Get to Know Halston Sage. She gets into it with SBJCT about her process, preparation, and dealing with this new deck of cards with which we have all been dealt. How do we harness this new perspective we have been given? HOW DO WE DO IT WITH HEART? Read on, below…

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Erin Walsh Can you tell me about your beginnings? Where you are from, how you got started, and what really ended up pushing you into acting and the arts?

Halston Sage I’m from Los Angeles and still consider it to be my home. Growing up, I was always entertaining people by putting on little shows at the dinner table, but my parents were reluctant to let me pursue an acting career at such a young age. Once I turned 17, they finally gave in. I went on my first audition in February of my senior year of high school and ended up filming a pilot for Nickelodeon. The show was picked up and I went straight from graduation to set.

EW How did this part in Prodigal Son come about?

HS I read the script for Prodigal Son a few months after I had taken a photo of a book called, A Serial Killer’s Daughter. I always take note of interesting characters/story ideas that I would like to produce at some point, so when the script for this show came around, I was excited because I had already fallen in love with the concept.

EW Can you tell us about your character and the show itself for the uninformed? We all seem to have lots of time to catch up on shows these days!

HS I play Ainsley Whitely, the daughter of a serial killer known as The Surgeon. Ainsley is a is a journalist who ends up investigating her own family’s history over the course of the season to get a better understanding of her father’s past. Sharing blood with someone who has the capacity to kill people gave Ainsley a complexity beyond her seemingly perfect personality that felt like a fresh perspective for a crime drama. The show dives deep into the mind of a serial killer and how his legacy has affected his family, while really focusing on the dynamic character relationships opposed to just the murder-of-the-week.

I like to be prepared in every way possible.

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EW What is your character process when you are approaching a role? And how does it vary from role to role?

HS I like to be prepared in every way possible. If there is anything I can watch or read that will somehow inform the character, I study it.

EW Any mentors in the process that you care to tell us about?

HS I found many mentors when I was researching how to play a journalist. They didn’t know it, but watching them do their jobs helped me so much this past year. I spent a lot of time going through YouTube reels of reporters who were just starting out in the field. I also watched a lot of Today Show (thank you, Savannah Guthrie) and old Barbara Walters interviews to study how anchors talk, sit, breathe, what they keep on their desks, how they take notes. All of it.

EW Any performances you have seen lately that really move you and inspire you? Especially when the need for visual stimulation and the arts is perhaps greater than it ever has been?

HS Jodie Comer in Killing Eve. Every move she makes on that show is so specific and true to her character, while also surprising. Recently, I’ve started to go back and watch a few of the classics I hadn’t seen before which has been refreshing and fun. Aaaand. La La Land. Forever and always. Every time I watch that film I’m reminded of the reason why I fell in love with movies.

EW Let’s get into typical you. What is your usual routine and day pre-COVID? How would you usually do a “normal day”

HS I would wake up in New York and go to set to film Prodigal Son! I usually worked most of the day before going home to Facetime with my family in LA. I had a really gorgeous view of the skyline, so I never used the shades in my room. On my days off I’d go to Pilates and walk around for hours. In the city, there was always a new coffee shop to discover, pasta place to find, museum to walk around– there was no shortage of ways to stay curious.

EW What’s a day like for you now, during quarantine?

HS I go to bed each night looking forward to coffee and breakfast. After I get up, I let myself scroll through the news for the day and then I start on any version of work I can be doing. There have been some great scripts coming through which has been a nice distraction and way to look forward to when we are all safe and healthy again and able to go back to set. After reading and/or taping an audition or two, I usually start on my assignments for an online fiction writing class I’m taking. After lunch, I’ll be sure to walk around the yard or take a virtual Pilates class to stay active. I look forward to my nights these days because that is when I like to call family and friends before ending the day in front of a movie with a large glass of wine in hand.


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EW I want you to explain a bit your own journey during this time. How do we put it into words? To start, where are you physically? And what do you find to be the most challenging right now? I was very taken by the essay you wrote for Variety- can you talk to me about fear and anxiety in these times? How do you manage your own? I find it can be such a hard line right now to not operate from a place of fear while also be cautious and diligent and smart…

HS I’m grateful that the fear and anxiety I was feeling at the time I wrote the Variety article has subsided. This is such a surreal time to be living in, and I’ve found a lot of comfort in knowing that we are all going through it together. I’ve been trying to keep myself as informed as possible, while also making sure that I find time to focus on things that take me away from the overwhelming emotion of what the world is experiencing. It’s easy to start worrying about everything that is out of my control, but I’ve been discovering new ways to stay positive and productive. I’m grateful to anything that alleviates any of the intense feelings that we are all facing at the moment.

EW How are you staying centered?

HS Keeping some version of a routine has helped me a lot. Weekly girls nights (via Facetime) and just taking the time to call family and friends has helped me process this new reality. Stories about medical workers and anyone still working to help us all keep our lives going has also anchored me. Their strength and resilience are inspiring every day. Walking has always been a sort of meditation for me, so I’ve made time for it knowing the impact it has on my mood.

EW What do you hope will be different when this is all over?

HS I hope that we all maintain an immense appreciation for every person in the medical community who has helped us get through this. I hope that the impulse to reach out to those we care about, or haven’t talked to in a while, remains a part of our daily lives. I hope that we can all remember the acts of kindness that we witnessed from strangers, and I hope that we can keep perspective when it comes to knowing what is important in life.

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EW Anything you are reading right now that might provide a good distraction for us?

HS One Day in December by Josie Silver. A writer from Prodigal Son, Sabrina, posted about this book so I immediately downloaded.

EW Anyone you have found GREAT to follow right now who might be inspiring for us?

HS Jimmy Fallon. He’s been broadcasting with his kids which is so cute and uplifting. Each night he holds up a card that his daughter made with the name of an organization close to one of his guest’s heart. It’s inspiring to see that he’s bringing attention to charities that are helping so many people right now.


EW Halston, what should we be doing to be of service right now? What are you doing? If there is anything that I LOVE about how social media right now, it seems like it is really harnessing its ability to impact people and affect change.

HS My sister and I actually started making masks for my grandpa’s retirement home. We  don’t have a sewing machine, so we cleaned out our closets and started making them by hand. Anything anyone can do, whether that means bringing groceries to those who are compromised, or even just donating what you can to organizations or hospitals in need, it is important to look out for each other.

EW What is your most calming activity right now?

HS Walking and cleaning.

EW What is hopeful to you today?

HS Acts of kindness.

EW What do you miss the most about normal times?


EW Comfort food?

HS Cereal.

EW Comfort outfit?

HS Naked Cashmere set and Ugg Slippers.

EW Quarantine mantra?

HS Wine time is coming.

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What I truly love so much about the TCF is that they help kids feel like kids.

EW So, for AFTER THIS, Do you think about things like 5 year plans, and 10 year plans, or are you not there yet? In any case, do you have any?

HS I would love to start producing projects. There is so much that goes into telling a story beyond acting, and I find that development process to be exciting and creatively fulfilling. I would also love to maintain the balance in my life that has always been a huge part of my happiness. Any version of success would not be nearly as meaningful without the people I love in my life to share it with.

EW Any causes or charities you feel very drawn to? I would like to link directly to them for our readers…

HS The Chase Foundation is amazing. They provide children and families facing illness and trauma with Child Life Specialists who offer support over course of their treatments. Whether this means playing with patients in their specialized Child Life Playrooms, or giving parents the guidance and information they need, this foundation is committed to getting families through challenging times. What I truly love so much about the TCF is that they help kids feel like kids, even in a hospital environment.

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EW Do you find that actors need to be socially conscious because you a are in the public eye?  I guess I am asking, what kind of weight of responsibility do you feel (if any) given the platform you have?

HS Anyone who is in the public eye should be mindful of their platform. I feel like I’ve always been thoughtful when making impactful decisions because I’m the big sister in my family, so I’ve always tried to be considerate and respectful of that responsibility. I basically just want to make my brother and sister proud by bringing attention to the importance of caring for people and communities in need.

EW Halston Sage, What’s Your SBJCT? That is, what makes YOU extraordinary and really moves and motivates you?

HS Stories about love and the goodness in humanity have always motivated me to do what I do not only as an actor, but as a person. I find strength in caring for those who need it most, and I’ve learned to do everything in life with heart.


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