It's quite likely that Sara Paxton has two entirely different fanbases: one who knows her from kiddie fare like AQUAMARINE, RETURN TO HALLOWEENTOWN and SYDNEY WHITE, the other is familiar with her more, shall we say, R-Rated work: THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, SHARK NIGHT and THE INNKEEPERS. Sara has been acting since she was eight-years-old, so she's already racked up over 50 on-screen credits; impressive for a girl who is still only 25.
In her latest film LIARS ALL (it's of the R-rated variety), Sara plays Katie, who is one of a group of friends involved with a murder when a simple game of "Truth or Dare" goes very, very wrong. Sara was kind enough to chat with me for a few minutes regarding her own feelings on Truth or Dare, her predilection for "older dudes," and what's it's been like growing up in front of the camera. She's sweet and quite down-to-earth, you'll dig her.
For people who may not be all that familiar with LIAR'S ALL, what can you tell them to spark their interest?
Without giving anything away, LIAR'S ALL is a murder mystery/thriller, about a group of friends who get kind of crazy on New Year's Eve. They're all partying, but then all this crazy stuff happens, and then it's about putting the pieces of the puzzle together and figuring out who is telling the truth and who is lying. The script really hooked me, I like how it takes place from a bunch of different perspectives. During the flashbacks, you don't really know what's true. We would film a scene three different ways, and you don't know which one is true until the very end.
How would you describe your character? Is she a good girl or a bad girl?
She's the level-headed one. I feel like she's the only one who doesn't have a hidden agenda. She's the least suspicious person, which is not necessarily a good thing. There are a lot of twists and turns.
A big element of the plot deals with a game of Truth or Dare going awry. Have you ever played Truth or Dare? What's the craziest thing that's ever happened?
I'm sure I played Truth or Dare when I was a little kid, but I don't like these kinds of games. I'm kind of like Katie in real life in the sense that I'm the one who is always saying "Alright settle down guys, let's not get too wild." I like to have fun, I can be loud and outgoing, but I don't like things to get too out of hand, so I wouldn't play Truth or Dare. How 'bout a nice safe game of Scrabble, guys?!
You've been acting ever since you were a little girl. What has it been like growing up in front of the camera, so to speak?
Luckily I wasn't the kind of child actor who was always in the spotlight. When I was really little, it was a goofy thing for fun. I never thought I would make a career of it. It wasn't until I got older that it started getting serious because I was booking bigger roles, leads in movies, and I never thought that would happen. But I went to public school, I wasn't home schooled, I don't have any friends who are actors. It's pretty normal for me over here.
What are some of the coolest places you've ever been for a film?
I've been really lucky that I've been able to travel and see a lot of new places. I did a movie called AQUAMARINE when I was 16 and I got to live in Australia for four months, and that was amazing. And then for LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, we shot in South Africa for about four months, so that was pretty great. It's pretty cool. Of course, I missed my family and it was hard to talk to anyone I know because of the different time zones, there are totally drawbacks. But I can't complain.
Are there any actors that you really want to work with in the future?
Goldie Hawn is my idol, she's the reason why I act, I love her. I would be thrilled to be in a movie with her, if I get to do that, I don't think it would get much better.
Any movies that you've seen recently that you really liked, or are there any TV shows that you're addicted to?
"House of Cards," I'm really into that.I just watched all the "Arrested Developments." I just got into "Homeland." I'm trying to get back on the drama train, because I was watching a lot of comedies like "Parks and Recreation" and "30 Rock." I'm also getting into "The Walking Dead," that's really good. I'm also really nerdy so I watch a lot of cartoons, like "Archer" and "Bob's Burgers." It would be a dream come true to voice a character on "Bob's Burgers."
Who is your celebrity crush of the moment?
Hmm. This is probably a weird one, but I am really into Gary Oldman. I'm obsessed with him. All of my celebrity crushes are usually people who are super talented. Like Anthony Bourdain. I guess I just like older dudes. (Laughs) That's a weird one.
What do you do in your spare time when you're not working - and not playing Scrabble?
The hardest thing about being an actor, I think, is that there's a lot of down time in between stuff, so I don't really know what to do. So I have a lot of hobbies. I love watching Food Network and cooking. I love taking classes. I'm learning how to play the ukulele right now, and I was doing a woodworking class before that. I'm always doing weird stuff. I always have random crap in the back of my truck, like an easel and a guitar, I'm always doing something new and different.
What do you have coming up that we can get excited for?
I have two movies coming out this year. One is called THE BOUNCEBACK, which is a raunchy romantic comedy that takes place in Austin; I play this out-there crazy girl with pink and green hair. It's funny. I have another one called CHEAP THRILLS that played at SXSW, and that's a really messed-up thriller.
Sounds cool! Well, thank you very much for your time, Sara!