Susanna Skaggs: Cougar of the Month

Here at Apex High School, she goes by Susanna Skaggs, but on the screen, she goes by Haley Clark.

Although new to film and television, our very own Apex Cougar stars in AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire. The digital drama recreates the dawn of the personal computer era during the 1980s, and it follows the fates of an industry visionary and his intelligent colleagues.

Skaggs plays the role of Haley Clark. Haley is the introverted teenage daughter of main characters, Gordon and Donna. She makes her mark by joining the family business and challenging her parents’ equilibrium in the process. Her character started at the beginning of the series as just a girl running through the shot. In the most current season, there is a time jump to the 1990s when the web is starting to become the next big thing. Now, Haley creates her own website, and the idea of the website inspires the main character to start a company based on that.

As a high school student, Skaggs is living out her dream. Hear more about her experiences and get to know this Apex Cougar star!

Q: What made you get into acting?

A: My little brother started getting into it on a whim, and I decided to join him and audition for KU Talent. I got in and took the classes they recommended.

Q:How was the audition process for Halt and Catch Fire? Why did you audition for this role? Did you have a feeling you had gotten the role?

A:The audition process was pretty standard. I got an email from my agents, and I taped the audition. That’s where you film yourself doing the scene and send it to the casting directors. Then I got another email, and they gave me new scenes to tape. After a few days, I got called in for a callback in Atlanta. When you don’t have any credits, you have to audition for pretty much every role, and this part was no different. Everything you get you have to say yes to, or the agent might send you less. For me, I try to let the audition process be it’s own thing, and my goals for all my auditions is to do my best work in them. I really wasn’t thinking about if I made it, and I just did my best and accepted the fact that whatever happens happens. When I got the role, I was going to say yes anyways, but the added bonus was I loved the script. I love Haley as a character. I felt like we were similar because she’s reserved but really smart. Not to call myself a genius or anything.

Q:What were the highs and lows for you when filming?

A:The cast and crew were so nice and accommodating. My favorite thing while filming was going around the stage and talking to all the crew members in between set ups. The hardest part of filming was definitely doing scenes over and over again. Trying to make every take real and not mechanical was a challenge.

Q:What was something you learned?

A: I definitely learned how to ask for the things that I need when filming. At first, I was afraid to ask someone to get me a water bottle. I didn’t want to be rude, but there were people whose job was to help me out. For the first six episodes, I was paying for our hotel and travel, but when I told the producer about this, he immediately fixed it and put us up in a hotel. I also learned that even though the industry feels big, it’s really small in reality. Once you get the job, it’s not as huge and weird as it may seem.

Q:What was it like working with other actors? Did you have a  favorite person on set? Have you stayed in touch with other actors?

A: All of the actors were really nice and answered my questions about the process. I can’t choose a favorite, but I loved working with Scoot McNairy, who played my dad. It’s cool to receive occasional texts, and sometimes I get tagged in photos.

Q:What’s next for you? Ideally, where do you see yourself in five years?

A:I am currently auditioning and training as much as I can, and I really want to be doing cool projects!

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