Award winning Canadian actress Camille Sullivan made a splash at the Calgary International Film Festival when she starred in the closing gala film “Ally Was Screaming”. We spoke with Camille about her role in the film as well as her upcoming indie film “The Birdwatcher”.
Read on for our exclusive interview with Camille Sullivan below:
How did you get into acting? Has anyone inspired or influenced you in that area?
Camille Sullivan: I think my first interest in acting came when I saw Colm Feore play Hamlet at the Stratford Festival in Ontario. I can’t remember if I went with my school or my Mom took me but either way, he was brilliant. I fell in love with the play and developed an interest in reading Shakespeare. There were lots of other early influences as well of course, of the top of my head…Peter O’Toole in My Favourite Year, Jessica Lange in Frances, on and on.
Is there anyone you would love to work with someday, if you could pick anyone?
I have a long list of people I would like to work with but I would put David Lynch right at the top there. I was already a huge fan of his when I saw his movie, Inland Empire, but even so I was blown away by it. Laura Dern was amazing in it and what’s more, her role was amazing. Complex, interesting, dangerous, female characters like that are few and far between.
Let’s talk about your new film role in “Ally Was Screaming”. Can you talk a little about your character and what attracted you to the role?
What attracted me to the role of Casey in Ally Was Screaming was her emotional fragility and her genuine desire to be “good”. I think all of us has our way of getting on in the world, of feeling like we have a place in it, and her way was to do the “right thing”. Always. For Casey, it was like holding on to a buoy in a storm. But she comes to learn, through the course of the film, that the “right thing” does not always exist in black and white and she is forced to look at her life and her choices in a new way.
How did it feel to premiere at the Calgary International Film Festival? How has the fan support been following the release?
We shot the movie in Calgary and it features a lot in the film, so we were really excited to have the premiere there. The audience response was fantastic. It was a really enthusiastic crowd. Now the movie goes to the Whistler Film Festival… and that is as much as I am privy to at the moment.
Were there any challenges you faced while performing this role?
The challenging thing about playing Casey was that she was very rigid in her beliefs at the start of the film. I was afraid that if she did not have a really compelling reason to be this way, it would seem like a plot device. But between the strength of the writing and what I came up with, I think we avoided that pitfall.
What can you tease about what viewers expect from “Ally Was Screaming”? What sets it apart from similar movies out there?
I think what sets Ally Was Screaming apart from other similar films is that it spans genres. It really begins as a dark comedy but quickly moves into a suspense/thriller and that journey is pretty exciting.
You’ll also be starring in the indie film “The Birdwatcher” next year. What can you tell us about your role?
The Birdwatcher is a family drama about a single mother who after being diagnosed with terminal cancer goes on a quest to reunite with her birth mother. Emotionally it was a difficult role to play but the film will be beautiful. The script is heartbreaking in the best way.
It sounds like a very emotional role to take on. Was it difficult at all? Where did you draw your inspiration from? Do you find you enjoy these types of roles more that require you to dig deep in your emotions and challenge yourself?
I really love playing emotional roles. I am a fairly emotional person in real life and acting is a good outlet for me. Through acting I am able to let all that stuff out in a way that is healthy and hopefully of value. During filming, I also drew a lot of inspiration from the two actors who played my children; Jakob Davies and Matreya Fedor. They are such wonderful actors and people, whenever I or my character needed to look for something that was beautiful in the world, there they were.
What can your fans look forward to from you next? What’s next for you?
Now I’m just looking for that next great film.
We’d like to thank Camille Sullivan for taking the time to answer some questions for us!