Actress Sabrina Gennarino’s filmography seems lately to be leaning more toward the horror genre. That, she said, is just a coincidence as she believes in going where the good scripts are, and she found that in her characters on TV’s “The Walking Dead” and “The Purge.” So when her former “Walking Dead” co-star Pollyanna McIntosh asked her to star in the horror feature film “Darlin’” Gennarino said it was a no-brainer. The film is McIntosh’s directorial debut, which she also wrote and stars in the flick. With her attached, Gennarino was happy to take on the project. “I love her and admire her greatly,” she said of McIntosh during a telephone interview.
It was also helped that the script was “sick and twisted and powerful – all at the same time,” Gennarino said. “Darlin’” will make its world premiere at SXSW in Austin. The film festival kicks off Friday, March 8, and continues through Sunday, March 17. “Darlin’” will be shown at 11 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, at the Alamo Ritz. The film tells the story about a feral teenager named Darlin’ who is taken into a care home run by The Bishop and nuns who try to make her a good girl. But Darlin’ is not alone as The Woman who raised her is coming after her. This continues Lucky McKee’s cult 2011 hit “The Woman” and 2009’s “Offspring.” Gennarino said “Darlin’” also has a deeper meaning for women in today’s society.
“How strong we really can be,” she said.
Also her character also checked off a character type she was missing from her filmography. She jokingly said in all her years working as an actress in New York, she never once was cast as the prostitute. In “Darlin’,” she finally got the role. “What I loved about it was here is a prostitute with a heart and dysfunctional at that. This woman has some serious issues,” Gennarino said. “Her childhood was taken by these people, and they broke her. They absolutely broke her.” With the character, Gennarino said “she allowed me to grow as an actor as well. I love those roles where I get to grow and get to dive in, totally embrace it and get it done.”
More on the horizon
Gennarino has her own film in the works that she wrote, produced and directed called “Craftique.” She’s also supporting the next generation of actors as her daughter, Izzy Gaspersz, is starring as AJ in the Netflix series “AJ and the Queen” alongside RuPaul. And she’s also busy with her vegan skincare Crap Free Skin Line (crapfreeskincare.com), which just partnered with the Ian Somerhalder Foundation that allows those who purchase from her line to donate to ISF at the same time. Gennarino said she will be in Austin to attend the premiere in SXSW Film to support her castmates and her friend because she understands the long process it takes from script to film. “It really takes a really long time. And it takes an incredible amount of dedication to get a film done,” she said, calling it “all consuming.”
More information about SXSW can be found at www.sxsw.com.