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'Sun Don't Shine' Duo Kate Lyn Sheil and Kentucker Audley On Braving the Florida Swamps for Amy Seimetz and Working on Ti West's Upcoming Horror

By Mark Lukenbill | Indiewire April 30, 2013 at 10:43AM

Amy Seimetz's "Sun Don't Shine," which is currently in limited release after debuting at SXSW last year, is a startling, visceral freshman film from the "Upstream Color" star. In addition to receiving plenty of support in the form of rave reviews (you can read ours here), the film also serves as an announcement of the arrival of some serious talent. Both its director and two stars, venerable indie character actors Kate Lyn Sheil and Kentucker Audley, are about to be unavoidable in the indie film world.
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'Sun Don't Shine'

Obviously you guys are in an enormous amount of projects coming out soon and in production. The interesting thing about the sort of New York based collective of independent filmmakers that you guys are grouped with is that you're all making these lower budget movies with your friends, but they all work in so many different genres. I was wondering when you're in a movie like "You're Next," or Ti West's new movie, do you do it because you're drawn to that genre or are you using it as an opportunity to work with your friends and people you're comfortable with?

KA: Both. I'm attracted in moving away from naturalism, which is something that as an actor and director I've been focused on almost entirely. I'm always interested in working with people who want to involve plot and genre in their work. That's what I wanted to do with Amy, is make a genre movie. So the body in the trunk was a strong kickoff for that. As for the horror thing, I don't know, I never really watched a lot of horror movies. But it seems like a lot of new, young, creative type of energy is going towards horror and I'm starting to become excited about it and I'm starting to become more interested in it. 

KS: I've always liked horror movies. It's exciting for me to act in them. But I completely agree with Kentucker. I'm interested in... I had an acting teacher in college who, when we were freshman we we thought we were really great because we could say something and sound like a person. And he said naturalism, just being natural, is, like, step zero. Not even step one. Like, OK, you've gotten this far. Now you can start to actually act and make choices and do interesting things. 

KA: Shit. I'm at step zero. 

KS: No, no! I'm at step zero too. I don't know how to do anything. 

Wait, I mean both of the performances in this film are pretty across the board--

KS: Thank you.

--Amazing.

KA: You thanked him before he said amazing.

I could've said anything.

KS: I was just thanking you for talking to me... But yeah, genre stuff is exciting to me. 

Are you in a place where you want to just keep working with people that you know or do you want to branch out?

KA: I'm interested in branching out but...

KS: Branching out isn't interested in me.

KA: Yeah, I just moved to New York and started to, for the first time, pursue acting outside of my friend's films. And it's incredibly daunting and soul-sucking. Already. Week one. 

KS: Try week fifty-two.

Sun Don't Shine

There are a couple of upcoming projects I want to talk to you about. First of all, Kentucker, I want to give credit to NoBudge, because I think it's a really incredible resource for microbudget filmmakers. 

KA: Thanks for being aware of it. That's my main thing. I'm not making any money off of it, but it's the project I'm most passionate about all the time. It's another important part of the process, curating other people's movies and just seeing how other people make movies. And the bottom line is there are just so many movies that are great, quality films and are just lost. And I hope to put some of those back on the scope a little bit. 

I want to talk about Ti West's "The Sacrament," which you're both in, a little bit, because it sounds pretty crazy, or certainly a step forward in terms of budget with building giant sets in Georgia and all of this stuff. Anything you can say about that movie?

KS: Kentucker has a much larger role in the film than I do. The set looks incredible.

KA: Yeah, the set. It's this completely built village in the middle of a field. I don't know... They told us we're not allowed to talk about it.

KS: They didn't say anything to me! It was an amazing experience. I was on it for about a week, but I had a wonderful time. 

KA: It was a millions of dollars movie, with trailers. As an actor, you're pampered...

KS: It was very different.

KA: You had people drive you to set.

KS: And then you feel really silly because you've done all the other jobs on a film set and you're like, I don't need to eat before those people!

KA: They would drive you there and then they're like, now you go sit in your trailer, now you go eat at this amazing buffet.

KS: The food was so good. 

KA: I guess we're not really saying anything.

Yeah, nothing really about the movie. But that's the interesting thing about it too, though, that it's this huge scaling up for you guys. It's like the graduating class of the group of filmmakers that you guys work with, but on a multi-million dollar set. It's a bigger budget genre movie, but with you guys, and Amy, and Joe Swanberg.

KA: Yeah, it's a really weird thing to happen. And I'm just so eager to see how it will turn out. If it works, Jesus Christ, I'm going to be so happy. I've worked in a couple of horror movies now, but it was a really big struggle for me to find my way into that world. I worked with Adam Wingard on "V/H/S," but that was just as a hooligan, breaking things, but here I had to sculpt some performance out of it and I was unfamiliar with the genre. I was hoping that that would be a selling point rather than a detractor, that I was bringing something fresh to the table, but that was definitely a struggle.

Did he show you guys any horror movies to get you into the mindset?

KS: We were there on Halloween and we watched "Halloween 3." That was about it. 

KA: I actually hadn't seen any of Ti's movies before we shot that. I saw "House of the Devil" right after we filmed and was like, shit! Maybe I should've tried harder. That was an amazing movie.

Also, Kate, as a huge fan of "The Color Wheel" I want to ask you about "The Traditions," Alex Ross Perry's HBO pilot that you're in. 

KS: Yeah... I think they were actually kind of mad at Alex for breaking the story. 

That doesn't surprise me.

KS: Yeah, HBO's very tight-lipped. But he's editing it now and we shot it in January. I was really proud of what we did. I think Alex is becoming very clear as an actor and a director. But I don't think I'm supposed to say too much... (she pauses and pulls out her phone) Should I call Alex?

KA: You're not going to write this unless we give you a big scoop, right? We gotta have a big scoop! Fuck!

Well, you have so many projects coming out, is there anything that you're really excited about that you can talk about?

KA: We're acting in a new movie together for Alison Bagnall, who wrote "Buffalo '66."

KS: "Funny Bunny."

Right, that she did the Kickstarter for.

KA: Yeah, we got the money.

KS: We got the money.

KA: We could give a scoop on that. But it's all on the Kickstarter page...

Kate, do you have any interest in writing and directing? 

KS: Sort of, I co-wrote a movie that I'm in the process of making.

KA: "Sort of... Yeah, I made one."

KS: Yeah. I wrote it with my boyfriend and we're shooting it in Kentucky. It's a Civil War movie. We shot like forty percent of it.

KA: That's gonna be really good. It's got all the good people in it. All the greats.

Who's directing it?

KS: My boyfriend, Zachary Treitz. He made a short called "We're Leaving" that played at festivals in 2011.

This article is related to: Sun Don't Shine, Interviews , Kentucker Audley, Kate Lyn Sheil, Interviews