Check out our new interview with the talented Emilia McCarthy!
The 15-year-old Canadian actress stars in the new Netflix series Hemlock Grove as Alyssa Sworn, the sheriff’s daughter.
The series revolves around the mysterious murder of a young girl named Brooke Bluebell. The town’s scarier side emerges as the investigation into her case gets deeper and deeper.
JJJ recently caught up with Emilia to talk about her role in the show, how she got her start in acting, and more!
Click inside to read our interview with Emilia McCarthy…
JustJaredJr.com: Congrats on the show! Can you tell us about your audition process?
Emilia McCarthy: I auditioned in Toronto because I live in Canada. I auditioned for [director] Eli Roth and I pretty much just got the role. And then I had a chemistry test with the girl who plays my fraternal twin who’s played by Eliana Jones. That was the process. It wasn’t too complicated. Sometimes it’s like a six-month process, but this was nice and easy.
JJJ: Speaking of your twin, did you get time to bond with Eliana before shooting?
EM: A lot of people are wondering because really, we did not know each other at all. We met at the chemistry test. I feel like it was like fate. It was just a connection and I guess that’s why we got through because the chemistry test was so good. It was just natural and we became friends. We hang out, text, and do all that stuff.
JJJ: So you’ve watched the whole series. What’s it like watching yourself on screen?
EM: At first, I’m like, “Oh my gosh, ew, ew, ew, gross.” But then after, I’m just like, “OK, whatever.” I kind of get used to it and I’m over it. It’s cool. What I hate is listening to my voice.
JJJ: How did you start acting?
EM: One day, I just woke up and was like, “Hey, Mom and Dad, I want to be an actor.” It kind of just happened. I got an agent in Toronto. My first role ever was Babel, which was a crazy experience. Brad Pitt was in it, Cate Blanchett was in it. That was filmed in Mexico. So that was a crazy experience for my first one ever. I was like, “I gotta do this. This is so fun!”
JJJ: Working with such A-list actors on your first set must have been intimidating!
EM: I was young. I turned eight on set. Brad Pitt was unfortunately filming in Morocco while we were filming in Mexico and I was so upset. But I did get to me Gael García Bernal. He’s a really well-known Mexican actor. And my mom’s from Mexico. I’m half Latina! So I was like, “Oh my gosh, I love you!”
JJJ: Your mom must have been excited your first role was in Mexico.
EM: Of course! My mom was like, “Yeah, go Mexico!” And my grandparents were there, so they drove over on set. It was convenient and great. I speak Spanish, so I don’t know, maybe that was probably why I got the role, who knows. It’s cool because I do have a citizenship from Mexico, so I’m there twice a year to visit my grandparents. It was cool to have that experience there as well.
JJJ: Definitely. And being from Canada, who are some of your favorite Canadian actors?
EM: Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. I have a good reason! They are both from London, Ontario, and I was born and raised there, so we have the same hometown. I just feel like it’s meant to be. Ryan‘s dad was my neighbor!
JJJ: So tell us about your character Alyssa. Was it easy to relate to her?
EM: She is just a typical teenage girl in high school with all the boys and whatever, so that’s relateable. That wasn’t too off. She’s more upbeat and definitely comic relief compared to all the other gloomy characters (laughs). That was easy to relate to. It wasn’t way off from who I am. She is kind of mean and I hope I’m not like that (laughs).
JJJ: What’s your school situation? Are you still in regular school?
EM: I am in high school, in grade 10. It is tough and we have talked about home-schooling a lot, but I feel like at this point, I still love my friends. I don’t know. I don’t think home-schooling would go too well.
JJJ: How do your friends and people at school react to your acting career?
EM: Obviously, all my friends are really excited for me. Today actually, ironically, these random people were like, “Oh my gosh, you’re on that show, right?” And I was like, “Yeah…” It’s a cool thing to happen. It’s not like it’s weird or anything. I just kind of go with the flow.
JJJ: The show can be quite scary. Are you fond of the scary, murder mystery genre?
EM: I personally like the genre. It was my first time working on a production of the genre, but I did enjoy it. I loved getting bloody. That was fun. It desensitizes you after watching a few episodes, especially after the sixth episode, you’re like, “OK, I’m over it.”
JJJ: We hear you’re a fan of Pretty Little Liars!
EM: I love that show! And when I was filming Beauty and the Beast, and Yani Gellman, who played Garret on Pretty Little Liars was also on it. I was freaking out. I declared my love for him even, at like 3 in the morning. Go big or go home, I guess (laughs).
JJJ: Who is your favorite liar?
EM: I think Hanna (Ashley Benson), just because I feel like if I were ever on that show I could be her long lost sister.
JJJ: We see it! So what do you like to do in your spare time?
EM: Definitely hanging out with friends and all that. I also dance. I’ve been a part of some local theatre performances. So that’s kind of cool that I can combine the acting, dancing, and singing. I enjoy that as well.
For more on Emilia, follow her on Twitter!