Control’s Sara Mitich Details Her Power and Process in the Sci-Fi/Thriller

The following contains minor spoilers for Control, in theaters now and on digital September 27.

The sci-fi thriller Control find Star Trek: Discoveries Sara Mitich portraying Eileen, a frightened mother who wakes up alone in a small room and chained to a metal chair. To make matters worse, she has no memory of how she got there, who her captors are, or even her own identity. Soon, a voice over the speaker system asks Eileen to perform a series of tasks, or her daughter dies. Eileen must piece together the fragments of her memories if she hopes to escape and ensure her and her daughter’s safety.

However, as the tests increase in difficulty, Eileen is pushed to her limits, which may not be a good thing for her captors. Eileen possesses deadly telekinetic powers, and when she’s unleashed, little will stand in her way. Mitich recently spoke with CBR about composing the intensity needed, channeling his inner Carrie, and that bold conclusion.

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CBR: These intense, single-character narratives almost feel like a subgenre of horror and thrillers. What do you like about this kind of movies?

Sara Mititch: For me, what I like about them [is] this is such fine meat for an actor I play with. There is so much to explore. You can really flesh out the arches. It’s literally my face for 90 minutes. It’s a mine of opportunities to play and to surpass myself. I find with those, as an actor, if you don’t create that character development, that arc, it gets boring. It’s just you, so you have to find the color. You have to find the different moments and differentiate, “Hey, this scene, even if it looks like the one before…” The work is a little harder, but it’s much more rewarding. With more responsibility comes more reward. So I like to dip in and massage everything and really create a three-dimensional being.

Introduce us to Eileen and the circumstances in which she finds herself.

Eileen wakes up in a bedroom and doesn’t know where she is. She wakes up in a white padded room, in a metal chair, and she has no idea who she is. She has no idea where she is, and there’s a voice telling her to do things. Eventually she finds out she has to do these things or they will kill her daughter. Slowly, memories begin to come back to her as she progresses through the film.

As you mentioned, Eileen is put through all these tests without knowing what is going on or where her daughter is. From an acting perspective, what was it like to achieve these heightened levels of anxiety and panic, hour after hour?

I feel truly blessed. The entire cast and crew were so wonderful and supportive. I have a very specific process when it comes to diving into things like this. A lot of myself, that’s me walking on the set [and] speak out loud. I immerse myself in all of this. I scream sometimes, especially for those really heightened scenes with the sand and Roger. To get there, I scream. Maybe at first I was a little embarrassed, but I just said to everyone, “Hey everyone, this is my process. I’m going to speak out loud. I’m not going to tell you. watch. You can turn the cameras on my preparation. You can do whatever you want, but this is what I have to do to find out the truth.

Of course, some scenes build and you find that break point in the middle or three quarters of the way through the scene. Some scenes start right in the middle, right next to it, and there’s no warm-up. You capture a glimpse of that person’s life. If you want to see the truth of it, I have to be in the truth, which means there is no warm-up. So my warm-up has to be before I say action.

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Many performers will admit that they feed off the energy of their co-stars. You don’t have that luxury. How hard was it to wear this movie without reacting against someone else?

For the entire part of the play, there are no other living characters. I became very specific to the room, my relationship with the timer, my relationship with the chair, and my relationship with the speaker. They all became my characters. They all became characters that I played with. The fact that they didn’t give anything back, or the voice always giving the same thing… That must have fueled me. I have never done anything like this. It was hard, but fortunately I had created this specificity. Nothingness, in itself, is something.

At one point, Eileen goes all Carrie on a team of security guards. It’s not very pretty. What goes through his head?

At that moment, she is in this catatonic state where she knows. There is this simple and pure knowledge of who she is and what she is, that no thought is even necessary. Sure, there’s curiosity, but now more than ever, she knows she’ll get her daughter back, and it’s done. She could just break their necks and be simple. I think there’s a reason she tortures and twists and turns. It is also many hours and days and so on. I always find it fascinating how sometimes the most powerful people in the world are so calm and quiet. That’s really what I tried to dive into, just this stillness.

What kind of discussions have you had about how to convey his powers because it’s done through controlled hand gestures to the side of his body as opposed to strong, bold movements?

It was all James Mark, our manager. From the beginning, he said there were so many movies that did that. There is blood in the nose and lots of staring and shaking of the head. We have 90 minutes of that, and there’s so much I can do. He actually introduced the idea of ​​fingers. I did ballet for about 16 years, so my hands luckily do some really weird things, so it worked perfectly, but that was all James from the start. Of course, we want to fall into the genre, but we also don’t want to be just another movie like this.

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In the end, Eileen makes an extremely difficult decision. What was your opinion on how things ended?

I would’ve done the same thing. It is also a theme of this film, it is unconditional love above all. There’s something so human and raw about having this discovery and learning what it did – choosing to go back, not as some form of punishment or guilt, but really of this beautiful, true, unconditional love and disinterested.

I didn’t know where it was going the first time I read it. I wish I had a camera on me because I’m pretty sure I said “Wait. What?” It’s his right choice to make. Ironically, the concept of humanity is pushed to all extremes at this time. What is human and what is not? What is good and what is bad? There is no right answer, like in life. That final moment – that choice – is one of the most human things she does, and yet she [is] in its strongest and most inhuman part.

The public has probably known you for Star Trek: Discovery. How has he portrayed multiple characters on one show?

Honestly, I feel so blessed. What a wonderful opportunity. That’s another reason I love science fiction because it’s one of the few genres where you can do that. It’s really wonderful to have the opportunity to dive into the prosthetic world. I’ve never done this before, creating such a specific character and being under the incredible direction of someone like Doug Jones, who is the kindest soul in this world. Again, as an actor, I like to push the limits of my own creative comfort zone. How beautiful to have been able to do it in two different ways.

Catch Control on September 23 in limited theatrical release and September 27 on VOD and digital.

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