Check our interview with talented “Scream Queen” actress Sarah Withers who is starring alongside Mickey Rourke in film Nightmare Cinema.
The film is an R-rated horror anthology from some of the most recognizable directors in horror, including Alejandro Brugués, Ryûhei Kitamura, David Slade, Mick Garris, and Joe Dante. The first story told in the film is titled “A Thing in the Woods”, which plays upon campy horror of the 80s. Equally funny as it is dark and unsettling, We immediately follow a beautiful homecoming queen Samantha (played by Sarah Withers) through the woods as she’s being chased by the Welder. Terrified and alone, she has no other option, but to devise a plan to take down the evil that’s destroyed her group of childhood friends.
Through facing her deepest fears, she kicks some ass, and takes some names. She is not only terrifying, but a wonderful rising talent that is taking the horror industry by storm.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Courageous, silly, insightful
Tell us about your work in the film “Nightmare Cinema”?
I play Samantha in Nightmare Cinema. There are five shorts, making it a horror anthology, and I’m in the first one called “The Thing in the Woods”. I am the protagonist of a campy, homage to 80’s slashers. It’s such a fun, gruesome film!
How was working alongside Mickey Rourke?
I actually was on set the day before him, so we didn’t meet. But I did hear he brought his own costume, so that was cool to hear a little inside scoop 🙂
How did you get started into acting?
I was watching Lizzie McGuire when I was 8 years old, and absolutely adored Hilary Duff! I thought to myself, “I want to do that!” And then from there my mom signed me up for classes at A.C.T in San Francisco, and the rest is history.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Acting gave me a way to express myself and understand other people’s perspective. I believe it inherently challenges you to examine the circumstances of someone else’s life and gain insight into why they do what they do. I love exploring the life of someone who I may not have otherwise known about it were it not for their story being told.
How has this changed your life?
Other than perspective, the most rewarding parts of acting are pushing yourself outside your comfort zone. Sometimes you get sent an audition and wonder if you can pull it off, but you know you have to try. And even if at the end of the day you’re not the best fit for it, putting in the work and giving it your all builds self-respect, not to mention it’s so fun!
What other projects you have been part of?
I was in a show called Play By Play, in which I play an emo, dead-pan Blockbuster manager in the 90’s. It was such a blast playing someone very different from myself, and in that decade too! It should be coming to a streaming platform super soon.
Who was your role model as a child?
My role models were Hilary Duff, Raven Symone, Vanessa Hudgens…I was a big Disney fan haha!
How do you balance your busy life with your personal life?
As someone once told me, there’s no such thing as balance, so strive for harmony. In other words, we can never perfectly divvy up our lives into- work 25%, relationships 25%, family 25%, health 25 %. Sometimes our lives require that we spend a larger portion of our energy on one thing. So I try to make sure that I’m always doing the best I can with allotting the amount of energy that feels right. My best advice though is to make sure you’re always taking care of your mental and physical health. Exercise, meditation, eating well, and spending an hour or two each week going outside for a run or walk in nature helps me immeasurably.
Biggest beauty inspiration? Why?
Hailey Bieber is killingggg it! I love her style and how she presents herself as a person.
How would you explain your fashion style and what items in your closet can you not be without.
My style has always been all over the place. I think it’s connected to acting, because I love dressing according to my mood, trying new things, and seeing how the outfit makes me feel. It’s almost a low key version of wearing costumes. I just love experimenting with style and going out on a limb. It’s fun to be daring some days, and it’s nice to be simple and comfy other days.
How was the casting for the film Nightmare Cinema?
My audition for Nightmare Cinema was really great! I also booked it so that was awesome 🙂 The casting directors were so supportive. That’s always a great feeling, when you can tell they’re rooting for you.
What has been your worst audition?
My worst audition was for this one casting director who was really sweet, and we hit it off talking about my hometown, where she loved to visit. I felt so in my head during the scene, and I knew it was not my best work. But it’s okay. It wasn’t meant to be, and I learned from it 🙂
What’s next for Sarah Withers in 2019?
This year is about continuing to meet casting, auditioning, and growing in my online presence.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Ohhh probably Daniel Day Lewis, Christian Bale, Rachel Brosnahan, Bradley Cooper, Denzel Washington, and Margot Robbie for drama. And then Kevin Hart, Charlie Day.
Something people don’t know about you?
I sure do!! I can scream like nobody’s business. My screams are channeled from the depths of hell haha.
What is your favorite healthy food?
For the past three years or so I’ve been working with a trainer, and I track my macro-nutrients. So depending on my weight goals, I’ll typically eat 100 grams of protein, 200 grams of carbs, and 50 grams of fat. It sounds like a major hassle, and it can be lol, but I’ve never been in better shape. I used to have an unhealthy relationship with food, but I’m eating more than I used to, doing less cardio, and am so much more fit. I have a cardio goal and a weight-training goal. So I lift weights 3-4 times a week depending. I feel strong and I don’t deprive myself of any foods! I just try to eat healthy overall while reaching my goals.
And your favorite cheat food?
I try to incorporate a little bit of cheat food everyday so that I never feel massive cravings. I used to cut out carbs, or sugar, and then go absolutely nuts eating as much candy, and sugary cereal as I possibly could haha! Nottttt good for your body. I love cookie butter from Trader Joe’s, and I love their Brownie Coffee Ice Cream sandwiches, good Lawd!
Best advice ever given?
Love yourself, accept yourself, and be present.
Do you support any charity?
I recently read about Malaika, a charity in the Democratic Republic of Congo that gives girls and young women “access to water, education, and health” as they say on their website. I think it’s such a beautiful cause. Anything that nurtures young women and their education is something I can get behind. I also hope to contribute to charities that end sex-trafficking, and try to set up a program that would help people with trauma by introducing and practicing mindfulness meditation.
Name 3 things you can’t live without?
Cold-brew, face-masks, meditation. Sounds so LA haha but what can I say?
What’s next for Sarah Withers in 2019?
I want to have already been a series regular. I want to have made 4 or 5 more movies. I want to be in a position where I can more easily spearhead the types of content I want to acting in, so possibly taking on a producer role as well!
What music do you like?
Anything from Metallica, to Hippocampus, to Cheetah Girls, to Logic, to Tori Kelly!
Favorite song? Why?
For awhile it was Warm Glow by Hippocampus. It’s one of the most hopeful and calming songs I’ve ever heard. Right now it’s Keanu Reeves by Logic! It’s the best pump-up song!
Where we can follow you?
Fave Quote: “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anais Nin “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”- Oprah
Favorite Singer: SZA
Fave Movie: There Will Be Blood
Fave Travel Destination: Coronado in San Diego
Fave Sports Team: The Golden State Warriors!!!!!
Fave TV show: Barry, Silicon Valley, Good Omens, Sharp Objects
Fave Book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo and A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
Photo Credit: Emma Marie Jenkinson