August 20, 2019 Interview – Sarah Withers
Released in theaters and On Demand back on June 21st, 2019, Nightmare Cinema is one of the newest addition to the world of Horror films. An anthology type film, it stars a ghastly-looking projectionist portrayed by Mickey Rourke who lurks in the shadows above the auditorium as he plays a film with you as the main star. Here we watch five strangers forced to witness their deepest and darkest fears play out on the screen… are you prepared?
A film that will have classic Horror lovers cheering for more, it also features the work of iconic Horror Directors Joe Dante, Alejandro Brugués, Ryûhei Kitamura, David Slade, and Mick Garris. Amidst all the gory fun, talented Actress Sarah Withers takes on a role which puts her right in the spotlight of the Horror genre. Anxious to take on more roles and make her way as a successful actress, Withers recently sat down to chat about her time working on Nightmare Cinema, her desire to do more Horror films, plus more.
Cryptic Rock – Launching a professional career in film/TV around five years ago, briefly tell us what inspired you to pursue a career as an actress?
Sarah Withers – While I got inspired by Hilary Duff to start acting when I was eight, I think what really inspired me to make it my life’s focus was how humbling and rewarding it feels to wholly engage with someone else’s story. Film and television teach us so much about the circumstances of other people’s lives, which I find fascinating. I’ve always loved observing other people – piecing together why they might behave the way they do.
Cryptic Rock – It really is interesting to observe others, it is how we empathize and understand one another. You recently had a starring role in the new Horror film Nightmare Cinema. How did this role come about for you?
Sarah Withers – The role came to me through my agent at the time, and I had no idea that it would manifest into this crazy, diverse, anthology genre-flick that it’s become! I just knew that it would be bloody and very, very fun.
Cryptic Rock – It certainly is fun. For those who do not know, Nightmare Cinema is a anthology styled film from a list of well-known Horror directors featuring Mickey Rourke as The Projectionist. With your role as Samantha, who did you have the opportunity to work with and how was the experience?
Sarah Withers – I had the honor of working with Alejandro Brugués. He is an incredible director, and an incredible person. His sense of humor and passion shines through everything he does! I also worked with Eric Nelson, Kevin Fonteyne, and Jared Gertner who were amazing co-stars. The experience on set was overwhelmingly positive. I got to work with people who have been in this industry for over 30 years. Mick Garris is obviously a legend, and it was so cool hearing about his earlier work, and how it inspired the creation of this film.
Everyone in Horror, and especially on the set of Nightmare Cinema, is so warm and personable. They let out their inner-demons through the work! (Laughs) More people should make Horror films. It’s good for the soul!
Cryptic Rock – It is wonderful to hear you had such a positive experience making the film. With the film out now, do you have any other projects you are working on?
Sarah Withers – Right now I’m focusing on auditioning and getting started in my modeling career as well. I have a secret big project on the way that I can’t talk about just yet, but I’m very excited.
Cryptic Rock – Very cool, that will be something to look out for. You actually had a role on the Comedy series Play by Play. What was it like working on that?
Sarah Withers – Play By Play was such a cool experience. We filmed in Iowa, and I play an emo Blockbuster manager in the ’90s. We shot at an actual video rental store in Iowa, which of course was a major blast to the past. I love parts that are very unlike myself, it’s just delicious to sink your teeth into a role that has traits you never express as a person.
Cryptic Rock – Those have not checked out Play By Play absolutely should. Seeing that you have now starred in a Horror film, and loved it, would you consider doing more Horror in the future?
Sarah Withers – I would love to do more Horror in the future! I would love to work with Ari Aster as well as Yorgos Lanthimos.
Cryptic Rock – Hopefully we will see you in other Horror flicks soon. Beyond acting, what are some of your other interests?
Sarah Withers – My other interests include meditation, psychology, reading books about said subjects, and playing with my new little Kitten Loki! He really is like a puppy actually, so playful and sweet.
Cryptic Rock – It sounds like you have a good balance going! Last question. If you are a fan of Horror films, do you have any favorite Horror or Sci-Fi films? If so, why are they your favorites?
Sarah Withers – The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017), The Strangers (2008), and Hereditary (2018) are awesome! The Strangers was really the first scary movie I ever saw, and it freaked me out! I could not get it out of my head.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer was bone-chilling and bizarre; I loved being kept on my toes and the constant state of mild confusion. Hereditary deals with grief in such a real way – it really grapples with how a family would deal with death and possession. The realism makes it that much more impactful.