“Midnight, Texas” takes place in a town where it is a safe haven for those who are different. But with the presence of outsiders, the residents band together and form a strong and unlikely family. The series is based on the book series of the same name by author Charlaine Harris who also wrote the novels that were adapted into the “True Blood” television series. Sarah plays Violet Hightower, the former fiancee of Manfred (François Arnaud), in episode 105. The episode airs on August 21, 2017.
In addition to “Midnight, Texas”, Sarah can currently be seen in the film “Shot Caller”. “Shot Caller” focuses on a newly released prison gangster (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) who is forced by the leaders of his gang to orchestrate a major crime with a brutal rival gang on the streets of Southern California. The film stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lake Bell, and Jon Bernthal. Sarah plays Janie, who is a warm and friendly, South Bay surf punk girl. “Shot Caller” was released in select theaters on August 18, 2017, and is available OnDemand.
Up next, Sarah will be seen co-starring in the Weinstein Television limited series, “Waco”. The series chronicles the 1993 standoff between the FBI and ATF and the Branch Davidians, a spiritual sect led by David Koresh, told from several perspectives of those most intimately involved in both sides of the conflict. Sarah will portray Sharon Wheeler, the spokeswoman for the ATF during the incident. The series co-stars Taylor Kitsch, Melissa Benoist, and Julia Garner and is set to air on Viacom’s Paramount Network in January 2018.
From the silver screen to television and music videos, Sarah has built herself a multifaceted career in entertainment. She is best known as Brenda from AMC’s hit series “Better Call Saul” and for her roles in the feature films “Sicario” and “The Ridiculous 6”, a Western comedy by Happy Maddison Productions starring Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider and Luke Wilson.
Additional film credits include roles in “Priceless”, “The Space Between Us”, “2 Years and 8 Days” and a lead role in the Tree Swing Productions indie, “The Merry Maids of Madness”.
Sarah’s TV credits include AMC’s “Preacher”, EPIX’s “Graves”, WGN America’s “Manhattan”, AMC’s “From Dusk Till Dawn”, and ABC’s “Killer Women”, as well as roles on USA’s “In Plain Sight” and “Breaking Bad”. In addition, Sarah has recurred on A&E’s “Longmire” and appeared in the TV Movie “Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden”.
A California native, Sarah was raised by incredibly active parents who taught her how to take care of herself and the value of spending time in nature. After moving to New Mexico to be close to her family and escape the pollution and congestion of California, she completed her Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree from the University of New Mexico, with hopes of one day pursuing a PhD. Over the years, Sarah’s passion for acting has led to her training with the Sol Acting Academy, SAG Foundation, and The Actor’s Company LA. With her talent, she aims to touch the lives of many through the performance of complex human emotion and struggle. Moreover, she hopes to one day be a public influencer and have the opportunity to pass along the knowledge that she has gained from her own struggles and past decisions, specifically to young women.
Aside from acting, Sarah has a passion for many causes including addiction recovery, healthy body image, human rights, animal rights, saving the environment, and conservation. When she is not working, Sarah enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and working with plants. Some of her other hobbies include travel, yoga, writing, and spending time with animals.
Hi, Sarah! Your portfolio is amazing. You have such a dynamic career in entertainment. Could you share how you choose a role to play?
Hello! Thank you, Occhi Magazine for interviewing me! It has been many years in the making, but I am very honored and so happy to have been offered so many opportunities in my career. As they say, ‘all in time’.
In regard to your question about choosing roles to audition for and play, my policy has changed over time. When I first started out, I was literally open to auditioning for anything that came available, simply because I wanted to be an actor so badly. In 2011, I was able to get my SAG card, which limited my work options to SAG projects only. Since 2011, I have been fairly open to auditioning for pretty much any SAG project that my agent sends my way, however, in the past year, I have chosen to turn down one or two roles that I found to be unfit for the image/brand that I am trying to build for myself. I rarely turn down roles because I am still early in my career and don’t have the brand-power to do so, but when I am strongly opposed to content, it is best to go with my gut. One of my favorite quotes comes from Michelle Rodriguez, where she talks about how women shouldn’t let other people tell them how to make their careers happen; that women should do their careers the way they want to do them. So to answer your question: I go with my gut.
You have recently guest starred in “Midnight Texas.” Tell us about your role.
Yes! I did recently play Violet Hightower in Midnight Texas. This first season of this NBC gem is about the people living in a town called Midnight, in Texas, where the ‘weird’ come to stay. The first season follows the story of Manfred, a powerful psychic who ends up making Midnight home. He flees there as he is pursued by a mysterious man called Hightower who seems to be out for blood. Eventually, in episode 5 ‘Unearthed’, Hightower catches up with Manfred and we learn that the mysterious vendetta surrounds Manfred’s betrayal of the Hightower legacy and more specifically, Hightower’s daughter, Violet (me). The story goes that many years ago, Hightower paid Manfred to marry his daughter Violet so that they could build a powerful psychic family using the combination of Violet and Manfred’s lineage. All part of a scheme to get money from the Hightowers, Manfred left Violet standing at the altar and didn’t look back after learning she had killed herself for, what he thought was, the shame and loss of him. Humiliated and estranged from her ill-fated-marriage-arranging father, Violet slits her wrists and dies alone three weeks after the night of her would-be wedding. Her father discovers her, and furious and distraught clothes her in her wedding dress and hide her in the basement of a warehouse to keep her memory and body safe. Fast forward to present day Midnight, we find Manfred in the same basement calling up her spirit to help get rid of his pursuer, Hightower. Although Manfred says that Violet’s spirit has moved on, it is unclear as to whether this is the last we will see of the Hightower family and their woes. Keep watching and find out peeps! 🙂
You’re also in a movie called “Shot Caller” What should the audience expect?
Ric Roman Waugh’s ‘Shot Caller’, starring GOT star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, is about a newly released prison gangster who is forced by the leaders of his gang to orchestrate a major crime with a brutal rival gang on the streets of Southern California. Viewers should expect a gritty, situationally-accurate film about a good man who made a bad mistake and spent the rest of his life paying for it. I play the supporting character Janie, a young gang-groupie type who gets caught in the crossfire when she attempts to seduce the head honcho ‘Money’ (played by Coster-Waldau) immediately after he is released from prison.
I really enjoyed playing Janie and was pretty starstruck to work across from Nickolaj, considering I’m a major ‘Game of Thrones’ fan. I was so pleased to work with such a professional crew; given my nude scene and delicate plot line, everyone was very respectful and treated me as the professional I am. Ric Roman Waugh was an awesome director to work with; he is clear about what he wants, very personable and has a good command of his set. All and all, the project was a great learning experience for me as an actress.
You are guest-starring in the Weinstein Television limited series, “Waco.” Tell us about your role.
I am simply thrilled to have been cast as one of the key characters from the Waco trials, Sharon Wheeler. This is the largest guest-starring role I have booked so far, and I really hope that it will open many doors for my career. As many knows, the Waco situation and corresponding trails took place in 1993 in Waco, Texas. It was an infamous event that took center stage on the news and in public opinion. I don’t remember it precisely, but some of the images from the incident and trails looked a bit too familiar when I was researching the role for my audition. I was only 6 at the time that this all took place, and my parents had recently divorced, so I may not have been paying much attention.
As I mentioned above, I play Sharon Wheeler, a cunning press secretary for the ATF who played a large role in the initial drama that took place before the FBI made it to the scene. Although I will save the detail for the show, I will say that my character makes some pretty costly mistakes that affect the outcome of the initial ATF raid. These mistakes are paid for by many lives, making Wheeler an infamous character historically. Although Wheeler is, shall we say, a ‘bad guy’, I really was so intrigued to play her. Her character arch fascinated me, and I was forced to really explore a more manipulative character-type. I highly encourage folks to take a peek when the show releases; from what I hear, the cast and direction will NOT disappoint.
When you look back on your career is there one role you haven’t played that you would like to be casted in?
I cannot wait to be cast as an adventurer-warrior type. The whole adventuress, warrior-queen, wise-woman in period pieces’ package is my dream. E.g. Daenerys Targaryen in ‘GOT’, Rey in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, Claire Randall in ‘Outlander’, Sara from the book series ‘The Passage’ etc. These kind of roles are what my dreams are made of… seriously, I dream of being on set in some cool post-apocalyptic costume fighting off aliens or healing the sick survivors of a brutal apocalypse. One day Occhi Magazine, one day.
Thank you for chatting with us about the career. Is there anything else you would like to add that we didn’t cover?
Thank you again for interviewing me! I think we covered it all for now, and I would like to encourage audiences to check out a few other projects that I have coming out soon, and to remember: ‘Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail Better’ – Samuel Becket.
Shows/Movies Coming Soon:
TV – ‘Godless’ on Netflix (Late 2017)
TV – ‘Scalped’ on WGN America (Late 2017)
Film – ‘Icebox’ by Gracie Films (Late 2017)
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