We spoke with the Carmilla and 9 Days with Cambria star, Sharon Belle, just a few weeks ago and we're excited to finally talk about her latest series, Swerve. Belle stars as Elise, one of the three leading ladies in Jason Armstrong's latest Skeleton Key Film series. Take a look below as Belle dissects her character and her favorite bits of Swerve.
netTVnow: Now that we can talk about Swerve! How would you describe Elise?
Sharon Belle: I would describe Elise as a bit of lone wolf, an introvert. That it is through her solidarity that she learned to be incredibly independent and self reliant. It was revealed that she was diagnosed with a personality disorder which does not by any means define her character but has definitely shaped it. At her core she is this free spirited, playful, strong woman, but she holds most of that back in fear that she will swing too much one way or the other. She's just another human in the world trying desperately to make real human connections, but she knows her limits and feels she must stay within them to succeed.
netTVnow: How did you get involved with Swerve?
SB: I met Jason about a year ago now, and we've worked on a couple projects since then (TGIAL, 9 Days With Cambria) and I just really like his style. We kept in touch over the summer after Cambria, and he mentioned a couple times that he was working on something and that he was curious about what I could do. Immediately I asked if he was writing a character for me that was a serial killer astronaut because that would be amazing, turns out it was Elise.
netTVnow: Why do you think Elise trusts Jen so quickly and accepts her ride/offer to stay in the cottage?
SB: When Elise first meets Jen, there is this immediate spark because of the first words out of Jen's mouth. "Are you okay?". She asks Elise if she is "okay", not "do you need a ride?" Not, "hey kid hop in". Right in front of her was a person, out of true kindness, genuinely asking if she was okay. You can sense energies like that, and I think from then on Jen created this caring and open dialogue between the two of them which is something that I don't think Elise has ever had before. When you meet people like that in your life, you just try to hold onto them as long as you can.
netTVnow: Although Kat Inokai and Emily Alatalo were your co-stars in Cambria, you didn't interact with them, what was it like getting to work with them this time around?
SB: I had worked with Kat before in TGIAL as a producer as well as an actor, but yes, this was the first time I had worked directly with Emily. The three of us shared a small cabin, Stevie's cabin, for four days with no power and no running water so we all got really close really fast. On top of roughing it together in the middle of the wild, the content for this series was incredibly intense. It was probably day two that we all at one point burst into tears because of a connection in a scene, or our own connection to the script or the characters. It was this wonderful, freeing feeling that I could just exist how I was, no facade, in front of these two women and be accepted. Emily and Kat are such generous and talented scene partners and humans in general. I feel so lucky to have shared that experience with them and looking back, I wouldn't change a thing.
netTVnow: Elise has some amazing opening monologues, which one did you like the most?
SB: The opening monologues are my favorite! I am so fortunate to have had such amazing dialogue to work with. My favorite out of all of them though has to be episode three. I love that it's about the human connection, which I personally think is one of the most valuable things on this earth. It's also very crucial to Elise as well. I think it's a lovely little look into that playful, innocent side of Elise that we so rarely see. Also linguistically, this specific monologue had this flow that I noticed immediately when talking it aloud. It's one of those pieces of text that is just really nice to say.
netTVnow: What was your favorite episode to film?
SB: My favorite episode to film is episode 3 as well. In movies and film I love those quiet lonely explorations that a character might have when on their own. It's so private and intimate to watch, and I feel the same way while filming it. There is just something meditative about being in character while waking up and moving and going about your business in silence. In this episode Elise also goes through this crazy emotional journey. She goes from happy and completely content, to sad, then confused, then worried, then angry. Then to finish it off there's that scene at the end with Kat which was so emotional for the both of us. After we finished filming it, we just had to hug it out for a good long while.
netTVnow: Connection seems to be one of the biggest themes for the series, what do you think it is about Jen and Stevie that Elise is so attracted to and not necessarily in the romantic sense?
SB: I love that you asked that question, because as you can tell from this interview so far, episode three really hits it home for me. I too think that connection is one of the strongest themes in this series and the light at the end of the tunnel for Elise. I think Elise is intensely drawn to Stevie and Jen because she sees in them these qualities that she wishes she could see in herself. Likewise, I think that she likes that Stevie and Jen see this person inside herself that she wishes she could be all the time. This ideal version of herself.
netTVnow: However, in the romantic sense, had Stevie not been crying when Elise confronted her in episode five, what do you think would have happened?
SB: I think that if when Elise walked into Stevie's cabin and she wasn't crying, Elise would have just erupted with feelings. That moment, to me, is so telling and important in the series. In the beginning Elise talks a lot about self sabotage, and ruining good things in her life and I think that if she stormed into that cabin in the height of passion and exploded on Stevie, things would not have ended well. I believe that everything in life happens for a reason, or fictional web series life, but I like to think that, that moment in time where Elise chose friendship and kindness over passion, was a crucial moment for her feeling like she can be in control of her emotions.
netTVnow: The series is left really open-ended, what do you think happens after Stevie returns without Jen?
SB: I think that when Stevie comes back to the cottage and finds Elise reading the note, that they look into each others eyes, and shape shift back into their original form of a giant snake person and board their spaceship and blast off into outer space. Then Jen wakes up and turns out it was all a dream.
netTVnow: What's one thing you're hoping audiences will take away from Swerve?
SB: After watching Swerve, I hope that people see the beauty in connection. That there is so much value in stepping outside of your comfort zone and putting yourself out there to make meaningful connections with other people. It all starts with trusting yourself. Trust that who you are is beautiful and perfect in your own way. That to love, you need to allow yourself to be vulnerable. Vulnerability though scary, is a beautiful thing.
netTVnow: Any upcoming projects we can share or anything else to add?
SB: Nothing I can share with you guys just yet, but there should be some exciting news come the new year!