Sara Lindsey is not only an actress, but she also works her own magic behind the scenes as a writer and a producer. She wears all three hats in her newest movie, Please Come With Me. I got the chance to talk with her about how she got into acting originally, where the idea for this movie came from, what it was like wearing all three hats at once, what she’s nerding out about and more! Keep reading to see what she had to say!
Tell me a little bit about how you got into acting originally.
My first acting experience was a play in 1st grade of adapted Shel Silverstein stories. I was pretty sure before then that I wanted to be an actor, and I think that experience solidified it. Acting was the first thing that I ever remember wanting to do as a profession.
Was there a specific person or experience that you would credit with helping you decide that acting is what you wanted to do for a living?
My mom for sure. When I talked with her about it, I remember other family members saying how hard it was, and how many people try to be actors and fail. And my mom looked at me and quietly said, “Well… somebody’s gotta do it!” She was always encouraging of me, from the very beginning.
Was writing and directing for projects always something you wanted to try one day? Or was it something you had no interested in until you got into acting?
I initially got into writing and directing as a means to act. I think growing up I didn’t realize it was a job. But now I can’t imagine it not being a part of my life.
Let’s talk about Please Come With Me. Where did the idea for the film come from?
The idea came from people that Michael [Ciulla], the co-writer and director, and I knew who were all around the same age and going through similar experiences balancing relationships and careers. We found it interesting that many couples we knew had been together for years and years but hadn’t “pulled the trigger” on marriage or children, and we wanted to explore that with a couple who also worked together.
What was your writing process like for this script? How long did it take to come together?
We had the idea to shoot a movie over the course of a year in 12 parts, and we wanted it to be about one relationship over time. I think we wrote the script over about 9 months, started shooting, and then the script would evolve slightly from month to month, which was really fun.
What was the casting process like for the film? Did you always intend to star in it or was that the result of not finding anyone else you liked for the role?
I always intended to act in the piece, and we wrote it with that intention. We essentially wrote roles for my actor friends and then they accepted! It was a pretty incredible casting process. All of the actors in the film are close friends and colleagues.
The project was filmed one weekend a month over the course of a year in four different locations, Los Angeles, Chicago, Baltimore and San Francisco. Talk a little bit about why you guys chose to shoot the film like this and what the actual filming process ended up being like.
Well the story we came up with was about a long distance relationship, with my character going to graduate school for fashion design. So we researched all of the top schools for fashion, and whittled it down from there, thinking about which school my character would choose factoring in a serious relationship in Los Angeles. We settled on Academy of Art in S.F., so that became the second location. Then, both Kate and Collin go to their hometowns in the film at different points in the story. I’m from Baltimore, so we had that location. We shot in my parents’ house and neighborhood, and my dad plays Kate’s Dad. And Michael is from Chicago, so we found a few local actors in both places and shot scenes in locations where we had permission and were familiar with the landscape. And were free…
Not only did you write the script and star in the movie, you also produced the project. What were some of the challenges of wearing three hats all at once?
Scheduling 12, more like 14, short films over a year’s time was a challenge, but it also allowed us to pursue other work simultaneously, which meant we could get super talented crew and cast without having to book them out for weeks at a time. Other than that, I’m pretty used to wearing all three hats at this point, and I actually feel like it makes my acting better because I don’t have to worry about it as much. I don’t have time to think about it because of everything else going on, so I trust that it will be there and do extra prep ahead of time so I’m ready on the day.
You co-produced this with your long time best friend [Anna Jaller] that you’ve had since high school. How did that partnership come about?
I honestly don’t know! It was such a natural thing. We did a 5 episode web series together a few years ago. I asked her to play Erin in the film, and she is a kickass producer so I asked her and she said yes. Since then, she also produced liam reeves, a short film I directed, and most recently, my baby shower.
Aside from Please Come With Me, what other projects are you currently working on?
I just wrapped shooting of a short film I co-wrote, produced, and act in directed by Noah Kistler, so we will be in post for that project over the next few months and then applying to festivals. It’s a black and white piece about two half-sisters escaping an isolated group in which they grew up.
Last question — we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner nerd so what is something that you’re currently nerding out about?
Single use plastic and breastfeeding techniques.