‘After’ Movie Exclusive Interview: Inanna Sarkis

Inanna Sarkis has a presence. She walks into a room and all heads turn. You don’t know what she’s going to say or do, but you just know that you are looking at someone who is going to give everything she has and make sure that she puts everything into her character.
Inanna Sarkis is a self made powerhouse.
She plays Molly in the adaptation of After, the book by Anna Todd.
After is based on Anna Todd’s best-selling novel which became a worldwide phenomenon on social storytelling platform Wattpad, AFTER follows Tessa (Langford), a dedicated student, dutiful daughter and loyal girlfriend to her high school sweetheart, as she enters her first semester in college. Armed with grand ambitions for her future, her guarded world opens up when she meets the dark and mysterious Hardin Scott (Tiffin), a magnetic, brooding rebel who makes her question all she thought she knew about herself and what she wants out of life.
Why did you want to be a part of After? What was it about the story that drew you to it?
I feel like my character, definitely she drew me to the project. I think that she is so unique and different, she brings this new element to the movie, that I just love playing – by the way this question is interesting.
Why do you think it’s a good time for this movie to be coming out?
I don’t think there’s anything out there like that and it’s just a super important point of someone’s life. It sheds light on that. We all go through that and I feel like it’s just life and makes people feel like they are not the only ones that are struggling. I feel like I have such a strong fan base that is in that age category and that want to see that and see that they are not the only ones.
What was the most challenging part of playing Molly?
I think definitely the part where she was like super vindictive against Tessa and there is just some- specially like the big bet reveal scene. I feel like that was probably the hardest scene because it was Tessa in front of me crying and I am supposed to be strong and act like it is not phasing me. I feel like I just use that as another element of layer to Molly because deep down she probably cares just doesn’t want to show it, you know?
What is about her that you thing is redeemable?
I just feel like she is very – there is no bullshit with her, there is nothing that she hides. I’d rather have someone up straight up with me than a fake or a phony. You know what you are getting with her. I think that that’s definitely a great quality and she is very assertive and like that is what she wants and she is assertive on what she wants.

Courtesy: Aviron Films

What was it like to work with Anna and have her on set everyday?
It was amazing! I would text her- I texted her before filming and she was just- she gave a complete back story on Molly’s character. A lot of things had happened in Molly’s life and things that happened to her that made her the person she is. So those were definitely the elements I wanted to know and Anna has a whole like ten-page synopsis on Molly’s back story. There is a book called Before also and that kind of have more of Molly’s backstory and there is so many parts that really explains why she is the way she is now. Moments in her life that was super trivial.
So did you read those books to kind of help you shape the character?
I: To know her backstory was very helpful for me. There was a moment – where no one knows about it – but she witnesses her boyfriend die in a car accident and she was like in the car with him. That is kind of the moment when she turns – she was supposed to go to college and she doesn’t want to go, died her hair pink and just completely rebels. She feels she has nothing else.  I feel like knowing that which was moments before she go to college it was so important for the role.
After has this huge fan base so what is it like knowing how excited the fans are to see these books coming to life and having to depend on this responsibility?
I: Definitely awesome, but I am like a little stressed.  What if they don’t like it? What if they hate it? A lot of people don’t like my character but I like getting feedback from them. I’ve been getting, I love that you’re Molly. I don’t really got negative things but I am hanging on that. I gave it my all and hopefully they like how I portrayed the character.
How often do you experience with the After fans?
I: Yesterday I was filming my music video and I accidently had a geo locator on my stories and After fans came in and showed up with pictures of me from the movie. That was cute. Everyone is so sweet honestly such a blessing to be a part of this awesome project.
So obviously After has this build fan base and the greatest thing about it is that the adaptations they opened this story for a new audience that haven’t experienced the books.  What would you tell people that haven’t had read the book, why did you go see this movie?
I: To the people who haven’t read the book? It’s just an awesome movie. It’s like it’s fun, there’s funny moments, it’s very relatable for the age demographic. It is just a unique and cool movie. And I’m in it – so watch it.
What was your favorite scene to film?
I: My favorite scene was definitely the party scene, the scenes with all of us in it.  The whole crew – the whole cast – is just so fun to work with. I just love everyone so I honestly think the party one was the only one with everyone. Everyone was in it so it was super fun. We were up until pretty late, until 4 AM and stuff. It was still just the best scene.
Speaking about working with the cast, it comes through on film, how close you guys got. What was your favorite memory on set? Did you have a specific one?
I:  There was one day it was raining, we were shooting straight and it was pouring rain and thunderstorm, everyone had stopped shooting. It was the day that we were shooting the campfire scene and we were all in the middle of the forest. They were just so bored, so I invited everyone to my trailer and we all just camped out in my trailer. We just staying in there for hours until the rain allowed us to shoot again. That was definitely fun.
Was there a scene that you filmed that didn’t make it into the film that you wish it had?
I: Yeah there was a scene where I approached Tessa on the college ground and it took us like the whole day to shoot. It didn’t end up making it for this movie, because it just didn’t fit. It looks so awesome and so great but you know it didn’t make it.
There is always deleted scenes?
I: There’s always deleted scenes!  Maybe we’ll see it another time.
What was the most important thing you learned about yourself while filming After?
I: I feel like I had to leave my head alot, and I realized that while we were filming. I overthink way too much and I realize it more and more. Especially when play certain characters.  I just need to  stop overthinking and just do it. Do whatever I feel like with my emotions and not hold back. That is just like my character, she doesn’t hold back and so I did with myself.
What do you enjoy doing more: doing a movie or YouTube content?
I: Definitely I mean there’s two different things. I would to say filming a movie just because that’s a whole other caliber and it’s just less stressful and it’s something about me moving into a character life. With my own YouTube videos when I’m writing it, I’m producing it, I am looking for locations, finding assistants, directing it. I am organizing the shots. I’m editing it. It’s just definitely –  I don’t love doing all those jobs I just I love acting right now. Obviously, I want to direct at some point, I just like living in the moment which is the character. With movies I am allowed to do that. Not worry about it, not think of those other things.
So what advice do you have to those who’s looking to crossover from making YouTube videos to the silver screen?
I: ,y intention was always to kind of create stuff that people would take more seriously and not just going for the views and the following. I feel like that was always in my head. I never created things to just get views, to get followers, clickbait and stuff like that. I feel like especially just creating roles you want to play. It’s huge. I try to think that as much as possible with the no budget that I have. It’s just like creating and writing the stuff that you picture yourself playing, it’s super crucial. And just executing it until you get the opportunity.
What do you hope that people that go to see this movie will take away from it?
I: It’s OK to go through the things that you’re going through. Whether it is moving to a new school or like in my character case fighting over a guy. It’s common. You’re not alone. It’s just a different way of dealing with it. There is other people that are going through the same stuff.
How was like working with your director, Jenny Gage? What was that experience like?
I: It was great. She was just super helpful. I loved the fact also that Anna Todd was on set the entire time. She was really helpful with dissecting and knowing the characters. Jenny made me feel super comfortable – okay to be loose and okay to be free with it.
What did you learn from filming this movie that you can take with you when filming other projects?
I: Probably just being more confident. I think at first, I was like, oh my god am I doing this right. Especially on the first day of filming, I was super nervous. I didn’t know anyone.  I just want the next movie, where I just have a moment to be really comfortable with everyone first and then begin filming. So that is definitely super helpful because once you meet with everyone and you’re comfortable then you can kind of be more free with and be yourself in the character.
What’s next for you? What can fans expect to see next?
I: Definitely working on other roles and auditioning. I shot an Amazon pilot that hopefully gets picked up. I have my new music video that I shot yesterday! Literally until 3AM! A song that was supposed to be in the movie, but I’m kind of releasing at the same date the movie comes out. The music video I’ll release a week or two after that.

After is playing in theaters now.

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