From a starring role in the coming of age film Sadie’s Last Days on Earth to completing several indie projects, the effervescent and talented Morgan Taylor Campbell has been a busy woman as of late. We were thankful when she carved out some time to speak with us about her passions, experiences and upcoming films.
Please tell us about Sadie’s Last Days on Earth.
Sadie’s takes place in a high school realm exploring what a high schooler would do if the end of the world was coming, but really it’s more just a metaphor for the change that’s coming from her teen to adult life. It’s such a quirky charming coming of age comedy, drama. I really loved working on her character. She taught me a lot and I think that’s the most I can ask from any project I work on is, you know, what can they teach me when I’m coming out of it?
What did she teach you? What’s the one quality that she has that you would want to have of your own?
I really respect how true to herself she is because, especially when I was younger, I could get caught up a lot in worrying about what other people thought and that’s always just gone right over her head. She’s more concerned about bigger issues and less caught up about worrying what people think of her.
I think we could all go for that.
How does Sadie’s high school experiences relate to yours, are they similar? Different?
Well, I was definitely an outcast in high school, too so I can absolutely relate to her on that level. I didn’t have so much of a voice in high school, so if we can go back to the things I really appreciate about her, that’s such a huge thing. She really has come into her own at such an early age and isn’t afraid to fight for what she wants and I really respect that.
It’s admirable, for sure. So Sadie has somewhat of a bucket list in the movie. There’s certain things she wants to check off before the apocalypse. So what’s on your bucket list?
There are so many things.
Top 3. Ok, if the apocalypse was coming I’d eat gluten again because this Celiac’s thing is kind of a pain.
You’re like, “I would eat chocolate croissants…”
Oh my goodness, you totally read my mind! A croissant is the absolute first thing I’d eat. It’s always been my favorite.
It’s the pinnacle of gluten. I’m sorry to ruin your life today.
Totally agree with you. I’ve never had a gluten free croissant that’s measured up.
So you would eat a lot of gluten, that’s #1.
Yes, I would eat a lot of gluten. Would cross the ocean…
Cross the ocean doing what? In like a boat?
On a ship would be cool.
I was thinking you were swimming.
(Laughing) I would love to, maybe not swim. I would love to play a new instrument. Something I’ve never done before.
What do you play now?
I play violin and I’ve been learning to play the piano. I think I would play the cello or you know something I would have to completely relearn the music to figure out.
So you’re not breaking any laws?
(Laughing) I don’t think I’m breaking any laws. I don’t really find it necessary. For me it’s like, if the end of the world’s coming and I don’t have to focus on a career and money anymore, I can just get back to enjoying simple things, you know, looking out my window, lie in the grass longer or just appreciate the things that we’re always given to us as humans.
It looks like you had a lot of fun on the set of Sadie’s a good amount of people that were pretty fun, a lively group. Can you tell me about how the set was and any fun stories?
It was fantastic. Everyone, even the director and producer, were so much closer in age than most others that I’ve worked with. So it was such a young, vibrant energy and given that Sadie is such a modern, hip film it was really good in that regard, but also everyone got along and we hung out all the time. Clark (Backo) who played my best friend in the movie is now one of my really close friends in real life. It’s just so special when that can happen.
Is it fair to say that Sadie has some anxieties?
I think it’s fair to say she has a lot.
How do you cope with your anxiety?
I learned to meditate, so meditation has been a big part of my life for the last year, because I can really relate to Sadie’s anxiety and talking to myself. I’ve really learned to use positive self-talk, too which is a job but I think it’s really important. I think in general as a society we’re too hard on ourselves and self-love is really important.
You were involved in Power Rangers.
I sure was.
Can you tell me about that experience?
That was a really, really cool experience. The girl who played my cohort in the movie, Sarah Grey, we worked together on a film the year before so it was amazing rekindling up with a friend. We worked on a short film titled Rue together. She’s fantastic. We both so worried going into it because our specific characters are really mean and we worried we’d be working with somebody that could be really mean. Then we found out it was each other and were like ‘Ah, this is amazing.’ Neither of us particularly match the nature of our characters in that one.
Did you get to work with Elizabeth Banks or Bill Hader at all?
I wish, no. We were more involved with the Rangers and less involved with the adults.
I’m excited for this one. I was a Power Ranger kid myself.
It looks amazing. I remember being on set seeing the shots that they were using, and it had a really indie vibe. It’s awesome.
Speaking of indies, can you tell me about The Orchard?
Yes, that is still one of the most rewarding projects I’ve worked on. It’s with a group of people who I’ve known for years and we went out to film on an orchard that was just beautiful. The character that I played was really creatively rewarding and it was such a beautiful story to tell. I still talk to Kate (Twa) the director all the time and tell her how much I wish we could have done more and spent even more time working on it because of how much I loved the experience. It’s just by far one of my favorite things I’ve ever done. It was such a beautiful, beautiful experience. I’m really proud of that one.
Your character Olive is an activist, what causes are you passionate about?
It’s funny because I really started delving into documentaries recently and I’ve always had really had a real soft spot for global warming. Every time I’m walking down the street and see a dolphin killer, I pick it up. I recycle everything. For the bigger picture, one day I really hope to make environmental documentaries. There are so many issues that are important to me surrounding equality, loving each other, but you know if we don’t have an earth to live on.. I think we really need to take care of this beautiful space we live in and teach ourselves to take care of something in that regard.
So not that much different from Olive?
Really not at all.
Any upcoming projects that can share with your fans?
I just worked on this really cool indie film titled William directed by Tim Disney. That was an incredible experience. It’s about these two scientists who create a Neanderthal as a science experiment but now he’s achromatizing to modern society and Will, who played William the Neanderthal, was so fantastic to work with. It’s always such a relief when you get to a set and people are willing to rehearse with you, go balls to the wall and really try to figure out a story no matter how short or long a period of time you have together.
I have a film coming out titled Wicked Love that I shot in Oklahoma for Marvista Entertainment. Also, I just did a guest spot on iZombie which was pretty cool because I got to dress up in some pretty cool outfits.
Were you a zombie?
I wish that I could tell you.
Do you know when it’s airing?
The show starts airing, I believe in January (2017) and I’m in the 9th episode.
Well it sounds like you’ve been busy.
It has been busy. It’s been really, really good. I’ve been very fortunate.
Congratulations, you have a rocketing career. We’re so happy for you and we’re really appreciative that you took the time to speak with us.
Me, too. I’m really glad. Thank you guys.
And I hope that you find a really good gluten free croissant someday.
I hope that I do too, maybe when I cross that ocean.