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“It’s always really fun to play a character who’s more out there than you” – Sadie Soverall talks Arcadian

4 min read

An RLJE Films and Shudder Release.

's courageous performance as Charlotte in  is the latest testimony to her talents. Ahead of the film's UK release, FILMHOUNDS caught up with Soverall to discuss her role in Benjamin Brewer's latest creature horror and her experience sharing the screen with Nicolas Cage, a CGI monster and some live cockroaches.

What attracted you to the project? Can you tell us a little bit about your character? 

I'd say what attracted me to the project was, one, the script. I thought it was a really well written female character in this world, and I thought the suspense and the tension in the script were really masterful and very exciting. I was very curious as to what the creatures would look like, how they'd manifest. And also the team that was attached, the director Ben [Brewer] is incredible and I followed his work on Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022) and I'm such a fan. So I was very much attracted by that. And then also obviously Nic Cage is a legend and he's a massive inspiration to me. Max (Jenkins) and Jaeden (Martell) are also amazing. So it was a lot of amazing, wonderful things. I just thought I'd love, love to work on this. 

My character Charlotte, she is the daughter at the Rose Farm, which is the more privileged farm in and around the boys' area. She has this friendship that evolves into something a little bit more with Max's character. She's very strong, she's very clear-headed and I feel like she's a character who can really hold her own. 

In Arcadian, in a way, the parents are the ones being protected by the children, which is a reverse of the trope. So I was wondering, how did it feel to play someone who is so confident and takes such charge of their life and their surroundings? 

It was really fun. It was really fun to be someone who was very impulsive and taking a lot of charge and having a lot of confidence and sureness in what they were doing. Personally, I feel like I am quite indecisive and I'm not the most forward, front-footed, so it's always really fun to play a character who's a little bit more out there than you.

You mentioned the VFX team – how was it for you to shoot with a creature? Can you talk about how that felt like on set and what it looked like?

It was really really cool actually because I knew we were in really good hands. Zach Stoltz was our VFX Supervisor and he's just an absolute pro. I didn't really know what it was going to look like going into it, but they made this amazing prosthetic hand for the creature that was kind of poking through slats in the wood and was used whenever they'd come close. it was actually really helpful because it was so detailed and so well made, that there wasn't a lot of imagination that needed to be used. And also because the creatures have this other element where they have these bugs and cockroaches that come out of them or that are there when they're near, so we had a few live cockroaches on the set. Really lovely. I'm really not, uhm, a fan. I don't mind bugs, but cockroaches are the thing that I'm like… You know. So I definitely got over my fear. 

I didn't know, and I'm sorry, but I'm glad it was helpful. What was your first reaction when you saw the creatures come together? 

I was really blown away to be honest. I'd seen some initial sketches, but I think the work they did was so unique, it's a draw to watch the film in itself. No one will have seen a creature like this. I certainly haven't. All the different elements to it and the surprises and the things that it kind of brings out in each scene – it's very shocking, and I watched it and I definitely got the chills watching it. 

Is there any reaction you are hoping for from the audience to Arcadian or to your character?

I always hope that when people watch a film that I'm in, or that I'm a part of, that they'll get something positive out of it, whether it's a bit of escapism for a while. I think a really beautiful message from Arcadian is this kind of element of found family. There's a lot of loss in the film and having to let go, whether it be of childhood or of family. I think one thing that's really beautiful is that these kids kind of find each other and they forge their own future in the world. So I hope that will be a good message that some people will take. 

Was there any element of collaboration or process in the way you grew that dynamic between the three main characters? 

Absolutely, yeah. Max and Jaden are just the most lovely, lovely people and we hung out in Ireland a lot. We were in this small town, very near Greystones. All the weekends we'd just hang out and they are very, very talented actors. And it was a real joy, I learnt a lot from them as well. I hope I get to work with them again. 

Do you have any places or characters you would like to explore next? 

To be honest, I'm kind of open to whatever comes to me. I always want to do characters that are quite different to me because I find that quite interesting, but honestly anything that's well written and interesting I'd love to do.

Arcadian is out in UK cinemas from June 14th.