Sara Thompson reflects on season one of “Burden of Truth”, discusses her role in horror film ‘I Still See You’, and teases about her next film ‘Homecoming’. *Slight spoilers below for season one of “Burden of Truth”.
Every actor’s journey starts in a different way. Some are born into acting, adoring the craft and finding their own ways to execute it from very young ages. Others, like Sara Thompson, discover it through their other passions.
A dancer since she was young, the actress says that her favorite aspect had always been the ability to tell a story through her movements.
“When I got exposed to more contemporary dancing, a different type of dance that really tells a story, it became my favorite part of the art,” Sara says of how her passion for acting developed. In fact, her very first acting job was as a dancer in a movie when she was just ten. “I kind of fell in love with just the whole scene – being in front of the camera, combining my two favorite things.” That love grew further as she danced to a spoken word piece that she wrote. “It felt to me like I was performing a monologue and telling a story.”
This discovery inspired Sara to go to acting school in New York as soon as she turned 18. “[I] kind of fell in love with [acting] as soon as I started learning what goes into it and all the different moving parts. It just became my dream job.”
Being able to combine her two passions of dancing and acting earlier may inspire her later in life if she ever decides to move behind the camera. Where that may be is still uncertain, should she choose that path.
“I’m not sure exactly what I would want to do,” she says, contemplating what she would do ever given the opportunity. “I’ve always thought directing music videos would be really fun because it goes back to bringing the two worlds together and emoting a certain thing a certain way and creating moving pictures.” Another aspect that fascinates Sara and one she would love to explore is wardrobe, something she considers as one of the most important aspects of setting the scene. “I’ve always liked, especially with period pieces, setting the tone through wardrobe and being able to have control over that.” Summing it up to a possibility executive producing, the actress lets out a laugh as she says, “Kind of having a say of a little bit of everything would be cool for me for sure.”
There’s a certain maturity that she was able to obtain through such hard times.
Until that happens, fans have a lot to enjoy of Sara in front of the camera.
Starring as Molly Ross in “Burden of Truth”, her character is a star athlete and one of five girls who are inflicted with a mysterious illness that causes an investigation into the local steel mill. Molly goes from a confident all-star to a girl who has been broken down and at points, feels defeated. However, she continues to pull herself back up and push forward.
“I would describe Molly as being an extremely strong, young women. [She’s] very passionate and driven but ultimately, she’s stuck.” Explaining further, Sara says, “She’s at the age where she’s going through [a lot] and she’s stuck between what her life used to be and what it’s turning into.”
Part of learning what her life is turning into means Molly must cope with no longer being able to play sports and how to adjust her life to that realization. Originally in denial about the situation and not wanting to even get involved, Molly rises to the occasion and becomes the plaintiff for the case the girls of Millwood bring about against the local steel mill. Doing so meant that she opened herself for the onslaught and dirty games played by the opposition yet that didn’t stop her for standing up for herself and her friends. “I think she has so much love in her heart that no matter what, she’s always going to try and find the right answer. She’s going to just persevere until it feels right for her.”
“Burden of Truth” brings viewers on the roller coaster ride that comes with a such a case presented in the show and fighting for that justice. Molly, trying her best to do what is right, is brought to the lowest of lows when things seem bleak or turn for an unpredicted direction. “I think she gets a little bit moody when things don’t go as she imagined but it’s only because she’s such a passionate person and she wants what’s best for everybody and she’s having a really hard time letting go of what used to be.”
No ulterior motives, just real, raw love.
The season ends on a good note – or as good of a note as one can given the circumstances. Receiving a settlement of $2 million and finally accepting that she should join a clinical trial for traumatic brain injuries in an effort to help herself, Sara reflects on her character and says with pride that the events of season one made Molly stronger as a person.
“I don’t want to give away spoilers for season two,” she begins, the teasing in her voice clear through her soft laughter before she turns serious, “but I think she had to get everything pulled out from underneath her and that’s not easy for anyone, let alone someone going through big transition years as a woman.” Referring to the experience for her character as “humbling”, Sara explains that Molly wanted this and that and life had been going pretty well for her for a moment. “She was a star athlete and she was getting everything she wanted,” admits the actress. “Everyone has to go through traumatic experiences in order to grow and I think she became a lot stronger. There’s a certain maturity that she was able to obtain through such hard times.”
Molly brings that into every aspect of her life.
“I also think that her relationship with Luna [Star Slade, “Emerald Code”] was able to grow and they were able to see a much more mature side of each other,” the actress says of the two girlfriends. Throughout the season, viewers watch an unwavering support that Molly and Luna have for each other. They constantly want the other to succeed and even willing to give up their own dreams to stay together. By the end of the season, audiences witness as the girls reflect on what is best for each of them individually and deciding to go for it, promising to stay together through the long distance. That maturity within Molly’s relationship extends past her girlfriend and to her family as well. “With every relationship – with her mom, with her uncle – I think all the relationships grew and became even more solid than they were before because she really needed them and they were really there for her.”
It’s an emotional season – it’s going to be awesome.
Still, the mature and pure relationship between Molly and Luna snagged at the hearts of viewers. Citing her favorite aspect of the relationship to be the honesty and support between the two, Sara reveals about herself and Star, “I think [honesty and support] was a really huge goal for the two of us to achieve. We wanted it to just be raw, pure love; no matter if it’s young love, no matter what it is – just the fact that ‘til the end, there’s no ulterior motive. It was just pure love for each other, [for] everything about each other.” She reiterates proudly, “No ulterior motives, just real, raw love.”
Having such a developed relationship between two characters in love, where there are conversations about their feelings, fears, and hopes in almost every episode. and a deep understanding and support for one resonated with fans. “I get a lot of tweets and I get a lot of videos that are just like, ‘They support each other ‘til the end!’ ‘They’re so mature!’ A lot of people think they’re the most mature relationship on the show,” says Sara. A humorous tone overwhelms her voice and there’s laughter brewing under the surface as she recalls, “I know that when we were talking about it and when I was talking about it with the writers and the directors, we were like, ‘Okay, this is really funny that the two youngest on the show are the most serious and the most honest relationship.’” Of the reactions that stuck out to her most from fans about the relationship, this is what comes to mind. “I think that for sure.”
Originally airing on the CBC in Canada and picked up for American broadcasting this summer on The CW, the actress gets to see new fans click with similar points of those who first viewed the season earlier this year.
The intrigue in her voice bleeds through the phone as Sara says of the similar reactions despite the time that has passed, “It’s interesting! It’s definitely a lot of the same reactions. I think my character’s story in ‘Burden of Truth’ has a very important message to young girls and I think right now, it’s such an important time for these messages to be passed along and understood in a way that is easy for people to relate to, young girls especially.” She goes on to say, “I think it’s been very similar reactions, which is really interesting! It kind of proved that no matter where you are, when you’re there, it’s always the same issues and same chords [that] strike with most people.”
There is one difference that comes from fans viewing the show on The CW. “Maybe a little bit more fanart!” Sara reveals with a soft laugh, agreeing happily that it means fans are passionate about the show.
Picked up by the CBC for a second season, production for “Burden of Truth” started over the summer and it will have quite a few familiar faces returning, including Molly and Luna.
“In season two, I think you really get to see the effects of what Molly – maybe not what she went through but – you get to see the way that she’s been coping,” teases Sara. “It’s going to be a very interesting thing to see what the fans have to say because you really get to see a side of Molly that she didn’t even know was there. And a side of [Molly & Luna’s] relationship. It’s just as honest as it was before,” the actress divulges. “We get to see so much growth in Molly and Molly & Luna’s relationship.”
Calling it really fun and “good stuff”, Sara offers another tease, enthusiasm embedded in her words as she says, “It’s an emotional season – it’s going to be awesome.”
For fans who dread the long wait to see Sara in season two of “Burden of Truth”, the actress has more projects coming out soon. One is the supernatural horror film I Still See You which also stars Bella Thorne [“Shake It Up”, The Duff] and Richard Harmon [“The 100”, “Continuum”].
Out now and available on Amazon Prime to watch, I Still See You tells the story of a post-apocalyptic world following an event that killed millions and how the ghosts, ‘Remnants’, of those that passed still inhabit their old dwellings. Bella Thorne’s character Ronnie suddenly finds herself being stalked by one.
I think it was one of the most fun times I’ve had working on a project almost every day for three weeks.
Sara plays Janine in the film, Ronnie’s childhood best friend who is more concerned with the gossip of their high school than the Remnants that are hanging around. “Ronnie’s a little bit more concerned with the severity of the situation – what’s going on with the ghosts, who may or may not be following her or interacting with her, which we’re taught at school isn’t something that can happen.” Describing her character to be more of the comedic relief for the film, she says of Janine, “I’m more interested in who’s dating who and her love interest in Kirk Lane, played by Richard Harmon.”
Janine’s main thoughts are on the next party, the dating situation at their high school, and the fact Ronnie’s birthday is coming up. “I just want to lighten up the situation as much as possible.”
Ignoring the turmoil that her friend is experiencing isn’t entirely intentional. “Janine just is a little bit oblivious,” Sara says through her laughter. “She is focused on the possibility of there being gossip between Ronnie and Kirk and her needing Kirk’s help with this dangerous situation that she’s in.” Instead of Janine diving into that, her minds runs along the lines of teasing Ronnie. “‘You like him, you know it!’” she reenacts with another laugh. “She’s just a little bit oblivious.”
I Still See You brings about a reunion of sorts. The film also stars “Burden of Truth” co-stars Cassandra Potenza [A Dream of Christmas] and David Lawrence Brown [The Riverman, “The Pinkertons”]. The latter plays the principle and, due to this, is present in a lot of Sara’s scenes. “I didn’t get to do any one-on-one scenes with him. He’s definitely present in a lot of scenes that I’m in as we’re in high school,” she reveals, citing his character’s occupation for that reason. “I’ve gotten to work with him many times!” recounts Sara, humor lacing her voice once more. Her admiration shines through as she continues, “He’s a great actor. We definitely have gotten the chance to work together quite a few times.”
Another project of Sara’s is the film Homecoming. Reuniting her with a co-star once more – this time Richard Harmon – this horror film follows Rodger [Harmon] and his girlfriend Beth [Thompson] as they go back to his hometown where things are not as they seem.
“It’s pretty morbid,” begins Sara. “His whole family has passed. We’re just trying to tie up all the loose strings and we kind of realize that not everything is going as planned.” She even reveals that some situations are going on in the house due to Rodger’s childhood best friend named Jordan, who Beth has known for a few years. “There is a bit of an interesting dynamic between the three of us that I’m sure many people can relate to,” she teases through a bout of giggles at the thought.
On reuniting with Richard again, Sara calls the experience, “Amazing!” Having worked on two projects together and possibly another one coming up – “Not sure what I’m allowed to share right now!” – Sara happily explains that the two of them have become best friends. “He’s now one of my best friends. I was with him yesterday,” she says on the day of the interview. “We have a great relationship.”
Referring to their work on Homecoming as being “so much fun”, the actress can’t help but gush as she reflects on the experience. “I think it was one of the most fun times I’ve had working on a project almost every day for three weeks. Just everyone combined, we created such an amazing team to just make such a fun, cool movie.”
Having worked on so many projects, Sara’s busy schedule has given her the ability to grow and learn not only in her craft but also about herself.
“I think in doing all the projects that I’ve done and meeting all the people that I’ve met, I’ve opened a lot of doors for myself just to allow myself to be what and who I want to be. I think I get exposed to such special people all the time and sometimes, you know, the opposite.” It comes from working with those people who aren’t as easy to be around that she’s learned even more so the importance of staying professional and working around them.
“A lot of the people I’ve met over the past year have changed my life entirely. I think a lot of confidence comes out of being a confident actor. In my acting, I’ve definitely been less afraid to not know exactly what I’m doing and just allow room for myself to do what I know [and what] I know how to do best.”
All of this has helped shape Sara over the past year. “I’ve definitely grown and changed a lot.”
Stream season one of “Burden of Truth” on The CW now.
I Still See You is available to watch NOW on Amazon Prime here.
***ABOVE PHOTO CREDIT TO CRIS MONTECILLO