Finnish babe Sara Fabel delivers horror (crazy-bitch style) in Parlor, a tattoo nightmare for college students abroad. The new scream queen serves cold revenge on a humble platter. Perhaps it was her bullied past that landed her the vengeful role in the new film and pushed her to transform into Uta, the psychotic tattooist. When she’s not in production, Sara Fabel tattoos at Outer Limits Tattoo. Parlor is Ms. Fabel’s first film, premiering at Screamfest in LA. We interviewed Fabel to see just how the rising star got into character and why she was hesitant to commit in the first place.
How would you sum up Parlor?
It’s a hostel style horror movie involving a tattoo shop in Eastern Europe. Some American kids and a couple of kids from the UK meet up and get into disturbing trouble. I play Uta, a crazed, psycho bitch tattoo artist in a very unhealthy love relationship with a fellow tattoo artist [played by Robert Lasardo].
What was it like shooting in Eastern Europe?
I grew up in Finland and from my own experience, Eastern Europe is not the best place to be. Really fucked up shit happens there and so it brings a lot of realism to the movie. Kidnapping and human trafficking and crime is very high in Eastern Europe. People get robbed all the time, it’s just gross and dodgy. I travel a lot and every transfer through Eastern Europe, my stuff gets stolen. I got robbed on the way to shoot, too. The airport staff “check” your bags and rob you. People are going to bash me for saying that, but that’s just how it is. Otherwise, we didn’t have any problems. It was fun and the locals were really nice and everything was super rad. We had a really good crew. Everyone stuck together and stayed in the same hotel.
Is this your first acting gig?
Yes, initially, I wasn’t sure if I definitely wanted the part because I hadn’t acted before. I really didn’t want to suck at it.
What did it take for you to get into character?
All of us have that evil bitch in the back of our head where we hold all of our anger and frustrations. I was able to release everything that was locked away, it was so fun. It’s fairly toxic, though. After the whole project, I just wanted to be happy again instead of angry and murderous and vengeful.
When did you get your first tattoo?
When I was 16 I skipped school to get tattooed in a really dodgy shop. It was like two blocks from school. I got two small stars on the lower back.
What is your inspiration when tattooing?
I always want to be better. Success is the best revenge. I was very bullied when I was a kid and I think that the best revenge in life is being very successful in my career and in everything I do. Instead of fighting against those tough shits, you should channel that energy into building yourself to be better and be ahead of them.
Are there any clients you deny or tattoos you won’t do?
Some people walk in and think they want a tattoo but they don't really know what they want. You can see it in them that they’re unsure but they feel like they have to get one. If you can't commit to it, then you shouldn't do it. I won’t tattoo them. I give them their deposit back and tell them to go home.
The premiere for Parlor is on Tuesday, what are you thinking?
I'm nervous to see this side of myself. I think I'll be like, it’s awkward to say, but I think I'll be almost embarrassed. You never look at yourself the same way other people look at you. You see flaws in yourself that others do not. Shooting Parlor was an amazing experience and I learned a lot about myself. Seeing the other actresses, for example, Claire Garvey, she was such a trooper and never complained and always gave 110%. We were putting in 20-hour days and there were times where I felt I was only giving 80%. It really made me look up to the other actors, seeing as how incredible they were. I really respect their passion and effort. In acting and tattooing, you have to give it your all or back out.
What’s next for you?
I love my work and I really love tattooing. Monday is my favorite day because I get to go to work. I want to do more painting and art and drawing, too. I always want to be better.