10 THINGS – Samantha Soule
Your career as a performer started on Broadway. What effect did this have on your transition to traditional film and television?
Working in film and TV is still pretty new to me, to be honest. I graduated from school at 22 and didn’t really know myself very well. As a young actor, I felt like I had a huge toolbox for playing other people.. but being myself, felt scary. N.Y. theater took me in and gave me a chance. It’s strange and also lucky that my career started in those big houses. Being there felt like a safety net to me in those big houses. The audience felt far away and I felt like I was safe in the company of more seasoned actors! I learned so much from my castmates and the “gym”, that doing a show 8 times a week is. It’s an incredible training. As I learned and grew, I started to crave smaller and smaller theaters. The tinier the theater, the more I felt forced to learn. Let me tell you, there is no way to “hide” in a site specific bedroom with audience sitting a foot and a half from you! Getting into film at this point in my life feels like a natural progression in some ways. Film is so intimate, it feels like you really can’t hide. It demands your honesty and vulnerability. Early in my career I don’t think I wanted that intimacy. But now, I’m excited by it, by what I am learning these days. It makes me excited to try and hold onto that, next time I am on a stage again!
In the film, Revolutionary Road, you had the opportunity to see some of best in action, namely Kate Winslet & Leonardo DiCaprio. Which actors body of work have had the most impact on your career thus far?
The lifers. The ones who keep at it, who change and work and take time off and come back and give you performances at 80 years old that blow you away. It’s one of the things I love best about this profession. Someone totally green can get thrown into a scene with a seasoned pro and both can walk away having learned something. And you never know, sometimes it’s the person playing the big, big role that teaches you. But, more often than not, it’s the older actor who comes in for a day and just brings a whole world with them. You may not have their name on the tip of your tongue but you never forget the characters they play. Those are the ones I find myself reaching to for inspiration lately.
From your perspective, what have been the major differences when working on a film as opposed to a television set?
I honestly don’t have enough experience in both to be able to compare! They are both such a leap for me from the way a work day in the theater goes. In my limited experience, films feel like a complete world. All parties are on the same team working towards a singular goal. TV feels like setting up a whole solar system. All these different planets and orbits and weather systems that can spin and live all on their own.
Let’s talk about your latest project, Godless on Netflix. How were you first introduced to the series and what was it about the script that made you want to jump on board?
I read an early draft, a feature length version and I just honestly couldn’t put it down. I’m a reader. I live with novels in my bag always, and Scott’s script made me feel the way a great book does. I didn’t want to come back up for air. I didn’t want it to end. I wanted to read no other script for days after… I just wanted to be in that world.
The show is based in the 1880s American West, where Roy Goode is hiding out from his old friend, now enemy, Frank Griffin. The town that he ends up in, is a population of all women. That had to be a good twist as an actor. Where exactly does your character Charlotte Temple fit in?
She’s one of the original settlers of the town and is highly active in trying to get her town back on “the right track”… according to her! She’s a resister to Mary Agnes’s (Merritt Wever) bolder moves… they butt heads a bit. I think they were close friends once, but trauma pushed them in alternate directions.
What can you share about Charlotte’s personality and why you enjoy bringing her to life on screen?
She’s a ball to play. Spine like a steel rod. She owns the hotel in LaBelle and though she might have chosen to go back East after the hardships LaBelle hit, she’s not one to give up lightly, on anything! Even decorum and poise. There was a line from Wallace Stegner’s book Angle of Repose (which I highly recommend- it’s a great read) which really felt like Charlotte to me, and forgive me, I’m paraphrasing- “what though the world be lost, all is not lost, honor is not lost”. I think Charlotte is one of those East Coast Yankee Ladies, hair up and corset on… even in battle.
The show is a mix of cat & mouse, critical thinking and action. What can viewers expect to see from Charlotte and the rest of the cast in this first season?
I think even though this story is set in the past, it feels so timely to me. To me, the brilliance of Scott’s story is that he has placed all his characters on the brink… at the moment when they must make a choice. There is so much hurt in our world. So much cruelty and loneliness. They are gremlins that haunt and hunt us all… and I think Scott is asking how can one ever fight against all that? When the world is in flux, when change is upon us, when we are frightened and angry and hurt… what do we choose? Destruction? Or the bravery to hope? When faced with all the ugly dark, do you give up or do you give of yourself? Do you chose kindness? Selflessness? Community? I think they are pretty good questions for our current world.
You probably couldn’t see yourself doing anything else. But, if you weren’t an actor, what type of career would you be in?
Man, I really don’t know. I like to fantasize about it sometimes.. nature photographer maybe? Sometimes, when the city feels overwhelming I like the idea of moving someplace really remote, lead hiking tours or kayak trips! My guy and I recently bought some land in upstate N.Y. So, currently, all I want to do is clear trails in the woods and learn how to grown things, though I don’t think anything could keep me from coming back to a good story. And, there are so many good stories!
When it comes to fashion, which designers fit your personal sense of style?
I’m woefully lacking in knowledge of high fashion (much to the chagrin of my more fashion savvy pals). I am happiest in jeans and a T-shirt and ball cap. I’m still learning and figuring out my style when it comes to dressing up, maybe a little Katherine Hepburn meets Joan Jett? Neither of those are designers I know. As I said, I’m still learning!!
We look forward to seeing how things will develop and play out on Godless. What other projects do you have coming up?
I’m planning to be back in N.Y. on stage this year and looking into more film and TV as well!
Facebook: Samantha Soule
Photo Credit: Tina Turnbow