Sabrina Carpenter Was ‘Traumatized’ By ‘Emergency’ Storyline

Sabrina Carpenter remembers feeling a little shaky after filming some tough scenes for her newest film, “Emergency.”

“We were traumatized,” Carpenter told ET Canada. “I was also in a ditch for like four weeks like in the middle of the woods.”

“It was all night shoots, the whole film, so truthfully I was very delirious shooting, which almost helped the character a little bit more,” she added. “I think it helped everybody a little bit more. That experience regardless is traumatic, but luckily we had some of the funniest people around that could make us laugh when we were falling asleep.”


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“Emergency” tells the story of Kunle (Donald Elise Watkins) and his best friend, Sean (RJ Cyler), who are both seniors in college embarking on an epic night of Spring Break parties. Sean has the whole night planned out, including every party they will hit on their “legendary tour.” Kunle is down, yet mostly concerned with finishing up his mold experiment in his lab, as his acceptance to Princeton is hinging on the results. They return to their apartment to pre-game, to find that their roommate, Carlos (Sebastian Chacon), left the door open. As they enter with trepidation, Sean and Kunle discover a drunk, semi-conscious White female they don’t know on the floor and an oblivious Carlos, who didn’t hear her come in over the video game blaring in his ears. Kunle wants to call the cops but Sean vehemently opposes the idea concerned how it will look when the cops show up and see two Black men, one Latino man and a passed out White woman.

Sabrina Carpenter – Photo: Prime Video
Sabrina Carpenter – Photo: Prime Video

Together, Carlos, Sean and Kunle load the girl – who they nickname Goldilocks, but whose real name is Emma (Maddie Nichols) – into Sean’s van, with the intention of taking her somewhere safe rather than calling the police. Meanwhile, Emma’s sister, Maddy (Carpenter), has realized that Emma left the party they were at, and begins to search for her in a drunk panic using Emma’s phone’s location. What ensues is a chaotic, hilarious, and tension- filled chase all over town as the trio grapples with their differences while attempting to bring Emma to safety.


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“The people who maybe don’t think they see themselves in this movie, I think it’s more important for them to see it because the people that are experiencing what they’re experiencing in this world, already know what they’re going through, and they watch these characters and hopefully see themselves, but I think there’s a lot to take away from characters like my own, who is obviously experiencing it from a different perspective, but one that might be slightly more ignorant,” Carpenter said. “So I think just having that mirror is an interesting lesson that a lot of people can learn from.”

“I hope they find it also entertaining,” she added. “It’s also for joy at the same time because it’s a very like sensitive subject. The guys are so funny and so good at what they do, but they’re able to tell this incredible story in a way that almost somehow feels light-hearted at the same time.”

Carpenter, who has three sisters of her own, couldn’t help but her own family in her and Nichols’ characters shoes while reading the script for the first time.


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“I could imagine it and it’s terrifying,” Carpenter said. “That was one of the main reasons why I think I really felt for the character, Maddie. I’m so close with my sisters that I know in a situation like that your level of panic is indescribable.”

“It’s such a fun way that we’re able to deal with an obviously terrifying situation and it’s so nuanced,” she added. “I think all of the characters really nail everybody’s perspectives on what happens throughout the story.”

Amazon Studio’s “Emergency” hits theaters May 20, and streams on Prime Video, May 27th

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