[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.]
Over the course of the season so far on From, we’ve witnessed Sara’s battle against the voices telling her to to do terrible things, and tonight we saw her unravel further, threatening the Matthews and lashing out in a moment of terror with horrifying results.
I recently spoke with Avery Konrad about Sara’s arc so far. When she auditioned for the show, one of her scenes was the murder in the clinic, so she knew that Sara would have a complicated story. She says that she and series creator John Griffin talked a bit about what Sara’s history might be, but didn’t get too much into the weeds.
“I think that she definitely has a history of struggling, which is why Nathan is so concerned about her in the first place. And I think this town is really amplifying those things that were already going on [for her] and kind of pushing it even more,” Konrad shares.
“I always approached Sara as, yes, she has struggled, but my thought as the actor is that she’s actually hearing these voices of these monsters. And your interpretation of that as an audience member, you can take that however you want to view her. There’s definitely a history of some mental health issues, but these are very real things that are happening to her, which is interesting to play and also interesting to watch because you never know what she’s going to do.”
“There’s a constant internal struggle with her. She’s always battling these things that are telling her to do things that she does not want to do. She wants to go home just like everybody else, and she has such a pure heart that she believes what they tell her or she wouldn’t approach these situations in this way. What I wanted to keep prominent in Sara is that internal struggle and that even though she’s doing these terrible things, she doesn’t feel good about it at all. And she does have a kind heart. She’s just in this really terrible situation.”
“I never saw her as a villain or anything like that. And as the actor, you can’t view her like that. You have to play every character with love and really dig deep and see where they’re coming from and be sincere about it. I wanted to approach those particular scenes [looking at] how would someone in this situation who’s dealing with these issues, how would that feel? What would that look like, in a grounded sort of way?”
Before things go sideways with Sara, she has a sleepover with Kristi at the clinic that’s the calm before the storm. Konrad loved filming that with Chloe Van Landschoot, who’s her real-life best friend. “Episode five was really tricky for me because it’s the first time you ever saw her sort of normal beforehand. You always see her in these extreme situations where she’s doing something kind of crazy,” Konrad explains.
“So I really love doing that scene. Chloe and I sat around and talked about where we are coming from in this moment and what that means for our characters. We really got to hash it out beforehand, which was really helpful. But it was really lovely to have some sort of sense of calm, and to play off of my best friend was such a fun day.”
“I felt very taken care of and she’s very present and so talented. They cut that scene down a bit. It was originally five pages long, I think. That internal struggle that Sara’s battling is always present in some sort of way [and] I didn’t want to let that die in those moments because realistically it never goes away. But it was nice to see and play a new side of Sara.”
Konrad was also grateful for the collaborative way Sara came to life as a character. “With a character like this, it’s a constant journey. I don’t think that anything ever feels finished as an actor. You’re always searching for new ways and as you’re getting the material, we’re all learning together, which I think is something really special about this show,” she says.
“John was very open to hearing everybody’s views on their characters and how they were feeling, which you don’t necessarily get all the time, which I think is why these characters feel so grounded and well rounded. He really allowed space for us to bring aspects of ourselves to the show, which is so special. Overall it was just such an incredible experience. I was constantly learning.”
Since the show is divided between the town and Colony House, the cast often didn’t work all together at the same time. “I read the scripts, but I didn’t know a lot of the Colony House stuff. I would just hear about it when we would all hang out, but I would never see what they were doing,” Konrad points out.
“So I’m watching their stories as you are seeing it, too, as a viewer, which is really cool to be so intertwined with the show, but also get to watch aspects of it as a viewer and see what they brought to their characters. And they just blow me away.”
“It’s rare for a group of people that big and all age ranges [that we] really all became family and hung out all the time and would have family dinners and celebrated birthdays. I’m really going to hold this one to my heart for a long time.”
Although Sara’s now been outed as a killer, and lost her brother, there’s still more of her story to tell this season. Konrad teases her journey with just one word. “Redemption,” she says. Stay tuned!
From airs Sundays at 9 pm/8c on EPIX and is streaming online at EPIX’s website and through EPIX on Prime Video, Our previous coverage is here.
[Updated 09/26/22: From will be available in Canada on Paramount+ beginning 09/27/22.
Photos courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.
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