It’s one of those rare times that a chance email brings its rewards!
Having always been a big fan of horror movies I got the opportunity to to catch up with Actress/Model Sarah French. She began her career under the name Scarlet Salem and is now firmly established in the independent film world. She has been involved in more than 30 productions including Opposite Blood, Strip Club Slasher and In Harms Way to name a few…
Sarah was born and raised in Minnesota, growing up in a small town of only 3,000 people, where she lived until high school, at which point she and her family moved to the Twin Cities, looking for bigger and better opportunities. Sarah says that since she was a kid, she loved acting and entertaining people and; “would shoot horror and comedy films with friends. Even while I was in college for Criminal Justice, I found myself taking theatre classes.”
It was while at a metal concert, that a photographer approached Sarah, liking her look and wanting to work with her, it took her a full year to get thecourage to go do it, but once she did, the experience in front of the camera, gave her the confidence to try to get in acting, and after some research on the industry, she 'wanted to try out my acting chops in an actual movie, a horror movie in particular. Because I’m such a huge fan of horror, of course that’s the first thing I wanted to try out for!”. Her first role came in 2007 in a short film shot in Minnesota, Pajama Party Massacre, the rest was and is as they say history….
….time to get down to the question and answer nitty gritty!
Opposite Blood was a move in a different direction genre wise, and your movie roles seem to be going from strength to strength, do you ever see a time when you will leave behind the screaming siren roles and make the full switch to mainstream?
"Like I tell everyone, you have to start out somewhere. Whether its being an extra in a low budget movie, working for free, etc. we all start somewhere. If your not growing or not moving forward to bigger and better, then it becomes a question of, are you doing this for fun or are you trying to make a career out of it. Obviously I want to make it in the industry and to do bigger and better projects. Honestly I think that’s every actors dream. As much as I love horror, I don’t want to be just the screaming siren, I want more than that… Which is why I stepped out and did something completely different and I loved it! Being an assassin in “Opposite Blood” was great! I stepped out of my comfort zone and played a bad ass killer. I've also done comedies and dramas, I'm not limited to what I can do. Like I said I love a good challenge, that's what helps me grow as an actress. I like all kinds not just horror. As long as the script is solid and there’s a descent budget, I’m all for it. I love horror films, that’s definitely my favourite genre to watch, but as an actress I want to do it all. When I first started out in the industry, I had a stage name, Scarlet Salem! Obviously, horror related, which was fine at the time. Once I decided to become more serious and make a career out of film, I changed my name to my birth name.
Being a former model do you find that your looks typecast you almost before you read for the part, as in the Blond running through the woods with a crazed axe man chasing her?
"I’ve wondered that myself, in the beginning. I’m not really sure because I’ve done other things than that. Maybe when I first started my acting career, but not anymore. Although I do love running from a crazed axe man every now and then…"
Have you taken any acting classes or formal training since turning to acting?
"Nope. I took some theatre and acting classes before getting into it, but none since. Most likely I will in the near future though, good to brush up on it. I can tell a difference from the first few movies I’ve been in to now… boy what a change!"
You work with some very creative people, which ones do you admire and find inspiration from?
"Not to be cheesy, but my boyfriend. He’s been by my side since I started in movies. We actually worked on my very first movie together, he wrote the script and played the killer in it. He gave me some really good pointers and helped lead me in the right direction. He knows the industry in and out. Whenever I need help, am having a hard time, or have questions he’ll be there for me. In a way we also push each other with our goals and dreams. I’m an actress and he’s an author and screenwriter. We get each other and are in this together."
A lot of cult genres today have a big convention circuit surrounding them, are you actively involved in going to conventions and do you feel they are an integral part of meeting the fans and such?
"I’ve been doing conventions since my first film, in 2007. They’re an awesome way to promote your work, network with others in the industry, and meet your fans. They are an integral part of the TV/film industry. Also, if you’re a fan, it makes it that much better because you get to meet and hang out people you’ve been watching on TV/film since you were a kid. Like I’ve said, I love horror films and to do horror cons is great for me! You have to experience it yourself to appreciate how awesome they are. I do at least four conventions a year and all in different states around the US. I’ve meet so many great people along the way, its awesome!"
I hear you have a little peculiar hobby of visiting places of serial killers and places of notarised murders, such as the place that inspired the Amityville Horror movie. How did this come about and should we be worried?
"Haha, I’m sure people will be worried no matter if I say they need to be or not. I’ve always been fascinated with serial killers and haunted locations. Its very interesting to me. My mom was always into that as well, I think that’s where I got it from. Whenever there would be a movie or show on TV pertaining to the subject, my mom would watch it and so would I. We’d go to the library and I’d be renting out books on hauntings and serial killers, it just fascinated me…..Even in elementary school I'd be reading about that stuff! I just took it a step further than my Mom.
I’ll actually go to these infamous places, instead of just watching them on TV and in the movies. Luckily for me, my boyfriend is into the same things so it works out great! Some of the other places I’ve been to are, The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park CO, The Lizzy Borden House in Fall River MA, Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia PA, Ed Geins home town and where he’s buried in Plainfield WI, and many more places. I also visit filming locations as well. Basically if we’re doing a movie or a convention in a new area, we’ll look online to see if there are any “haunted” or famous locations in the area and make a trip out of it afterwards."
On that rather gruesome note, we finished as we always do, with some fun questions!
If you had to have someone to spend the night with in a haunted house, who would it be….“and no it can’t be your boyfriend”?
"Uhhh, no fair! Then I’d pick Kane Hodder! Not only is he a sweet heart and Jason(!!!), but he’s a paranormal investigator and I know he’d know what to do in any situation!"
Do you sing in the shower or bath?
"Shower… unless it’s a Jacuzzi!"
What’s your favourite food?
"Any flavoured frozen yogurt with frozen fruit toppings!"
Do you have any fears such as spiders?
"I fear any bug… eeeekk!"
It was truly a delight to speak with Sarah, and we have no doubt at all her career will continue its spiral upwards!!
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