Sasha Knight can be seen in Disney+’s The Santa Clauses as Crouton, one of the elves at the North Pole, with Series 1 being released at the end of last year, and Sasha is now back filming with the rest of the cast (including Tim Allen as Scott Calvin/Santa Claus) for the upcoming Series 2. In 2020, Sasha played Joe in the feature film Cowboys opposite Steve Zahn, Jillian Bell and Ann Dowd, winning him the Outstanding Performance in a U.S. Feature at the 2020 Outfest Film Festival, and he appeared in short film The Last Human Person on Earth, which debuted at the Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Film Festival last year. Also having voiceover experience, Sasha voices the role of Ember, one of Disney’s first non-binary animated characters, in the Disney Junior series Eureka!. Talking to us, Sasha answered our questions about working on Disney+’s The Santa Clauses as Crouton, playing Joe in Cowboys and his voiceover experience.
Can you tell us about your character Crouton in the new Disney+ series The Santa Clauses and do you remember how you felt finding out you’d booked the role?
Crouton is a goody two-shoes who loves order, but he’s still an elf, so he equally loves Christmas and the North Pole. I was over the moon when I found out I booked the role.
How do you find the experience on set of the show and filming for Disney?
The sets are magical! I feel transported to the North Pole whenever I’m on set. Disney, for 100 years, has made some of the most iconic content for children and families. I feel lucky to be a small part of their giant legacy.
What is Crouton like to play and how was it getting into costume for the first time?
Playing Crouton is accessing the most exaggerated parts of my most exaggerated personality. Prior to shooting, I spent a day in the special effects department having my elf ears personally customised. It was fascinating to witness the lengths the make-up artist had to go to to mould and cast two tiny elf ears. After I stepped into my wardrobe for the first time, I really felt like my true sELF.
What was it like meeting and working with the rest of the cast and what do you enjoy most about being part of The Santa Clauses?
Immediately, the elves bonded. In Season 1 we would play games between takes, and throughout Season 2 we continue to develop our fun friendships. I love that I am part of a show that has history with many generations due to the The Santa Clause movies. Parents who are nostalgic for the movies can watch the series with their children and share their love with the next generation.
You voice the role of Ember in the Disney Junior series Eureka!, how is it recording for this series?
So fun! I love Ember! Eureka! is a wonderful project about science and innovation and I especially enjoyed singing for the role.
How was it seeing the completed animation for the first time and did you have a favourite aspect of voicing Ember?
It was very cool! My parents, my three siblings and I had a viewing party. My littlest sister, who is five, kept saying, “Sasha, your voice is on TV”. It is fun to see how your voice brings an animated character to life. My favourite aspect of voicing Ember is to be representing the LGBTQIA+ community as one of Disney’s first non-binary animated characters.
What was it like having the short film The Last Human Person on Earth debut at the Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Film Festival last year?
I was happy the film gained visibility. It’s important to keep telling stories about LGBTQIA+ youth.
In the feature film Cowboys, you starred as Joe alongside a cast including Steve Zahn, Jillian Bell and Ann Dowd, what was the film like to work on and how was it being in the cast?
The film was both challenging and amazing. Steve, Jillian and Ann were gracious and excellent examples of professionalism. I learned so much from all of them. I am beyond grateful to have worked with them. The shoot was physical. I was on horseback a lot and had to wear two wetsuits for a night shoot in a freezing cold river. All that said, it was the best experience of my life.
How would you describe Joe and what was the character like to play?
I am more extroverted than Joe, but we do share many similarities that helped me shape the character. Playing Joe helped me understand myself better. I am grateful for the opportunity.
You won Outstanding Performance in a U.S. Feature at the 2020 Outfest Film Festival for your role in Cowboys, how did this feel and what was it like seeing the success to the film?
It was surreal. We went to a drive-in movie to screen the premiere at Outfest, which was one of the coolest viewing experiences of my life. It was COVID and we were at a converted vineyard in Malibu and watched the film from the trunk of my mom’s minivan. I was so pleased that the film was widely-received because it’s an important message of acceptance and love of trans youth which is desperately needed today.
What are some of your favourite memories from your time filming for Cowboys?
I loved playing pool with Steve Zahn in a bar in Whitefish, Montana.
We understand you will be voicing the role of Ollie in Not Quite Narwhal, is there anything you can tell us about this and what are you looking forward to for the release?
Ollie was such a great character to play. No spoilers, but the message is be yourself no matter what, which I love. Plus, he’s really funny and dramatic. Can’t wait to share him with the world!
How did you get into acting and was it something you always wanted to do?
I started acting in community theatre when I was in pre-school. I have always loved entertaining people and found my way into voiceover which led to on-camera work. I love it!
Do you have any favourite films and TV shows to watch and how do you like to spend your time away from your career?
I am very close to my siblings and parents, and spend lots of quality time with them. I also enjoy rock climbing, cooking, baking and crocheting. My favourite TV show of all time is Modern Family, which is such a crazy coincidence because Jason Winer, the EP of The Santa Clauses, directed the pilot and worked on many episodes of the show. Also, Eric Stonestreet, who played Cam on Modern Family, is in Season 2 of The Santa Clauses as Mad Santa and, admittedly, I’m super starstruck!
What are you hoping 2023 brings for you?
I hope to work on exciting projects with important messages that move audiences to feel deeply. Projects that tell a great story and hopefully some projects that make us laugh.
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