Tomorrow, Freeform premieres its new series, Beyond
. The series follows the character of Holden Matthews (Burkely Duffield) who awakens after a twelve-year coma with strange and dangerous abilities. He gets help from a mysterious girl, Willa, played by Dilan Gwyn, who seems to be the only one who knows what is going on with him and how to control his new abilities.
The actress recently talked with SciFi Vision in an exclusive interview about the new series.
SCIFI VISION: How did you first become involved with the show?
I was actually living in London when I got the audition for Willa, so I had to put it on tape. I did a callback, and then I had a Skype session with Adam Nussdorf, the creator of the show, and Lee Toland Krieger, who directed the first episode.
After talking to them, I tried not to get my hopes up, but I wanted to do it so badly. I loved their vision for the project and the character.
I was out and about when my agent and manager called and told me I got the part, and I just screamed and jumped around. I didn’t care that people were watching. It was just such a huge moment. Did they tell you right away the full scope of the show, because at least to me, it wasn't about what I expected it to be. How far ahead did you know the plot?
They didn’t tell us every single detail; we kind of got the story as we went, but we had a general idea. I think I was one of the cast members who knew the most, since I would interrogate the writers whenever I had the chance. I just felt like, if anybody should know, it’s Willa! Was there anyone in particular who inspired your portrayal?
Before shooting the pilot, Lee and I talked about who we wanted Willa to be. One of our inspirations for her was to be a Terminator 2
Sarah Connor-esque kind of character. Whenever he wanted me to toughen up in a scene, he would come up and say, “Give me some more Sarah Connor,” and we would be on the same page.
Another one that I watched a lot was Carrie-Anne Moss in The Matrix
. I’ve always loved the way she portrayed that character, and there were many similarities that I could draw from, like the way she helps Neo, because she knows more than him, and how she restrains her feelings for the greater good.
This was all when preparing for the pilot that we shot long before the rest of the episodes. Those two were the basis, but the Willa character then kind of evolved from there. Can you talk about working with the special effects in general and then maybe about the Realm, which was beautiful?
It was kind of an odd experience working with the Realm. We were green screening everything, so we would spend days in basically a warehouse with a huge green space where we had very few actual things to play off of. It might have been like a pillar or some rocks or something. They would show us a very basic idea of what we would be looking at, but I will really be seeing the proper version of it together with the audience after the premiere. Can you talk about any sort of stunts you performed?
There were some stunts involved, although I would have liked to have had more. We did some wire work which was kind of new to me, but really fun. There were a lot of movie references. What's was your favorite, or maybe one you wished they had used?
Yeah, there were. I didn’t get to use any that I remember; I don’t think Willa knows anything about movies. Although I remember when I first read episode two, and there was a line in there where Holden refers to me as “some ninja girl from The Matrix.
” I don’t remember ever talking to Adam about being so inspired by Trinity, so when I saw that in the script, I was like “Yes!” Do you have a favorite scene you filmed you can talk about?
Honestly most of my favorite scenes come later on in the season, so they would be hard to talk about without spoiling anything. The more of the truth that gets revealed, the more complicated it gets. Can you talk about working with Burkely?
He is honestly the most easy going person you can imagine working with. It was just always really fun and relaxed. As the lead of the show, whatever attitude he has kind of affects the show’s atmosphere, because he is there pretty much everyday and works with everyone. I think we were lucky to have him, because he was just always very positive, no matter the circumstances. Now that you are part of the Freeform family, are you going to be live tweeting during the premiere?
I am indeed! It will definitely be a new experience for me. I’m not a huge twitter person, but I’m trying to get into it. I should get more with the times, I guess. [laughs] Can you give me three words to describe your character?
Intelligent, driven, and fearless.