From the silver screen to television and music videos, Sarah Minnich has built herself a multifaceted career in entertainment. Sarah who can next be seen recurring in the second season of AMC’s critically acclaimed and fan favorite series, ‘Better Call Saul’, and later this year she will be starring in the sci-fi film ‘The Space Between Us’ alongside Gary Oldman.
Aside from acting, Sarah has a passion for many causes and charities including: addiction recovery groups, educational foundations, healthy body image campaigns, human rights, sex worker liberation groups, animal rights causes, environmental and conservation groups. When she is not working, Sarah enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and working with plants. Some of her other hobbies include travel, yoga, writing, and spending time with animals.
Hi Sarah please tell us a little about you?
Hi! My name is Sarah Minnich. I am an actress living in New Mexico, known for my work on ‘Better Call Saul’, ‘Sicario’, ‘Seal Team Six: Raid on Osama Bin Laden’, and ‘Spring Break Massacre’. Originally from Southern California, I moved to New Mexico in 2008 to be closer to my parents and to pursue higher education. Since 2008, I have earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Communication from the University of New Mexico. Since 2011, I have managed to build an acting career for myself by booking film and television projects filming in NM. In the past six months, my career has taken a step up into the next level, and I am now represented and working in Los Angeles and regionally. I am known to be a nature girl who loves plants, animals, and healthy living. Although I currently have things under control, I have seen many difficult life lessons and managed to come through them despite the odds. The goal of my acting career is to gain influence for the purpose of spreading motivation to the next generation. Ideally, I want to express to other young people that they can always come back, that they can always start again, that what may feel like failure is only failure if we position it as such in our minds.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Dorky, Intellectual, Sensitive
How did you get started in the industry?
It really all started in New Mexico with a small role in ‘Breaking Bad’ across from Aaron Paul. Before that, I had worked as an extra a few times, and once as a lead on an indy horror flick shot in Illinois called ‘Spring Break Massacre’. But, at the end of the day, NM was where my success began. In 2011, after a long struggle with personal hang-ups and major life lessons, I sought out an acting agent in the NM regional market. Eventually, I signed with Maja Agency. Over the course of the two years that I was represented by Maja, I went on 2-4 auditions per year and landed two co-star roles on television shows shooting in New Mexico. The first was ‘Breaking Bad’, where I played a drugged-up party girl dancing all over Jesse Pinkman during a house party scene in Season 4 (Episode: ‘Thirty-Eight Snub’). The second role that I booked with Maja was on the TV show ‘In Plain Sight’, where I played Angel-Girl, another drugged-up party type randomly making out with local NM actress Nichole Otero. Not long after, I made the difficult decision to change agents and signed with Applause Talent Agency run by friend and prior local casting director, Carissa Mitchell. The switch in representation quickly started to pay off, and before I knew it I was auditioning and booking with Applause on a more regular basis. During the early years of working with Carissa, I booked the film ‘Seal Team Six: Raid on Osama Bin Laden’, the TV show ‘Longmire’, and many smaller local projects that helped me to credit-up as I like to call it. Over time, my relationship with Carissa and local casting directors strengthened, and I started to get auditions for bigger roles. In 2014, I booked two TV shows and a film with Harvey Keitel. In 2015, Applause Talent Agency changed their name to Mitchell & Presley Talent Group, after merging with fellow agent, Tina Presley. This was also the year that I booked a recurring role in ‘Better Call Saul’. Since 2015, things have only increased in magnitude for me, and for almost a year now, I have led Carissa’s roster, continuing to book bigger and bigger roles for the agency. Carissa and Tina have recently extended their agency to LA, and for their talent pool, this means a transition into even bigger opportunities. I am thrilled and honored to be part of such a fireball of an agency, and cannot wait to see what 2016 brings.
What was your first acting role?
Heather Killbourn in ‘Spring Break Massacre’ (2008)
How do balance your personal life with your acting life?
I firmly believe that every actor must have something else in their life besides acting. Why? Because this industry forces us to deal with a lot of rejection and comparative thinking, and that can take a major toll on a person’s spirit. For me, balance comes from the environment in which I live; this is why I live in ABQ as opposed to LA. Don’t get me wrong LA can be a glorious place of dreams and stardom, but it can also be crowded and a bit suffocating at times. On top of that, living in ABQ gives me the chance to be near my father and step-mother, to whom I am very close. The people we call family are often the best medicine when things get tough in the career world. On my free days, I try to make it up to the family house to spend time working with my father in his plant nursery. Working with plants and being in nature can be very therapeutic and balancing. Although I find myself needing to commute to LA on a more regular basis these days, I feel that it is worth it to live close to my family for my spiritual and mental health.
What is the best and worst part of being an actress?
Best: The moment the director calls ‘action’ and I become my character.
Worst: Waiting to hear back on bookings… drives me crazy.
Best advice ever given?
“Compare and despair” (from actress Catharine Pilafas).
Name one your strengths?
Eating… Hahaha… just kidding! One of my greatest strengths is that I can usually see the good in just about anyone.
How did you find out about “Better Call Saul”? And tell us about your character Brenda?
A few years back, I had the honor of working on ‘Breaking Bad’ in Season 4 (Episode: ‘Thirty-Eight Snub’). Once BrBa ended, everyone in ABQ was up on the details about whether or not there was going to be a sequel, since the original show was so popular in this area. The moment auditions started coming up in the Breakdowns, my agent started submitting her talent pool. I was very fortunate to land an audition for the first episode for the recurring role of Brenda. As we have seen Brenda so far, she is the front desk operator at Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill law firm. In Season 1, she acted as a gatekeeper of sorts in episode 1 when Jimmy (James McGill) shoves through the lobby on his way to see ‘Lord Vader’ a.k.a Hamlin. In the later episodes of Season 1, we see Brenda primarily as a witness to some of the key events at HHM. In Season 2, Brenda continues her role as the HHM front desk operator, and again witnesses some of the shenanigans that go on in the busy law firm. Although I cannot go into detail about Brenda’s story line, I can say that we haven’t seen the last of her at HHM.
Ok so now tell us about your movie “The Space Between Us”?
I wish it was ‘my’ movie :). Actually, I have a relatively small part in ‘TSBU’, but what a cool film to work on. I had so much fun on this because a) I got to get all dressed up, and b) I got to put my Public Speaking skills to use. In ‘The Space Between Us’, I play a reporter across from actress Janet Montgomery in a massive room with literally the most background talent I have ever seen in my life. I was actually cast sight-unseen for this project, so I had no idea what I was walking in to. To my great surprise, I was given a hand-held mic and asked to speak in front of no less that 500 people. IT WAS AWESOME! Haha. At the end of the day, I am so thankful to JoEdna Boldin for having so much faith in me on this project. She literally told them I would be great for the part and they booked me. I really owe so much of my success to her for her faith in my potential on this project and many others.
How is working with Gary Oldman?
Gary seems like a pretty cool dude. Although I didn’t get to directly communicate with him during my scene, I got to watch part of his process during his takes. He had to deliver the same speech maybe seven times, and wow, nice continuity Gary! I remember sitting next to him in hair and makeup that morning and thinking, what do I say to this awesome actor that I literally watched on Batman last night…? Long story short, he was pretty approachable once I opened my mouth and worked up the guts to chat with him. This is the thing about famous actors… they are people. The shocker is: as fans, we feel like we know them, because we’ve been watching them for years. But as actors, separated from us by a camera, a broadcasting network, and then a movie or television screen, they have no idea who we are. This paradox can make for a fairly bizarre first conversation if we as fans can’t relax and realize that they are just human.
Who is your favorite Actor/Actress? And why?
It would be pretty tough to pick just one; I have like, 30 favorites. For brevity’s sake, I am going to pick one woman and say… Christina Hendricks from ‘Mad Men’. She is just great. I love that she isn’t a stick figure, and rocks it. I love that she is from the mid-west, and I LOVE that she didn’t hit it big until after 30. I get so annoyed when people in this industry tell me, “If you don’t make it before you’re 30, you’re not gonna’ make it.” That’s just a myth that some people in the businesstell young female actors to make them want to give up. Give me a break! Do they not realize that many of TV’s successful female actresses are over 30!? Sure, they started their careers younger and had to work like fiends to get somewhere, but that doesn’t mean that they just got to 30, hadn’t hit it big yet, and said, “oh, I guess it’s over now. Better go become a house wife and give up on my dreams…” Nope! (Nothing against house wives, if that’s your dream, all the power to you.) But anyway, Christina Hendricks is awesome and I would love to sit down and have a conversation with her one day; I bet she has a hell of a lot of brains to back up that beautiful look of hers!
Name one beauty product you can’t live without?
Kiehl’s – Skin Rescuer
What do you like to do when have some free time?
Hike, be in nature, hang out with my boyfriend, or work with my father in his cactus and succulent nursery.
How’s a normal day in your life?
There is no normal; it’s always changing.
What is your favorite healthy food?
Avocado and tomato slices with olive oil and balsamic vinegar drizzled on top.
And your favorite cheat food?
A massive plate of Pad Thai with tons of peanuts on top. 🙂
Any other future plans?
One day I want to be a mother. And maybe I’ll go back to grad school for a PhD this time.
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself as a well known influential actress, standing on stage at a benefit or conference, telling young men and women everywhere that they can always come back, that they can always start again, that what may feel like failure is only failure if we position it as such in our minds.
Do you support any charities?
As soon as I pay off my student loans, I want to donate to many charities and causes. These will include: animal rights groups, environmental rights and conservation groups, addiction recovery groups, educational foundations, equal rights groups, multicultural causes, healthy body image campaigns, and sex worker liberation groups.
Where we can follow you?
Favorite Music: Fleetwood Mac, Lana Del Rey, and Odesza… also Chvrches lately
Favorite Quote: “Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
Favorite Holiday Destination: Southern France
Favorite Food: Vietnamese Rolls w/the Peanut Sauce from Fan Tang in ABQ
Favorite Restaurant: Other than the one listed above, I also really like The Range Café in ABQ
Favorite Drink: Club soda… plain club soda
Celebrity Crush: There are a couple of them… but I’m gonna’ have to say Ryan Gosling for this interview 🙂
Favorite Song: ‘Wicked Games’ by Chris Isaak
Favorite Sports Team: That would be the Angeles (used to be the Anaheim Angeles, now I think it’s the LA Angeles)
Favorite Movie: From 2015, ‘Interstellar’
Photo Credit: Lesley Bryce