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An Interview with Sarah Brine, Star of Choke

by Mike Haberfelner

June 2020

Films starring Sarah Brine on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie Choke - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us about your character in it?


Choke is a very interesting story. I read and reread the script countless times to make sure I had a strong grasp on it. To me, Choke is about life and how messy life can be. The characters in Choke are all dealing with their own challenges and they all cope in their own unique ways. Some of the coping methods are strange but life is strange. These characters are looking for relief in any way they can find it.

My character is a young girl who comes from a broken home. She has had her fair share of struggles but yet that does not mute her. If anything, she talks so much because sheís scared that if she stayed silent, people would not notice her. When she meets Brandon (Shane Ryanís character [Shane Ryan interview - click here]) she sees something in him and latches onto him. He understands her and makes her feel like she is actually a person speaking because he actually listens. He sees her and accepts her, which is something she has never experienced before.


What did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how much Sarah Brine can we find in Jeanie?


Jeanie is a really interesting person. Personally, I come from a very supportive family and am very blessed in that aspect. Jeanie has the completely opposite situation and she was so much fun to play because of that aspect. I find in conversations; I am usually the one who sits back and listens. Jeanie, however, needs to talk. She needs to be heard and acknowledged to feel something.

I guess I drew from certain experiences in my past and my want/drive to be an actor. I did not grow up wanting to be an actress, but when I knew that I did, I felt like I needed to be heard. I think that helped me find Jeanie.


How did you become involved with the project in the first place, and to what extent could you identify with its serial killer theme?


My amazing manager Sherry Robb and good friend Lisa London got me the audition. I cannot thank them enough. I had an initial audition, which I was so sure I completely bombed, but they called me back for a second audition. I was really lucky to have Chris Spinelli read the other part for my audition. He gave me things to work with, which is not always the case in an audition room. After the callback, my manager called me and told me I got the role. I was shocked. It was my first audition for a feature and the first feature I shot.

The serial killer theme was new for me. Especially to be friends with the serial killer. However, Shane Ryan gave me a lot to work off of and was very supportive.


What can you tell us about Choke's director Gregory Hatanaka, and what was your collaboration like?


It was great! Greg is the best! He is so funny, supportive, and down for anything. Meaning that if I wanted to try something different as Jeanie, I had total freedom to do so. I had so much fun shooting this film and I have Greg and the whole cast/crew to thank for that. It was my first time working with Greg, but since then I have already worked with him on two other projects and hope to work with him and his crew in the future.


A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


The shoot itself was so much fun! We were on the road, filming in so many different locations, and just having a good time. I think acting should be fun and if itís not, you are doing it wrong. This cast and crew definitely made the set fun. I really looked forward to going to set and being with everyone. Energies are contagious and the energy on set was always positive. I really miss being on this set.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


I have a few projects in the works currently, but they are just being talked about as of right now. Hopefully I will be shooting some more movies with the CineRidge Entertainment family later this year.


What got you into acting in the first place, and did you receive any formal education on the subject?


Honestly, I fell in love with acting by watching other people act. I was a figure skater throughout high school. I had a few injuries that took me off the ice for a year, but during that year I found my love for theatre. So maybe those injuries were blessings in disguise. I remember I had to take a theatre course the end of my senior year and one assignment was to go see a play or musical. I absolutely love musicals so I chose to go see Mamma Mia! I sat in the very back of a rather large theatre but I absolutely loved every second. I remember sitting there and just knowing that I had to act. I still really want to be in the musical Mamma Mia! Maybe someday.

I attended the New York Film Academy in NY for a week, loved it, so I applied to the Acting for Film degree program at the New York Film Academy in LA. I recently graduated early 2020 and am looking to continue studying at a studio in LA.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Choke?


Choke is my first feature and my first job outside of school. I was extremely nervous. It was my first audition outside of school as well. I forgot my headshot and resume. I felt like a complete mess and totally thought I bombed the audition.

Before Choke, I had acted in multiple short films. I was still in school while shooting Choke and the New York Film Academy is very intensive but it was all so much fun. Acting is a profession but really, Iím just having fun. It never feels like work.


How would you describe yourself as an actress, and some of your techniques to bring your characters to life?


I love all the acting techniques. Each contains something that is helpful. My favorite has to be Meisner. The Meisner technique helps get me out of my head and into the room. You really cannot be in your head with Meisner because it is all about the other person.


Actresses (and indeed actors) who inspire you?


I mean of course Meryl Streep. She has a way of making acting look effortless yet she is always in control.

Jodie Comer is another favorite. The way she can jump from one type of character to the next is astounding.

I grew up watching Disney and I watched Dove Cameron on the show Liv and Maddie. I think she is an amazing actress. She is one of the reasons I am acting today. Watching her inspired me to become an actress.

Stanley Tucci is one of those actors that as soon as I see him on screen, I know it is going to be good. He completely becomes each and every character. He takes risks which I really admire. I really want to act beside him one day.

Tony Randall was another amazing actor. His comedic timing is impeccable.


Your favourite movies?


My go-to favorite movie is The Devil Wears Prada. It has Meryl Streep who is absolutely incredible, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt, and Stanley Tucci. All actors I really admire and they all give great performances.


... and of course, films you really deplore?


I do have a certain style of films that I prefer to watch, but I do not have any that I hate. The only thing I really do not like watching is bad acting.


Your website, social media, whatever else?


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Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


Thank you for writing the review and for the interview. This is my first interview ever, so thank you for that.


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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and shall not be held responsible for
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Thanks for watching !!!



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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD