Interview – Sarah Habel

Growing up in the Great Lake State of Michigan, Sarah Habel knew from a young age she wanted to be an actress. Earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater from Michigan State University, Habel has gone on to star in a list of films and television series through the years, including 2009’s The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations, 2011’s Hostel: Part III, as well as MTV’s series Underemployed. Just a few of her many credits, Habel is always up for a challenge and takes on a leading role as Abby Dixon in the upcoming Sci-Fi Thriller feature film Atomica. Dixon is a strong character, determined to carry out her mission, but is it all what it seems? Recently we caught up with Habel to talk her role in Atomica, her love for the Horror and Sci-Fi genres, her joining the cast of CW’s Riverdale, and more. – You have been involved in film professionally for nearly a decade now as an actress. First, briefly tell us, what inspired you to get involved in film?  

Sarah Habel –  I have always been interested in acting and art forms. I did it growing up in elementary school, theater camp, and I got my bachelor’s degree in theater. I just can’t stop, I am happier when I am doing it. – This is something you have been doing all your life essentially then. Of your many roles, you have starred in quite a few Horror/Sci-Fi related films such as 2011’s Hostel: Part III. Do you enjoy working in these genres?

Sarah Habel – Yes, I do. I feel like the tension that is created in a Horror or Thriller is unlike any, of way of working in it. It can be really effecting on the audience. There is more of a connection with the audience that way because you are both experiencing that fear or tension. I think it is cool, people love it, so why not do things people love to watch? 

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment – Absolutely. They are really fun genres. Your latest leading role is in the forthcoming Sci-Fi film Atomica, which is due out March 17th in theaters and via VOD as well as Digital HD on the 21st.  How did this project come about for you?    

Sarah Habel – This project, I got a meeting and I was stoked. I read the script, had a meeting with the director and producer, and I gave them my thoughts on how I am trying to portray Abby. She is not like me, I am sort of a free spirit and she really just is not. She is very restrained and very on mission. That was a huge challenge, I thought I would give it a shot, and I was lucky they picked me. – There is certainly a level of tension amidst the atmosphere of Atomica. Abby Dixon is quite a strong character. Since she is vastly different than your personality, what was your experience like portraying her? 

Sarah Habel – It was so hard.  Dominic Monaghan is the most charming and engaging person alive. His character is so complicated and interesting. Me being Sarah, I just wanted to jump in, but Abby couldn’t do that. It was a real challenge for me to remain restrained when as an actor the collaboration and feeling of togetherness is what you feed off of. It is one of the hardest roles I think I have ever attempted, but I am really glad I had a chance to do it. 

Still from Atomica
Still from Atomica – You did a fine job. You work with a really wonderful cast in Atomica including Tom Sizemore and the aforementioned Dominic Monaghan. Judging by the end product, it appears there was good chemistry between the cast.  

Sarah Habel – Yes, I would say so. It was such a small cast too, and there is a simplicity that offers; it gave everyone a chance to focus on those relationships. No one really new each other so the exploration of who they were up against, each other, all happened in front of the camera. Just working with Tom and Dominic was huge for me because they are such pros. I learned a lot being in their presence. – Excellent. As stated, Atomica is set for release on Friday, March 17th. Have you received any early feedback on the film? 

Sarah Habel – Not really, just people tweeting at me and just talking to interviewers. I am excited to see what people think. 

Still from Atomica
Still from Atomica – Well it is a interesting watch, so it will be interesting to see what others think of it. Of your other roles, you have worked in recruiting spots on televisions series as well, including Rush, and more recently Riverdale. How would you compare working in full-length feature films to television series?

Sarah Habel – It is a totally different experience, but each one is valuable and enriching. I would say working in features, you get so involved in that world. It is like a flash of intensity. Television is a lot more prolonged, you have a longer arce. Television is more like living a life because you just keep going and going. You have to keep adapting and making choices. Whereas in film, it is more of a snapshot. I think both are really valuable and I want to do it all. 

CW – Well, you have done a nice balance of film and television until this point. What are some other projects you have coming up? 

Sarah Habel – I just finished up a stint on Riverdale on the CW, it is kind of artsy and Twin Peaks-like. It is amazing and so much fun to watch. I loved working on that, I would recommend anyone to catch it out, it was just really cool. – That does look like quite an interesting new series, and there is quite a bit of buzz around it. For our last question I wanted to ask, if you are a fan of the Horror/Sci-Fi genres, what are some of your all-time favorites?   

Sarah Habel – I am totally a fan of Horror and Sci-Fi. All the old ones you watch when you are a kid. The ones which you are not supposed to, but your mom is out of town, so you watch Freddy Kruger movies. Also The Shining (1980) it is beautiful and classic fun. More recently, It Follows (2014), it was the scariest movie I have ever seen. Also, The Strangers (2008) for a couple of years ago.

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
RADiUS-TWC Dimension Films
Dimension Films – Some strong picks. It Follows is one of the better new Horror movies. It certainly had an eerie atmosphere to it.

Sarah Habel – Yes, it creeped up on you, literally (laughs). 

Syfy Films
Syfy Films

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