British-born Airdronian Sarah Ortman is not one who enjoys playing damsels in distress. In fact, it is the villainous roles that she says are more dynamic and give her the creative freedom she desires. So, when Chrystal Snow, an award-winning Canadian actress and producer had asked Ortman if she would be interested in auditioning for a part in a T.V. series she had co-created and was producing, starring the eldest Baldwin brother, Daniel Baldwin, Ortman couldn't say no.

"I play the role of the devil, Luci, short for Lucifer. I'm trying to get the angel in question [who is also] my ex-husband, to join my side," Ortman said. "I'm definitely on the right side of hell. I don't think I would have enjoyed the heaven side as much."

Originally Ortman auditioned for a different role than the one she was cast in, but it seems that the character she plays in Angel Dust, co-created by Devon F. Burdeyney who starred in the 2008 movie Passchendaele, is now streaming on Amazon Prime in both Canada and the United States, suits her very well. The four episodes of season one tell the tale of Luci, who creates an upheaval in the celestial realm which results in an angel by the name of Gabriel losing his wings for disobedience.

Gabriel is cast out of paradise and forced to live among mere mortals. If Gabriel ever hopes to return to heaven, he has a long list of tasks to finish. Luci, however, has cunning plans for Gabriel, hoping he will join her. In an attempt to entice Gabriel to her side, she sends Asmodeus to earth to help... or perhaps hinder Gabriel in his tasks. 

While the character of Luci(fer) is not a new villain, it may be argued that he, or perhaps she is the oldest villain known to mankind, regardless, Ortman said that she wanted to put her own interpretation on the character. She said found inspiration in another British actress: Lena Headey, who plays Cersei Lannister in the HBO series, Game of Thrones.

"She came to mind right away. That's a character with a constant hidden agenda and Lena Headey played Cersei so well. I was so amazed by her performance, so, I wanted to incorporate some snippets from those types of female leads into what I was creating for Luci," Ortman said. "I would say her character stood out to me the most because in season one of Game of Thrones, just like in season one of Angel Dust, we're are only seeing snippets of the character."

Ortman said that the first season was shot in Medicine Hat this past summer and the series took several weeks to shoot, with Ortman's scenes taking three weeks in total to shoot. Although she noted she was not working directly with Daniel Baldwin due to the COVID-19 restrictions that were still in place. There are further plans to shoot the second season in the summer of 2023, though no release date for the second season has yet been announced. However, Ortman said that viewers can expect season two to have eight episodes in it.

devilThe Amazon Prime series, Angel Dust, which was shot in Medicine Hat this summer, stars an Airdrie actress in a very devilish role. (Photo provided by Sarah Ortman)

While the series has a supernatural theme to it, dealing with heaven, hell, angels, demons, and all that is in between, Ortman said that she also enjoys all manner of horror, gore, and thriller movies. With Halloween a mere six days away, she said she is binging on her favourites, though there is one particular cult horror movie favourite that Ortman will watch over and over again: the original 1978 Halloween movie with Jamie Lee Curtis.

"I mean, that movie was shot in, I want to say shooting something like three weeks. It was a low-budget [film], she [Jamie] had all of her own clothes," Ortman said. "I watched that movie and I was hooked. I watch that every year, every Halloween without fail."

Ortman's admiration of the cult classic shouldn't be a surprise, since despite the low-budget restrictions, in 2006, Halloween was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

While Ortman's role in Angel Dust is one of the Prince of Darkness, or in this case the Princess of Darkness, she has also made appearances in TV shows such as Heartland and worked on movies such as Marlene, Love Actually and The Upside of Anger.

Angel Dust has garnered several international and national accolades including the best acting award at the Barcelona Indie Awards, winner of the London International Monthly Film Festival, winning best T.V. series/ pilot at the Montreal Independent Film Festival, as well as winning best T.V. series/ pilot at the renowned Cannes International Cinema Festival, to name a few. 

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