Taylor Hickson: “Aftermath” and Dry Shampoo as Key to Apocalypse SurvivalSeptember 26, 2016
Photo by Ryan Orange Photography
In Aftermath, the latest post-apocalyptic supernatural series from the Syfy channel premiering September 27, Taylor Hickson plays “disaffected loner” Brianna. Brianna and her family must navigate the end of the world in addition to the supernatural beings that begin to appear. Hickson has enjoyed a budding career in several thriller and action projects, the most well-known of which being this year’s Deadpool with Ryan Reynolds. Hickson took a minute to talk with me about her character in Aftermath and her experience working on the show. And, yeah, I asked about Ryan Reynolds.
What drew you to your role as Brianna in Aftermath?
She’s SUCH a drama queen. Emotionally driven and impulsive, Bri is the epitome of every bratty teenage girl. The worst part? You love her for it. She’s the black sheep of the family (most literally, she’s always wearing black). It was fun to put color into the personality as contrast. She’s got her mom’s stubborn attitude and her brother’s temper and combativeness, creating a little blonde-haired brute willing to take any risk to keep her family alive.
What was your favorite part about working on Aftermath? What do you think was the most challenging?
I really enjoyed the opportunity to work on a character over a long duration of time–getting to know her and watching her change and grow and growing with her. It was refreshing to have a character that was so human. You see her vulnerability, her temper, her grief, her joys–all aspects of an incredibly intricate personality. Bringing that to life gave me a lot of creative flexibility [which is] very rare. I was very aware throughout filming that I was surrounded by incredible talent and [I] pressured myself daily to live up to that high standard. It pushed me to hone my craft by listening and observing my peers. I consider myself extremely lucky for the opportunity to work alongside the likes of Anne [Heche], James [Tupper], Levi [Meaden], and Julia [Sarah Stone], all amazing actors and even more incredible people.
Aftermath takes place during the end of the world. If the world were to actually end tomorrow, what three things would you grab?
[I’d] grab my cellphone, a deck of cards (good quality, laminated–this is the end of the world we’re talking about) and dry shampoo.
Do you have an apocalypse survival plan?
Not at all. Unfortunately, that’s what makes me exactly like Brianna. I’ll solve the problem when I get there.
Re: List of Things I’d Bring:
1) I’ll keep in contact with my cellphone, although there’s no cell service.
2) I’ll use my cards to cut things, light fires, and entertain myself–totally impractical.
3) As long as I have dry shampoo, I can take on the world. Ain’t nobody got time for a shower.
You’ve been in a string of thriller/action projects, what about that genre do you love?
It’s the idea of a different system and an entirely separate way of living than what we’re used to. It’s surreal, at some times inevitable. It’s so alien to us that we would just rather be oblivious. It’s a way to live vicariously through my inner child, because of the endless possibilities that are left open to your own imagination.
Also, because I’m only human, what was it like working with Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool?
Ha! Aren’t we all. He’s a very wicked dude. Exactly like his character: very witty, sarcastic, and playful. He made a big effort to be considerate of every other actor in the scene, [and] he made me feel very comfortable knowing I was green to the industry. A lot of goofing around, a great night shoot! Also… he smelled like a pine tree.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.