Even though she spent three months filming in India, Sofia Rosinsky won’t get to watch her major motion picture debut when it premieres next month.
“She’s not going to see it,” said her mother, Louise Middleton. “She can’t see it.”
“The Other Side of the Door,” which opens in theaters everywhere March 11, is an R-rated horror movie.
Sofia is 9.
“She’s never seen a scary film in her life,” her mother elaborated..
Luckily, the actual filming of the movie — before scary music and special effects were added — wasn’t frightening.
“It’s a scary movie, but it’s not scary shooting it,” Sofia said. “Because everybody is so nice. A couple of times the crew would try to make me laugh during the filming.”
The 20th Century Fox film stars Sarah Wayne Callies (“The Walking Dead,” “Prison Break”) and Jeremy Sisto (“Six Feet Under,” “Law & Order”) as the parents of a boy (Logan Creran) who is killed in a car accident. Sofia plays the couple’s daughter, Lucy. After seeking a ritual to say goodbye to her son, the mother unlocks a door between the living and the dead, and all hell breaks loose.
The movie was filmed in the spring and summer of 2014. But Sofia’s journey to India began even before then.
I had to scream over and over again.
her role in “The Other Side of the Door”
Both of her parents have worked in the entertainment industry — her mom as an actress and director, and her dad, Anatoly Rosinsky, as a violinist for movies and well-known recording artists. In 2011, they moved to quiet Arroyo Grande to escape the bustle of Los Angeles.
“We moved here to get away from it, kind of,” Sofia said. “And a couple of days later, my sister and I said, “‘Oh, yeah — we’re actors.’ ”
Middleton shakes her head at the timing.
“You think it would have occurred to one of them before then,” her mother said, with a smile. “It was three weeks after moving. We unpacked and, ‘By the way — we’re actors and we really need to go and give this a shot three hours away.’”
Sofia’s sister, 12-year-old Alexis, a Shakespeare buff with a small part in “The Other Side of the Door,” is currently shooting a movie of her own, “Our Little Secret,” with Angela Bettis (“Girl, Interrupted,” “Carrie”) and Darwin Shaw (“Casino Royale,” “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time”).
But Sofia’s big-screen debut comes first.
Describing how she got the part, Sofia said her agent — yes, she has one — encouraged her to find work.
“I think my agent just said, ‘Roles!’” Sofia said, sitting outside Rooster Creek Tavern in Arroyo Grande in November. “‘This is a good role — let’s win it!’”
The movie called for a playful little girl who loves her dog, Sofia said.
“She’s really happy, and then something happens,” Sofia said.
After sending in an audition tape, Sofia eventually got a good callback.
“They told me, ‘You got the role — and you’re going to India,’” she said. “So … woooooosh! That’s not a big deal at all … I mean, India — wow. I never thought I’d see India.”
At first, Mom was nervous about the idea of not only going so far away, but also getting all the immunizations required to go to India. “Monkeys are rabid, dogs are rabid.”
Sofia and her mom were cautious not to reveal any spoilers about the film — and 20th Century Fox said preview screening copies weren’t yet available — but Middleton said the movie is a psychological thriller, not a slasher pic.
But it will be scary.
“I had to scream over and over again,” Sofia said.
While the film offered Sofia a valuable learning experience — and plenty of screen time — being in India provided a cultural education in itself.
“There were these bats in the trees, and they were huge,” she said. “They would fan themselves in the hot sun, and then at night time, they would spring out! It was kind of scary.”
While there, they also visited the Dharavi slums, a densely populated area known for its garment industry.
“They’re not so fortunate (as) to have all these great things,” Sofia said of the slum dwellers. “But they work so hard and they always keep a smile on their face.”
Sofia’s sister, mom and an aunt accompanied her during the three months overseas. While there, she made lots of friends.
“When we left, it was very heartbreaking,” her mother said.
After the initial filming, test audiences said they wanted to see more Sofia, her mother said. So she and the crew were brought back to India a few months later for an additional two weeks of filming.
While Sofia might not get to see the movie until she’s at least a teenager, she has seen a few of the not-so scary scenes.
“They showed us some of the filming, and it’s gorgeous,” Sofia said.
Although she’s only 9, Sofia is articulate, outgoing and serious about her work. She sometimes repeats mantras about working in the business.
I’m just the chauffeur at this point.
Louise Middleton, on her role in her daughters’ acting careers
But she’s also a jokester with many interests. She and Alexis are into archery and fencing. Sofia also plays music, including ukulele. As an actress, according to her IMDB.com page, she can do multiple accents, including cockney and Southern.
As soon as Sofia and Alexis get selfish, weird or tired of show business, their acting careers will be over, Middleton says. But right now, they act because they like the work, not because they want to become rich or famous.
“They’re actors,” Middleton said. “And they’re nitty, gritty actors, and I have to respect that.”
Soon after her interview with The Tribune, Sofia landed another role, this one in an episode of “Criminal Minds” that was filmed around the holidays. Soon after that, Alexis began filming her movie.
With two daughters interested in acting, Middleton said she is constantly driving to and from Los Angeles for auditions and jobs.
“I’m just the chauffeur at this point,” Middleton said.
While the girls travel often, studying during trips and visiting cultural places along the way, they won’t just take any job that’s offered.
“The girls never take any commercials,” said their father, Anatoly. “And sitcom stuff — we don’t take it. Because it would require working every week.”