Fear the Walking Dead actress Alycia Debnam-Carey recently chatted with W Magazine, where she revealed that she never planned on doing TV and what it’s like being a part of a huge franchise like The Walking Dead.
On When She Started Acting:
“I started when I was really young. My mom’s a children’s television writer, so I was involved and around from a very young age. When I was eight I did my first film with Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown, who are a quite well-respected Australian producer-director duo, and that just changed my whole perspective on what I could do in life and be. From there, I just kept doing it. And during my last year of school, I decided I was going to go overseas to try it.”
On her first job she booked in LA:
“I booked a horror film called Where the Devil Hides. It’s… you know, a horror film. But it was the first full-length movie I’d ever done and it got me my visa and I could start work. My first year was incredible, and I booked a couple of jobs. The second year was just crickets. I didn’t book any jobs, which was so disheartening. I was getting close to things, but never actually working. But that’s a lot of L.A. and a lot of this job. You can’t do it unless you’re ready to face a lot of rejection. You just can’t.”
On not initially wanting to do TV:
“It’s funny because TV wasn’t something that I wanted to do. I wanted to do movies. I’d said a lot of no’s to a lot of shows previously, because I couldn’t fathom being on a show for such a long time and only doing one thing. But it is interesting how now TV has just exploded; it is chapters in a book rather than one novel. And especially now that studios are either making superhero films or sequels. But I got [CW dystopian show] The 100, when I still had that idea of, “I don’t know if I should be doing TV.” But I knew it was a cool character.”
On what she learned doing TV for the first time on The 100
“You learn a lot of technicality. You have to be very aware of everyone else’s jobs as much as your own. It’s hard because you don’t get to spend as much time on your own material, because you get scenes at the last moment. But then you also get an incredible arsenal of knowledge of filming TV. You get to know what is important, and I needed that. I couldn’t have done anything bigger than that. I look at these kids who are starring in huge films and am amazed at how well they fare. Of course you have great production behind you, but a lot of it is on you when you have to herald a massive franchise. I think of how much I’ve learned from doing television, and it is so invaluable.”
On if she was a Walking Dead fan before joining Fear the Walking Dead:
“I hadn’t seen it. I did a quick binge. I watched three seasons in a week. I had to stop because it was getting really intense and I was working on it while watching it. So going in, I had absolutely no idea—I knew it was a thing, but not to what extent. But sometimes it is better to go in like that, or else you will pysch yourself out.”
On when she realized it was a phenomenon:
“Probably the first Comic Con that we did. I was up on that panel in front of 6,000 people, and we were all just mute and scared. People had warned us, but that is when it all hit. It was way bigger that we expected. We anticipated enough, but you really see a whole other level of it at Comic Con.”
On her character Alicia:
“It has been nice to have a character that has had a real growth. This is a character who went from being a normal teenage girl before the apocalypse to someone who has been really ravaged by it. And not in necessarily a bad-ass way. Of course she looks amazing doing it, but there has been something very dark, very real, and very traumatic. It is amazing to go through all of those emotions and be able to explore the full journey of one person, and how they get to that place. Often you see someone in the middle of this arc, where it’s like, “And now they are this cool, warrior badass.” This felt like a lead up, and now I get to give people exactly that.”
You can read Alycia’s full feature here!