Interviews

Exclusive Interview: Sarah Lancaster

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Most TV viewers will recognize actress Sarah Lancaster from her roles in the acclaimed TV series Everwood as well as the fan favorite dramedy Chuck, but she actually got her start in television via the youth-oriented series Saved by the Bell: The New Class for which she appeared in from 1993 to 1996.

Since then she has appeared in a number of made-for-TV movies such as Fir Crazy, Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Looking for Mr. Right, Along Came a Nanny, Christmas in the Smokies and ‘Tis the Season for Love.

Tomorrow, October 6, her latest movie – The Stray – will be hitting the big screen. The inspirational film tells the true story of a stray dog who saves a struggling family in more ways than one.

Pluto comes out of nowhere and quickly makes himself at home with the Davis family, who are on the brink of falling apart. Dad, Mitch Davis, (Michael Cassidy from The O.C. and People of Earth) is a career-driven workaholic who is neglecting his marriage and family. Mom, Michelle Davis (Sarah Lancaster) is at her wit’s end raising three young kids. The last thing they need is another mouth to feed.

In just a short time with the Davis family, Pluto the wonder dog manages to save a lost toddler, bring comfort and companionship to a hurting 9-year-old boy (Connor Corum from Heaven is for Real), help restore a marriage, and repair a broken father-son relationship. Pluto is not only a guard dog – he’s a guardian angel.

The film is written and directed by the real life Mitch Davis (The Other Side of Heaven).

In an exclusive interview with NiceGirlsTV, Sarah had this to share with her fans:

Question: What was it about Michelle Davis and the theme of the movie The Stray that drew you to the role?

Sarah: I’ve never played a real life person before, that came with its own set of responsibilities and I hope I do her justice. She’s no wallflower. She’s the driving force behind the family. I love that.

Question: It is said that working with kids and animals can be a little difficult. Did you find that to be the case with this film?

Sarah: There are, of course, certain challenges; but you also always stumble upon magic with kids. It can be trying, but really special at the same time. I think I found it difficult before I had children, now that I’m a mom … bring it on.

Question: Can you share a sneak peek at one particular scene from The Stray that moved you the most or was the most challenging to film?

Sarah: Without giving anything away… there is one particularly emotional scene for my character and the real life Michelle was there that day while we we’re shooting. I tried to sort of stay in my own space until I was done with the scene so I didn’t get in my head about getting it right for her. Afterward I went by the monitor and saw that Michelle was crying too. It was a special moment.

Question: How much research did you do for your role in The Stray or did you have the opportunity to spend time with the real Michelle Davis to prepare for filming?

Sarah: Michelle opened up her home and we got to spend a bit of time together before filming. The Davis’ in general we’re always around set, it was really a family affair. They are a remarkable family and it was a treat getting to know them. I was quite homesick… and sick sick during filming since I was 10 weeks pregnant. I didn’t tell anyone on set at the time that I was expecting. But the way the Davis’ took us in, it was really special and helped ease that ache I had to be home with my boys.

Question: What message do you hope viewers of The Stray will take away after seeing the film?

Sarah: I love the idea of a fresh start. Second chances. This film speaks to that… it’s never too late the lead the life you want to live. And family, of course is everything.

Question: What is the one thing your fans would be surprised to learn about you: a hidden talent? a favorite charity you support/believe in? or something else?

Sarah: If I listed my current interests I’d sound like a little old lady. Actually some of my friends call me “Betty” that’s the grandma in me. Betty Lancaster at home baking, reading and going to bed at 9.

The Stray will open in select theatres throughout the country tomorrow. You can check the movie’s official website for tickets.

Here is a trailer for the upcoming movie The Stray:

Using her favorite online handle, Rueben is an East Coast-bred gal who is now a permanent Californian and a lifelong tv-oholic. She watches at least 25 TV shows a week, goes to the movies as often as possible, listens to music every waking moment, reads every day and “plays” on the internet every chance she can. Some of her current favorite TV shows are Outlander, Arrow, Grimm, The Blacklist, Teen Wolf, Killjoys, Dark Matter, The Shannara Chronicles, Good Witch, When Calls the Heart, The 100, Switched at Birth, Jane the Virgin, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Flash and The Fosters (among others). Follow her at @ruebenrambling or contact her at rueben@nicegirlstv.com.