Sara Mitich is best known to sci-fi fans for her supporting role as Lieutenant Nilsson in Star Trek: Discoveryand now she’s starring in a suspenseful thriller control.
Coming to UK digital platforms from September 26th control – not based on the famous video game – sees Eileen (Mitich) waking up in a locked room and being given quests to complete by an unseen entity. If she doesn’t complete them in a certain amount of time, her daughter Eve (Evie Loiselle) will be killed.
Eileen’s repetitive tasks don’t get any easier when her husband Roger (George Tchortov) also finds himself in the same room. Unable to help her directly, the two must work together to save their daughter and unravel the mystery of Eileen’s amnesia.
It’s another sci-fi outing for Mitich ahead of her eventual return Star Trek: Discovery Season five, but it’s not on purpose. “I ended up in this niche so unexpectedly, to be honest,” she says Digital Spy.
“I didn’t grow up watching a lot of science fiction. fantasy, for sure. But I love these roles. I have such a vivid imagination. I think that’s one of the reasons I’m an actor. I’m definitely starting to really enjoy this niche that I’m in.”
before control‘s UK release, we sat down with Sara Mitich to talk about preparing for the role, Cube comparisons and… eating rice pudding. If you can digest that, we have one too exclusive Clip you can watch below:
When the role came about, were you particularly looking for further film roles or was it just a question of the right project at the right time?
Right project, right time – with certainty. i love both For me it was like a dream role. I read the script and it was an instant yes to my team. I love the rough. i love the human i love the raw I love the ugly. i love everything about it
I had thoughts about that and James [Mark], the director, we immediately dived in and started talking about the character arc. It was a dream role from the start.
It’s reminiscent of movies like Dice and other escape room movies. In preparing for this role, were there any particular films that the director recommended or that you wanted to see for yourself to get into that mindset?
Actually, I didn’t look too much because I have the feeling that a lot was done here as well. I can be very suggestible, which is good – and sometimes bad. So I didn’t want to watch too much, and James didn’t actually tell me to watch specific films.
I hadn’t seen it Dice before I filmed that. I checked it out afterwards and I’m glad I did. I wanted my collaboration and James’s to come first [in my mind]before I started taking too much of what’s already been done.
Was there a lot about working with James that you wanted to change a bit in terms of the character journey before filming began?
I had questions about the character arc and how it was in the first draft. I sat down with him a week or two after I got it and we just rushed through the script.
He was so open. It was amazing. I’ve never really worked with a director and writer who was as open to thought or paraphrase, or how I felt the character’s journey could be a little more concrete or a little more clear.
He incorporated all of that into the second draft, which is actually pretty much the draft we went in front of the camera with.
Initially, James might have wanted to do a virtual reality set, but ended up with this physical set of the room. Has it helped that you are literally there, trapped where Eileen is?
Yes, absolutely, because I had never played a role like this where 100 pages is mostly about me, and half the time I don’t have another actor in the room with me. When George walked in it was amazing and Evie was wonderful to work with. But most of the time I was alone.
With the actual space—that space, the voice, the speaker, the chair—they all became characters for me. I had to have a very specific relationship with this space so that it wasn’t just me playing against myself; actually I’m playing against the reality of what’s going on.
[We] Filmed in this one room for 15 days – we were so blessed that I got to shoot chronologically – and being able to walk into the same room on day 13 or 14, the same set, it really helped amplify my performance.
As you say, you’re pretty much on your own in the first act control. Did you expect it to be as challenging as it ended up being?
Maybe that’s a blessing, but I didn’t really think about what that would be like until I got on set. And to be honest, the crew on the set was one of the best I’ve ever worked with.
I’ve always been blessed to work with incredible crews, but everyone has really given me space, especially on some of these really emotional scenes – I have a specific process to go into and everyone just helped reinforce it.
So I didn’t notice the loneliness that much because everyone was there. But also because I had developed these specific relationships to the pencil, to the timer, to space. Any loneliness Eileen felt – fortunately, as an actor, I didn’t feel isolated.
Speaking of tactile things like the room, they also had the actual food in there, which looked a bit like translucent mushy peas…
It was rice pudding. I had never eaten rice pudding – fun fact. I wasn’t the biggest fan after take two or three! [laughs] It could be worse.
But it was actually really good because there’s this scene where I shove it down my throat. Eventually I actually start gagging because the texture is so…
It’s a godsend for everyone, we think.
Yes, they said that too. Some people on set loved it, others hated it.
As the film progresses, he slowly reveals his hand and what really happens to Eileen. When you first read the script, did you have any idea where it was going?
No I haven’t. Also, I find that when I read a script for the first time, it’s actually just like seeing something for the first time, whether it’s my own project or not. I’m trying to just be a spectator so I can start to see how it’s going to feel.
I mean, maybe I was hoping it would take such a bad turn. But I didn’t expect it to be so dark.
It’s the kind of movie where you can also put yourself in Eileen’s shoes and ask yourself, “What would I do in this situation?”
Because of the cyclical nature, we actually talked about it. For me, after that first draft, I also thought, ‘You know, if I did this for the fourth or fifth time and it was me, this would come out. I would want This – or I would start losing it sooner.
One of my favorite things to do in a situation like this is to fully immerse myself in her shoes and ask, “Where would that live in me and for me?”.
The end of control solves a few things but leaves much to be discussed about its other mysteries. Did you ask the authors for answers?
No, we never talked about it. I’ve never dealt with it. Maybe for a sequel, to get straight to the point, that’s what that is.
I’ve thought about it, sure, but maybe just subconsciously in my process I didn’t want to know because she wouldn’t know, and maybe not knowing helped. But I’m very curious.
control will be released on iTunes and other digital platforms in the UK on September 26th.