I recently got the opportunity to talk to Sarab Kamoo about her role in ‘Trust’. Here, Sarab talks about what it was like working with director David Schwimmer and about how she got into acting in the first place…
Hey Sarab. Thanks for taking out the time to talk to me about your new film ‘Trust’ – which got released recently in the UK. Hopefully it’s going to make it’s way onto DVD.
How would you sum up the film’s plotline?
The film gives a very honest representation of how vulnerable children can be at the hands of cyber predators. After Liana Liberato’s character is sexually assaulted by a grown man she had met through social networking, the film does a beautiful job of showing how such abuse impacts every member of the family and that no one’s family is safe from such predators.
Since the film is all about internet predators and the dangers of the internet – do you think that films need to tackle this issue more?
I truly believe every parent, pre-adolescent and adolescent child should see this film together so that it can spark communication on the topic. Today’s young culture is dominated by the internet and social networking and children are so prone to put their trust in others who validate their feelings and show any kind of interest in them. This makes them extremely vulnerable to predators who know how to focus in on those insecurities. Movies are such a great way to make people aware of these dangers.
Tell us a bit about your character in the movie…
I play Officer Gomez. My character is responsible for telling the parents (Clive Owen and Catherine Keener) in the hospital that their 13-year-old daughter had been sexually assaulted by a 30+ year old man she had entrusted on the internet. They had believed this friend of their daughter’s to be a teenage boy so the scene encompasses their grief and shock.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
The film was shooting in Michigan, where I live, and I had the privilege of auditioning for David Schwimmer. I went to the callback for a different role but then he gave me the pages for Officer Gomez and asked me to look them over and then come back in. I did just that and I guess it went pretty well because I was cast in the role.
How would you say this film differs from other thrillers released this year?
Many thrillers have plotlines that are not very plausible or that when people watch them they think that would never happen to them. This film is especially chilling because it shows we are all susceptible to the dangers of cyber predators. Because of this reason, I have had many people watch this film and tell me it was probably the scariest movie they had ever seen.
The film stars Clive Owen, Catherine Keener, Liana Liberato and Jason Clarke – with ‘Ross’ from ‘Friends’, David Schwimmer onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew?
Schwimmer made everyone in the cast and crew feel like they were the most important person on the set. He is so genuine and respectful of the people working with him that it makes everyone want to do their very best. On one particular morning, he had Clive Owen, Catherine Keener and I sit with him to go over some script changes. I was sitting with such creative and talented professionals and Schwimmer made my input feel just as important as everyone else’s. The whole experience was a wonderful one and Catherine Keener was an especially giving actor to work with.
Let’s talk a bit about you Sarab. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
I began doing plays when I was 12 years old, fell in love with the thrill of a live audience, and have been doing them pretty consistently ever since. Currently I am in a show at Jeff Daniels’ theatre, The Purple Rose Theatre Co., in Chelsea, MI. In addition to theatre, I have been so blessed with really being able to pursue my film career in the last several years. I also do voice-over work, commercials and industrial films.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in acting?
I guess I would say – never stop learning. I am always looking for classes to take to help me grow as an actor. It is important to be able to keep your skills fresh whether you are working on a project or not. Classes give you the safety of trying new things in a classroom setting with other acting professionals.
What music is currently on your I-Pod?
I really like a variety of music. I have music ranging from Broadway show tunes to Barenaked Ladies, Colbie Caillat, James Taylor, Abba, Michael Jackson, Maroon 5 and Bruno Mars to name a few.
You had a number of different roles on a range of different mainstream projects – who has been your favorite actor to work with so far and who has given the best advice to you?
I have to say the highlight of my professional career was having the honor of working with Robert DeNiro in ‘Stone’, which was released in the fall of 2010 in the States. He is such a kind and soft-spoken man and it was a pleasure to work with an actor of his caliber. I have had wonderful experiences with nearly all of the actors I have worked with. Sean Penn in ‘This Must Be the Place’ and Bradley Whitford in Mitch Albom’s television movie, ‘Have A Little Faith’ were both funny and charming and made everyone laugh between takes. Tony Goldwyn and Hilary Swank in ‘Conviction’ were also so kind and respectful of every single cast and crew member from the big name actors to the extras. Chris Messina, Jenna Fischer and her husband and director, Lee Kirk – were also so down to earth and were so open to input on the scenes in ‘Giant Mechanical Man’. I have been very lucky to say that I have yet to work with an actor or director in film with a large ego. They are basically just hard-working professionals who are extremely talented and good at their jobs. I think the best advice I have received by these actors would be through their modeling to validate what I’ve always known: it takes an incredible amount of talented people to put a film together and when you treat others the way you want to be treated, they will put forth their best effort to make the film a success.
What has been the most interesting piece of local / national news you’ve heard in the last month?
It is so refreshing to hear stories that are inspirational in the news. I read the story recently of a 9-year-old girl in Georgia who shoved her 5-year-old sister out of the way of oncoming traffic as they were rushing to catch their school bus. A pickup truck hit the 9-year-old who suffered injuries including a damaged leg that needed to be amputated, a broken neck and a lost kidney. The 5-year-old was unharmed because of her sister’s heroism. When asked why she pulled her sister out of traffic, the older sister simply stated “I love her more than anything, she’s my sister”. The selflessness and the love between these two girls left an incredible impact on me.
What’s coming up for you in 2011? You’ve got a few projects coming out this year featuring Mechanical Men and diseases…
The film ‘Contagion’, in which I play a Saudi Arabian representative, is going to be released in September of this year. Other projects that have yet to be released include: ‘Giant Mechanical Man’, ‘Have A Little Faith’, ‘This Must Be The Place’, ‘Steel Town’ and ‘Highland Park’. I also have several stage plays planned for this season including the dark comedy ‘Dead Guy’ at the Williamston Theatre and the Tony Winning Best Play 2010, ‘God of Carnage’ performed as a co-production at the Jewish Ensemble Theatre and Performance Network.
Thanks for the interview!