Stanley 2015 Q&A: Sierra McCormick Goes Supernatural Slasher in Some Kind of Hate

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SKOH_postcardA vicious, poignant new take on the supernatural slasher, Adam Egypt Mortimer’s Some Kind of Hate is primed to bloodily announce itself in anamorphic widescreen at the upcoming Stanley Film Festival. Also doing so is Sierra McCormick, the film’s star likely best known for her work on Disney Channel series A.N.T. Farm. But where many Disney performers perhaps reveal themselves and cinematic maturity in sexpot turns, McCormick has taken a stirring, entirely different route. As Moira Karp, Sierra is no final girl, but the violent force to be feared, an anguished killer intent on hurting herself as much as others. In anticipation of Some Kind of Hate’s world premiere, McCormick previewed the role with Shock.

In Some Kind of Hate, a troubled teen is subjected to severe bullying accidentally conjures Moira Karp. Once a teenage girl pushed to suicide, Moira is now an unstoppable force on a mission of gruesome retribution. But when she goes too far, he must prevent her from spiraling out of control.

Shock Till You Drop: What attracted you to Moira, this vicious, but empathetic supernatural slasher?

Sierra McCormick: What initially attracted me to Moira was that she is a slasher villain that you can feel sympathy towards, and maybe almost root for. Most villains I’ve seen in the slasher sub-genre of horror aren’t people you would really empathize with. Reading the script for Some Kind of Hate, however, I found myself doing exactly that: empathizing with Moira. The usual relationship the audience has with the villain is one where we are supposed to hate them, and not want them to “win.” However, I think that when a villain can challenge that, it is a far more interesting and complex character to play. Of course, there was also the attraction of playing a dead girl!

Shock: Your cinematic tastes lie in darker, more horrific material. Did you look to any classic horror performances?

McCormick: While my pretty broad range of cinematic tastes does favor the macabre, I actually didn’t look to any horror performances for Moira. I wanted to play her dead as she was when she was alive: a teenage girl looking for validation and to fit in. I felt that playing her as a typical horror movie ghost or demon might take away what is so tragic and relatable about her: the fact that she is a very sad, bullied, tortured young girl.  All of her motivation and strong emotional sensitivity stems from who she was when she was alive, so I wanted to focus more on that aspect of her character.

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Shock: Moira’s costume design is striking and authentic. Did you work with the team on it?

McCormick: I want to give credit where it is due, so I’ll say that Moira’s cool outfit was born from Adam’s vision and our incredibly creative wardrobe team. However, when Adam and I first met to discuss the part, we both agreed that we didn’t want to see Moira in some sort of cliché Victorian nightgown.

Shock: Moira is a very pained spirit, ultimately doing as much harm on herself as she does to others. Being still of teenage, did you recognize aspects of yourself in her?

McCormick: Really, I would say that while I’m not much like Moira, I can certainly relate to her plight, as I hope a lot of viewers will. While I didn’t experience the level of mistreatment/bullying that Moira did when she was alive, there are certainly aspects of Moira that I can sympathize with, being that we are close in age.

Shock: What are you most looking forward to at Stanley?

McCormick: As a die-hard Kubrick and horror fan, I am ecstatic to get to see the hotel that inspired The Shining, as well as the films I might get to see there! I don’t have any specific film I’m anticipating, but I know I’ll definitely be walking away with some cool new favorites.

Some Kind of Hate world premieres Saturday, May 2nd at the Stanley Film Festival in The Historic Park Theatre. McCormick stars alongside Ronen Rubinstein, Grace Phipps, Noah Segan and Michael Polish. For tickets and more, visit Stanley Film Festival.

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