I’ve been a massive fan of Kate Siegel’s since 2016’s Hush and that enthusiasm for her talent has only grown since the release of The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor and now Midnight Mass. Given how much I admire her work, it was the ultimate treat to have Siegel on Collider Ladies Night to learn more about how she got started in the industry and how her craft evolved from project to project.
Siegel plays Erin Greene in Midnight Mass. She grew up in the small, isolated community on Crockett Island, but ultimately made the move to the mainland. However, she eventually comes to decide it’s best if she returned to Crockett to build a new life for herself and for her baby-on-the-way there.
During our Collider Ladies Night conversation, Siegel shared a good deal about her earliest inspirations, her experience studying acting at Syracuse University and how she almost switched to a career in international finance before meeting the person who’d wind up changing her life on screen and off, Mike Flanagan. During our chat, I asked Siegel when she first realized that Flanagan brought the best out of her as an actor’s director and she immediately pinpointed the day they met. It was for an audition for a Flanagan film that never wound up being made. She began:
“I met Mike for the first time in an audition setting, and it was nine pages of sides. This was when I was deep in the grind where it was like, I was going out three to four times a week and things were getting close, but nothing was catching on fire and I was in a real athletic mindset where I was like, ‘What do I do to achieve what people want and how do I practice?’ Very linear in my thinking about being what somebody else wanted me to be.”
Siegel loved this particular script, so was prepared and eager to do whatever necessary to score the role:
“I really wanted this part and I worked really hard to do it right and be a good girl and get an A+ on this audition. And I went in and I did the nine pages, and he gave me a direction and I do the nine pages again. Generally speaking, with an audition that size, you get about two or three takes. They don’t have an hour to work with you. And we’d finished and I felt the room — the tinders were smoking, but I hadn’t caught anything on fire, and I was really beating myself up in my head and I didn’t want to get out of the chair. I didn’t want to leave because I loved the script so much.”
Turns out, it wasn’t time for Siegel to leave just yet. Flanagan had one more note for her and it’d wind up being a note that would change the game for Siegel going forward: “Mike looked at me and he kinda sat there for a second, and he was like, ‘Can you just do one more?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah.’ And I was waiting for the notes he was gonna give me, and I was preemptively nodding because I was like, ‘I’m a good girl and I will take this note and I will do a good job.’ And he looked at me and he waited until I stopped nodding, and he said, ‘Can you just do one just for you?’ And I was taken aback because I didn’t know what that meant. I had forgotten. And something in me was brave enough to take the amount of time, which felt like an eternity, was probably two minutes, and figure out what it was that I wanted, and my acting changed forever on that day.”
Trust me when I tell you this is one of many moving and inspiring memories Siegel shared on Collider Ladies Night. To hear more, check out our chat in the video at the top of this article or listen to the full conversation uncut in podcast form below. Siegel also revisited working on an epic jump scare in Hill House, explained the evolution of Midnight Mass from novel to Netflix show, and offered up a whole bunch of spoiler-filled information on the final two episodes of the series.