LAist Interview: Sarah Carter

Sarah CarterPhoto courtesy of Sarah Carter

Many of you probably first remember seeing Sarah Carter as the recipient of Drama and Turtle's affection in the memorable Sundance episode of Entourage. She's since gone on to work regularly, most recently as a member of the cast of the CBS drama Shark. On June 19th, she and a group of intrepid mountaineers climbed Mount Shasta in an effort to raise money for the Breast Cancer Fund. LAist spoke with Sarah just prior to the climb.

LAist: So you are doing a climb of Mount Shasta?

Sarah: I am.

You haven't backed out?

No. (laughs)

When are you going?

The actual climb is on the 19th. And we leave at midnight. It's a fourteen-hour climb.

Mt. ShastaPhoto courtesy of jhull via flickr

Now are you a mountain climber?

No, I've never done anything like this. The closest thing I've done to this is I hiked the West Coast Trail which is the rainforest on the coast of Vancouver. That's a five-day hike. 25 miles a day with heavy pack. Lots of vertical ladders and rapids. It's pretty extreme. I think just being Canadian I spent a lot of time outdoors. But I never, never climbed a mountain. I've never rescued someone from a crevasse which I hope I don't have to do. All of the training I've been doing to prepare for it is both exciting and scary.

So what is the weather this time of year at Mount Shasta?

Snow and ice. It's pretty cold.

What have they told you to expect?

Well, we have fleece and down jackets. So, it's definitely going to be below freezing.

This is why I live in California. Because I exist very well between 65 and 75 degrees. So why are you climbing the mountain?

I'm a spokesperson for the Breast Cancer Fund. And this is one of many activities they do to raise money and awareness. And it just resonated with me. Being so high above everything, and I love the metaphor of climbing a mountain. It's over-used, but it's very powerful.

So you are an actor and an activist. How do you divide your life along those two things?

I definitely see myself doing both of them my whole life. It's actually pretty exciting for me to work with the Breast Cancer Fund because it's proven to me that I can do both. But if I weren't an actor I would still be involved.

So who's all going on this climb?

Thirty-five climbers. Some are breast cancer survivors which is pretty remarkable. And some are just political activists. The thing about the Breast Cancer Fund is that it's not just for breast cancer victims or survivors. It's not about the cure, it's about the prevention. It's about the connection between environmental toxins and our bodies. It raises simple awareness around taking care of ourselves and realizing how powerful what we put in and on our bodies is in terms of our overall health.

How did you hook up with this charity? Was it a personal thing for you?

My mother actually was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was nineteen. And later my aunt.

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Let's talk a little bit about yourself. How would you spend an ideal day in Los Angeles? Do you like Los Angeles?

I love it. I really do.

So what would you do?

First, I would jump in the ocean. I actually swim at Venice Beach which is sort of questionable. I get random rashes. So, first I would jump in the ocean. And then I would get a cup of coffee at Groundworks. Probably go to a yoga class. I like Exhale. I think it's a beautiful studio on Main Street. Axe would be a good place to eat. I like all of their organic options. Then maybe check out the Getty. And then I'd head more into Hollywood. Maybe go to King's Road. I go there a lot. I like shopping. I like Robertson.

That's the place to be.

My favorite store right now is Inago on Third Street. And I also love Satine. That's also on Third. And I really like going to the Arclight.

Okay, I have one more question.

Wait, I'm not done yet. I have to go to the Tiki Ti.

The Tiki Ti in Los Feliz?

Yeah. And then I go home. That's a good day.

Have you ever been to the Good Luck Bar around the corner?

No.

Oh, you've got to go to the Good Luck Bar. It looks like a Chinese opium den. Is it Chinese opium den or Japanese opium den? I don't know. But it's an opium den. That's what I'm getting at. It's very dark. It's fun. It's right around the corner from the Tiki Bar.

Towards the theater?

Yeah, you know where the Vista is?

Yeah.

You keep walking up Hillhurst and it's right around the corner.

Okay. I'm gonna check that out.

You'll like it. I think. Is that day over? Is that it?

Yeah, that's it. I think that's a lot.

That's a full day. I get so many phony answers to that question so I'm glad you went into detail. So I have one more question and I think that's it.

Okay.

I actually wrote it down because I always forget how to ask it. "Everyone has a secret band or a secret book or a secret movie that they wish had more acclaim. Do you? And what are they?"

Hmm. Secret band would be Eagle and Talon. They're actually in L.A. Check them out. MySpace or eagleandtalon.com. I grew up with the lead singer. She's brilliant.

What kind of band are they?

I guess they're indie rock. But I hate that label.

That's a tough label to live with.

Yeah. You could decide maybe and help me out.

I'll see if they self-assess.

No, I don't think they self-assess.

I'll listen to it. Where do they usually play in LA?

They place Spaceland. The regular places. So that would be my band.

What about the film? You're an actor. You need to represent with a film.

I know. For this one, I'm totally self-centered. I want to plug my movie which I think is great and hasn't gotten enough attention which is Killing Zelda Sparks.

Killing Zelda Sparks?

Yeah. It's really good.

What's it about?

It's basically about not changing. Like graduating from high-school, going your separate ways and coming back to your home town years later. And not changing at all.

Cool. Sarah, I appreciate your time. Good luck with your climb.

Thank you. It was fun.

Killing Zelda Sparks is currently available on DVD.

You can donate to the Breast Cancer Fund here.