Kiernan Shipka and Gavin Leatherwood on Lessons Learned on Sabrina

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As Shipka put it, “You can be great and still improve.”

After three downright wild chapters of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, the show is coming to a close on December 31st when Part 4 arrives on Netflix. Over the years, the show’s covered everything from teen relationship drama to Sabrina’s trips to Hell, astral projection, time loops, doppelgängers, two Sabrinas and then some, but if Parts 1, 2 and 3 are any indication, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and the team behind the show are bound to go even bigger with Part 4.

With the final season right around the corner now, we got the chance to catch up with Kiernan Shipka and Gavin Leatherwood to discuss their four-season run with the Netflix series. While talking about the new tools in their acting toolkits, so to speak, that they can specifically credit to working on Sabrina, Leatherwood admitted that he felt he hit a rut while playing Nick Scratch at one point. Here’s how he put it:

“How do you even sum up this kind of experience? It taught me so much. I approached the character with a really rigorous discipline in the beginning because I felt like I really needed to earn it. At some point in there I became a little too relaxed in it all and got a little lazy because it’s like, you’re playing the same character and you think you got it, and then there’s moments where you realize you don’t because as an actor playing a character you never really do and you have to do your homework. So it taught me endurance, it taught me discipline, it taught me how to slow down and enjoy all of it, it taught me to look for clues and to not get so pigeon holed in one way of doing something as a character, it taught me to take more risks. I mean, I could go on and on and on.”

Kiernan Shipka and Gavin Leatherwood in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 4
Image via Netflix

From my perspective? None of that laziness ever came through in Leatherwood’s work in the series. But as he noted, we’re all our own toughest critics, right?

“I’m gonna speak personally, but I feel like a lot of other actors and people in general can relate to something along these lines where you’re your own toughest critic, you know? In seeing some of the episodes earlier, before any release, when they were in early editing stages, I believe I had caught myself in an episode and really laid into myself, however I did that. I was like, ‘You need to step it up,’ and just kind of reset the bar for myself. Only we know our own potential kind of thing, I think, and we set our own expectations in some way and if we’re not striving towards that then what are we doing, you know?”

Shipka also offered her perspective on the matter:

“I remember after you saw whatever episode that was and you kinda came to me and I was like, ‘Okay, we can all improve, right? But you’re on Jupiter. Let’s come back to Earth and let’s figure this out.’ … and also tell you that you’re still great, and you can be great and still improve. I think that’s an important thing to know as well.”

Kiernan Shipka in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 4
Image via Netflix

If you’d like to hear more from Shipka and Leatherwood on their run with Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, check out the video at the top of this article! Also, be sure to keep an eye out for the spoiler portion of our conversation dropping on Collider when Part 4 arrives on Netflix.

Kiernan Shipka and Gavin Leatherwood:

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  • The “new tool in their acting toolkits” that they’d credit to working on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
  • Leatherwood on feeling like he became too relaxed in the role at one point and how he moved past that.

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