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Interview: Taylor Hickson

For some of us, it takes us years to find out what we want to do with our lives. If you are one of the lucky ones, you will end up doing what you love as a career.

Actor and musician Taylor Hickson knew from an early age what she wanted to do with her life. She graduated high school a year early to pursue a career in music. Thanks to Taylor's aunt who sent her headshot to a new agent who was working in her aunt's talent agency, her career path took an unexpected detour.

Taylor decided to meet with this agent and from that first meeting, she was signed on the spot and as they say, the rest is history.

Taylor first made big waves appearing with Ryan Reynolds in the box office smash Deadpool. Now, she's landed a starring role in the new Syfy apocalyptic drama Aftermath, where she plays Brianna Copeland. The series premieres of Aftermath will be on Tuesday, September 27 at 10/9c.

We sit down with the talented young artist to talk about her new series and her character Brianna Copeland, what is was like working with the cast of Aftermath and what fans can look forward to with the first season of the series!

Pop Culture Principle - What was it about the script for this series that made you want to be part of this project?

Taylor Hickson – Actually, I didn’t get the entire pilot script. I was just sent a couple of scenes, a big long description and a little bit of information about my character and where she fits in the series. I didn’t actually realize that she was going to be taking off right out of the gate in the pilot. That was news to me as much as it will be to the audience. The pilot episode is so fast paced, but very riveting at the same time.

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Pop Culture Principle – Can you tell us the basic premise of the series Aftermath?

Taylor Hickson – Aftermath is a show about a family who is trying to survive the end of times. Some of the struggles we face are supernatural beings and creatures, freak storms, earthquakes, comets and solar flares. The beauty of it though is that the possibilities for the show are endless.

Pop Culture Principle – What can you tell us about your character Brianna Copeland?

Taylor Hickson – Brianna is the black sheep of the family. She is emotionally driven, impulsive, stubborn and has her brother’s temper. I think her being the black sheep of the family is something that she embraces, but at the same time it’s her biggest struggle. I think she and her twin lives in each other’s shadow because her twin is the exact contrast being the bookworm and very educationally successful. I feel that their brother is envious of their synchrony and plays them against each other often.

Pop Culture Principle – Your role seems to involve a lot of physicality. Do you enjoy that aspect of the role and do you do your own stunts?

Taylor Hickson – It’s incredible because I got to do the most stunts out of every cast member, which is probably not that great considering how much of a liability that I am. I’m extremely uncoordinated, ungraceful and not poised. I definitely took my best run at it and I had so much fun. I had so many scars and bruises and it was awesome. I got to hang upside down by one foot from a crane which was 40 feet in the air. I got a concussion doing a stunt two weeks into the shooting. It’s definitely the most physically and emotionally demanding thing I have ever done in my life.

Pop Culture Principle – You mention the scene where you character is hanging in the air by one ankle What was it like shooting that scene?

Taylor Hickson – The actress that plays my mom, Anne Heche, she is a wicked cool lady and very talented. When I was first getting strapped up, we did a test and they pulled me up slowly and I thought I was going to throw up. I was looking at Anne and she was telling me not to throw up on her. So, between takes she was holding my butt in one hand and my back in the other trying to keep me upright and keep from throwing up. So, definitely season one kicked my butt and all I can think about is season two.

Pop Culture Principle – Aftermath has a very solid cast including Anne Heche and James Tupper. How have you enjoyed working with the cast?

Taylor Hickson – Oh my God, they are very beautiful, very talented and remarkable people. They are funny and weird and we got to make our own family behind the scenes. It was so much more then I could have asked for from this series. The cast and crew went above and beyond. I think that our show is very underestimated for what we made happen because what we did was impossible and I am so proud of our cast and crew.

Levi Meaden is like the older brother that I never had and Julia Sarah Stone, from day one, we started doing weird twin things like saying the same phrases at the same time. We are alike in every way and our birthdays are two weeks apart. Julia is amazing and a sister to me in every way. The cast is just amazing and I am so proud to be a part of this series.

Pop Culture Principle – Why do you think shows like Aftermath are so successful with audience these days?

Taylor Hickson – Ok, humans love oblivion and I think that’s something the show centers on because it really displays a need for normality and the family dynamic because it’s a lot easier to ignore the bigger picture and that’s why the family has come this far and why they survived and why they’ve stayed sane.

Dystopian shows take you somewhere else and they are very alien compared to what we get. It’s a different system, it shows a different way of living and it’s real. It’s a way to bring out your childhood and sort of live vicariously through it. It’s left open to your imagination and I think that’s why people love these types of shows. Things like the solar flares and the storms, half of what is happening in Aftermath, is already happening, so it’s kind of like an impending doom of the inevitable and that’s terrifying and sometimes we like to scare ourselves.

Pop Culture Principle – Do you think you could survive an apocalypse?

Taylor Hickson – What’s so hilarious, I think I am as emotionally driven and as impulsive as her, but when it comes to fight or flight, I would run the hell away while Brianna would be right there ready to go. She’s much more defensive with herself, but when it comes to family, I think we both stand on the same platform. Nothing will stop me and I will die to protect my family and I think Brianna is exactly the same.

Pop Culture Principle – Did you have to work with a lot of green screen? How was it having at act with green screen?

Taylor Hickson – You know, the only green screen that we did was in the RV and it was supposed to be stuff going by outside. There was so much going on inside the motor home, that I don’t think it really mattered what was outside.

We were too busy fighting about who took my shoes or something. It’s funny that even though we are dealing with the end of the world, we are still fighting with each other. I think that is what’s so awesome about bringing a family into the end of the world because if the world ended, that’s how you would go out is with your family.

Pop Culture Principle – What can viewers look forward to with the first season of Aftermath?

Taylor Hickson – Oh my gosh, a lot of sibling dynamics and so many great sibling’s scenes. We definitely have a creature of the week thing going which is pretty interesting. One thing I am sure you will get tired of is Brianna getting in trouble again and again. LOL. It kept me busy because I was always fighting somebody or shooting somebody. This show has everything and there is something in there for everybody and that’s the beauty of the show.

We would like to thank Taylor Hickson for talking with us about her new series Aftermath. You can catch brand new episodes of Aftermath every Tuesday night at 10/9c only on Syfy.

If you would like to keep up with all of Taylor's latest news and projects, you can like her official Facebook page here, her official Twitter account @taylorhickson or on Instagram @taylor.hickson.

**Photos courtesy of Ryan Orange Photography/Eike Schroter/Aftermath ULC/Syfy**

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