Kiernan Shipka is taking a new direction with her latest project Treat, a podcast movie from C13Features, a division of Cadence13. Last seen in the final season of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Shipka will appear as the title character Sabrina in the upcoming season of Riverdale. Before making the jump from Greendale to Riverdale, Shipka heads to Dry Creek, Massachusettes as Allie West.
Just in time for Halloween, Treat sees what looks to be a perfect American town on the outside. The residents have made dealings with an outsider that possesses supernatural powers to help keep it that way. However, they begin to slack on payments, so a group of teens led by Allie West (Shipka) must find a way to unlock the secret to his powers and save the town from further destruction.
Nerds & Beyond recently had the opportunity to speak with Shipka about her latest venture into the world of podcasting and producing!
Nerds & Beyond: This is the first time you’re starring in a podcast movie, what did you enjoy most about filming Treat?
Kiernan Shipka: Well, I loved it because it was very different from anything that I’ve ever done before. Because it’s voice acting, it’s not matching anything. You’re just relying on your voice, you’re not relying on your face. All the emotion has to come through your body and in your voice and out it goes. There’s something very interesting about that, to me, that makes me want to dig deeper and dive deeper into my emotions because I don’t have anything else to rely on except for the truth coming out within my voice. That, to me, was an interesting challenge. I think that listening experiences like this are unique. And, I think, really cool. I’m happy that we can tell interesting stories in different creative mediums nowadays.
They can be made in a quick amount of time and land in people’s laps and be ready for consumption pretty quickly. I’m used to filming stuff and seeing it come out a year later if I’m lucky. To have just gone in a booth knocked it out in five days, really cracked down, and have it come to fruition so quickly is really thrilling as an artist. It’s like ‘wow, like this is already happening.’ I’m not used to that. So I think that there was an appeal to the expedited process of making an audio experience versus a film experience. There was something very cool about that.
Nerds & Beyond: You’re not only starring in the podcast, but you’re also an executive producer! What was that experience like, and is producing something you’d like to do more of in the future?
Shipka: Yeah, I love producing. I mean, anything that I’m in that I can produce, I’m absolutely down for just because it means more communication. And, at the end of the day, it’s teamwork. I always aim for teamwork. I think that to be involved creatively with anything and go as deep as you can is nothing but a luxury and amazing. So I’m always happy to sort of go the extra mile in anything that I do in that kind of regard.
Nerds & Beyond: Your character Allie is more of an outcast dealing with emotional bruising and turmoil, what drew you to the role?
Shipka: All of those things! Honestly, I thought that it was really interesting that she was simultaneously dealing with a pretty hefty load of teenage issues and then gets hit with something much bigger and much more life-threatening than anything that she was used to. I think we’ve all kind of had that experience in our life, where all of the things maybe don’t feel like they’re going exactly right, or you’re stressed about this person and that thing and this thing. Then something much bigger happens and much more life-threatening or much broader. It puts everything into perspective. And I think we really get to see this young girl sort of come of age and find herself on a grounded level whilst also dealing with things that she never thought she would and they kind of mesh together in a way that’s like really wild.
Nerds & Beyond: Allie undergoes a massive character development over the course of 90 minutes. What do you think appeals to her about wanting to save the entire town instead of just her loved ones?
Shipka: Yeah, I mean, I think that she’s driven by love, and she has a really good heart. And I think that she’s been abandoned, and she’s felt hurt. At the end of the day, helping other people not feel as hurt as she does is a motivator. And even if she doesn’t know that and she just makes decisions on impulse, I think she is operating from a place of deep hurt, coupled with deep goodness. And that’s what happens. That’s what comes out.
Nerds & Beyond: The ending was left a little ambiguous — is there potential for a second project in some capacity?
Shipka: I think so. I mean, I think the world of Treat and the world of the Piper and this town, and the space obviously, is not safe. And I think that there’s so much more to explore. The story is definitely not entirely finished. There’s no pretty bow on it; there’s an ominous bow on it. I think that Allie has a lot of room to grow and change and could go in many different directions. So yeah, I think we could revisit it if the time was right and people were hungry for it.