Meet our Best Performance of Fest winner, Carter Scott.
In D-Railed, Carter Scott plays Evelyn, one of the passengers on a train that crashes into a river. With such a strong ensemble cast, and in a challenging genre for any actor, Carter Scott stands out with a terrific performance. After being fooled by one of the characters she meets on the train, she realizes that no one on that train is trustworthy. As the story progresses, she follows her intuition and makes the necessary adjustments in order to survive.
Warning: Do not read this while on a train.
Carter, congratulations on this fantastic portrayal of Evelyn. You've done such a fantastic job with this character. We'd love to learn more about you and your career. Tell us, what sparked your interest in acting, and how did you get started?
I always loved performing, but I split my time between sports and theatre in school until my junior year, when I left public school in San Diego and attended Idyllwild Arts Academy, a pre-professional arts boarding school in the San Bernadino Mountains. The immersion in nature and daily intensive arts classes made me the artist I am today. IAA changed my life, and that's where I really discovered that acting wasn't just a hobby, it was my passion. That being said, when my Mom asked 4-year-old me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said "A ballerina, a goldfish, or God", and I'd still accept any offers in those positions.
Who are some of your role-model actors/actresses, and what do you like about their work?
Brie Larson has navigated her career expertly, in my opinion. She has had leading roles in both Indie movies and huge film franchises, marking success on both artistic and economic levels. She also brings an authenticity and vulnerability to her characters without making them weak, which is something I aspire to in my acting as well. I also admire and am excited to work among strong female and female-identifying actresses who use their platform for activism, especially on behalf of women and the LGBTQ community. Amy Poehlor, Amandla Stenberg, Jamila Jameel, and Margaret Cho are just a few that I respect immensely.
As Evelyn in D-Railed
How did you prepare for the role of Evelyn in D-Railed?
I read the script thoroughly to understand the purpose of each scene and my role within it. I sympathized with Evelyn, with her loss, her strength, her fear, until I could empathize with her. I got to know my co-stars and built trust and friendships with them. Then I showed up to set, stopped all the analyzing and examining, listened to my director, and just had a blast making a movie!
What was the most challenging thing about the character?
Classic horror movie struggles. Evelyn! Don't go in there! Stop that! Turn around! Except I was't yelling it at the screen in a movie theatre, but at the character I had to portray! However, without characters making questionable decisions, you don't have a fun horror movie. So onward into the ominous house/murky lake/dark mysterious room we go!
With Shae Smolik and Everette Wallin in D-Railed
Is this your first collaboration with director Dale Fabrigar? What was is like?
Yes! Dale is truly an angel. We worked long overnight hours on this shoot, and whenever anyone got cranky, or short, or just plain or tired, Dale just dissipated the grizzly bear vibes effortlessly. Well, it seemed effortless from my point of view, maybe he would have a different story. Either way, Dale was such a dream, so concise with his direction, so supportive, so excited when something was looking great. Even under stress he always stayed positive. We needed a rock and he really delivered.
What was your favorite scene to shoot?
Shooting the penultimate scene in the mill with Shae Smolik (Abigail) was really special. Shae is a fantastic actress, and we really got to hunker down, get connected, and make some beautiful moments. Ripping off Brie Mattson's (Lucy's) arm was pretty great too of course. I couldn't believe how triggering it was to film that even though I knew it was fake.
Carter Scott in D-Railed
Tell us about the most hilarious moment that happened on the set of D-Railed.
We shot in Philadelphia for 9 days, all overnight shoots. We'd leave for set at 6pm, and then return at 6am the next morning, a group of seven walking through lobby of the Marriott in full horror makeup, blood, gore, dirt, the works. Except we wouldn't be in costume, we'd be in our comfy sweats. Quite a look. We loved it.
D-Railed - Trailer
You've done a lot of other roles, in different genres (State of Affairs, Zoe+Ari, Hollyweird and The Veteran Hour, to name a few). Do you ever feel these characters go home with you?
Not really. Sometimes I'm tired, just like after a day at any other job, and the more emotional scenes will drain my energy faster, but I think it's really important to be able to maintain clear boundaries between my life and my roles. If they start to effect each other in any way, I nip it in the bud real quick. In order to play sad people, I need to be happy, healthy and thriving!
How do you deal with the stress of the entertainment industry?
I'm still working on it. If anyone has any tips, please email me, I'm taking suggestions! This industry is tough, chasing a lofty goal is tough, being a human is tough sometimes. When I get overwhelmed, I just concentrate on the next step, the next very small step I need to take, and I try to forget everything else. Usually that helps.
What is your dream role? and why?
Joan of Arc! Antigone! Nora Helmer (from Ibsen's Doll's House)! Strong women who are passionate, fierce, and fighting for something they believe in so much they would die for it. Also playing Stevie Nicks in a biopic has always been a dream of mine. I'm a hippie at heart, and Stevie is about as passionate/fierce as they come.
Do you have any tips for young actors?
Never sign a contract you haven't read and always keep a copy of the ones you do.
If you weren't an actor, you'd probably be a....?
Traveler. I think I'd be nomadic. Until I fell in love and settled down in some beautiful locale and harvested from my little garden with my kids and our dog named Sunny. Ahhhhhh. Wait, why am I doing this acting thing again?
Best Ensemble winner - the cast of D-Railed
What are you currently working on?
So glad you asked! I'm currently in the final stage of post-production on the first episode of the sketch show I created called "Don't Call Me A Millennial". Everyone can find out more (and you really should because it's kind of amazing) at carterscott.net
Would you like to add anything?
Thank you so much for this award! I am so grateful! And thanks for asking me questions, I absolutely LOVE talking about myself so this was a blast.