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The Midnight Mass ensemble may all be part of the “Flana-family,” but that doesn’t mean they all share the same approach to their work.

Mike Flanagan’s new Netflix series stars Zach Gilford as Riley Flynn. After serving a prison sentence for taking someone’s life while driving drunk, Riley must return to his hometown – the tiny, isolated community on Crockett Island. Riley struggles to manage his guilt over the incident and the current lack of prospects in his life, but finds solace in his high school sweetheart, Erin (Kate Siegel). Erin also made it off Crockett at a point, but returned to build a life for herself and her baby-on-the-way there.

The pair share one hugely emotional scene after the next, all moments that feel as though they require two very engaged scene partners, even when the heavy dialogue falls to one or the other. While chatting for Midnight Mass’ big debut, I asked Gilford and Siegel what they valued most in each other as scene partners. Siegel immediately jumped in to highlight:

“Zach and I work in very different ways. I am very, very upfront with my insecurities. I’m very theater girl. I’m very cerebral. And Zach is very, ‘Pay me, I’m gonna show up and say the words that are written on the page.’ And so I would sometimes get in my head and turn to Zach for affirmation that, ‘Art is the most important thing …,’ and Zach would be like, ‘Just say the words, Kate. Just be here. You’re fine, you’re fine, you’re fine.’ And I think without that, those days would have been a lot longer.”

Gilford took it from there, further emphasizing their different approaches to their work and also how much he appreciated Siegel being an active listener in their scenes together: “I think what Kate brings to every scene and made the scenes, I don’t want to say easy to do, but she listens. It just makes you feel like someone’s listening to you when you’re going on and on about death or about whatever, and it makes you want to listen to them as well. And she’s just so present. And so yeah, we have very different styles. I know she would have a backstory for every piece of clothing she was wearing. She’d be like, ‘What about your sweater?’ I’d be like, ‘I don’t know. It was in my trailer. They told me to put it on so I guess this is what Riley wears.’”

Gilford also took a moment to look back on his experience auditioning for Midnight Mass and how instrumental Siegel’s support was during that process: “All you can ask for in a scene partner is to listen to you and to be there, and she really was. And she did that for me — I really am forever grateful because I had to do a chemistry read with her. She already had the part, I was trying to win the part. She claims that the part was ‘mine to lose,’ which may or may not be true.’ … But I’ve had chemistry reads with people where you’re like, ‘Dude, you already have this job.’ So she was so giving from that moment when we were strangers.”


Actress Kate Siegel shares why she loves starring in thriller and horror projects, and talks about her new Netflix series “Midnight Mass.”

This segment aired on the KTLA 5 Morning News on Sept. 27, 2021.


Midnight Mass dropped on Netflix this weekend, and it marks the third horror series by Mike Flanagan to hit the streaming service. Midnight Mass features many familiar faces from The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor, including Flanagan’s wife, Kate Siegel. The actor has been featured in most of her husband’s projects, including Oculus, Hush, Ouija: Origin of Evil, and Gerald’s Game. In fact, some of those films have a surprising connection to Midnight Mass. Siegel stars in Hush as a writer who is the author of a book titled Midnight Mass. The book is also seen in the lake house belonging to Carla Gugino’s character, another frequent Flanagan collaborator, in Gerald’s Game. Recently, Siegel spoke with Pop Culturist about the connection between Midnight Mass and Hush.

“The first time I heard about Midnight Mass was when we were making Hush. Because it was a low-budget movie, we needed a story that Maddie, the main character could write- she’s an author in the story. We needed a book that wouldn’t cost us any money. We didn’t have to buy the rights to anything. Mike was like, ‘Oh, I have this now-defunct idea for a novel called Midnight Mass. I have three chapters written. We can use that so we can use those pages, and we can use that story,” Siegel explained.

She continued, “We used it. If you look, there’s a screengrab in Hush where you’re looking at Maddie’s computer screen and it says, ‘The red and blue lights of the cop car twinkle off the Jesus fish.; That’s the first shot of Midnight Mass, which is, for those of you who haven’t read anything about it, a series about a small fishing community on an island that is very insular, and they have closed ranks. Then, a young priest arrives at the church and miracles begin to happen.”

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(Warning: This post contains spoilers through the finale of Netflix’s “Midnight Mass.”)

“Midnight Mass” star Kate Siegel had the privilege of knowing that “bait-and-switch” twist that leads her character, Erin Greene, to become the Netflix limited series’ reluctant heroine very early on in the production process. Credit her close relationship with the show’s creator, Mike Flanagan, who has been working on this project for 10 years and is also her husband.

But that didn’t make the shocking reveal any less epic to her when it came to acting it out — especially because the death of the show’s first protagonist, Erin’s friend Riley Flynn (Zach Gilford), was the first scene shot. And, as viewers who have finished “Midnight Mass” know, the screams that Siegel’s Erin lets out all through the credits of that episode in reaction to her now-vampire friend (thanks to Hamish Linklater’s Father Paul and his Angel, played by Quinton Boisclair) bursting into flames as the the sun comes up on their tiny boat off Crockett Island were pretty bone-curdling to hear, and just as haunting to act out.

“That was my first day of work. Everything in the row boat was on Day 1,” Siegel told TheWrap. “So as you know, we shot this during the peak of the first wave [of COVID-19]. We went back to work right as everything was really intense, we were one of the first productions back up. And what they realized very early on is that with the green screen boat stuff, it was two actors. It was just me and Zach. And we are far away from everybody else. And there’s not a lot of blocking and there’s not a lot of interaction. So they’re like, ‘Let’s start there.’ And we’re like, ‘Great! Great! Let’s start there and do it.’ And for those people who can’t read tone — that was sarcastic.”


[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Midnight Mass Season 1. Don’t read before finishing all 7 episodes!]

By now, you should have devoured Midnight Mass, the new seven-episode thriller from Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House and Bly Manor). That’s not only because we’re about to spill a bunch of stuff about the series, but also because it’s a damn triumph. Horrifying and heartbreaking, insightful and daringly spiritual, the long-gestated project stars Flanagan’s wife Kate Siegel as Erin Greene, one of the residents of the isolated Crockett Island, which is beset by a series of supernatural events coinciding with the sudden arrival of a new priest (Hamish Linklater), and the return of prodigal son Riley Flynn (Zach Gilford, Friday Night Lights).

Across the board, the ensemble is top-notch and the combination of slowly mounting dread, deeply realized characters and unthinkable evil is, well, a mass effect we can’t stop thinking about. We chatted with Siegel about navigating very tricky themes, keeping the show alive in the time of COVID and some of the series’ greatest (a.k.a craziest) moments.

OK, so I’ve tried to pace myself because I really loved it, but I couldn’t stop. I was like consuming more and more. I don’t think anybody’s expecting this.
Kate Siegel: I don’t think so either and that is the best part because you are my first real interview about Midnight Mass. I’m so excited to start these conversations because it’s going to drop into people laps and they don’t know what they’re going to get.

I think there’s definitely going to be some people out there that are going to be angry.
Yes. Oh, we hope so. Come at me, bro. [Laughs]

Your husband, Mike Flanagan, is a former altar boy, grew up Catholic. Same here. I was Altar Boy of the Year at my elementary school. Even got a trophy for it…so there’s like a level of PTSD happening here and I’m like, “This guy is working through some shit here and I am here for it.”
Oh my God, he’s said, “I’m leaving this show behind for my children, so when I’m dead and they ask me things like, ‘What’s good and evil? What happens when we die, Daddy?’” All of these things, he can point to the show and say, “This is everything. This is my feeling.”


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.

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Kate Siegel became an artist to give a voice to the voiceless. As a child, she turned to stories to articulate the emotions that she felt at any given moment. That purpose has guided her throughout her career as she’s solidified herself as one of Hollywood’s most sought-after scream queens.

This September, Kate stars as Erin Greene in the much-buzzed-about new series, Midnight Mass. Now available on Netflix, Midnight Mass follows an isolated island community that begins to experience miraculous events and frightening omens after the arrival of a charismatic, mysterious young priest.

Pop-Culturalist was lucky enough to speak with Kate about Midnight Mass, how the series tackles fanaticism, and the scene that she’s most excited for fans to see.

P-C: How did you discover your passion for storytelling?
Kate: I was a very sensitive child. I had a lot of emotions that I couldn’t name. My literal vocabulary didn’t expand past things like “sad”, “happy”, “sleepy”, which are the words we teach our children, but I always felt a combination of those. Sometimes I felt sleepy and happy, which we learn is comfort and things like that. Through stories, I was able to say to my mom, “It feels like a big ogre is chasing me,” when I was feeling anxious. It brought me so much relief that I wanted to be part of it and a part of that lineage of storytellers that help people to express themselves.


Actress Kate Siegel has collaborated with director Mike Flanagan for almost a decade now. She appeared in the 2013 Blumhouse-produced Oculus, a terrific supernatural and psychological horror film about the breakdown of a family and the trauma that lingers on years later.

Her first lead role came in 2016 with Hush, which she also co-wrote. It’s a single-location home invasion thriller in which Siegel portraits a character we actually care about: Maddie, a young deaf writer who must endure, while alone in her isolated house, the presence of a killer (John Gallagher Jr.) whose motives and plans aren’t clear.

Siegel also had a starring role in Flanagan’s first Netflix miniseries: the acclaimed The Haunting of Hill House, based on the classic Shirley Jackson novel. Siegel plays the adult version of Theodora, one of the five children of the family that was forever marked by their stay in the haunted titular place.

Flanagan is easily one of the most exciting horror directors working today; by now, his approach to genre storytelling is recognizable. His new seven-episode limited series Midnight Mass, now available on Netflix, also deals with tough, worldly themes – including regret, addiction, faith and death – while strikingly playing with a quintessential horror mythology.

Here Siegel gives life to Erin, a pregnant woman who has returned to her hometown, moving away from an abusive relationship. In the small, secluded Crockett Island, the inexplicable is about to happen.

Screen Anarchy chatted with Siegel about Midnight Mass, her and Flanagan’s evolution, Stephen King’s high praise for their work – not for nothing Flanagan adapted Gerald’s Game and Doctor Sleep – and much more. You can watch the conversation below.


The Haunting of Hill House and Hush actor on playing a fearless mom-to-be in the unsettling new Netflix series.

Kate Siegel usually brings trouble. In The Haunting of Hill House, she was the icy and disruptive Theo, the middle child of a cursed family, whose extrasensory abilities (and cutting sarcasm) made closeness with other people an impossibility. In the follow-up show, Bly Manor, she played the faceless, vengeful spirit Viola, who for centuries glided through the old English home while trapping new souls in her orbit of anguish. Even as the hero of the 2016 thriller Hush, starring as a deaf author stalked in her remote cabin by a slasher, her character is tougher—and more brutal—than her would-be predator assumes.

Each of those was made with her writer-director husband, Mike Flanagan, who has a penchant for tapping into his wife’s dark side. But their latest project together, the new Netflix series Midnight Mass, gives her a much different role to play: the nurturer. Siegel is sweet and sunny school teacher and single soon-to-be mom Erin Greene, whose warmth, unflappability, and basic decency provide stability in her small fishing village when bizarre “miracles” start to upend the island.

“When Midnight Mass came around, I said to him, maybe for the first time in my career, ‘Mike, I have to play this part. I know this woman,’” Siegel says. “I had just gone through two pregnancies, and I was dealing with focusing on some trauma in my life that I was working through. And I was like, I think I can bring a certain amount of joy.” The actor describes Erin as someone who “crawled through broken glass, left an abusive relationship,” and ended up back in her tiny hometown, pregnant and soon to face the otherworldly. But Siegel felt she could bring something additional: “a single ray of sunshine of hope from being at rock bottom.”

Flanagan says that perspective brought vitality to a story that sometimes veers into deep darkness. “Erin is going to be a mother, and she’s one of the only things on the island that represents new life and new birth,” he says. “Everything else on Crockett Island is kind of rusting away. All the young people have left, and everyone who’s trying to keep this island alive are slowly dying on the vine.”

Erin is one of the few people to show kindness to the island’s prodigal son, Riley (Zach Gilford), when he returns after serving time in prison for killing a young woman in a drunk driving accident. He can’t forgive himself, but he finds comfort in Erin’s welcome. She’s also a woman of faith, and when a new Catholic priest, Father Paul (played by Hamish Linklater), arrives on the island, bringing a series of inexplicable miracles with him, she’s at first as entranced as the others. But she’s also among the first to realize something is wrong. In a series full of twists and reversals, even the audience knows Erin is someone whose judgment can be trusted.

“Kate, as an actor, has been waiting and ready for a character like Erin for years,” Flanagan says. “This has a warmth and a vulnerability and a softness that she’s never gotten to play before. And in a story as dark and cold and hard as this one can be at times, that’s a wonderful thing. I think we needed it.”

Siegel, 39, spoke with Vanity Fair about the long and fraught journey to making Midnight Mass, her awkward early years in the film industry, and how her partnership with Flanagan changed her as an actor.