Interview with Richard Sammel and Ruta Gedmintas of THE STRAIN Part Four
Ruta Gedmintas (Dutch) and Richard Sammel (Eichorst), as those who watched the latest installment of THE STRAIN already know, just finished an intense, emotionally grueling episode between the two of them, with Dutch being held prisoner and tortured by Eichorst. While both commented on how daunting the scenes were to perform, and admitted being equal parts “excited” and “apprehensive,” they agreed that their off-screen friendship made the entire process far easier and more comfortable, and resulted in an intensity to the scenes that would not have been possible without an implicit trust between the two.
Sammel, describing his character as a “perversion machine,” stressed that Eichorst, unlike another of the screen’s iconic automated villains, the Terminator, had the roots of his evil deeply and exclusively sunk into human nature. Eichorst and the other Strigoi in the series are metaphors, and scapegoats, for human evil. The vampire does to humans, he points out, what humans do to other animals every day. As to whether or not she minded being tortured onscreen, Ruta expressed her gratitude to the writers for giving her such material to work with. “Those are the best scenes,” she said. “When it becomes risky,” Sammel added, that is when it becomes the most interesting.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless.
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