The actress also reveals whether or not she’ll be reprising her role as Molly in “After We Fell” and “After Ever Happy.”
Inanna Sarkis has had plenty of personal experience dealing with bullying mean girls in real life — and playing them onscreen.
The actress once again brings those hard-earned talents to her latest film, “Seance.” The horror flick follows Camille Meadows (Suki Waterhouse) — a new student at an elite all-girls boarding school — who is invited by a group of six girls to perform a ritual to contact the spirit of a dead student. After one of the girls is found dead, the rest of the group wonders what they could have possibly awakened.
In “Seance,” Sarkis stars as Alice, one of the girls in the clique, who isn’t very welcoming to Camille when she arrives at school.
TooFab caught up with the 28-year-old actress to chat about the film. Sarkis explained why she finds it “fun” and “exciting” to portray mean girls, opened up about bonding with her co-stars and detailed filming girl fight scenes.
The “After” star — who welcomed her first child last September — also spoke to TooFab about her experience with motherhood so far. She also revealed whether or not she’ll be reprising her role as Molly in the third and fourth “After” sequels, “After We Fell” and “After Ever Happy.” In addition, Sarkis shared her advice for young creators and social media stars.
Check out the full Q&A, below!
What drew you to this project?
“The script definitely first drew me to the project and the character. I loved Alice and how she’s like the alpha in the group. So I was definitely excited to play her.”
The final act of this film is insane — so many twists and turns. What was your first reaction when you read the script? Were you shocked when you found out who the killer was?
“Oh my God. I had no idea! I definitely was guessing. You try and be like, ‘Oh for sure. It’s this person.’ And then when the end came, I was like, ‘What?’ That completely threw me off guard. So I had no idea at all.”
“[It’s] crazy because I just found out today … that [writer-director Simon Barrett] actually writes the end of his scripts first. So I feel like that’s so cool and interesting to know because maybe that’s why it had such a crazy cool ending that threw you in a completely different direction.”
The cast of “Seance” is majorly female. What was that like? Was there a girl power vibe at all? Did you and the cast bond?
“Yeah. We just all bonded in such a cool way, especially because we were filming kind of in the middle of nowhere and we didn’t know anyone. It was a completely different new environment for all of us. I feel like it definitely brought us together and we lived the experience together. So it was super exciting to do. I actually keep in touch with all of the girls today and I feel like I formed cool friendships with the girls actually.”
Any fun memories you can share?
“The one part that I remember the most is the study hall scene where Suki and I get into a fight. For me, I just need to after the take’s done, just laugh about the whole situation and just joke around and then once the take starts again, you’re just back into it.”
It’s safe to say your character isn’t the nicest person, especially to Camille (Suki Waterhouse) when she arrives at school. You also played a mean girl in the “After” films. What would you say is the secret to portraying a mean girl? Do you draw on any personal experience? Did you ever encounter any growing up?
“I just love playing them because they’re kinda like scene stealers where … you have fun with it and just find the interesting, captivating parts of their characters. I just find the most fun doing them because they’re just so freeing and they’re so different from who I am. I definitely take inspiration from past girls that were in my high school — girls that had maybe picked on me or bullied me when I was in high school. So I definitely take aspects and personality traits that I can remember from them and bring them to life. I think the important thing is just also still finding traits that are likable.”
“For example, the ultimate mean girl is Regina George [from ‘Mean Girls’] and you hate her, but you still love her because she’s so funny. There are funny qualities about her still at the same time. So I think just finding those elements and what makes them more human and little quirks about them that can bring them to life and make people still kind of relate to them is important.”
Do you find that it’s easier or more difficult that these characters are totally different from yourself?
“For some reason, it’s just easier for me. I don’t know why … All these years that I was bullied and stuff, I just held that anger back then now I guess to actually release it and bring it out in roles and in this other reality, I think it’s super fun. It just kind of comes out naturally. I don’t know why. I think I just find the fun of it and just living in those moments just makes it exciting for me.”
And to the girls who bullied you, it’s like, who’s laughing now?
“You know, when you get picked on, you don’t say things that you want to say, but they just go home and repeat it and play out the scene in your head that like, ‘Oh, if this happens again, this is what’s going to happen.’ And then when it does happen, it still doesn’t play out how you imagine it. So I feel like all those imaginary situations that I always built up for myself at home after the fact are kind of where I get to live them out in this actor/actress other world and that makes it kind of natural for me.”
Switching gears a bit, we have to ask. Will fans possibly see you appearing in either/both of the “After” sequels?
“No. So yeah, I chose to not continue [and star in] the next two, unfortunately.”
What do you remember most about starring in the franchise? Do you still keep in touch with any of your co-stars?
“Yeah, I’m actually good friends [with them.] The last couple of movies I’ve done, I still keep in touch with the girls. Luckily, they’ve been all great to work with, so I still keep in touch with Pia Mia and Khadijha [Red Thunder] and Hero [Fiennes Tiffin] here and there. It was great working with all of them and I loved playing Molly. I think she was super fun to play. And again, a mean girl, but still she had like a really dark past that I spoke to Anna [Todd] about and it definitely helped me bring her character to life. So I’ll definitely will be missing playing Molly in the future.”
In “After We Collided” and in “Seance,” your character gets into some physical girl fights. Are those physically demanding at all? Is it choreographed?
“In ‘After,’ they were kind of more choreography and it was very basic compared to what I usually do. I do a bunch of fight choreography, martial arts, that’s like my day-to-day workout stuff. I love doing that… anything to do with fight choreo or action. With ‘Seance,’ I also had two fight sequences in there and one of them, we actually had to do rehearsals a few times to get it right. It wasn’t so physically straining again because there’s no running or any physical activity that has to be done. It’s more so a choreography, like thinking of it as a dance — like if you have to learn dance choreography — it’s kind of similar to that because you’re not actually exchanging punches, you’re just making it look like you are on camera and just throwing your body in the direction of the punches and so on. So it’s definitely more of a choreography thing.”
You welcomed your first child — a baby girl — last year. What is your favorite part about motherhood so far? Has anything surprised you?
“I just love spending time with her. I feel like now I understand a lot of moments … like how my mom was with me and just being that annoying[ly] affectionate. I’m just always trying to hug and kiss her and she’s already trying to push me away. And I just want to watch her sleep. It’s just so crazy to look [and] stare at her and just be like, ‘That’s my daughter.’ It’s a surreal feeling for sure.”
Have you learned anything new about yourself? What would you say is the most difficult part of motherhood?
“I feel like the most difficult part is the lack of sleep and just balancing your professional life and your career with caring for a child. I’ve been so blessed to have so much support around me.”
“[It’s] definitely taught me [to] just balance my professional and personal life and knowing that … I can’t put myself first. I feel like for so long, I was always like, my career is first and that’s just all it ever was, but now, it’s like, no, Nova’s first and then everything else comes after her. And I love that. I wouldn’t ask for anything else.”
You shared several videos documenting your “new life” being pregnant as well as your labor and delivery experience. Why did you decide to open up with your fans and subscribers about your pregnancy? Was there any hesitation at first?
“Yeah, there definitely was because I’ve never done any vlog-style or documentary-style things before, but just felt like this was such an important part of my life. So many women go through it and I wanted it to be something that I can share with my audience so that they feel like they’re not alone and they can have a baby and still get back to work and figure out having your own life after that or if it’s anything they’re going through. I wanted to just showcase my experience and also it was important for Matt [Noszka] and I to have something documented to just maybe show [our daughter] one day too. It’s something that we can all watch together as well. So that was kind of the importance behind it.”
As both Internet personality and actress, do you have any advice for people coming up — such as Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae — who are finding fast success on TikTok and other social media platforms?
“I think Addison is doing an amazing job of going from a platform to mainstream and TV and movies and stuff. I think it’s just not losing sight of what you want to do, whether it’s using the platform to become a singer or using it to become an actress … you’re doing it for a reason. And what is your end goal? Are you using this platform to do what your ultimate passion is in life? I feel like they both do such a great job at that. It’s just not losing sight of what makes you happy. Don’t do it for the likes or followers. Do it for whatever makes you happy in the end, whether it’s also bringing awareness to different subject matters or helping charities or helping change the world. I think it’s just using your platform for a reason. That’s probably my greatest advice.”
“Seance” is out now in theaters, digital and on-demand.