For the newest season of the critically acclaimed horror series, CHANNEL ZERO: THE DREAM DOOR, I had the chance to speak with actress Maria Sten. During our chat we discussed everything from her character Jillian, creepypastas, and the horrifying manifestation of Pretzel Jack.
Nightmarish Conjurings: To start things off, could you tell us a little bit about your character and how they relate to this new season of CHANNEL ZERO?
Maria Sten: Jillian is someone who’s been trying to bury her past trauma for a very long time, and the experience of moving back to this neighborhood is now triggering all those things for her. She means well, but isn’t always equipped to handle the emotional roller coaster of turmoil that’s brewing inside of her at any given moment.
Nightmarish Conjurings: What was it about this role that attracted you to the character?
MS: The scripts were just incredible. Coming across a female character that is so layered and complex and complicated is like striking gold. This season really takes us on a wild ride, and there isn’t a stone left unturned. There was so much to dig into with Jillian, I pretty much fell in love with this character from the beginning. I could also personally relate to so many thing Jillian had been or is going through, so it was exciting to take all that on.
Nightmarish Conjurings: This is your first time playing a character in the CHANNEL ZERO world. What has your experience been like and have you been a fan of creepypastas prior to coming on the show?
MS: The CHANNEL ZERO family is a very special group of people. Despite a very demanding schedule, it felt a bit like a bunch of friends just went to summer camp and made a movie in the process because everybody on that set makes it a joy to show up to work every day.
I was not familiar with the Creepypastas beforehand, but it was interesting getting acquainted with that world. It’s a great way to foster a creative community and there are so many cool stories to dive into.
Nightmarish Conjurings: Your character, and that of Brandon Scott’s character, are newlyweds who are experiencing a tumultuous roadblock in their relationship filled with secrets and lies. Prior to filming, where you and Brandon given time to bond so as to form such a believable relationship on screen?
MS: Yes, it was actually Evan Katz who initiated that and sort of provided a space for Brandon and I to create the characters’ relationship together, which translated into how we approached the entire shoot, really. It was such a wonderful way of collaborating that I definitely strive to bring that spirit of collaboration on to all my future projects.
Nightmarish Conjurings: Pretzel Jack scares the shit out of me, I’ll be honest. How do you feel about Pretzel Jack and should we all be as terrified as I am of him?
MS: [laughs] He’s tricky. Which is why he’s so great. I think Pretzel Jack means well, but doesn’t really go about acting on his good intentions in the best way. Obviously. He’s like a toddler with a flame thrower. But I do think there is an endearing quality about him that adds a layer of complexity to the whole ordeal. He’s not just the psycho killer. There’s more to him. You don’t know what you’re supposed to make of him.
Nightmarish Conjurings: Last, but not least, are you working on any projects that we should be keeping our eyes out for in the future?
MS: I get to stay in the genre world for a bit: I’m about to go off to shoot DC’s SWAMP THING, which is another show that I’m incredibly excited about. The scripts are fantastic and what Mark Verheiden and Gary Dauberman have cooking is something really special that hopefully will give both horror and DC fans alike a solid dose of the good stuff we all crave.
CHANNEL ZERO: THE DREAM DOOR will premiere October 26 at 11/10c on SyFy.