Ripped straight from the headlines, Lifetime’s Escaping the NXIVM Cult: A Mother’s Fight to Save Her Daughter tells the harrowing true story of actress Catherine Oxenberg and her daughter, India. The movie features a few familiar faces, including Twilight’s papa Cullen, Peter Facinelli, who takes on the role of NXIVM cult leader Keith Raniere. The actress who plays Allison Mack on Escaping the NXIVM Cult is a splitting image of the star, and you may recognize her from one of her many TV roles.
Sara Fletcher has been on some of the popular shows over the years. She was featured in episodes of Friends with Benefits, Family Guy, Grimm, and NCIS: Los Angeles, and had recurring roles on series like Days of Our Lives, Secret Girlfriend, and One Love. On Escaping the NXIVM Cult, Fletcher plays Smallville star Allison Mack, the real-life celebrity lieutenant and alleged recruiter of the NXIVM cult.
Fletcher hails from Ohio, and according to her website, she graduated with a degree in Theater and a minor in Dance from Indiana University. She now lives in Los Angeles with her better half, Brad, and enjoys spending her time with her three dogs. On her Instagram page, Fletcher shares pictures of her friends and family, including her toddler son, Lachlan. Her IG bio includes a link to her company, Clout and Capital, for which she designs artistic handcrafted jewelry. In an IG post from the summer, Fletcher shared a press story about her role in Escaping the NXIVM Cult, with the caption, “So honored to be a part of this story.”
As described by Lifetime, the film is based on Oxenberg’s real-life fight to pull her daughter out of a cult-like organization called NXIVM, which was allegedly led by Raniere and Mack. “When Catherine learns about a leadership seminar from an organization called NXIVM, she decides to take her twenty-year-old daughter India to the professional development meeting,” reads the network synopsis. “Led by the extremely enigmatic Keith Raniere, Catherine can’t shake the feeling there’s more than meets the eye with the self-help organization. Despite Catherine’s best efforts, India is drawn deeper into the cult, and courted by a secret sorority of female members who are branded with the cult leader’s initials, ordered to maintain a restricted diet and told to recruit other women as sex slaves.”
In an interview with LA Talk Radio’s Wake Up Hollywood, Fletcher talked about the movie and all the research she did for her role. “One of my biggest goals was to do the story justice,” she explained. “And I have never played a real person who is currently alive before, and who has such a high profile. So I watched everything — I read every article that came my way, I read anything and everything that Allison did.”
She also revealed that she watched and read all of Mack’s blogs and interviews in preparation for the part. “Just watching that and watching her — she was just this vibrant, beautiful person,” said Fletcher. “And then to become involved with this. Like how does that even happen. I think for me that was always the question.”
You can see Fletcher’s gripping portrayal of Mack, and see how Oxenberg’s terrifying experiences allegedly unfolded in Escaping the NXIVM Cult: A Mother’s Fight to Save Her Daughter, which airs Saturday, Sept. 21 at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime.