Alt rocker, tattoo artist Sarah Gaugler replaces Empress Schuck in ‘The Diplomat Hotel’

Director Christopher Ad Castillo has announced that Sarah Gaugler, lead singer of the alternative electronic duo Turbo Goth, will replace Empress Shuck in the cast of his

This is the feature film debut for Gaugler, who previously appeared as herself in the Philippines segment of the 2010 experimental documentary, “The Erotic Man” for acclaimed Danish filmmaker Jørgen Leth.

According to Castilo, she will play the role of Anna, “the punk rocker make-up artist who brings her own secrets inside the Diplomat Hotel”.

Schuck, who was originally cast in the role is currently in the cast of the ABS-CBN teleserye, “Apoy Sa Dagat” and will soon appear in another soap, “Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala”, with Judy Ann Santos, Sam Milby and KC Concepcion.

“I was really looking forward to working with Empress Schuck but we could not work around the scheduling conflicts,” said the director who is eager to start filming after arriving in the country last March 24. As time is of the essence, the non-availability of Shuck turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

“However, from the beginning, I have always wanted an alternative rock singer to play Anna to get that true authenticity and attitude and not just an actress that we dressed up,” he admitted. “When I had a couple of hours to make a decision on the replacement, my editor Gorio Vicuna showed me the latest Turbo Goth music video that he directed.”

“There I saw Anna embodied in Sarah who really is the punk rock Audrey Hepburn. She has very soulful eyes that are always a great tool in acting. And when I spoke with her, I was sold. Somehow, this film finds a way to stay true to my vision.”

A renaissance girl of sorts who is also a visual artist, graphic illustrator, tattoo artist and part-time commercial model, Gaugler had no prior singing experience when she and Paolo Peralta formed Turbo Goth in 2008.

Now, without any acting experience, she will pit talents with tried and tested mainstream and indie acting veterans Joel Torre, Art Acuña, Mon Confiado, Sue Prado and lead star Gretchen Barretto in the upcoming horror thriller.

“Obviously, this is her biggest role. Wait till you see what she looks like in the film,” Castillo beamed.

“The Diplomat Hotel” is an official entry in the New Breed section of the 9th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, slated for July at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.