Making its online debut is the new Facebook Watch series SACRED LIES, which blends elements from modern stories of cults and brainwashing-trauma with a dark fairytale of a young girl who escapes from a “monster,” but who loses her hands in the process. SACRED LIES will look like a troubled-teen story, but as you watch, you will see how the classic Grimm fairytale blends into the modern horror. In an exclusive interview, Elena Kampouris explains where this dark tale comes from and how it is really about the empowerment of a young girl Minnow Bly, who is finally choosing her own destiny.
Tell me a little about your character Minnow and who you see her as.
Elena: Minnow, to me she’s very strong. She’s a survivor. She’s wonderful, but she’s also a little bit dangerous. She’s every shade of every dimension. She’s so much fun to get to play and she’s on such a complex journey on the show, the lifespan of her character and what she goes through is immense, so it’s a lot of fun.
She’s also disabled. She last lost both her hands. How was that to kind of work with as an actress?
Elena: When I first started — it was actually a whole process of three whole weeks to do a lot of work with acting these different types of prosthetics which are seen throughout the show and, if you see me without hands, that’s a lot of the visual effects going into the action work. I had a chance to talk with Kristie Sita, who lost her hand when she was Minnow’s age, and she was a dancer. Kristie’s a beautiful girl. She helped me through a lot of the physical stuff and the psychological stuff, and she mentored me through the whole thing and we got really close. So what you see on screen represents a valuable team experience.
Obviously, your character Minnow has gone through a lot — living her whole entire life through a cult, going through a traumatic event, and now who is discovering a whole new world. How is she adjusting to the real world, so to speak?
Elena: She’s coming from this world of a cult, where she’s been brainwashed with all of these ideals, and she’s thrown into this foreign place, and it just so happens to be juvenile detention where she has to learn to assimilate to a new world. So, for me, it’s like learning a new language — her verbal and social issues don’t actually match. She doesn’t understand what sarcasm is. All of this she has to learn, and she does very quickly because she’s very bright and curious. But she’s also in a position where she is trying to figure out her identity: what she believes in. She needs to be independent. She needs to not be curious, but she is. She is curious and she is independent, so here she finally has that freedom.
That is totally interesting aspect of it, to find yourself free when you suddenly are in that situation. What about the person that enters her life and becomes very significant: Dr. Wilson. He becomes maybe her “touchstone” in her new reality. What’s that dynamic like between them?
Elena: Super fun. I have to say, Kevin [Carroll] was incredible to work with and I particularly looked forward to those scenes between them — just because those therapy scenes are really powerful. The relationship between Dr. Wilson and Minnow is really interesting because they are kind of therapies for each other. He has a lot of stuff he’s gone through — well we’ve all gone through griefs and struggle — but he relates to a lot of Minnow’s struggles. He becomes kind of like a father-figure to her in juvie. It’s kind of like this limbo in between her old world of the cult and the new world of the real world in juvie, where it’s like this limbo “purgatory,” where she has to learn humanity again and forgive people, to learn who she is and he teaches her that.
SACRED LIES premiered Friday, July 27th on Facebook WATCH, with its first 3 episodes immediately available for streaming. The remaining 7-episodes will be released weekly exclusively on Facebook WATCH. (To see SACRED LIES, be sure to login to Facebook and go to the SACRED LIES featured page and click on “Watch” in the upper left corner of the page to be taken to where you can watch the available episodes for the series on Facebook WATCH.)
For more information about the series, you can also read our interview with show runner and executive producer Raelle Tucker:
SACRED LIES Trailer: