Sara Coates, is a Seattle native, and is a veteran theater actor, comedienne and writer. Sara loves improv and has studied at UCB. Sara, is most widely recognized for her recurring role in Syfy’s “Z Nation.” Sara portrays Serena, also known as “Pie Girl”, who has a fling with Murphy and becomes pregnant. After giving birth to their child, zombies surround them. Serena makes the ultimate sacrifice by drawing the zombies away from their child and becomes turned when they eventually overpower her.
Sara Coates, next project is an indie film “Lane 1974” premiering at SXSW, “Lane 1974” follows the story of 13-year old Lane, whose life is uprooted when her mother forces their family to leave the security and safety of the North Carolina commune where she grew up. Her mother insists on living off the grid where Lane and her siblings scrounge for food and occasionally attend school. After a series of dangerous and isolating events, Lane sets out on a 600-mile journey alone in search of the “normal” life she has always imagined. Sara plays Clarise, one of the only people in the film that gives Lane’s mother, Hallelujah, a chance. Even though Clarise thinks the best of people and their intentions, she eventually becomes frustrated by Hallelujah’s attitude, especially when the children are put in danger because of it.
Sara’s additional credits include the Sundance hit “Laggies” with Keira Knightley, “Rocketmen”, the indie film “Newly Single” and the “Resident Evil: Biohazard” video game as the voice of Marguerite Baker. Sara, is an advocate and ally for the LGBTQ community and supports The Trevor Project, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. In her spare time she loves to do cardio barre and yoga, attend plays, watch horror films and true crime documentaries and play with her French bulldog named Reuben Wrinkles.
Since you have a theater background, what was the first play you were in and what was your character?
I played the smallest Winkie (one of the flying monkeys)! I remember LOVING my costume and crying when I had to give it back. Sometimes I still feel that way. The first play I remember seeing was a Shakespeare in the park production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I had such a huge urge to jump up and run around with the fairies. Sometimes when I’m outside at dusk in the summer I still remember what it felt like to sit and watch that show.
What was the first play you saw?
The first play I was in was The Wizard of Oz at The Missoula Children’s Theater.
Which actor/actress truly inspired you growing up? Why?
I was in love with Shelley Long in the movie “Troop Beverly Hills”. I would watch it over and over. I never wanted to be one of the girls in the troop; I wanted to be Shelley Long as Phyllis Nefler… this incredibly over the top, passionate, strong woman who stood up for herself and made everyone laugh.
At what age did you realize that acting was the career for you?
I kind of always knew, but it took me a long time to admit it to myself. It seemed like a dream that would be too far out of reach. It wasn’t until college that I really took myself and this career choice seriously.
Borrowing a question from a James Lipton: what’s your favorite curse word and why?
Oh my gosh, you have made my dreams come true! I love a well-placed swear word, but my favorite is crazy. My mom would say it whenever she would stub her toe. It’s… “SH*T FIRE AND ASSHOLE MATCHES!” I still have no idea what it means but I love it, and many of my improv characters have said it. I try to use it as much as possible in every day life.
How do you ready yourself for a scene/performance?
I like to write my lines in a notebook by hand. Research is really important for me too; be it looking things up on the internet or emotional research. I find something relatable in my own life. But the real work happens with the other actors. When I was working on Laggies with Keira Knightly I had to excuse myself for a moment and I give myself a pep talk. It went something like this, “Damn it, Sara, you have been working for this forever! Lock it up and do your job!” Needless to say, the scenes went really well.
Do you have any aspirations to work behind the scenes? Producing, directing, etc. Of course! I write a lot and hope to produce something soon. I would also LOVE to direct. It scares me in a good way, like how rollercoasters scare me. I still want to strap in and go upside down.
What types of musicians do you listen to when doing your cardio, yoga etc? Nothing gets me going like late 90s pop. We are talking boy bands and pop queens. Little known fact, I recently went on the Backstreet Boys Cruise in Europe with my BFF. I regret nothing.
Do you have favorite actor that you are dying work with?
This list could be PAGES long but, off the top of my head, Lily Tomlin! She is the definition of “goals.”
What are your favorite movies?
In no particular order: “Singin’ in the Rain”, “CLUE” and “Troop Beverly Hills”.
Who are you favorite musicians/what are your favorite songs right now?
My taste in music is all over the place. I just love to dance! A new artist that I LOVE is Cardinox. They have a great song called “On My Way”. They are an American indie pop band and they make me want to shake my bum.