Tonight Carollani Sandberg guest stars on Syfy’s all-new episode of Z Nation
, "Welcome to Murphytown," as Anderson, a former Army drill sergeant and a new member of Murphytown. Yesterday she talked to SciFi Vision about her work on the episode, as well as some of her other upcoming roles. SCIFI VISION: Can you talk a bit about your character?
Photo © Ryan West
Anderson, as she’s called, is kind of a real badass. She was a drill sergeant in her former life, before the world went crazy. And since the world went crazy, she learned to thrive as an Upcycler, which is sort of a MacGyver type of gal who can make anything out of nothing.
So she’s very resourceful. She’s clearly made it this far through the end of the world [laughs]
. She’s got a lot of qualities and traits that she knew that Murphy would find useful at Murphytown. So she bet on Murphy.
She’s eager to prove herself, but she’s definitely out for herself. She wants to survive, so she’s looking out for herself, and the best way she thinks she’s going to do that is by aligning herself with Murphytown right now. How did you first become involved in the series?
I have been auditioning for Z Nation
for three years, since they began. And every role that came up, I gave it one hundred percent, and truth be told, none of them really felt quite right until Anderson came into my life [laughs]
, and those sides crossed my desk, and it clicked with me.
And they were casting it really quickly, and they asked for, I believe it was, five different actors to send video submissions. They were casting straight from the video submissions, so no callbacks or anything, and I was leaving for a family reunion the next day [laughs]
. And so it was like ‘get it in real quick and hope for the best,’ and also hope that the timing doesn’t interfere with this vacation that I’m on [laughs]
. So I sent off the tape, and my friend, Angela DiMarco, helped me get that taken care of.
And while I was on vacation with my family in Hawaii, I got a call from my agent, and she said I got the part, and I was thrilled. Then I had to figure out how to do all the paperwork from various FedExs and Kinkos [laughs]
around the island that were in all these different towns that I wasn’t staying in, and get all the paperwork done so that everything was in line.
And it turned out that I wasn’t going to be needed until a couple of days after I got back from vacation, so it all worked out perfectly.
I got a coaching session in with my coach and went to Spokane feeling really prepared, although a little frazzled [laughs]
by how quickly it all came together. And I was just off to the races! Out of curiosity, is that easier? I mean, in a way, I would think that doing a video audition maybe would be easier, but would also maybe be more stressful, because you can’t talk to them. How did that feel to you, doing it that way?
Photo © Ryan West
Well, there’re pros and cons for a video submission. You don’t get that personal touch. You don’t get to be in the room and look eye-to-eye at the people you’re trying to impress, or win over, or whatever. But it is sort of freeing, to just make a video, send it off, and ‘the end!’ [laughs]
. I was kind of grateful, especially since a lot of the callbacks are done in Spokane, so it would be really difficult to get over there and back in time to make it on my trip [laughs]
. Since you’ve been auditioning since the beginning, I’m going to assume that either you are a fan of zombie shows in general or you are a fan of Z Nation?
I’m a fan of the show. I’ve been watching since the beginning. Also, it’s something that shoots locally from where I grew up from, which is pretty cool. So I was interested in it from the get-go, and I’ve had a lot of friends play different roles on the show. So I’ve been watching for a bunch of different reasons, and it was fun to watch the development of the story and the characters over time. What was your favorite scene or just moment in general from the episode to film?
Ooh, that’s easy! And you’ve seen the episode and I haven’t, so I don't even know if it made it in, but my favorite moment was stabbing that big steak and just flopping it on my plate and going to town with it in that feast scene. Because that was kind of just a momentary inspiration, because we were all grabbing pieces of steak from around the outside of the big platter of steak, and then it occurred to me, like, ‘Why wouldn’t I go for the biggest piece of steak?’ [laughs]
And so I asked the director, Jodi Binstock, if I could have it, and she was like, “Yeah, give it a shot!” And everyone loved it. It was really funny. That was my favorite, and it was delicious! [laughs]
. A really good steak! Oh, you actually really ate it? [laughs]
Oh yeah! [laughs] Just because I know a lot of times, they kind of just have it there for more of a prop for part of the scene. That’s funny [laughs]. Can you talk a bit about working with Keith [Allan] as Murphy, because you obviously have some scenes with him.
Yeah, he was really fun to work with; he’s an incredible professional. When he’s on set, he’s super focused on making sure he’s got all his lines ready and all the blocking down, and he’s really focused on staying in-character.
But when we’re just hanging out between scenes, he’s a really funny guy. He’s really sweet, and kind, and just a really lovely person. Actually, everybody on set was really, really cool, and really sweet, just everybody I bumped into. It was a great atmosphere on set.
Are you going to live tweet [tonight] when it’s on?
Photo © Lisa Levan
I will be, yes. I don’t have the East coast feed at my house, but I will be tweeting the West coast feed. You have some other stuff that’s either been out a little bit or is coming out. Can you talk about that?
Sure, yeah! My film, Brides to Be
is currently touring the world in different film festivals. Right now, I think right it’s in Cologne at the Homochrom Film Festival, but anybody can rent it or buy it if they go to bridestobemovie.com
. And that is a really cool horror film - maybe not horror, but psychological thriller with horror elements [laughs]
, about two women the night before their wedding, in a spooky, haunted mansion. And it’s really all about kind of the power of love overcoming all obstacles. But it is definitely scary, so it's kind of a fun one for October.
And then I also still have a film, Second Nature
, which is about to have its world premiere at the Napa Valley Film Festival. I’m excited to go there and be there for that premiere with stars Sam Huntington and Collette Wolfe. It was really fun working with them.
And then also, look out for the feature film called Simple Creature
in 2017. They just released the trailer online, and it is really cool. I got to see the film earlier this year, and I love it. It’s really neat. It also has Russell Hodgkinson. He’s wonderful. It has a lot of really great talent, and I got to play the lead, which is really fun.
It’s all about biotech, kind of blurring the lines of humanity and technology, and what dangers that’ll bring to our society. It’s this really cool thriller.