Why Amy Seimetz is the Next Big Thing

Martyn Conterio

Amy Seimetz is an outstanding actress who has been kicking around in U.S. indie flicks for a while now. However, 2013 could well be her break-out year. With a critically acclaimed turn in Shane Carruth’s mind-bending sci-fi drama Upstream Color, a role in season three of AMC’s The Killing, a gory cameo in You’re Next and what looks like the lead in Ti West’s found-footage horror The Sacrament – it’s time to declare Seimetz as the Next Big Thing.

Now, we might not be her agent but we believe it is only a matter of time before Hollywood takes full notice. In fact, scientists at Cern informed us that Seimetz increases the awesomeness of any film or TV show she's in by up to 30 per cent. You can’t argue with scientific fact.

She can do serious.

Seimetz’s role in Adam Wingard’s A Horrible Way To Die (2010) is revelatory and one of the best performances in modern American cinema. She is simply phenomenal. If that sounds like pumped up hyperbole – just watch the bloody film. It goes without saying that Seimetz is a good-looking lass, but she’s not afraid to look rough on camera. Booze hound/nurse Sarah finds out her nice but absent boyfriend Garrick (AJ Bowen) is a serial killer. That’s enough to drive anyone to the bottle. Sarah’s problems get much worse when said ex-boyfriend escapes from prison and is seemingly on his way to exact revenge for her shopping him to the fuzz. But surely kindly Kevin (Joe Swanberg) will help Sarah out of her ordeal? Wrong!

Another tip-top performance in 2013, aside from her role as a drugged up, pig hugging nutter in Upstream Color, can be found in Tomer Almagor’s 9 Full Moons (2013). Seimetz appears as yet another emotional train wreck, this time a self-harming waif named Frankie, who hangs round bars getting smashed, hooks up with random dudes and is generally a bit careless with her personal safety. The film is a tender, if sombre, relationship drama, as Frankie – quite possibly for the first time ever – meets a really nice fella. Will her self-destructive routine destroy any chance of domestic normality? Amy is – yes, you guessed it – nothing short of brilliant.

She can do ‘funny’.

Not content with being a brilliant dramatic actress, Seimetz can tickle the funny bone. Watch her very short but memorable performance in You’re Next, in which she plays a ditzy, squeaky-voiced daughter dating Ti West’s filmmaker. Her death scene is hilarious. Although Upstream Color is ‘hilariously’ abstract, the scene in which Seimetz’s spaced-out character Kris sits eating ice cubes as if they’re breakfast cereal whilst chuckling away at a painting of a deer is comedy gold.

Not only that, she’s currently on the telly in Christopher Guest’s HBO/BBC show Family Tree, where she's busting her mad improv skills alongside man-of-the-moment Chris O’ Dowd.

“But what I really wanna do is direct”.

She’s has been making short films for years and working as a producer (Silver Bullets, The Dish & the Spoon), but in 2012 Seimetz directed her feature debut with Sun Don’t Shine, the story of a paranoid couple on a road trip in Florida. It received polite notices at film festivals but seems to be in distribution limbo. Somebody release it!

She's prolific as hell. 

Check out her resume on IMDb. It’s crammed with titles and projects that would put most actors and actresses to shame. For 2011, alone, there are eleven movies and shorts listed. If this was the silent era, it would be totally normal, but it’s the early 21st century! She’s a grafter and has earned her mounting acclaim the proper way – with a winning combo of hard work, luck and pure talent. The American Dream in action, right there.

She's a trailblazing pioneer of mumblegore.

Who would ever have thought that the hipster mumblecore movement would head into genre movie territory and morph into mumblegore? Thanks to Amy’s association with Joe Swanberg, Adam Wingard, Ti West and others, she’s been at the forefront of the most exciting development in US horror cinema since Michael Myers pitched up in his hometown on Halloween for a game of ‘Kill the babysitters’.

Seimetz, Swanberg and Bowen might sound like a law firm, but they’re very exciting to watch and whose work is must-see stuff. The ‘Horrible Trio’ joined forces once again for Ti West’s The Sacrament, which has its world premiere at Venice Film Festival on 2nd September.

'Upstream Color' is released in cinemas this Friday.

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