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Interview: Actress/screenwriter Sadie Katz talks ‘Scorned’

On Feb. 6, the Chico Movie Examiner conducted an over-the-phone interview with actress Sadie Katz, who made her screenwriting debut with the thriller, “Scorned,” which released to Blu-ray and DVD on Tuesday, Feb. 4.

Sadie Katz
Photo by Pierre Zonzon

One of the worst things a man can experience is a woman scorned. And Kevin (Billy Zane) finds that out the hard way, when his girlfriend, Sadie (AnnaLyne McCord), discovers that he has been having an affair with her best friend, Jennifer (Viva Bianca). During what is supposed to be a romantic, getaway weekend, Sadie goes from a beautiful, loving girlfriend, to a crazy, vengeful woman.

Katz talks about the movie; some things that remind her of her childhood memories; and much more. Before we proceed, Katz would also like people to know that you can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Check out the full interview below.

David Wangberg: I’m assuming that Sadie, the character in this film, is inspired by you?

Sadie Katz: Well, no. It’s pretty funny because we wrote it and plugged me in prematurely and then, at a certain point, we couldn’t think of another name to replace it. So, we just stuck with Sadie, which is either the best idea or the worst idea ever.

DW: [laughs] Well, I wasn’t going to assume that you had done all the things she did in the movie. I kind of figured that this might have been a revenge fantasy, and you just wrote it down on paper.

SK: Yes, I think that, in some ways, the idea of women being completely nuts, myself included, was the fun fantasy to have. Mark and I, when we first talked about writing it, we had talked about the fact that women get crazy. There’s nothing scarier than a woman with PMS. We had fun playing with that idea. And, to me, any girl whose boyfriend cheats on her with her best friend, the first thing that goes through her mind is, “I’m going to kill him.” That was kind of the fun we had with it, and we let our character go really nuts and kind of spiral downwards.

I had gone through a crazy breakup, and [Mark] had been through some crazy breakups. And we were commiserating over it about women going nuts, and we were talking about it being a “Fatal Attraction” type or “Misery,” and we’re both fans of that genre. And we talked about people checking their cell phones and text messages. We were pretty much on the same page of this guy’s going to get the text messages, and she finds the text messages, and things just turn wrong for him from there.

DW: I know that this is your debut screenplay. How come you didn’t want to play the lead character in this one?

SK: Well, I did. It was a really weird experience that I don’t think a lot of people would understand. But when we first wrote it, there was some talk about it being very low budget and about it being a chance for me to break out and have a breakthrough part. That was before “Nipples & Palm Trees” and “Chavez [Cage of Glory]” and “House of Bad.” But when Anchor Bay [Entertainment] picked it up, they needed someone with a star name. And it was a weird feeling, because when we got the call and found out how much the budget was going to be, I instantly started crying. Mark’s going, “What are you doing? This is your first script. Are you insane? We’re going to get name actors.” I would say, during that time, it was really painful, but now I’ve had my own stuff that’s going on, and I’m also very grateful that AnnaLyne [McCord] played the part, because she has the acting chops for it and the star power, and she’s quite lovely in it. But, yeah, did it kill me? Yeah. It felt like somebody ripped my heart out and stomped on it, but that’s the way it goes.

DW: There’s one part in the film where Sadie mentions how she hates passing the prison every time because it creeps her out. Is there a place that you hate driving by because it creeps you out?

SK: I hate driving by vans. If I’m walking down a street and I see a van, I will cross the street. I’ve always been terrified of them. I have a really hard time with vans.

DW: Like one of those older vans? An old Ford…?

SK: Yeah, the ones with no windows or the ones that are boarded up. I’m just always convinced that there’s a serial killer in there waiting to pull your fingernails off. And I think driving by – I’m from California, Orange County – so if I’m in a field [for] miles and miles, I do not enjoy doing that. I’ve done it a few times in my life on long trips, and I’m so scared. I’m afraid to look in the rearview mirror and see somebody standing at the side of the road. I’m a chicken, basically.

DW: There’s a part in the movie – I don’t want to give too much away – where they introduce the escaped convict part. Was that originally part of the screenplay, or was it originally going to be just the three main characters?

SK: It’s funny. We have gotten some slack in the reviews, and the thing is, we introduced him and the little old lady with the chili pot as kind of a wink to the audience – which some people got and some people didn’t. We originally had a bit of him actually breaking out that was part of the script. We were doing it, and it was supposed to run parallel, in some ways, to Sadie’s story. But it’s funny; we have had a few reviews where they really hate how coincidental it is, but we did that completely intentionally. There’s a lot of stuff that we just had fun with. When the little old lady comes with the chili pot, it was kind of to give everyone a break from what Sadie was doing. And I think Mark did a great job of casting the guy who really had the tattoos all over his face. To ask if there’s something even nuttier, it made perfect sense at the time and it still does. It is so nuts that Sadie is so crazy that she could pick up a hitchhiker who looks like the scariest, baddest a** dude ever, and inside, she knows that she’s a lot scarier than him. I think a lot of what we did was fun and [a] wink at the audience, but some people picked up on it, and other people went, “They can’t do that.”

DW: Immediately after she finds out that her boyfriend is having an affair, Sadie goes immediately for the cigarettes.

SK: [laughs] That would be from me, exactly – the cloves. She’s smoking cloves and drinking Maker’s Mark, which was a little thing that Mark and I did. I used to smoke cloves constantly, and we both enjoy Maker’s Mark at times.

DW: I was going to ask, on one of your breakups, what was the immediate thing you went to as a thing to calm you down?

SK: When I was younger, I went for my keys and keyed my boyfriend’s car. But, now that I’m an adult, probably a cigarette – which should change for now [to] an e-cigarette. I say my girlfriends are huge supports. You can’t be single in Los Angeles without a team of girlfriends who know what the hell you’re going through. Dating is rough. I mean, L.A. dating is really, really horrible. It’s great, but it’s horrible.

DW: I was kind of pondering this before I watched the movie. I know this is only a one-movie deal, but throughout the years in horror films, we usually get the slasher story, and it’s based on revenge, but [the killers] are usually male – like Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees. Do you think there could be a chance that people could give a female a chance to one of those kinds of roles? Instead of Jason Voorhees, it’s Janelle Voorhees. Do you think a female part might work in that kind of role?

SK: Yeah. Honestly, when we first wrote “Scorned,” I visualized being like “Mommie Dearest” – really f**king terrifying and unattractive. I believe she starts off attractive, and we watch her fall apart. I don’t know why. I think what happens with horror is [that] everyone gets caught up with, “OK, we have to see her boobs, or her tits, or her a**.” To me, a scary woman is a scary woman. It’s gotta happen. Someone will come out with a Jason that’s a woman or just is crazy like Charlize Theron in “Monster” – but have a little more fun with it. I would love to do that; I would love for that to happen. But it’s tough, because the men are the buyers, sometimes, and I don’t think people realize that more women watch horror films than men.

DW: Indeed. I’m not a huge fan of them; my girlfriend is, though. I’ll watch with them with her to keep her calm, but she’s more interested in them than I am.

SK: Yeah, isn’t that funny? I mean, my boyfriend – I’ll say to him, “Hey, what movie do you want to watch?” And I have a 12-year-old-son, and I’m always like, “Let’s watch a horror film.” I think they’re something like an escape for a woman, and she feels like it’s the sexy thing. She wants to scream and yell and be really involved in it – whereas, a romantic comedy makes me cry, and a drama makes me really cry, and a horror film makes my heart pound. Almost all my girlfriends are huge fans of horror films. They just love them; they can’t get enough of them.

DW: I was listening to an interview, and I can’t remember if the interviewer said it or if Mark said. But he described “Scorned” as “a man’s worst nightmare.” Now, reverse the roles, what would you say is a woman’s worst nightmare? Is it the cheating, or is there something worse than that?

SK: Well, I have to say, I know this is a dark answer, women have lots of nightmares about being raped. I think that’s the difference. Women have nightmares about things that will really happen that are really scary in the world, and men are just scared of the nagging from a chick. I don’t know. What would be my worst nightmare? I don’t know if cheating is my worst nightmare. Maybe having no clue that he cheated – that would be my answer. Having no idea that someone is cheating on you and are completely surprised by it, that would be crazy. Because you kind of know who the cheater is and who is not when you’re dating. So the guy who’s madly in love with you, and you find out he’s a cheater, that’s heartbreaking – that’s heart-wrenching.

DW: There are a few things in here that trigger Sadie’s childhood memories. You don’t have to get personal on this one, but do you have anything that triggers your childhood memories – like an old toy, or something else?

SK: It’s funny – Bubble Yum. Chewing Bubble Yum [and] roller skating, to me, triggers a lot of memories of my childhood. I spent a lot of time on roller skates as a kid; I still roller skate now.

DW: So, you mean, Bubble Yum – like, the circular gum?

SK: Yeah, you know what I’m talking about?

DW: Yes, I do.

SK: What is that? Bubble Tape? The little powder on the gum. It’s the whole smell; it’s everything. I used to read Mad Magazine and eat gum.

This concludes the interview, but the Chico Movie Examiner would like to thank Sadie Katz for taking the time to talk about “Scorned.”