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An Interview with Amanda Schull

Interview with Amanda Schull

Amanda Schull had a very interesting journey to Hollywood. She was born in Hawaii, became a professional ballerina, and then ended up the lead in the big Sci-fi show of 2015. In 2000 I saw the movie Center Stage (which became a guilty pleasure favorite). Amanda played Jody Sawyer, the lead in Center Stage. Even in her first role you could tell she had that ‘it’ factor to be a star. She would go on to appear on multiple shows that would raise her profile; One Tree Hill, Pretty Little Liars, and then a role as Katrina Bennett on Suits. Suits’ amazing writing team allowed her to really show her acting chops. Now, along comes 12 Monkeys, the SYFY series based on the cult classic film Twelve Monkeys (which is in turn based on the cult-cult classic La Jetée). Amanda landed the lead role as Cassandra Railly. Now that she’s in our home turf, the sci-fi genre, GiantNerdRobot was lucky enough to land this exclusive interview with Amanda Schull.  

Photo Credit: Annie McElwain

Photo Credit: Annie McElwain

The Robot: Before you got the part in 12 Monkeys, had you seen the movie?

Amanda: I had seen the movie many years prior. I chose not to re-watch the film before we shot the pilot because I didn’t want it to influence my performance. Although, we are doing the television adaptation. We are not doing a remake of the film. Since the pilot I watched the film a few more times. Each time I see it I enjoy it more.

The Robot: I remember you from Center Stage, which was your first break, what do you get noticed for in public?

Amanda: It really depends on the people who recognize me. I still get noticed for Center Stage a bit – mostly by women. Lately I have been recognized more for my character Katrina on Suits. I actually had a woman approach me thinking that we went to law school together because she knew I was a lawyer, but just couldn’t place me.

The Robot: This is your first move into the sci-fi genre, will you be making any comic con plans this year?

Amanda: I hope so!

The Robot: You have worked with some amazing talent, who are some of your favorite actors to work with?

Amanda: Gosh, I have been really lucky when it comes to work colleagues. The last couple of years of my life I have been spoiled as far as scene companions. Everyone on Suits is amazing to work with, especially Rick Hoffman, who most of my scenes are with. Then I have the absolute privilege to go to work with Aaron Stanford, Noah Bean, Tom Noonan and Emily Hampshire. I think I am enjoying an embarrassment of riches.

Interview with Amanda Schull

The Robot: How much of a difference is it working on something like Suits, and then being on a dark show like 12 Monkeys?

Amanda: The two shows are completely different, and yet both so much fun to work on. Suits is very stylized as far as the wardrobe, the feel, even the rhythm of the speech. I love the banter I get to have with Rick Hoffman on the show, it’s unlike anything I have ever done before. 12 Monkeys has a stylized look as well, but on the complete other end of the spectrum from Suits. It’s very shadowy and dark, and the material is much more skewed to a straight-forward drama.

The Robot: When it comes to sci-fi/fantasy movies and TV shows , what are some of your favorites? 

Amanda: One of my absolute favorite TV shows is Game of Thrones. I binge watched 2 whole seasons over the course of 2 days when I first started watching, and now I am absolutely hooked.

The Robot: Should we expect a lot of twist and turns this year on 12 Monkeys?

Amanda: Yes! The show is filled with twists, turns and conspiracies. It is so well written and smart. There are quite a few plotlines and character developments that I didn’t see coming, but I love!

The Robot: You have a great classic look for the superhero genre. We at Giantnerdrobot we think Enchantress in Thor or Captain Marvel in the Avengers. Any aspirations to take a shot at the superhero film world? 

Amanda: I am incredibly flattered. I would love to be in a superhero film! How much fun would that be?!

Interview with Amanda Schull

The Robot: Did being a trained ballerina come in handy with acting and auditioning?

Amanda: I actually do think that being a dancer helps with my acting. I tend to think of characters in a very physical sense; how they would walk, carry themselves, what their physicality would be in certain situations. One big difference with dancing and acting however is that dancers don’t talk on stage! That is something that I had to get used to.

The Robot: The film version of 12 monkeys is seen as a contemporary classic, how important was it to keep the people that love the movie happy?

Amanda: Everyone who works on this show is a fan of the original film. We are also lucky enough to have the producers of the film as producers of the show. That being said, we are not attempting to remake the movie, we are in a way re-imagining it. I feel as though the film and series are different enough that people who are fans of the film can appreciate the series without making too specific of a comparison, while people who haven’t seen the film can enjoy the show as well. There are several little nods to the film throughout the season that people who are familiar with the original movie will be able to pick up on and appreciate. 

The Robot: How amazing is it to see that you and Zoe Saldana both got your start in Center Stage and now you have both become big successes? 

Amanda: Thank you. That is very kind. I think Zoe is amazing. I have been a huge fan of hers from the moment I met her on Center Stage. She is as beautiful a person as she is an amazing actress.

Interview with Amanda Schull


The Robot: Thank you for the interview Amanda, Welcome to the comic con crowd :)

The Robot

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