Exclusive: Andrew Sensenig Talks Ayla, We Are Still Here and Much More
In our continued coverage and support of Elias’ latest crowd-funded project Ayla, we have scored another interview and this time we got the chance to speak with the ever awesome Andrew Sensenig, regarding the film, other projects and much more. Andrew is such a great guy, so for us this is a huge honor and we couldn’t be happy. Also, just a quick note, Ayla has reached its funding goal! But there is still some time left if you guys want to get in on one of the most talked about horror projects at the moment via their Kickstarter page.
[Horror-Movies.ca] – I believe you’re set to star in Elias’ latest film Ayla, what can you tell us about the film?
[Andrew Sensenig] – Indeed, I’m very excited to be a part of his new project. There’s not a great deal I can tell you about the screenplay without giving too much away. And I know Elias wouldn’t want me to do any of that
What I can say is that it’s probably the richest supernatural thriller I’ve personally read; and also on such a realistic basis, that you sincerely believe this could be happening right now. I give them major kudos to Elias for his writing chops and the fact that it’s very personal to him and his own life.
[H-M] – How did you come by being cast in the film?
[Andrew Sensenig] – That’s a good question, actually. Elias and I have been Facebook friends for quite some time; if I do remember correctly I believe he is a fan of my film, Upstream Color, and through that experience, he asked me if I was interested in reading his new screenplay and possibly taking on a role. Whatever the case, I’m just really excited that he knows my name at all.
[H-M] – At this time your character is somewhat of a mystery, Is there anything you can tell us and have you had any input into the character or maybe the film itself?
[Andrew Sensenig] – I’m afraid it’s going to have to remain a mystery for now. The storyline is simply too thrilling and special to give anything away. I want the audience to know zero about my character or anything else and allow them to be completely immersed in the story. I know that might sound like a cliché answer, but in this case, I’m actually being totally honest.
[H-M] – Elias has put together a great cast for Ayla which includes yourself, Bill Oberst Jr, Tristan Risk, Nicholas Wilder, Jennifer Lynn Warren, and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte. Have you guys had a chance to go over the script together and how was the chemistry between you all?
[Andrew Sensenig] – I do have to give huge applause to Elias for being able to pull such a team together. I believe everyone has read the screenplay, but we have not discussed anything or gotten together to talk about it. There appears to be a natural chemistry already, simply based on the films that all of us have already been part of in our own careers. Needless to say, I feel extremely confident the Elias has found the perfect family. And, I am the lucky one, I promise you.
[H-M] – When preparing for a film, do you have a regular routine you get into or is it different for each role you play?
[Andrew Sensenig] – Let me first say, I’m just happy to ever get offered a role. And each roll, each film, and each day of the filming process is different. I approach every day and every role on an individual basis; trying to be in the moments within the day of that character’s life. I know it might sound too simple, but I really don’t try to focus so much on back story and histrionics, but rather simply just being alive in that character’s shoes at that very specific moment; focusing from the inside out. I firmly believe that if I am honest in my own heart with each word and look, the audience will come along for the ride.
[H-M] – One of your latest films, Ted Geoghegan’s We Are Still Here, had its release last month, what was it like working with the likes of Barbara Crampton and Larry Fessenden? Also, any word on a sequel?
[Andrew Sensenig] – The response to Ted’s film, We Are Still Here, has just been insane. After a month now the film still remains in the top 10 on iTunes, Amazon, Hulu, and others for the horror fans. I’m not sure how to respond to the question of working with such people as Barbara and Larry and Lisa; I was somewhat of the odd man out. I’ve done a few horror films previously, but nothing of this caliber and quality or with such a wonderfully experience and rounded genre team.
The shooting experience was amazing, even though it was 20° below zero most days, and in a very cold house would only wood burning stoves; however, the results on the screen are mesmerizing. On the sequel front, we’ve talked quite often about the potential of a sequel or even a prequel. The beauty of a haunted house story where the house “awakes”every 30 years gives you the ability to look forward and backward for generations. And personally, I vote for the sequel, because . . spoiler alert . . I’m still alive.
[H-M] – How did you get into film to begin with? As I believe it was always a passion of yours but it didn’t really get going until 2006, is that correct?
[Andrew Sensenig] – Well, I can go on and on with this one. However I know you have a life, so I’ll keep it short. After studying and performing throughout my childhood into college, in such places as a Circle in the Square on Broadway and North Carolina School of the Arts, I ended up marrying my beautiful bride, started having children, and went into the real business world, hoping to be a good father and husband.
While working as a computer consultant and investment banker, I felt that I was doing the right thing for my family, yet once our second daughter turned 16 years old, my wife nudged me, forcefully I might add, saying that I had given up my dream for my family, and now it was time to go back to pursue the acting full-time. Personally, I thought she was crazy, but out of love and respect for her, I gave it a try. And yes that was in late 2006 and early 2007. And through tremendous luck, hard work, and the grace of God, it has been one wild and crazy ride. I give all the credit to my wife and daughters for pushing me back in and making miraculous things happen.
[H-M] – Which horror film, if any, has truly scared you?
[Andrew Sensenig] – That’s a really great question too. If I had to pick my top two, from such a huge list, it would have to be the original The Bogeyman, and There’s a Stranger in the House. I still cringe at the sound of an old-fashioned telephone ringing from that damn movie! And now, being in the genre, I guess that’s a huge compliment to the sound design team
[H-M] – Along with Ayla, what others films do you have in the works?
[Andrew Sensenig] – Well, I’m excited to say there are several dozen projects in the works that will last for the next few years. One of the more immediate releases is a film that I also had the opportunity to Executive Produce titled Don’t Look in the Basement 2; another part of the classic horror genre that I think fans will really dig. And definitely the most exciting on the list is starting up Season 2 of Powers on the Sony PlayStation Network. I play the iconic Superhero Triphammer and we have a huge darker and edgier season in store for our fans.
[H-M] – Do you have a fan page so we can follow you and keep track of your upcoming projects?
[Andrew Sensenig] – You can pretty much find me hanging out on Facebook and Twitter most days. And I am always ready to connect with fans, answer questions, as well as help filmmakers around the globe bring their stories to life. Drop me a note and I’ll be there!
[H-M] – Lastly, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us, do you have anything else you wish to add?
[Andrew Sensenig] – I want to thank you for your time and interest; I hope I had something to add. I will say that the opportunity to help creative teams bring their stories from the page to the screen, and make a living doing so, is more than I had ever imagined. To touch an audience for a moment, a day, or possibly the rest of their life is such an incredible blessing; it’s very hard to put into words. My very best to you and your readers.
It was such a pleasure talking to Andrew, he’s a great guy, and I urge you guys to check out his work if you haven’t done so already.