The O.C. actress plays the scariest video game, and lives to tell about it!
Samaire Armstrong has been involved in the lives of the Cohens and the Coopers on The O.C. for two years. But now, she's moving to the film side! She'll be picking up a video game controller in Stay Alive, a horror film where you're playing for your life - literally.
When a group of friends find their one friend has mysteriously died, they discover it's due to his involvement of a haunted video game controlled by The Blood Countess.
We got an exclusive interview with Samaire about her role in this film and how she feels about horror films in general. Here's what she had to say:
How did you get involved in this film?
Samaire Armstrong: Well, McG has been producing The O.C., so he had me in mind when he was producing this film. He pitched me to Matt (Peterman) and Brent (Bell) so they were familiar with my work, and they were really excited to have me on board. That's how I got involved, and when they started talking about it, and how excited they were about the project, it was really the people I'd be working with that got me really excited about.
What's it like making movies with people your own age?
Samaire Armstrong: Yeah, I've never really had the opportunity to work with people outside my age; Peter Gallagher and the parents on The O.C. are the only adults. It is a lot of fun, because when you're a kid and you're playing in your back yard, and making stuff up, that's basically what we're doing, but we're 12 years older.
Can you explain your character of Abigail?
Samaire Armstrong: She's kind of non-expressive, she doesn't show much emotion. She's strong, but she may be hiding things; so she appears one way, but she could be very different.
Do you play video games?
Samaire Armstrong: No, I don't play video games. And I didn't have to do much research for the part because Abigail doesn't play video games either; she's a newcomer to this world. So when she enters this friendship with these people, kids, who are big time gamers, she's in a whole new world. So I kind of left the research aside because it wasn't too necessary for the role. I just got to show up and say 'Hey look, there's a video game.'
You also have your own clothing line; what was the reason you switched from fashion to film?
Samaire Armstrong: Well, I think they go one the same; they're both a visual art. One you show off and the other you show your actions and body. My mom always used to say don't wear sweatpants, wear bright colors. It's an extension of a feeling, so when I paint, I'll go sad. You have more control when you're painting clothes or making clothes; and when I'm acting, I have to go into the action.
Since this is a horror film, were you staying in that mood while shooting, or were you able to break the tension and have fun?
Samaire Armstrong: No, I think if I were going to do another scary movie, which I don't think I will because I don't like scary movies, they're not fun; I was able to stop after they said cut. But, this was shot in New Orleans, and it was evident that when we all started shooting, we were touching on a subject that was very spiritual and induced on the dark side. It was hard to shake the feeling, while being in the environment that kind of creepy with undertones of darkness.
What about having Frankie Muniz on set? Was that weird seeing him in this kind of role?
Samaire Armstrong: Well, Brent and Matt made it very clear that we were extensions of them; they told us 'Don't put limits on yourself.' This is their fantasy of things they wished they could do. Frankie is not like his character, and I think we got to play parts we've done before, but we got to be more of ourselves. Sophia (Bush) is productive and not in control and a thespian. And you really got to say 'No, that's not you; wait, that is you.' Frankie is totally like that; he really played up his character. My character is hiding a lot and Johnny (James Haven) was very confused, like young guys are confused.
When you were reading the script, were there any scenes that you were really excited to perform?
Samaire Armstrong: There's a scene where I have to hang upside down for a few hours. And that was really fun to get chained by your feet, that was cool. I like the adventure and the struggle, the physical parts of it that I got to do.
Have you been asked to come back for Entourage?
Samaire Armstrong: No, I won't be going back for this season; I haven't heard anything about that yet. But, the O.C., I'm going back for more of that; we start shooting the end of this month.
Are you working on anything else in film?
Samaire Armstrong: I just finished It's a Boy Girl Thing; I did four films last year that will all be coming out this year. Film wise, I don't have anything after this, but I'd really like to do an action; I like the physical and the fighting.
What do you want the gamers of the world, and the horror fans, to know about Stay Alive?
Samaire Armstrong: It is very, very scary; I had to turn away when I was watching it. During one of the screenings, I had to walk out for about 15 minutes. You don't have to have much extended belief, you can just go into it, eat your popcorn, and the noise alone will frighten you. If you like that kind of thing, it'll be really fun, but if you don't, it'll be really scary.
Stay Alive opens in theaters March 24th; it's rated PG-13.