In 2017, young actress Sarah Giles had a leading role in the short drama Daughters, which received attention at a number of film festivals and can be watched on the Audience Awards website. Earlier this year, Sarah played the role of Abigail McGrath-Dufresne in TV series Ghost Wars alongside Avan Jogia, which was released in the UK on Netflix. Chatting to us recently, Sarah talks about her role in Ghost Wars, attending LeBlanc School of Acting and appearing in an episode of The Actress Diaries.
Can you tell us about your character Abigail McGrath-Dufresne in Ghost Wars?
The character is very smart and witty. Then after being possessed she became more viciously and sneaky without her moms noticing the change. She had to kill things to stay alive. The “others” also protected Abigail. She was powerful and trusting.
How did you feel finding out you had booked the role of Abigail?
I was shocked and so excited! I was at my friend’s house, my mom called me and I was super excited, I was freaking out. It was the best day ever!
What did you enjoy most about being on set?
Probably spending time with the cast and crew, not to mention talking because everybody was so much fun and kind. I also really enjoyed seeing the cool set. I got the opportunity to work beside amazing people.
What was it like acting alongside the rest of the cast?
It was super fun; they’re all kind and friendly. It was an amazing experience learning from famous actors. Being told you did a great job is the best feeling. Learning tips. Everyone worked as a team.
Where did you film and how long were you filming?
I filmed in three places: Langley, Vancouver and Squamish. I filmed in old houses, churches and buildings they made. I started filming in May and ended in August so I was filming for four months. The weeks varied, sometimes it was four days in a row, other days it would be only one or two days.
What do you remember from your first day on set?
I remember talking to all the actors and getting to know them. We started on episode two. We had to goof around with our Uncle Kim Coates. He made me laugh and comfortable with the scene. I jumped on Abigail’s bed and then fell back and broke a mirror.
What was the atmosphere like filming your last scenes of Ghost Wars?
Everybody spent time together and there was a bunch of sad people because we knew that we may never see each other again and it was a great cast.
Who is your character Grace in the Chocolate Clowns episode of The Actress Diaries?
She’s a very like “do this” type of girl and I guess kind of bossy but very funny and humourous. She has a lot of friends I believe and she’s just a very outgoing girl.
You played Claire in short film Daughters, what is it about?
Daughters is about a little girl who is swimming and runs into an older man who is a pedophile, he convinces her to let him drive her home when neither parent shows up to pick me up. I fall asleep and I am unaware of the danger. In the vehicle he double thinks about what he is doing and he ends up taking me home. It shows the importance of not trusting strangers. You never know what they will do.
Was this your first starring role?
Yes, this is my first starring role and it was a very good experience, I loved the crew.
Have you done any theatre roles?
I was in theatre for a year, I did Annie and I got a small role named Kate, one of the orphans and I enjoyed theatre very much.
How did you get into acting?
I got into acting from my sister, she had a friend that was in acting so my sister tried it. She started in background and I decided to join her and I thought it was fun. Then a casting director randomly asked if I wanted to do an audition so I tried. I did very well and it was really fun, so my mom got me an agent. That leaves me today where acting’s my biggest passion.
We understand you train at LeBlanc School of Acting in Vancouver, how long have you attended and what does it involve?
I have been training at LeBlanc School of Acting now for three years; it involves emotional connection, scene study, eye lines and improv. Each year is a more advanced class and we work in groups for three-hour sessions. Then we tape our scenes. We also have casting direct workshops.
Is there anything you look for in a role?
Yes. I look for something that I enjoy or that I understand. I mostly just look for something that I like and connect with. I am happy to audition for roles that challenge me as well.
What do you enjoy doing away from acting?
I enjoy doing gymnastics, riding horses, gaming, boating and petting my cat, Tinker. This summer I have been learning how to wakeboard.
Do you have any filming booked yet for the rest of this year?
Not yet, I hope so later on this year and if I don’t, that’s OK, there’s always more ahead for me in the future!
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