TIFF 2013: Katee Sackhoff on Oculus and Marvel Studios Rumors

Katee Sackhoff Riddick

It’s my fault this is a brief interview with Katee Sackhoff. She would have stayed and talked as long as I wanted. She even gave me a morning hug, after recognizing me from last week’s Riddick press conferences. However, it being the Toronto International Film Festival, I had to make it to the screening of Metallica Through the Never so I stuck to the basics. At midnight the night before, or early that morning if you like, Sackhoff’s new film Oculus premiered in the Midnight Madness section of TIFF. She plays the mother of two children who discover a mirror is manipulating their father into murderous intentions. As adults the children combat the mirror, while remembering their mother’s plight. News recently broke that Sackhoff was in combination with Marvel for a project that could be scheduled in the near future, so this was a good time to follow-up about that too.


CraveOnline: Congratulations on Riddick’s opening. Labor Day’s tough.

Katee Sackhoff: Thank you. It’s a tough weekend. We kind of knew with everything that we’d end up on top of the box office but to get to 20 was really nice.


Is Oculus your first mother role?

I think so. I think so.


If it’s not, neither of us can remember at this hour on day five of TIFF.

Right, exactly so it obviously doesn’t matter. It’s the first time that I actually, yeah, really had to have that maternal instinct, be sweet and motherly and caring. I, number one, was shocked that they would ask me to do it because it’s not really stereotypically where people see me going, but then also how much freedom and trust Mike [Flanagan] gave me in those moments to convey that tragedy and sadness and the sense of loss, even before she really flipped, was pretty fantastic. He really was just phenomenal directing me the entire time. It was really great. It was a perfect situation and perfect experience for me to do something that I hadn’t necessarily done before.


Is this the vulnerable role you’ve been waiting for?

For sure. I mean, yeah, definitely. I think that we’re getting ready to go further with Somnia but I think this is definitely probably some of the most heartbreaking stuff that I’ve done. Just that complete utter sense of despair was really fun for me to play.


What was involved in getting you to your worst state by the end of the movie?

Oh my god, you mean like all the bloody and everything?


As vague as I’m trying to be for the audience, but yes, that.

Three hours of hair and makeup and then some eyepieces that I just couldn’t get in my eye. I’d never worn contacts before so I was having such a hard time keeping them in and then just when you’re working with children and dogs, you’re kind of at the mercy of the child’s schedule, which you all know going in so it’s no surprise. Those days when you’re sitting there in prosthetics were interesting days because I’m trying not to ruin the makeup but I’m trying to relax but there was like two hours of makeup, so it was quite a big process. Not as big as turning myself blue or something, but it was pretty intense.


I think blue takes less time now because they do it with performance capture.

It might take less time.


You’re talking about Avatar?

No, I was talking about Rebecca Romijn from X-Men. No, I’ve never seen Avatar.


But you are aware that there is a movie called Avatar.

I am, I am. I turned it on and turned it off after about 10 minutes. It was just a bit too much of the shakiness for me, and I was trying to clean the house at the same time which I don’t think you should do whilst watching Avatar.


We hear you have some Marvel negotiations going on?

You know, you say one thing… People love a good story, even if it’s a story that has very little truth to it. If you go back and actually listen to what I said, I said that people have checked my availability. I never said Marvel [or] Disney so it’s interesting how people twist stories to serve an agenda that makes people click on their site, or sell their papers.


So are you saying you have not spoken to Marvel?

I absolutely have not spoken to Marvel. It doesn’t mean that my team hasn’t spoken to Marvel. I personally have not spoken to Marvel and have no plans to do a movie in the immediate future, because number one I’m tied up with Somnia which is a fantastic place to be. It’s exactly where I wanted to be.


It turned out the fans were hoping you’d be Ms. Marvel. Was that flattering at least?

Yeah, I’m sure if we dug deep enough there is a sect of fans that don’t want me for Ms. Marvel so let’s just leave it at they want me for Ms. Marvel and that’d be fantastic. I would love to do the role. Of course I would love to do the role. I think that it’s in my wheelhouse and I would enjoy it. I’d be stupid to turn down a Marvel movie but as far as I know, Ms. Marvel isn’t even in the next movie.


What do you get to play in Somnia?

Somnia is a story about loss and I guess what you’re willing to do to have closure and try and feel whole again. It’s a story of redemption in a sense. I don’t want to give too much away but it’s a heartbreaking story that’s incredibly terrifying. I read the script for Somnia when I was filming Oculus and I remember calling my manager going, “I really need to do this movie” and he’s like, “How about you finish this one first and then you see it?” I was like, “I don’t need to. I don’t need to. You need to read this. I need to do this movie. The script is very good. 

Fred Topel is a staff writer at CraveOnline and the man behind Shelf Space Weekly. Follow him on Twitter at @FredTopel.