For the release of Ben Browder's latest film, BAD KIDS OF CRESTVIEW ACADEMY, we spoke with Sammi Hanratty, who plays the rebelious badass Siouxsie, about what it's like to be a flame throwing high school student.
Nightmarish Conjurings: Hi Sammi, thanks so much for speaking with us today! For those not familiar with your latest role as Siouxsie in BAD KIDS OF CRESTVIEW ACADEMY, can you tell us a little bit about her?
Sammi Hanratty: Of course! I play what is considered to be the badass character of the film (laughs). Siouxsie is the way she is because of how she grew up but also because of the people that surround her, whether it's the people in her school or the people involved in the politics with the school. Her nickname in school is 'undercrust' which is kind of like being the lowest of lows. The best way I can describe her is somebody who constantly feels like she needs to be wearing armor, as though she is about to go into battle. Whether it's the sly remarks that she makes or just defending herself, I feel like she feels as though there is somebody out there that wants to attack her. That's why she has this really tough exterior that she puts on and that's why she's very sarcastic and witty. She was so fun to play and it was very different from everything I'm used to doing.
NC: What initially interested you in the role? Was it because it was such a different character than anything else you had done before?
SH: Yeah, it was something that was new to me. At the time I was filming a show called "Stalker" and I got a quick call from my mom saying they wanted to offer me this film and I needed to look over the script real quick. I looked at it and realized I had never really played a character that said the "F" word or anything like that, so to play someone who has such a colorful vocabulary and was the motorcycle-riding chick who also has a flame thrower was just something that I knew was going to be fun. I was really grateful to be a part of this film and I was able to make some really great friends from it so that's always a plus.
NC: Since the character was such a departure from who you are, how were you able to get into the mindset of Siouxsie?
SH: I love psychology and the human brain as well as learning what makes us tick, what really hurts somebody, why you do what you do. When I get a character that's not like me, it's more about making up their backstory and why they are the way they are, so it's when I get to do my own little fun research and creating a world in which this character has lived in their entire lives. What would push me past my breaking point has already pushed this person way past theirs. We all deal with things differently, for me I would go to church and talk to my pastors about problems I'm having in my life, whereas Siouxsie would rather just flame throw people to death and burn people (laughs).
NC: You've been in a lot of films as well as television series such as "Salem". Have you found yourself becoming more attracted to darker roles?
SH: I love doing dark roles which is funny because up until this day I still can't watch scary movies. I think they just seem to realistic for me and I don't know why cause I know they aren't real. The first feature film that I ever did was called DESPERATION which was a Stephen King film. I played a ghost in that and it's so funny because I could do that perfectly fine and I even saw a mannequin of what I looked like dead. So there I was taking pictures with it and laughing and having a great time and then we got into one of the scenes and the guy that plays Elliot in E.T, Henry Thomas, ends up getting shot and killed on me and I just started crying and asking if he was okay (laughs). I did another film called WITHIN which Lifetime picked up where I got to play a killer and then there was "Salem" which is it's own amazing world and I had such an awesome death scene. I like to do anything that tells a story and gets a reaction from people and I definitely think horror/scary films/sci-fi kind of puts people in another world and it's a little escape for when people watch it.
NC: Well I know that we enjoyed seeing your play Siouxsie! Last but not least, what can your fans look forward to from you in the future?
SH: I just wrapped an independent film called SKIN IN THE GAME and it's about sex trafficking. It's definitely a heavier film and the whole filming process was about three weeks, so it was really fast. Emotionally it took a huge toll on me but I was really grateful to be part of a project like that. I was also able to be part of a popular CW show, I can't say the name, but it should be coming out in January.
NC: Thank you so much for speaking with us and we will make sure to keep an eye out for your latest projects!
BAD KIDS OF CRESTVIEW ACADEMY is now available in select theaters and On Demand/Digital HD.