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Exclusive Interview with Sadie’s Last Days on Earth Star Morgan Taylor Campbell

Photo Credit: Trevor Brady
Photo Credit: Trevor Brady

You may not have heard about Morgan Taylor Campbell before, but I predict you will. Why? Because she’s like the best kind of soda: sweet and bubbly, with an effervescent charm that’s addictive and instantly likable. She hasn’t been acting long but with small parts on hit shows like Supernatural, The 100 and this summer’s Dead of Summer she’s been quickly filling up her resume. Recently she starred in her first feature film. Here we talk about Dead of Summer, Sadie’s Last Days on Earth, upcoming projects and nerding out about her dog. Talk Nerdy is pleased to introduce you to Morgan; she’s one to watch.

How long have you been acting and how’d you get started?

Oh gosh, I’ve been acting professionally for five years, and it’s so funny because I started doing a couple of school plays and that, but I never fit in with the drama nerds at school. (laughs) I was kind of a lone wolf on the sidelines. But then I graduated high school and just took the risk and moved out to Vancouver and started taking classes right away. I’ve been really fortunate that it picked up for me quickly and I’ve been working and training for the past five years.

You had a short, but impactful (no pun intended), role on this summer’s Dead of Summer. What was it like working on that show?

(laughs) Oh, it was incredible. I’ve actually always been a fan of Once Upon a Time, and so is my little brother and sister, so it was exciting to be working on a show with the same creators. It was such a good time. Elizabeth Lail was a really cool scene partner in those party scenes. We just had such a great time. It was a fantastic experience, plus the throwback to the eighties was awesome. It was totally stellar. (laughs)

What did you think about the twist with Amy letting Margot go in order to take her spot at Camp Stillwater?

It was so fantastic because you would never think of it. She’s such a puritan, and she’s so innocent looking, and it’s such a whirlwind when we find out Amy’s true colors.

Even the way they filmed it was incredible. They rebuilt the rooftop in a studio from the one we shot at in the first episode. It’s pretty amazing how they bring it all together.

Did you do any stunt work in that scene?

I did. They had a stunt double to do the fall, but the hanging off of the roof…it was amazing because my feet were just placed on these tiny little nubs on the roof and then before…like between takes I was holding on to a rope but while it was rolling it was just my feet and my belly leaning against the roof. (laughs) I totally could’ve just slid off if I moved too much. So it enhanced the feeling of the terror of being on the roof. Which was fantastic. It totally helped with the performance.    

With Dead of Summer envisioned as an anthology that will visit different time periods, what era would you like to visit?

It would either be the early 1900’s, where I could wear a fantastical corset and ride a horse or, who knows, maybe they’ll pop in the future. I would love to see what Margot would wear in 50 years.   

Has there been any word on a season 2 and if yes do you think you’d be involved?

I would die, no pun intended, (laughs) to come back to the camp as a ghost that’s haunting Amy’s conscience or something. I don’t know. I’ve got all these ideas in my head for Margot. But I would really, really love to come back. No, I haven’t heard about season 2 starting, up again. Fingers crossed.

Writers Note: shortly after this interview Freeform announced that Dead of Summer was canceled. 

You’ve also starred in Sadie’s Last Days on Earth, which is an indie coming-of-age Apocalyptic comedy. Is that a fair description?

I would say that is a very fair description.

How did you get involved with the project?

I just sent in a self-tape. Then they flew me to Toronto for a call back, and then they flew me back, to film, and it was really cool because as a kid I was such a fan of Life with Derek and when I met Michael Seater, the director, I had like a girly moment of “Oh my God.” But it was also so fun because Mike and Paula (Brancati), the director and producer, were so warm and hip that we had such a great time working. Mike and I jive really well on set. It was an incredible experience.

Fans will be able to see it in theaters in 2017. In the movie Sadie has a list of things she wants to achieve before things go sideways. What skill would you want to master?

That’s such a good question. I haven’t gotten that one yet. What skill would I want to master? I’ve always fantasized about getting lost in the woods and stuff, and I think it would be crucial for me to know what plants are poisonous and what plants are safe to eat. It’s pretty amazing being able to have that skill of identifying them. So definitely, definitely being able to identify plants. What can be used as medicine, elixirs, etc.?

And what special skill do you have that would help you survive?

Help me survive? Well, it’s definitely not my sense of direction. You can start with that. (laughs) It’s the worst. My mom laughs at me all the time. (laughs) Don’t give Morgan the map. Actually, I learned to knit for the film which was…it’s amazing the things you can create out of knitting, and that twenty-foot scarf was all me! I did that over the course of the month of filming and got it all done.

What are you most excited about fans taking away from this film?

I’m excited for them to see Sadie’s originality. She’s such a spunky chick that I really, really appreciate how she is completely oblivious to the way people think of her. I think that is so important for young people because growing up is sometimes terrifying. We can be insecure when we’re surrounded by ideas of who we think we have to be. And I love that for Sadie that’s just not an issue for her. She’s herself, confident in who she is. Unfortunately, she just has other anxieties plaguing her. I really respect her individuality and her quirkiness.  

What was your favorite thing about being part of Sadie’s Last Days on Earth?

For me, when I’m filming it always comes down to the people, it’s who you’re working with that can absolutely make or break a project. I’m still in touch with those guys from making the film. I was just talking to Clark (Backo), who plays my best friend, today. The cast was just the greatest, most kind, down to earth people. And we had so much fun, and that makes it easier to play and feel confident on set.  

Do you have any other projects coming up?

I do, I just wrapped a film in Oklahoma this summer titled Wicked Love with Marvista Entertainment, which will also be coming out in 2017. It was fantastic. It’s a spin-off on the Scottish play Macbeth. I’m always weird about saying Macbeth out loud because I’m a theater actor. (laughs) You’re not allowed to say it. It’s a spin-off of Lady M and Macbeth in a high school [setting]. It’s awesome. I also just finished a Tim Disney indie feature titled William and I’ll also be appearing as a guest star on iZombie. So lots of stuff.

morgan

Lastly, what do you nerd out about?

What is it that I nerd out about? So many things because I’m just a raging dork. (laughs) I think…gosh, it could be so many things. I’m such a book nerd, and I’m also a dog nerd. Like I’m definitely that annoying person who is always posting photos of my dog and talking to him. He’s my best friend. I also love graphic novels and tea and talking. Sometimes I talk too much.  (laughs).

Written by Terri Clark

Terri Clark is an award-winning young adult author, entertainment writer, TV addict and pop culture geek. She loves the access Twitter has given her to the people behind her favorite TV shows. TV isn’t just a static sport anymore. (Yes, sport! Watching as much as she does requires commitment, dedication and endurance.) She writes for Talk Nerdy With Us and Entertainment Weekly Community. You can find info on her YA books at TerriClarkBooks.com. Please follow her at terriclarkbooks on Facebook and Twitter.

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