‘Wildcats,’ now available to view online, stars Linnea Sage as a former varsity cheerleader retelling her account of quitting the team and what she discovers along the way. We caught up with the New York based actress to hear how the hit web series came together, as well as talk about her recent film The ‘A’ Plate and the role that had her dressing like Cher from ‘Clueless.’

Question (Q): Do you remember your first time in front of the camera?

Linnea Sage (LS): Wow! What a great question! Honestly? No. How sad is that? I do remember my first on camera audition, though. I’m from a suburb in Boston, so I grew up doing a lot of theatre, as there wasn’t a huge film scene around. But when I was twelve years old, I convinced my mom to drive me to the mall so I could audition for a new reality show for tweens. It was called something like ‘Girls vs Boys’ and was basically ‘Real World/Road Rules’ but innocent. I got all dressed up and did my hair and makeup, and waited in line for three hours with hundreds of other kids. Looking around, all of the other kids were in shorts and baggy t-shirts and looked very outdoorsy. I looked like Cher from ‘Clueless.’ It was pretty obvious that I was not the type they were looking for. As far as I know, that show never came out.

Q: How do you think you’ve changed as an actress over the years?

LS: I started acting on stage when I was eight, and did a couple plays or musicals every year until I moved to New York, at 21. It was at my drama camp, Stagedoor Manor, when I was really convinced that if I worked hard enough and took acting really seriously, I could possibly make it as an actor. That was when I realized that there was never going to be anything else I could be as passionate about. I was absolutely hell bent on heading to Broadway. College is when I really discovered how much I loved acting on camera, and I got a lot of wonderful opportunities to work in the Boston film scene, where I’m from. It became clear that the characters I wanted to play and the goals I wanted to achieve in acting were more available with on camera work. When I moved to New York I decided film and TV was the path I was going to focus on. Of course, I still do stage work from time to time, when I just can’t turn a great opportunity down!

Q: How did ‘Wildcats’ come about? How did the director pitch it to you?

LS: After auditioning, I met with (the film’s director,) Rachel (Puchkoff) to talk about accepting the role of Allison. I had read the whole script at that point and absolutely fell in the love with the character and the story. It’s such an important message and it was also so hysterical. She didn’t have to sell it to me at all. I had to convince her to trust me with making Allison as dynamic and true-to-life as she needed to be.

Q: Did the idea and script change much by the time it went before the cameras?

LS: Not much, actually!

Q: Your character is very relatable. Anything you especially connected with with her?

LS: Absolutely! I hope everyone can relate to Allison. She’s your typical high school teenager. She’s trying to fit in, but also realizing she’s different and isn’t really sure how to handle it. She has loud opinions and is trying to muster up the courage to stand up for her beliefs.

Q: Where was ‘Wildcats’ shot?

LS: In the suburbs of New Jersey.

Q: Was improvisation encouraged?

LS: We did have a few improvised moments, but the script was so good that we tried to stick to it as much as possible.

Q: Film wise, you recently appeared in ‘The ‘A’ Plate’ – a fun little comedy in the tradition of ‘Used Cars.’ That part would’ve been fun to play, too? Very different from the character in ‘Wildcats!’

LS: The first part in a feature that I was really excited about getting was a supporting role in the indie comedy, ‘The ‘A’ Plate.’ It’s a film about a womanizing used-car salesman. It was a great cast and an extremely professional set, and I got to be really funny. I remember, after I had wrapped, that I was really proud of myself and I knew this was the kind of stuff I wanted to be involved in forever. That character was all over the place and was really going through some tough times. Deep down, both Allison and my character in ‘The A Plate’ just wanted to be heard and accepted. They just had very different ways of dealing with it!

Linnea Sage Talks Wildcats

Interview: Linnea Sage Talks Wildcats

By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

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