Sarah Lancaster well-known for being “Ellie Bartowski” on NBC’s long-running series, Chuck (2007), born in Kansas but moved to California at a young age of 10. Her first role was as a regular on Saved by the Bell: The New Class (1993), and then on Warner Bros. series Everwood (2002). Soon after that she starred in Dr. Vegas (2004), for CBS from 2004-2006, which followed by ABC’s What About Brian (2006), from 2006-2007. After a some time she was seen on-screen alongside Robert Downey Jr., in The Judge (2014).
Welcome to TV Series Hub! Starting at the age of 10, moving from one place to another and being tutored on set. What can you recall the most from your younger days?
Yes. We moved to Califronia at 10 but I didn’t begin auditioning until 13, it took several years to wear my parents down! My mom was a teacher, my father was a business man, they didn’t have the slightest intrest in Hollywood, let alone what channels to go through to make it happen. They are the exact opposite of “stage parents” you hear about. Those early years were just me badgering away at them.
With your parents not being in the industry, what made you decide to persue being an actress?
I was always so shy as a kid, so my parents we’re baffled by my wanting to do this… but as young girl I was always content to curl up with a book or a movie and escape to another world. Still am.
Being well-known for being in Chuck, what do you miss most about that show?
Chuck was a dream. Unique in that we all worked together for 5 years. One hour single camera dramas are hard work, long long hours. You end up seeing your castmates and crew more than your family. It was a very close bond. I personally went through so many life changes during the course of that show… I started off a single girl, met my husband, had my first child the last season. And all those tremendous people were right there with me.
As the years pass, roles changed for you. What kind of roles do you enjoy the most?
I always start with the writing, if it’s not on the page it’s definetly not going to end up on the screen.
Over the years, how has the industry changed and how have you been affected by it?
There is so much great content out there now, especially in TV. That wasn’t the case when I started. But the competition is greater, you have major actors signing onto TV projects, it very competitive.
Currently starring in a Family Drama – The Stray, what should we be expecting from a family being struck by lightning?
New beginings. I’m a big believer in fresh starts, that’s it’s never to late to live the life you want to live. Micheal’s character comes to a crossroad in his life, you could say the lightening stike literally wakes him up.
Having many young talents in the mix, how was it filming with the cast? What would you say stands out with this crowd?
This film prepared me for the chaos that is multiple kids! I was pregant… although nobody knew… during filming with my second son. It was great training chasing a 4 year old while carrying a baby on my hip.
Being based on a True Story, how do you think dogs in general have influenced positively the lives of human beings?
Look into a dogs eyes and you can just see. There’s a soul there.
With the movie being released in October, what projects will you be having next?
I have a screenplay that’s been sold, based on a book I’ve long loved. It’s a coming of age drama. We’re gearing up to shoot in NY. It’ll also be my first producing endeavor… I can’t wait, it’s been a long time coming.
Suppose you meet a young fan who wants to be an actor/actress, what would be the first thing you would tell him/her?
I’ve heard this repeated over and over but its true… if you think you’d be happy doing anything else do that. It’s such a tough industry you really have to have an “all in” approach. If that’s you… it’s this or nothing else… Go for it. Study. Meet people. Keep pounding away.
The Stray is on theaters tomorrow.