California native, Sammy Boyarsky was first seen in the film Bruce Almighty at the tender age of four. Soon, Sammy can be heard as a voice in the video game, Diablo III. Today, she appears in the highly-anticipated and controversial feature film Rampart, directed by Oren Moverman.
Rampart, which premiered at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival, tells the story of the widespread corruption in the Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (CRASH) anti-gang unit of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Rampart Division in the late 1990s. Sammy plays Margaret, one of Woody Harrelson’s daughters which also co-stars Ben Foster, Ice Cube, Cynthia Nixon, Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright, Steve Buscemi, Anne Heche, and Brie Larson.
Sammy, an eighth grader, had to wait a few months to get a call back for Rampart, but when she did get the call back, it was the director. It wasn’t long before Sammy got to set and connected with the other actors, especially Woody Harrelson who plays her father and Brie Larson who plays her sister. Post-production, the cast found themselves premiering at the Toronto Film Festival, which Sammy called a “surreal experience. “ It finally sinks in once you get there. When you’re on the plane getting there, you’re not really…but when you’re there, it is all coming true. It was a great experience to see myself on screen and it was a great feeling to be confident in my performance.” She also had this to say about Rampart and what she sees ahead for her acting career…
What would you say is the one thing that the director, Oren Moverman taught you that you’ll always remember?
Always be able to feel the character so that way it comes out as a very natural performance.
Did your role involve any research?
My role doesn’t really have to do with the gang violence scenes. But one thing that I did learn was how to be the daughter of a cop in that time period and the things that you have to go through knowing what your father is doing. It wasn’t just a family thing. It was, your father was on television for hurting people. It’s definitely not a good feeling to have.
As far as the late 90s go, what was your favorite thing to discover?
I was introduced to the Spice Girls music! My sister was a huge fan of the Spice Girls and I didn’t even know that until we heard that I had the audition, it was set in the late 90s, and then my sister said, “You better listen to the Spice Girls on your way there.”
What roles or genres are you looking for in the future?
I’ve always loved doing drama but I have always loved comedy as well and I love improv. In Rampart, I was able to improv a few scenes. The director, he trusted that we understood the characters so well that we would be able to feel what they were feeling in the moment and express it right there.
Aside from acting, are you interested in writing, producing, directing, or going into another department in the business?
I love writing though I may not particularly write screenplays as it is really hard for me to write dialogue but definitely something that has to do with writing will be in my future.
As for balancing middle school and acting? Sammy says, “It’s definitely a challenge but when you love acting as much as I do, you’ll do anything to go to auditions.”
Catch Sammy Boyarsky in Rampart when it releases in limited theaters later this year and expands in early 2012.