had similar themes which made things a little bit easier. Things were certainly tough but I am happy with the choices I made.

AL: What is your standard approach for writing a song?
SM: Usually I start on the guitar. I will pick out some chords I really like and just play them over and over again. From there I may come up with a melody and then the lyrics come second. There are times when that can be different though. If I am writing about a specific thing that happened to me or was something I saw things may be reversed. Typically I start with the melody and go from there.

AL: You have a quite a few YouTube video. Do you plan to make any for songs off of “One”?
SM: I am going to be doing a video for the song “Standup” which I am super excited about. I am shooting it this month along with a video for a cover song as well. There is certainly going to be things to check out in the near future.

AL: Can you tell us about some of the live shows you have coming up?
SM: I have a few shows booked right now and I am hoping to book some more in the New York area soon. I live in New York so I do have a couple NY and Philadelphia shows already booked. I will also be doing some college shows throughout the east coast which will be a lot of fun. I am also looking in to doing web shows. This is something I am really excited about doing. I just did my first one a few weeks ago and I the idea of my fans being able to watch me from wherever they are is really cool.

Sarah Wright talks about her role in “21 and Over”

Kentucky born, actress Sarah Wright got her first taste of the spotlight traveling the country and Europe with the singing group The Kentucky Ambassadors of Music. After high school a career in modeling beckoned and she soon found herself in Chicago. Her work attracted the attention of Hollywood and soon she was appearing on television programs like “The Loop,” “Quintuplets” and “Seventh Heaven.” Film’s followed and she showcased her talents with roles in “The House Bunny,” “Celeste and Jesse Forever” and this past springs comedy “21 and Over.” She’s also had a recurring role on the popular comedy series “Parks and Recreation.”

While preparing for the release of “21 and Over” to home video DVD and Blu-ray, Ms. Wright sat down with Media Mikes to talk about the film, her own 21st birthday and her future on “Parks and Recreation.”

Mike Smith: For those readers that haven’t yet seen the film, give us an introduction to “21 and Over” and your character, Nicole.
Sarah Wright: “21 and Over” is the story of three friends. Two of them show up to take the third out to celebrate his 21st birthday. The third friend is scheduled for an important job interview the next morning so they agree to get him back home in plenty of time to rest. Of course they don’t and craziness ensues! My character is the love interest of the character played by Skylar Astin.

MS: Was making the film as much fun as the finished product?
SW: It was awesome! The guys had a blast because they were basically partying the entire time. I had fun being the only girl. It was like hanging out with three brothers. We hung out all night long every night we were shooting. It was great. It was fun and easy because the directors were fantastic and they had written a great script. It was a great script but they still allowed us to do some improv. It’s always great to be able to play around and do that.

MS: Can you recall the craziest thing you did when you turned 21?
SW: (laughs loudly) Actually my 21st birthday was not that crazy. I started younger. I was modeling and living in Japan when I was 16. I was living in Greece at 19. I had some really crazy party nights after concerts and at after-party places. I remember winding up somewhere in Japan and having to make my way back to my apartment at four o’clock in the morning. I think on my 21st birthday I kind of mellowed out.

MS: Are you going to be back on “Parks and Rec” next season?
SW: They’ve talked to me about it so there’s a possibility. It’s funny, when I started I figured that after my story with Rob Lowe was done I’d never be back on the show but they keep finding ways to bring me back. It’s a lot of fun. I love doing that show.

MS: What are you working on next?
SW: I just finished a film with Elizabeth Banks, James Marsden and Gillian Jacobs called “Walk of Shame.” It’s scheduled to come out next March.


Related Content

Sarah Dawson talks about competing on "Survivor: Philippines" and kissing Jeff Probst

Sarah Dawson was a contestant on the recent “Survivor: Philippines” and was voted off the island on day 13 of the show.  She was also the first contestant in the show’s 25 seasons to have ever kissed the host Jeff Probst.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Sarah about her time on the show and, of course, the kiss.

Adam Lawton: What was it that interested you in trying out for the show?
Sarah Dawson: I have always been inspired by the show. Growing up in a conservative household as a vegetarian who spent most of her time camping, living outside and procuring degrees in a BA in Strategic Public Relations and a BS in Psychology really reflected to me the passion that I have for everything “Survivor” is about. I love it all, the scheming, the travel, the excitement of having all of my worldly possessions stripped away from me. I wanted to see how I could perform once all of the social constructs I have in my life were taken away

AL: Can you tell us about your audition process?
SD: I have been a HUGE fan of “Survivor” for years. I spent about 5 years trying to get some of my friends cast on the show and despite getting close, it didn’t work. In January of 2012 I decided that if I couldn’t get myself on “Survivor” I had no business giving anyone else advice on how to get on the show. That Sunday I recorded a one minute video and submitted it online within 10 hours, casting was on the phone with me and I was in LA meeting with producers just days later. During the final casting process I completely went “all in” and showed my genuine energy and passion for the show. Like every other aspect of my life, I took advantage of the situation as much as I could. I freaked out and got so excited when I met Jeff Probst and even petted his hair while saying the Lords Prayer. It was such a fun moment that I will never forget. I may have also grabbed Mark Burnett’s ass while he was walking by me into the casting room. Some chances in life only come once and I lived every second of my casting process so I would not miss one second or opportunity and have no regrets.

AL: Did you do anything to prepare yourself prior to filming? (watch past episodes etc.)
SD: As such a fan of the show, I think for about 2 years I watch previous “Survivor” episodes EXCLUSIVELY. I knew I would be involved n the show at some point and I prepared for years. Once I knew I was cast, I stepped my training into high gear. I gained 12 pounds by eating amazing burritos and doing weight training. I purchased and read 6 books in detail about the game and the psychology behind it. To prepare for “Survivor” I even ate all the ants off my kitchen table to test my commitment to the game! Before eating the ants I did discuss it with them, either they would be removed by my exterminator or they could make themselves part of “Survivor” history. They were thrilled with the opportunity and I came out ready for the game!!!

AL: Can you give us the low down on the Jeff Probst kiss?
SD: There is nothing more I would like to give you the low down on! Man were those kisses heated! When I was voted out of “Survivor”: Philippines it was time for me to have my torch snuffed by Jeff and just like every other moment of my life, I did not want to walk away from that second with any regrets. I stood in front of him for what seemed like hours, the people around me and tribal counsel disappeared from view and I the only thing I could see was the two of us, standing so close with so much energy between us. After a few seconds of me staring at him and trying to build up my courage, I could see the fear in his eyes and the anxiety of him wondering what I was about about to do to him because I obviously would not be one of those contestants that silently left tribal counsel without capturing one last second of such a rare opportunity. I chickened out on kissing him on the lips and hit him somewhere between his mouth and his cheek. It felt so empowering to have that hug back from him on my way out of the show. It was exhilarating.

AL: How about during the live reunion show?
SD: Now, the kiss during the live reunion show in Los Angeles was quite different. HA! I watched my entire season of “Survivor” at home thinking about kissing him during the live show and just like they read my mind, every day my Twitter followers would tweet me that I should kiss him during the live show so I built up my courage for 13 weeks and then finally the night came when I would once again be standing in front of my darling Dimples. I know the live shows happen very quickly because there is so much material to cover and once I had my window of opportunity, it would close in a flash. I was sitting about 6 feet off the stage with two rows of people in front of me between Jeff and I. I navigated in my head the quickest route to his lips and at the beginning of the show I took off my high heels and hid them behind another cast mate because I knew there was no way I could make the jump to the ground with them on. The show seemed to last forever but I knew he would speak to me at some point and that would be my moment. At the very end of the show he looked directly in my eyes and said my name and started asking me a question about the kiss at tribal council. Once he said my name I was in a daze and lost a few seconds just because he was speaking to me. I quickly snapped out of it and thought “MOVE! THIS IS YOUR LAST SHOT!!! MOVE NOW!!!!! It wasn’t shown on the show but I pushed Carter to the left, Put my right hand on Penners shoulder and launched myself over Denise and hit the ground barefoot splitting my shin open. In a flash with one move I lept from that spot to right in front of Jeff simultaneously wrapping my hands around the nape of his neck for the kiss I will always remember. Once I felt his hair in my hands and his skin against mine I put my lips to his and experienced a dream that is held by millions of women all over the world. We kissed for about 25 minutes, my shin was bleeding from my fall, the audience was rolling with laughter and his lips were there with mine, pressed against mine and as he held my arms in his hands, he kissed me back on live television! After the kiss I did a little touchdown dance and told myself I would never allow any opportunity no matter how small its window, to go by me without jumping over people, injuring myself, and risking poor manners to achieve my dreams.

AL: What was the hardest part for you about being on the show?
SD: Playing “Survivor” was a dream of mine. I wasn’t even hungry on the show since I was able to put on so many extra pounds. I was thrilled to be out there. The most difficult thing for me was watching other people complain about being hungry, about being dirty, about missing their iPods… As others would complain I could do nothing but think to myself how grateful I was for the opportunity to leave my television at home, for the opportunity to get filthy, the chance to live outside during 13 days of straight rain. The hardest part of being on the show for me was watching other people be miserable and not recognizing the gift and once in a lifetime opportunity they were given. Man, that grinded my gears!

AL: What are you currently working on?
SD: I moved to Los Angeles! Three weeks ago I packed my clothes one night and relocated myself and my python, Squeeze, to the city of the stars to pursue my dream of being an actress. Since that move I have not stopped chasing this dream. I have already done a considerable amount of hosting, photo shoots, and am working on a new television show! The world has not seen the last of me. Starting with Los Angeles, I am diving into every opportunity lips first! To keep up follow me on twitter @survivordawson!