SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Diane Sargent: My name is Diane Sargent. I am an actress in Los Angeles, CA. In addition to acting, I have a doctorate in Chinese medicine. I had my own practice and also published a successful magazine about acupuncture and Chinese medicine. About 9 years ago I sold my company and have since devoted myself to acting full time along with other creative endeavors including writing a children’s book and writing/producing my own projects. I am originally from South Africa and sailed from Africa to the United States – on a boat that my family built – when I was ten. I moved to San Diego where I worked on my family’s ostrich ranch, entertaining tourists as an ostrich jockey. My unconventional childhood has left me with a great love of travel and adventure. I live in San Diego with my husband, two children and our Devon Rex Cats.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actress?
Diane Sargent: I distinctly remember falling in love with the stage at 6 years old when I won a talent show that was being held at a beach in Durban, South Africa. I remember my parents clapping and laughing when I won. If I went to therapy, I am sure that they would say something about the validation I felt from my parents approval. LOL
SKSM: How did you become involved in Graduation Afternoon Dollar Baby film?
Diane Sargent: The director, Robert Anthony Padilla contacted me about the role. We had never worked together but were familiar with each other through mutual friends in the San Diego, California acting community. I play an affluent and over-protective parent in Graduation Afternoon – it’s a role that I am very well suited for.
SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?
Diane Sargent: Of all of Stephen King’s shorts, it does an amazing job of showing how trivial our everyday problems are in the big scheme of things. While there are no monsters or demons, the idea behind Graduation Afternoon is the stuff of nightmares – that everything we hold dear can go in an instant.
SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?
Diane Sargent: I sent in a tape because even if the director knows your work, it is important for everyone involved in casting to see how you will create the character. When you commit to a project, you want to make sure that you are all on the same page in terms of the role.
SKSM: You worked with Robert Anthony Padilla on this film, how was that?
Diane Sargent: I really hope to work with Rob Anthony again. He has vision and knows exactly what he wants. He also has patience and the ability to communicate his ideas to the cast and crew. It makes things go so much smoother. There have been times when I’ve been on a set and it’s been so hectic… he and the team operate in this smooth way that just kept everybody calm.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Diane Sargent: There is one scene where I smack my son’s friend on the butt as he passes by. It wasn’t originally in the script, but Rob Anthony liked it and I had to smack this poor kid on the butt over and over again for multiple takes.
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
Diane Sargent: One of the best things about film making is the lasting friendships that you make. I keep in contact with everyone. Noor and I even take an acting class together. Jade has started a successful podcast that I always listen to. I have especially loved getting to know the writer of Graduation Afternoon, Marie Jones.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Diane Sargent: It is a very busy time for me right now. In Los Angeles it is pilot season and I’ve been out for a lot of new shows that are being filmed and tested for new series. I have 3 films that are currently doing the film festival circuit. Two that I acted in and one that I directed. I just won Best Actress at the World Music and Independent Film Festival and Best Acting Duo in the Los Angeles Independent Shorts Film Festival. This weekend I have another screening at the Idlewild Film Festival. Next month I begin shooting a web series where I play a producer. In two week I am filming a family friendly movie about a dog where I play the mom. I have some TV roles in the works too that I will hopefully be able to announce soon!
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
Diane Sargent: I am such a huge fan of Stephen King (and his Corgi, aka ‘the thing of evil’). I spend a lot of time in my car. Most of which is spent listening to Stephen King books. I just finished The Institute and before that, The Talisman. It’s come to the point where I’m running out of Stephen King books! I’m going to have to start rereading my favorites. I also just finished watching The Outsider on HBO. They did an amazing job of bringing that book to life! So, so good.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Diane Sargent: I am an avid journaler. I have kept a journal since I was 9 years old and I have kept every one of them.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Diane Sargent: I started acting professionally when I was 36 years old. Whatever fires you up, do it! It is never too late.