Are wrinkles getting you down this Valentine’s Day? Wish there was a way to turn back the clock and remain a youthful beauty forever? Well, we’re fresh out of virgins today (all of them are getting lucky because unlike me, they have boyfriends, girlfriends, or even a stranger named Steve) so instead we’re going to focus on this titillating interview with my favorite Virginity Action Group member, Sarah Stouffer. Did you notice how that cleverly spelled V.A.G.…?
Sarah, who is best known for her role in the lesbian film Bloomington, has clawed her way into the hearts of horror junkies around the globe, branching out into the wonderful world of the occult, and nailing the role of Britney, a ditzy teen who with her friends joins an abstinence program, run by a blood thirsty Countess in Chastity Bites, a new horror-comedy by Writer/Producer Lotti Pharriss Knowles and Director John V. Knowles.
Chastity Bites is a hilarious (and ghoulish) spin on the unforgettable tale of Elizabeth Bathory, a serial killer from the late 1500s, who believed that in order to stay youthful she must bathe in the blood of virgins. Cue modern day Red State America, a perfect plucking ground for a nearly 500-year-old psychotic seductress.
Sarah plays opposite Francia Raisa (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) and Allison Scagliotti (Warehouse 13) and never once fails to deliver punchy lines to the audience throughout the entire movie, which, spoiler alert, may end in a bloody mess. We had an entertaining chat, where we talked about tapping into her bitchy side, her Zombocalypse dream team, and we finally put to rest the never-ending “will there be a Bloomington sequel?” debate.
McKenzie Morrell: For starters, what drew you to this movie?
Sarah Stouffer: It’s really funny, that’s what drew me to it. I originally went in for a different part, I went in for the role of Kelly, and I guess the director had seen a little edge in me which I don’t know where he got that from but he was like, “Can you read another part for us?” So I was actually on the elevator on the way down from the audition and they grabbed me and said, “Can you come back and read another part?” And I was like, “OK!” They gave me the lines and I learned it in the hall really quick and came back in and gave them Britney, and it was just so funny, like all the little jokes that we have are just hilarious. I was super excited to be a part of it.
I was able to see the movie ahead of time, and I just loved it, and wanted to tweet the awesome one-liners to the world. But I probably would have been hunted down and sacrificed… [Laughs.]
That’s the thing, it’s this really smart humor. That’s what I like a lot. And I’m not into horror films. God forbid I say that, Lotti will kill me, but I’m not into horror films at all; they’re super into them, and I was like, “Hmmm.” But she’s so funny, and she just killed it in this department. And that’s really why I wanted to do it.
You get to play the mean girl, which you do really well I might add. Do you and your character share any similarities? Did you have fun tapping into that bitchy side of you?
It’s so funny. I’d like to think we don’t have any similarities. I think it was really fun to do and maybe a little too easy for me to be the snarky little mean girl, but my character is also not the brightest crayon in the box or whatever. She’s just kind of, maybe didn’t have the best upbringing, and just kind of goes with the flow and follows the group blindly. We decided that’s why I’m part of the clique because I just do whatever I’m told basically. My character thinks she’s a little hood — a little ghetto — which is really fun because I am not at all but it’s stupid fun to play.
I definitely can tell you and your character are complete opposites.
SS: Yeah, I don’t think we have a lot in common. I was homeschooled so I wasn’t in any clique except I was my teacher’s favorite because my mom loves me. [Laughs.] But it was super fun to play, and the girls and I got along really well. That was something that they asked us to do before; they asked us to hang out ahead of time, just so we could build the camaraderie and a friendship and just be a little more comfortable with each other. So we all went to breakfast and just kind of hit it off instantly and it was so fun and those girls are really cool.
I definitely think the chemistry shows on screen, and you got a chance to know one another prior to filming.
I think we lucked out because if we didn’t click it would have been a whole different story.
So everyone is dying to know, did you need an apple box for this role, or did you grow!?
SS: Let’s see, I didn’t grow. I’m trying to remember if I had any apple boxes. Definitely probably in any scenes with Louise (Griffiths) because she’s tall, but all of the other girls are challenged in the height department like me so we could all fit in the same shot pretty easily. [Laughs.]
So, what was it like working with Lotti Pharriss Knowles, the film’s writer and producer? I hear she’s a real terror!
Dude, Lotti, we call her Mama Lotti because she is just like so cool, man. She is the coolest chick, and if we needed anything she was just like, “What do you need? How can we help you?” She’s just so thoughtful and caring and open to our dumb ideas, you know? Just a super cool chick. We’ve had breakfast with her since wrapping a couple times just to get together and chat and she’s just a girl’s girl, and she’s smart and she’s funny and she’s just everything you think she would be. And John [Knowles] is awesome too. They’re just this cool, super nerdy couple that are just awesome and funny.
How has life changed since Bloomington came out? Those fans are definitely persistent.
I was so blessed for that opportunity and how that turned out. It’s not like I’m getting recognized on the street every day. Every once in a while, it’ll happen, but I think I’m really happy to have all the fans I have. And I’m so happy to have gotten all the footage and that credit on my résumé because it’s easier for my reps to kind of say, “Look she was a lead in this film” and show some of the footage. And it was so beautifully done that people can look at it and say, “OK, I trust her to come in and audition for this other project.” And I think that it’s opened a lot of doors that way. So that was really, really good.
You’ve had roles on Workaholics, The New Normal, and of course Bones. Do you have a show that you’re just dying to get on?
Well, let’s see, what shows do I love? I’m obsessed with Downton Abbey. [Laughs.] What else do I love? Gosh. I mean, I would literally kill to be on The Walking Dead. That would be really cool. Modern Family is really awesome, too. But yeah, I think at this moment those would be the top ones.
I wouldn’t mind seeing your face on any of those shows, as I’m a fan as well! So now, have you ever wanted to be involved in anything other than acting? Maybe producing, writing or directing?
I might shoot myself in the foot with answering this but, as of right now, no. You know, all I’ve really wanted to do is just act. And I know a lot of people are multi-talented in that aspect… and maybe down the line, you know? Once I’ve been on a show for a while or have been successful in film maybe that would be interesting to me, but at this point I’m just trying to get the whole acting thing down and go from there.
If there was a zombie outbreak, what three celebrities would you want on your apocalypse survival team?
You have the best questions. [Laughs.] Oh gosh, who’s like super badass? Okay, so in the event of a Zombocalypse I would want Andrew Lincoln, Steven Yeun and Lauren Cohan. Duh! They obviously know the most about zombies.
If your life was made into a feature film, what actresses would you want to play your present and future selves?
[Laughs.] Well, shit, I would definitely say that no one would watch that film because my life is super boring. Let’s see, I’d say… present, me, obviously I’ll take the work [laughs], and future, Kate Winslet would be awesome. She’s one of my faves.
You not only act, but you can sing…
Well — [laughs…] that’s debatable.
I’ve seen videos! You can sing! With that said, do you have any plans to come to the Big Apple and take a stab at broadway?
You know, growing up I did musical theatre and that was, I mean that would be the dream, man. If I was good enough, I would kill to be on broadway, but I came to the conclusion that I have a nice voice but just not that broadway caliber. But, oh that would be, I would just die. That would be so fun. I would love to… but probably not.
This is totally off topic, but do you still have that Chastity Bites duct tape wallet I made, because I feel like that was years ago. No, it literally was years ago.
I do have it!
Wooooohoo! So, to avoid the awkward of asking you if there will be another Bloomington movie, I’m just going to switch gears a little to satisfy the cravings of the Bloomington fans and ask you what you think would have happened to Jackie and Catherine down the line.
Oh man, thank you for not asking that because I get that question a lot and we made that movie, I don’t even know, it feels like eight years ago. I think that they both grew from the situation and learned a lot and I know everyone is not going to be real happy with this answer but they go their separate ways. And I think that’s the way the movie ended and that’s the way that it was. Also a fun thing about seeing movies like that is you could kind of have your own ending in your mind. Like if you wanted that love story to continue, maybe I didn’t get on the flight and I came back and we loved each other forever. But, I personally, in my ending in my mind, you know, Jackie went off and she had a great experience and she moved on, learned, and loved again and probably got her heart broken, and is probably still growing.
A harder question, what is the most challenging thing you’ve faced as an actor?
The most challenging thing I’ve faced as an actor? Getting in the room is the first thing that comes to mind. Like, just getting in the room for projects and showing casting directors who maybe don’t know who I am that maybe I have what it takes. It’s kind of, like, to some extent out of your hands and I’m a tiny bit of a control freak so it’s hard to just sit and wait for them to take a chance on you.
That’s really a great answer, you don’t hear that very often. My final question is: what’s next for you? Are there any projects that you can tease?
Well, pilot season has just begun. I just had my first pilot season audition the other day, so that’s exciting and hopefully it will be a busy one. As far as projects, I shot a movie in October called Black Mirror that I am a lead in that’s kind of a psychological thriller, so they’re still working on finishing that. You never know with these things, what’s going to happen, but hopefully they’ll finish it and everyone will be able to see it soon. It was a very good 2013, but a very slow one, and I’m excited for this new year. Hopefully I’ll book a huge pilot and you guys will be able to see me in that!