If the name doesn't ring bells immediately, you'll definitely recognize Sarah Carter's face. The budding actress has appeared in various television shows, and has played characters ranging from lawyers to werewolves to Superman's love interest. We caught up with one of the big and small screen's most versatile ladies and discussed her many projects...
Men's Fitness: What immediately strikes me about your work is that it's extremely versatile. From Dark Angel to Entourage, both Final Destination installments to Smallville, all the shows (and characters you portray) are diverse. Is this something you shoot for, or does it just happen by coincidence?
Sarah Carter: I haven't been typecast, that's for sure (laughs)! But I guess it just happens; I love playing characters. I'm not a personality actor, so I take advantage of every opportunity to be as wild as possible, hence my resume.
MF: To this point in time, which has been you're favorite (or most enjoyable) role?
SC: I'd have to say my character in [Spike Lee's upcoming legal drama] Shark, Madeline Poe, the one I'm playing now.
MF: Tell me about Shark.
SC: Shark is a lawyer show, but it isn't case driven. It's driven by humanity, ethics. Its about a man who realizes that people are worth fighting for, that's its not about fame and money. The concept of truth is relative. It's just a show that will make people think and feel and it's a big honor to be a part of it.
MF: How do you like working with Spike and James Woods?
SC: Working with Spike was an incredible experience; he's such a strong presence and a force to be reckoned with and he gets the performance that he's looking for just by being so clear and all-powerful. When Spike's on set, you know he's there and it makes you want to be the best that you can be. Working with James is the same kind of thing; he's a master of his craft and so much fun to play off of.
MF: And your character, Madeline Poe, what's her deal?
SC: She's extremely driven to win and will do whatever it takes to be the best in the office and wants to be the best attorney in the country, in the world. She's on the opposite path that [James Woods' character] is on.
MF: Is she an extension of your real-life persona?
SC: I'd actually say she's the exact opposite, which is why it makes it a great experience. I'm learning a lot from Madeline Poe.
MF: You're also featured in the sci-fi flick, and video game adaptation, DOA. How did that work out?
SC: Well, DOA is finished right now. It was shot in China and we went there for 4 1/2 months. The experience changed my life, and I feel that DOA, for me, was more about living in China than the film itself. It opened my mind that we share the planet with a whole other group of people that live in extreme poverty. It was definitely a culture shock. Before that, we studied martial arts intensively for three months here in LA, and it's the strongest physically I've ever been in my life.
MF: Were you a fan of the game before you began filming?
SC: I had no idea [about the game]! I don't play video games, but I did play a lot of DOA while I was in China. They gave us all Xboxes and there wasn't much else to do, so we had tournaments. The game is great, as is the movie. People aren't going to believe that it isn't comprised of green screens because the locations are out of this world.
MF: Now, tell me about Skinwalkers; I hear that you're slated to play a werewolf. Explain this to me because you don't exactly fit the "werewolf" profile a la Michael J. Fox.
SC: It's a surprising transition, actually. I play the sweet, very angelic character and then I have a 20-minute transformation scene that takes me through all spectrums of getting primal and violent. It's a really cool scene.
MF: Was it something you were looking forward to when you read the script? Did you have any reservations on playing a werewolf?
SC: Nope, although initially [the producers] wanted me for a different character, but when I read the transformation scene, I said 'no way, I want to play Catherine.'
MF: How do you manage time working on all these projects simultaneously? Find time to do what you like?
SC: I just show up where I need to be, and just live life in the moment. It keeps you in the moment, being really busy.
MF: Some of your interests, aside from acting?
SC: I have a dog, and we hike a lot (laughs). I go to the beach a ton; I take advantage of LA. Aside from being outside, I read a lot, also play music; I play the guitar and piano.
MF: Ultimately, where would you like your career to take you?
SC: I just want to continue to be able to create. But I'd like to raise a family and have a choice as to where I live. It's so sweet when your work reflects your life!
Shark airs on CBS Thursdays this fall
DOA hits theaters later this year
Skinwalkers hits theaters April 2007