Salem with Sammi Hanratty
by Eric Chase
How did you start as an entertainer?
When I was 2 years old I started telling my mom that I wanted to be on tv or on the stage. She thought I was just repeating something I'd heard somewhere else because she didn't know how I would know what "the stage" was at 2. After years of asking, she finally contacted an agency when I was 6. Two weeks later I went and met with them and booked my first job the next day.
You worked with so many talented artists, who would you say impacted your career?
I've been so blessed to work with so many amazing people. I worked with Lacy Chabert in one of my first movies and she had a huge impact on my. I feel the same way about Annabeth Gish, whom I've gotten to work with a few times, and Patricia Heaton. These are women who work hard and love their jobs but also have separate family time. I think it's important to to be able to separate the two.
What is a dream role you'd love to play or artist you'd like to work with in the future?
I would love to do something really challenging, nothing like myself. I auditioned for a transgender role once. That would probably be my dream role right now. Doing something completely different and really doing the character justice.
What do you love most about your profession?
I love transforming into different characters. That's one reason I really enjoy movies. You get to play someone different in each project. It's my job to make you believe I'm that person. I also love that my job allows my to use my voice to bring awareness to some of my favorite charities like Smile Train and Starlight.
What challenges or struggles have you faced along the way and what helped you overcome them?
A few years ago, my sister Danielle was in a really bad accident with my horse. She was trampled and kicked in the face and we weren't sure if she was going to survive. I was standing there with her and saw the whole thing. It really traumatized me. Exactly one month later, a close family friend committed suicide. Turning to God, family and friends was what got me through. My faith has always gotten me through.
Do you work with any charitable organizations? What is your involvement in them?
I'm an ambassador for Smile Train and Starlight. Smile Train is an organization that teaches Drs in underserved areas how to perform cleft surgeries. This past January I was able to travel to a hospital in Mexico with them. I got to scrub in and watch as they performed the cleft surgeries and then visited with the patients and their families. It was one of the most rewarding moments I've ever had!
Of all the work you have done over the years, what is the one thing you are most proud of?
I played a teen mom who's baby is kidnapped in Zoe Gone. The very first scene is me giving birth and I wanted it to look as real as possible. My character's not too thrilled with all of the responsibilities that come along with having a baby at such a young age. I put a lot of time into researching births and teen moms. I'm really proud of how it turned out.
What do you like to do for fun in your downtime?
I love hanging out with my friends at the beach, especially really late at night when it's just us, the ocean and the stars. I also spend a lot of time at my church.
Where are you originally from?
I was born in Arizona. I lived there until I was two and we moved to California. I still have a lot of family there.
What is your nationality?
I'm almost all Irish with a little Scottish in there as well.
Give us 5 words that you think best describe you.
Silly, loving, loyal, spiritual, compassionate
You’re a "sign" (cancer, sagitarius, libra etc), how would you describe your personality in that regard?
I'm a Virgo. It says that Virgo's are truthful, loyal, observant, helpful, and determined. I would agree that describes me. However, it also says Virgo's can appear to be cold, that's not me at all.
What are the recent projects you've worked on?
I just finished season 2 of WGN's hit series Salem. I also have a feature film, Bad Kids Go 2 Hell, coming out in the fall.
How was that? How did you get that role?
I was sent the script and offered the role while I was filming an episode of Stalker. I read it and really like the character so we closed the deal and I was off to Dallas to film the following week. I got to play a total kick-ass kind of girl who is avenging her sister's death.
What would you say is your best asset?
My mother would say it's my kind heart.
What do others compliment you on the most?
My eyes or my lips.
How did you land the role for the Salem as Dollie Trask?
I originally auditioned to play Anne Hale when the pilot was filmed, so I had read the script and loved it. When the opportunity came up to audition for Dollie, I was really excited. It's such a great show with a cast of extremely talented actors.
Will we see more of Dollie in the next seasons?
Dollie died this season, but it's a witch show so you never know!! Increase Mather came back this season so maybe there's hope for Dollie.
We see that you get down and dirty with your character, how is that like on set?
Dollie dies in a really bad way. I'm then left with the other dead bodies until Isaac comes for me. It's really sad but beautiful the way he loves her.
Do you enjoy the constant attention and adoration that comes with being an actress?
I love my fans, and I don't mind them recognizing me at all.
What are some of your hidden talents other than acting?
I can wiggle my ears and my nose. I can also belly dance.
Where do you want your career to be in two years?
I would love to do a movie trilogy. Jennifer Lawrence has the career I aspire to.
What is the best info you can give a new talent?
Follow your dreams. Pursue what you're passionate about and work hard for it. Be kind to others. Remember to always stay humble.
If you had to walk away from acting today, what memory would you take from it?
So many to even count. I have great memories from every job I've done.
If you had to walk away, what would you like to be remembered most for?
I would hope that people would say they enjoyed working with my and getting to know me. Touching someone's life in a positive way is what it's all about.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
I think I did it just the way I would tell myself. I've had fun and enjoyed every moment!