Aussie actor Alycia DebnamCarey is the toast of Hollywood after scoring back-to-back roles in two hit series. The 22-yearold from Sydney plays stunning, but violent warrior princess Lexa in The 100 and brooding suburban teen Alicia in Fear The Walking Dead — which broke cable TV viewing records when it premiered.
You don’t like horror so what did you think of the script? At first I was saying to my rep: “I don’t know if this is really my thing.” I get heart palpitations just watching basic comedyhorror stuff. (My rep said) “Read the script, see what you think,” and I did love it. The Walking Dead does such a great job with that world, it is real but it’s also otherworldly … I became quite invested in the whole zombie phenomenon.
Did you ever get scared while filming? You open yourself up and then suddenly it’s 2am and it’s pitch black and you are running away from something that is running behind you — you can get very caught up in and feel very uncomfortable. Surprisingly, there is quite a lighthearted dynamic on set, too.
Did you feel much pressure given the success of The Walking Dead? Yeah. I’m so proud of it for that, because it does have its own tone and atmosphere. Initially, there have definitely been people who didn’t enjoy it because it isn’t like the original but we have a duty to make sure it is different and that it follows its own path.
There was much debate online about making the pilot a slow moving family drama … That’s actually one of the things that drew me to the script in the first place … establishing a slow burn of what happens when a civilisation falls apart. You get to see who you’re rooting for first and then how they’ll deal with the crazy circumstances.
And you’re currently back filming The 100? I’ve started to realise that it is a big commitment and I think I may have underestimated that one really.
The two characters could not be more different … I think there is a lot to be discovered with (Alicia) and how she’ll deal with surviving the apocalypse, but it is an absolute treat to go from one thing which is a very nuanced, layered drama and then go into this sword wielding badass princess sort of vibe (laughs). How do you feel about 2012 ABC doco series Next Stop Hollywood? I don’t know that I would do it again. It was very invasive. I hoped that it would be done more as a documentary insight with an integrity to it and I don’t know if that got lost along the way. But it definitely helped me still be over here now.
How was your first appearance on a tonight show — Jimmy Kimmel, in late August? That was completely nerve racking. I don’t really recall what happened. I was so thrilled that I suddenly got to do something like that. It felt like, wow, that was a big kind of step for me over here.
FEAR THE WALKING DEAD, FX, MONDAY, 8.30PM
Alycia DebnamCarey is enjoying being part of the horror.