Amber Sainsbury
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"I’ve never pushed myself to such an extreme before," admits Amber Sainsbury of her experience filming CHANNELLING baby, her feature debut.

Cassandra is a pivotal role in the movie: Engineering and manipulative her warped, chaotic vision tortures the truth.

"Cassandra’s a very gutsy woman, although wounded," explains Sainsbury. "She is more than just ambitious - she will go to any lengths to achieve what she wants. She is incredibly passionate and intense".

It is surprising then that the young actor admits to drawing on her own experiences to bring the character to life: "I certainly related to her. I think she’s definitely a part of me. She’s a battler and I really admire her."

The many layers of CHANNELLING baby are reflected in the character of Cassandra and "we needed someone who had the ability to be the femme fatale but also appear young and vulnerable," comments Writer/Director Christine Parker.

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Sainsbury first heard about the project while at Drama School in England. It created a small dilemma for the actor who was about to embark on a trip to New York and was unsure whether returning to the other side of the world just to audition was worthwhile. However, within twenty-four hours she was back home and as soon as she read the script she knew she’d made the right decision: "It’s a very compelling story, incorporating everything that a good film should. I also felt Cassandra was a truly well-written and powerful character."

Sainsbury made her acting debut at just fifteen years old in the New Zealand television drama "Plainclothes" in which she played the temperamental daughter of the head of a police crime unit. She then moved to Sydney, Australia where she found work as a runner before scoring a role in the tele-movie "Crimebroker" starring Jacqueline Bisset. She later studied overseas, describing time spent in Italy as "a learning experience with dynamite underneath".

Since returning to New Zealand Sainsbury has recently appeared in a number of episodes of the Pacific Renaissance Pictures drama "Hercules".

Her performance in CHANNELLING baby drew praise from fellow cast and film-makers alike. "She has a real star quality and a definite presence on the screen", says Producer Caterina De Nave. "I remember with some of the first rushes Amber appeared and literally everyone drew breath. They moved forward in their seats, looked to the screen and were just captivated. She has a capability and compelling quality far beyond her years."


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Copyright 1999 Oceania Parker Ltd
Last modified: August 15, 1999