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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Wingman Wednesday

Lucie Guest

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Photo By: Studio Aviva

These are some weird, emotionally-draining times. For many of us, escaping into the fictional worlds of our favorite pop culture mainstays remains the only viable method of holding onto our sanity. One of our favorite binge-worthy broadcasts is Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and just prior to lockdown, we spoke with series star Lucie Guest, who herself was a fan of the show before being cast as Circe.

I think I couldn’t help but feel more invested in the character having watched the show and knowing the world that these characters live in already,” she said in the exclusive interview with TrunkSpace.

We recently sat down with Guest to discuss the positive vibes on set, walking on spoiler eggshells, and her career behind the camera.

TrunkSpace: We read that you were a fan of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina before being cast as Circe. When you’re working on a project that you have a personal stake in as a viewer, does it alter the experience for you at all?
Guest: Yes. I think so. I think I couldn’t help but feel more invested in the character having watched the show and knowing the world that these characters live in already. My character comes from a different world but she interacts with their world in such a fun way. I was a fan of the show and also a fan of the team behind it. Roberto is someone I think has a specific and detailed vision and I wanted to bring that same level of detail to the character.

TrunkSpace: The series has a massive following and the fans take to the socials pretty quickly when a new season drops. What is it like being on a show that has so much buzz surrounding it? Is it a bit infectious and does it carry over onto the set?
Guest: It’s exciting. The set is such a fun environment despite it being a dark show. The cast are beyond sweet and so fun to be around. It’s the best coven out there.

TrunkSpace: On the opposite side of the coin, when you’re on a show with so much buzz, everyone must want to know what’s going to happen next. Are you in a constant state of fear, worrying about accidentally revealing spoilers, because frankly, it would be too much pressure for us to carry around in life?!
Guest: Ummm, Yes! I was so afraid to accidentally post anything that might spoil a new character or storyline or accidentally reveal someone dies… I almost posted a photo from the set and I zoomed in on the background and realized it would be a major plot spoiler!

TrunkSpace: For fans, the final product of a film or series is always the most memorable part, but for those involved in a project, we’d imagine it goes much deeper than that. For you, what is something about your time working on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina that you’ll carry with you through the course of your life/career?
Guest: I really loved the environment the cast created on the set of this show. I wish all shows were like this. I’ve talked about it before, but it’s so rare to be on a show where the cast is so welcoming and inviting. It makes such a big difference when you’re working on something and you look forward to going to work. It makes the long hours go by faster. I really think this has a lot to do with how amazing Kiernan is – she really sets the tone. All hail queen Kiki.

TrunkSpace: Can you tell us a little bit about Take Off to Love, which you co-wrote and will be directing?
Guest: It’s a feel good type of movie. It’s a romance about a girl who has to unexpectedly go back to her hometown to help her Aunt run her marina-side bed and breakfast and while she is there she starts to fall for the seaplane pilot who flew her over.

TrunkSpace: Does working behind the camera – writing and directing – fulfill a different part of your creative brain that acting can’t?
Guest: Yes. It is so nice to be a part of the creative process from the beginning to the end. I really feel like the years of acting experience has shaped my directing style.

TrunkSpace: Where are you hardest on yourself as a creative and how do you overcome those self-critical insecurities?
Guest: I think it’s part of the creative process to have a critical eye, but what helps is having a deadline. Sometimes, I need to just walk away from something because I could rewrite it or tweak the edit or do another take. For me, it’s hard to fully feel like the creative process is ever really “finished” so that’s when it’s good to have a deadline.

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career as a whole thus far?
Guest: I am most proud of a movie that I wrote and directed and acted in called Never Better – A Closure Comedy.

Photo By: Studio Aviva

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Guest: Yes! The best is yet to come. Wink.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is available on Netflix for your binge-watching pleasure!

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Wingman Wednesday

Tyler Cotton

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Photo By: Noah Asanias

For Tyler Cotton, there has been nothing chilling about his adventure in acting since joining the cast of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Although he had originally auditioned for the part of Harvey, it was Melvin who he was hired to inhabit on screen – and for much longer than he ever anticipated at the time.

Melvin was only meant to be in one episode originally, so every day that I’m back on set I am so blessed and grateful,” he said in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace.

We recently sat down with Cotton to discuss the impact of the series on his personal life, forever friendships, and how he’d like to see the Boy Wonder factor into his career.

TrunkSpace: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has a huge following and a rabid fan base. Where has your life been impacted the most since joining the series as Melvin?
Cotton: One of the biggest impacts has been my day to day. Because of this amazing show I got to quit my day job and put all my energy and focus into this role/show and into my acting career.

TrunkSpace: Although grounded in reality, the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is the kind of series where anything can happen. What was the craziest on-set moment that you experienced where you looked around and said to yourself, “Is this my life right now?”
Cotton: Every day is like that for me! Melvin was only meant to be in one episode originally, so every day that I’m back on set I am so blessed and grateful. I genuinely think that every day I’m on set I have a moment where I look around and think about how lucky I am to be where I am.

TrunkSpace: You’ve spent more than 10 episodes playing Melvin. At what point in the process do you start to feel like you know him as well as yourself?
Cotton: Every time I think I know Melvin I get a script that really makes me think about the character more and more. I feel like I know Melvin really well but then I get an opportunity to explore deeper into the character and that’s something that always excites me!

TrunkSpace: From what we understand, you originally auditioned for Harvey. In an alternate reality where you’re playing that character – do you think your journey since joining the series would have been dramatically different had you played a different character?
Cotton: Oh my god, my journey would have been extremely different but I’m also really happy with how things turned out! Ross (Lynch) is the perfect Harvey and does an amazing job and I really love Melvin.

TrunkSpace: For fans, the final product of a film or series is always the most memorable part, but for those involved in a project, we’d imagine it goes much deeper than that. For you, what is something about your time working on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina thus far that you’ll carry with you through the course of your life/career?
Cotton: I mean I genuinely hope that the friendships I’ve made continue on. I’m so blessed to be on a show with such an amazing cast and crew and I feel like I’ve built some really strong connections with a bunch of people and those are relationships I’d like to keep!

TrunkSpace: What is the biggest lesson you’ve ever learned on set – any set – that you still apply to your work with every job you book?
Cotton: Respect. It sounds silly but respect is the biggest thing you can apply to your work on set. Respect the crew because they are there before you get there and long after. Respect your fellow actors, respect the work they have put in and respect their process on set.

TrunkSpace: Who has had the biggest impact on your career – whether through physical assistance or as a support system? Is there someone you feel has had a lasting impact on your path thus far?
Cotton: The answer to this will always be my parents. I’m so lucky to have the parents that I have – they have supported me through this extremely difficult career and continue to push me and help me grow as an actor and as a person.

TrunkSpace: Blank check question. If someone came to you tomorrow and said, “Tyler, here is an unlimited amount of money, I want you to go and make whatever project you want for yourself,” what kind would you put into develop and greenlight?
Cotton: Good question! My dream role is to play Robin (like Batman and Robin). Robin had his own comic book series that ran for 183 issues. I’d love to do a Robin series following those comics.

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career as a whole thus far?
Cotton: Without a doubt this show has been the highlight of my career so far. Not only because it is an incredible show to be a part of but also because of the amazing cast and crew who put so much love into the show.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Cotton: I don’t think I would take that journey because then no matter the outcome I’ll always be thinking about that future instead of focusing on myself and my career right now. It would be tempting though!

Season 3 of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is available now on Netflix.

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Wingman Wednesday

Nelson Leis

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Photo By: Kristine Cofsky

When Nelson Leis first joined the cast of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, he never expected to be donning those character-amplifying Beelzebub prosthetics for long. And even as Season 2 bled into Season 3 – which is available now on Netflix – he was never quite sure if fate would see him through to the end.

I don’t know if I could assign it a percentage but it always felt quite likely that I’d get killed off,” he said in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace. “Low and behold I made it out of the season alive.”

We recently sat down with Leis to discuss instantaneous viewer reaction, tarantula discoveries, and why you have to swing a lot to swing for the fences.

TrunkSpace: Fans have fallen in love with Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. As an actor, what does it mean to work on a series that connects with people on this level?
Leis: It’s a thrill to be on a series that has a global audience. And it’s been fascinating to find out where there are massive fan bases – South America, for instance. At the end of the day, as an actor you hope that your work will find an audience, and that the project will strike a chord with those people, and that’s overwhelmingly been the case with Sabrina.

TrunkSpace: Is it a bit surreal to have that instantaneous reaction from fans after a new season drops, because with so many people obsessed with the series as a whole, the bingeing must be pretty intense? Can you get a good sense of its impact the day of its release?
Leis: It’s definitely surreal. I think that young Nelson, who was dreaming of one day stepping onto a film set, would be blown away that there were strangers reaching out to say they enjoyed the show. Honestly, present day Nelson is kinda blown away. The day the show launched, those Instagram followers and comments started rolling in, and honestly, I’ve enjoyed connecting with the fans. This is the first time I’ve been in a position to do so, in that it’s my first multi-season recurring role. So the experience is fresh for me. The fan base has been vocally appreciative on Instagram – I’m sure they’re vocal all-over the place, but that’s the only social media I meaningfully engage with.

TrunkSpace: Your character Beelzebub has more skin in the game with Season 3. Is the path you are on with the character the one you knew you’d follow when you first landed the role or have there been creative surprises along the way for you?
Leis: The entire process has been one surprise after another. In the first episode of Season 2 my character was banished to hell, and I thought, ‘well that was fun – on to the next job.’ Then last April I found out I’d be in the first episode of Season 3. Within a few days they told me it was the first three episodes, which eventually led to six. Beelzebub’s evolution and the season storyline was revealed to me as I received each subsequent script. That story arc is kept pretty close to the vest of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and the writer’s room. I was like Pavlov’s Dog every time that script slid into my inbox, and I’d dive right into it. I don’t know if I could assign it a percentage but it always felt quite likely that I’d get killed off. Low and behold I made it out of the season alive.

TrunkSpace: There’s a big makeup/prosthetic component to your character. When you’re reading new scripts where Beelzebub appears, do you envision the scene with yourself looking as you would on shooting days? Does the visual aspect of the character play into how you present him on camera?
Leis: I don’t think on the initial read of the script I necessarily envision myself as I appear on the shooting day. I’m reading it more for story. In terms of the prosthetics, they definitely have an effect on how I work in the scene. There are just certain things I can do with Beelzebub because of the prosthetics, that I wouldn’t be able to do if I just looked like me. They work as an amplification tool. This latest season as I got to be in the prosthetics regularly, new aspects of Beelzebub’s physical and emotional life materialized for me. The wardrobe also lent to the discovery. For instance this season’s Infernal Palace storyline had Beelzebub in his royal vestments – and in putting those on, there’s immediately a sense of power and wealth, and that informs the stature. It’s a constant process of discovery.

TrunkSpace: For fans, the final product of a film or series is always the most memorable part, but for those involved in a project, we’d imagine it goes much deeper than that. For you, what is something about your time working on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina that you’ll carry with you through the course of your life/career?
Leis: I think what’s become apparent only in retrospect, is how my instincts and ownership in playing Beelzebub have evolved. And I’ve been able to experience that because I’ve played him in two seasons now. The trajectory is interesting – from jumping in on that first episode, having some ideas in mind, but not sure if they’d work with the tone of the show, to now, where playing Beelzebub is like putting on a familiar jacket.

TrunkSpace: You train in Brazilian JiuJitsu. Are there parallels between training in martial arts and training as an actor, especially in terms of commitment and personal investment?
Leis: One hundred percent. You just said it – it’s commitment to the process, and the long game. I don’t think you can become great at either without putting in the work year after year. It’s the 10,000 hours rule. I think you don’t start finding that flow and nuance and state of grace until you’ve been swinging the bat for a while.

TrunkSpace: Fascinating fact about you that we had to ask about… you spent (high school) summers in Nevada working in geological exploration. Which leads us to our next question, what is the most interesting thing you’ve ever stumbled on out in the desert?
Leis: Probably a tarantula. This was actually in Arizona – we were walking down this dirt path and came around a bend and there it was – a big ol’ fuzzy thing. I had never seen one in the flesh and it definitely gave me the heebie jeebies. We had shovels with us and wanted to gently nudge it to the side, so we didn’t have to step over it, but when we did that it jumped like I’d never seen a spider jump – which was a number of feet. That was one of those moments where every hair on your body stands up.

Photo By: Kristine Cofsky

TrunkSpace: Where are you hardest on yourself as an actor and how do you overcome those self-critical insecurities?
Leis: I’m glad you asked. I’m interested in this conversation – I think it’s important to shine a light on our struggles so we can humanize them, take the shame and heaviness out of them. I think the idea of perfection has to be eliminated from any person’s mind, and certainly from any artist or performer’s mind. There has never been a time where I’ve walked away from a performance, whether it’s on stage or in front of the camera and thought, ‘well I nailed that’. Even when the scene has felt good and there’s been electricity with my scene partners, afterwards there’s always a feeling of unrest in the back of my mind. I’m more comfortable with that mental irritation now. When I was younger I used to think that it meant something was wrong, that I had screwed up, that I wasn’t enough, wasn’t talented enough. It was actually very recently when I realized, ‘oh that feeling is never going away. It’s part of the process’. I’m still as excited as ever about the work – I put in the effort, commit to the emotional and physical, and enjoy it, that hasn’t changed – but I guess what saves me is, I’m better at just letting things go… and at the same time, I’m more comfortable with being uncomfortable. I think meditation has been instrumental in all that.

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career as a whole thus far?
Leis: As far as getting to explore a character over a longer story arc, Sabrina has been a highlight. And that the role happens to be this iconic demon from the Bible and medieval literature… and Bohemian Rhapsody, I mean, it’s so wild! I could never have predicted that a role like this would come around.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Leis: Sometimes I think, if 20-year-old Nelson could see what I’m doing now, maybe he would be kinder to himself and more confident in his path, but I’m here now, having taken a long winding road and I don’t regret it. Some actors jumped on the career Autobahn right out of the gate, but that wasn’t my path. I dig my story. But to jump forward 10 years, no, that’s not appealing. I know the quality of life, of relationships and work that I’m interested in. I don’t know exactly what the results will look like, but that’s fine, I trust the process.

Season 3 of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is available now on Netflix.

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Wingman Wednesday

Emily Haine

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Photo By: Farrah Aviva

With great writing and a chance to be seen by a loyal and loving fanbase, “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is the kind of modern day television that actors are clamoring to be involved in. For Emily Haine, who made her debut as Elspeth in Season 2, that excitement began to build very early on in the auditioning process. Still ecstatic to have been cast in the bingeable Netflix behemoth, the Vancouver native says there’s something special not only about the series but the production itself.

Theres something in the air on set,” she shared in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace. “Sometimes fans stand outside the studio gates to catch a feel for it.”

We recently sat down with Haine to discuss the need for a wild streak, eating pistachios with the shell on, and why she’s advocating for more human honesty in midst of the social media age.

TrunkSpace: Season 1 of Chilling Adventures of Sabrinawas a huge success, both with fans and critics. Is there an extra surge of personal excitement when you are joining a series with so much buzz behind it?
Haine: (Laughter) Yes! The buzz for me started with casting. ‘Brina auditions bring out the best talent. Seeing my friends turn up, knowing theyre out there when I go into the room, electrifies me. At the end of the day we all want to be part of a show like this with great writing and the potential for being seen. You gotta be a little wild to do this job. I can put all I’ve got into auditions and hear nothing back. But the nos only make the yess that much sweeter. By Satans divine intervention this is one of the times they were into it! Im still freaking out!

TrunkSpace: Although still grounded in reality, the series is one where anything is possible. From an acting standpoint, is it fun getting to arrive on a set where you can do the kinds of things on screen that are inconceivable in real life?
Haine: Theres something in the air on set. Sometimes fans stand outside the studio gates to catch a feel for it. Its the palpable tension between exhilaration and working long hours. Somehow the mythical, magical and the mystical come to life when were filming. I really cant explain it.

TrunkSpace: Elspeth is a confident, cool as a cucumber character. In terms of her personality, how has she differed from past roles? What has she allowed you to do on camera that you have yet to be able to tackle?
Haine: I see Elspeths confidence as her shield. High school can be like a poker game. Dont show your hand too soon, especially when the dark arts are afoot. Theres so much of Elspeths inner life to explore. Ive never played a witch before – what up witches! What has she allowed me to do? Maybe reanimation… but Im pretty sure I do that every morning if you know what I mean.

TrunkSpace: Elspeth ages slower than normal people. Is that the kind of power you would ever want to have in real life, because in some ways, it feels like it could eventuallyas others around you become oldfeel more like a curse?
Haine: In the industry, and societally, we put a ton of unhealthy emphasis on looking young – Ive been told by previous agents to lie about my age. There are a lot more roles for younger females. For that reason its tempting… but Ive seen enough movies to know that we shouldnt mess with the natural order of things, so no.

TrunkSpace: For the viewer, the end product is always the most memorable, but for those involved in the project it must go much further than that. Whats the most memorable aspect of getting to work on Chilling Adventures of Sabrinathat youll carry with you through the rest of your life and career?
Haine: My biggest take away is the crystallization of certain beliefs Ive been harboring. That we do create the foundation of our reality with building blocks in our heads. Think it, be it. Be really super clear on what you want and then work hard for it. Take classes, read books, watch Ted talks, do whatever you can to clear the way for your dream to unfold. Believe in yourself more than anything else and you will shine! Fall down, get back up. Keep trying. It wasnt that long ago that I was a kid dreaming about being an actor. Now Im an actor dreaming about acting, playing piano, a claymation horror short I want to make…

TrunkSpace: You used to be in a punk band. Whats the most punk thing about you, now, at this stage in your life?
Haine: Well, as an artist you kind of abandon security and normalcy – this job looks bougie but most of us are living paycheck to paycheck for five minutes of screen time. Is that punk? I eat pistachios with the shell.

Photo By: Farrah Aviva

TrunkSpace: You recently made an announcement on Instagram that you want to be more transparent about your own mental health so as to create a safe sharing space and to help others not feel alone. People are always there to point out the faults of social media, which we totally understand, but its benefits do stretch beyond self-promotion. Could you feel how your declaration helped others, and in return, did their reaching out then help you?
Haine: Thanks for progressing the conversation. I wanted to create a moment that shattered whatever public perception people may have of me and challenge how I see myself. Its easy to post flattering pictures and I am proud to share my accomplishments with friends, but whats beyond that? To pretend that we dont face hard times is delusional. I feen for that type of honesty online, like Jameela Jamil, shes one of my heroes! Sometimes the best way out of a dark hole is a big jump. Im so glad I did it. Your stories, messages, DMs, calls and texts revive me. It turned whatever uncomfortable feelings I had about sharing into easily the best thing Ive done on social. Because of that Im currently penning a presentation on my personal experience with mental health for a volunteer advocacy speakers position with Mood Disorders Association of BC.

TrunkSpace: Were suckers for a good banana bread here, and from what we hear, you have the skills to turn those old bananas into a loaf lovers dream! Just how beyond ripe does the fruit have to be to make the bread the best bread it can be?
Haine: Ripe enough that you wouldnt eat ‘em.

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Haine: This moment right now.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Haine: What if Im not happy? Can I change the outcome? If yes, then fire it up! If not, then hellll nah. Ill come with you to look at your life though if you want! Ill bring my laser gun. Pew. Pew. Cause its the future.

Season 2 of “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is available now on Netflix.

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Wingman Wednesday

Annette Reilly

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Photo By: Ian Redd

Annette Reilly is seizing the day. The talented actress and director has overcome daunting obstacles on her quest for creative fulfillment, including a life-changing battle with colon cancer where she discovered silver linings in even the darkest of clouds.

The Alberta native can currently be seen starring as Sabrina’s mom, Diana Spellman, in the hit Netflix series, “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.”

We recently sat down with Reilly to discuss raising a teenage witch, instantaneous celebrity, and why her biggest hurdle in life was also her biggest blessing.

TrunkSpace: Raising teenagers isn’t easy. Raising a teenage witch… well, that’s well beyond our pay grade! For those who have yet to binge their way through “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” what kind of mother is Diana, and how has she influenced her daughter? Where do we see Diana’s impact the most?
Reilly: Diana, to me, is a strong willed yet gentle mother. She’s a bit of a mama bear. She’s protective of her daughter and will do anything to keep her safe. I think Diana, being mortal, is a huge influence on Sabrina. I mean, Sabrina was raised by witches. Her struggle is largely to reconcile the two sides of herself, mortal and witch, the mortal side being represented by Diana.

TrunkSpace: The series has been receiving an incredible response from fans. What has the experience been like for you, seeing it released into the world and watching the Season 1 reactions occur in real time?
Reilly: Oh my gosh. It’s been unreal. I wasn’t sure how the show would be received, and to be totally honest, didn’t really even know what I was getting into when I was cast. There was a fair bit of secrecy surrounding it at that point. The reception has been beyond anything I was expecting.

TrunkSpace: Being involved in a series like “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” does it have an instantaneous impact on your career as a whole? Does the buzz of one project lead to more doors opening on other projects?
Reilly: I would say, in general, yes. There comes an instantaneous “celebrity” status of sorts. I think, as a whole, the more you can get your name out there as an actor, the more rooms you can get into and, as a result, the more roles you end up getting cast in.

TrunkSpace: The series intro is fantastic. It’s nostalgic, and yet modern at the same time, while instantly setting the tone for what the viewer is about to watch. When you first read for the series, did that tone come through? Could you get a sense of what the series was going to look and feel like?
Reilly: Oh! Isn’t it wonderful?!?! I absolutely adore the opening. I saw it for the first time at the premiere and looked over to my partner and mouthed, “OMG.” It satisfies all my comic book fandom needs.

As far as the tone of the show goes… as I mentioned, there was some secrecy surrounding the project when I first read for the role of Diana. Looking back to the audition, I would say yes. The tone was definitely there when I first read. I really had no idea what they would do with it all though. For instance, the lenses they use to shoot this series are insane and give the show such a unique look. I could never have imagined what those would bring to the overall tone.

TrunkSpace: Your character’s future is a bit in limbo – literally. Do you yourself know where her future story is heading, or at this stage, is it just as much a mystery to you as it is to the fans of the series?
Reilly: This is TV! No one ever knows where the story is heading! (Laughter) Ok, I’m sure Roberto (Aguirre-Sacasa) has a pretty good idea… but it’s a mystery to me!

TrunkSpace: For the audience, the most memorable aspect of a series is the finished project, but we would imagine for you, it’s the process of seeing it all come together. What was the biggest highlight of being involved in the series thus far – the moment that you’ll carry with you through the rest of your life/career?
Reilly: Oh gosh. There’s so many highlights. I’m really not sure I can pick just one! Doing the floss with Bronson Pinchot, Miranda Otto and Lucy Davis, all in a line, was a good one. I never in a million years thought that would happen. I’ve also developed a wonderful relationship with Georgie Daburas, who plays Edward, Sabrina’s dad. I’m always grateful when a friendship comes out a gig. But, the biggest highlight for me is actually something I can’t talk about yet. Stay tuned!

TrunkSpace: Chicken or the egg question. We know that you’re also a director and producer, so which love came first… was it working in front of the camera or behind it?
Reilly: My first love has always been acting. I started when I was a kid and knew instantly that it would be a part of my life forever. I started directing after I finished my acting degree and it was then that I realized I could use both my acting and artistic skills as well as my more logical, administrative side, all at the same time. They both fulfill me in very different ways. I’ve often thought that I should focus on one or the other, but I don’t have it in me to give up either. And then I do projects like my most recent short film, “A Typical Fairytale,” where I directed and starred (and also produced) and I realize that I CAN do both! Why not! Although, not sure if I would wear all three hats at the same time ever again. (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: What has been the biggest hurdle you’ve had to leap in order to get to this point in your career and what did you take from that experience that you apply to your career moving forward?
Reilly: My biggest hurdle was also my biggest blessing. I was diagnosed with Stage IIIb colon cancer back in 2011. I had surgeries, did chemo, the full meal deal. I’m not going to lie, it was tough. My daughter was a toddler at the time. There’s nothing like trying to potty train while you’re doing rounds of chemo. (Laughter) I learned a lot about myself from that experience. I truly believe that there is a silver lining to every dark cloud, if you choose to see it. My silver lining was that I discovered what I needed to do to live my truest life. I discovered my self worth. I discovered how fleeting this life can be and that I should seize every opportunity. That’s basically how I’ve been living ever since and it seems to be working for me!

TrunkSpace: We read that you love high level math, which is a skill set that probably helps in the role of producer, particularly when it comes to staying on budget. What are some other skills that people need – beyond the creative – to work in this industry?
Reilly: A tough skin. This is show BUSINESS. A strategic mind and tough skin will help more than you can ever know. You can’t take things personally, or you’re done. Especially as an actor.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Reilly: Heck no! I’ve seen enough “Star Trek” episodes to know better than to mess with the space-time continuum. Also, I enjoy the adventure of life. Knowing an outcome before it happens takes the fun out of the journey. And why are we all here if not to enjoy the journey? I’ve been face to face with the end game. I’m good just riding this out as long as possible and enjoying every minute of it.

Season 1 of “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is available on Netflix now.

 

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Trunk Bubbles

Robert Hack

RobertHack_TrunkBubbles

Name: Robert Hack

Website: Instagram here. Twitter here. Facebook here.

Favorite Comic Book Character Growing Up: Bat-Mite

Favorite Comic Book Character Now: Ms. Tree

Latest Work: “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” #8 came out a few months ago from Archie Comics, and my covers for “Shadow/Batman” (Dynamite), “Puppet Master” (Action Lab), “Jughead: The Hunger” (Archie Comics) and “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Season 2” (Archie Comics) have all come out in the last month-ish.


TrunkSpace
: How would you describe your art style?
Hack: Pulpy, I guess. Equally vintage and modern.

TrunkSpace: How important were comic books in your life growing up and is that where you discovered your love and inspiration for drawing?
Hack: Oh, completely. My brother, Brian, is a few years older than me and he was a massive comics fan and handed that down to me. He’s an artist (and has since gone on to be a Professor of Art History) and there were always cartooning and Artist’s Market books around the house. He taught me about the great comic artists – Kirby, Ditko, C.C. Beck, etc. – before I was ever able to read the comics myself. And our local library had a lot of comic history books like “Crawford’s Encyclopedia of Comics Books,” Jules Feiffer’s “The Great Comic Book Heroes,” and Batman from the 30s to the 70s. So, in the 1980s I had this Golden-Age Comics childhood… which might explain my art style.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular artist or title from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Hack: I loved Kirby. I had a reprint copy of “Captain America” #100 that I reread a thousand times. Likewise, my reprint copy of “Superman” #1. I discovered Alex Toth in middle school and that was a huge revelation.

TrunkSpace: How did you decide to approach your career in comics? Did you formulate a plan of how you wanted to attack what is known for being a hard industry to crack?
Hack: Oh, a plan would have been nice. I probably should have done that.

I didn’t really have a plan to follow. It’s mostly just been a driving desire to make comics and work with the characters and people I dig. Now, I had/have goals. I want to write my own stuff, I want to work with specific people, books and characters, but I have no timetable/set plan.

TrunkSpace: What was your biggest break in terms of a job that opened more doors for you?
Hack: I guess my “Doctor Who” covers for IDW were a pretty big break, and a turning point in my art. Until then, I had never really considered myself a cover artist. For whatever reason, I just never thought it was my strong suit; but that pushed me to try and now it’s a big chunk of what I do and what I’m known for.

TrunkSpace: A lot of people say that breaking into comics is the hardest part of working in comics. How long did it take you before you started to see your comic book dreams become a reality?
Hack: “Breaking in” is a continual process. I was self-publishing comics in high school, and used those as samples to work on a bunch of indie books, and those became samples for the next time I broke in, and that pattern continues for years. It was probably about 10 to 12-ish years of that cycle, of learning and honing and sucking a little bit less every day, that I reached a point where I was working at the bigger publishers.

TrunkSpace: Is there a particular character or universe you always find yourself returning to when you’re sketching or doing warm-ups?
Hack: Well, Batman is the go-to doodle for most comic artists, and I’m no different. But when sketching for myself, I usually do sort of pulp/horror/sci-fi inspired stuff. No particular character, just my own thing. I’ve been posting a lot of those doodles to Instagam lately, so if you want to see more of my nonsense, you can find it here.

TrunkSpace: Is there a specific title or character that you’d like to work on in the future and why?
Hack: I’ve got a bunch. Some of my own characters that I want to explore, and some old properties. I’m currently in talks to work on a couple of my favorites, so I can’t really mention those. BUT – a Doctor Who is something I really want to return to. With all of the covers I did at IDW (30+, I think), I never did any interiors. I would love to write/draw a Who story at some point.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your career in comics? Where would you like your path to lead?
Hack: Just continuing to make good comics. I want to write/draw my own stuff, because I have stories I want to tell. But working with great collaborators is part of that goal too. Just working, making cool stuff. That’s the dream.

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength as an artist?
Hack: Not quitting. That 10 to 12+ years of trying to break in, I mentioned above? It’s harrowing. It’s a long time and it wears people down.

TrunkSpace: How has technology changed your process of putting ideas/script to page? Do you sue the classic paper/pencil approach at all anymore?
Hack: I draw entirely traditionally. Sabrina and most of my covers are hand painted on illustration board. I may tweak contrast/brightness in Photoshop, but otherwise it’s all paper/pencil for me. But the technology is still invaluable. To scan/prep/letter and upload the art to publishers is the absolute best thing to ever happen to deadlines. We are spared a few shipping days and trips to the post office.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring artist who is considering a career in the comic industry?
Hack: Keep practicing, keep learning, keep going.

TrunkSpace: Making appearances at conventions: Love it, leave it, or a combination of both?
Hack: It is always great to meet fans of the stuff I do. I hate the traveling side of it, but it’s worth it to hang out with fans and friends.

TrunkSpace: What is the craziest/oddest thing you’ve ever been asked to draw as a commission?
Hack: In the early days of eBay, I did commissions by auction. Every single winning bidder wanted some sort of fetish art with their character of choice. Those ranged from topless Catwoman to Superman with a noticeable erection. But none of that is that weird by contrast to the rest of the internet.

TrunkSpace: What else can fans of your work look forward to for the rest of 2017 and into the new year?
Hack: My cover for “Betty and Veronica: Vixens” #1(Archie Comics) comes out on November 15. My cover for “Kong on the Planet of the Apes” #3(Boom!) comes out in December. “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” #9 is being worked on now and will be out early 2018. And I’ve got a bunch of cool stuff lined up for 2018. More covers (on some really unexpected books!) and some side projects that I’ll be doing interiors on. You can find out more by following me on the social media of your choice.

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