Taylor Hickson Dishes on Ryan Reynolds, SyFy’s ‘Aftermath’ and Original Music
It’s the end of civilization as we know it. Supernatural demons and monsters have kidnapped this up and coming Canadian actress, on the new SyFy original series, Aftermath created by William Laurin (Missing, Power Play) and Glenn Davis (John Woo’s Once a Thief). In Aftermath she plays one of the daughters of Karen (Anne Heche) and Joshua Copeland (James Tupper). She is on her own trying to survive this post-apocalyptic world riddled with natural disasters and the rise of the supernatural, after being kidnapped, while her parents and siblings try and find her.
This beautiful jewel of an actress has popped into the limelight this year as a minor character opposite of Ryan Reynolds in the Marvel Comic-book Comedy, Deadpool. She fell into acting while trying to follow her passion in music, which was the reason of her early graduation, her youtube channel showcasing her Indie Folk style. This year she was in Deadpool, as well as this amazing role on SyFy’s Aftermath, as well as a lead in Martine Blue’s Hunting Pignut, and Rusty Nixon’s horror thriller Residue. Her acting prowess has gotten her future prospects in the film industry.
To learn more about her, her music, her acting, and Ryan Reynolds read her interview below…
What’s it like growing up in a small Canadian town to now co-staring in the SyFy original series, Aftermath? Our city is small but because of its incredible beauty and location, it’s considered a very trendy place for tourists. I would consider it to be the California of Canada, with our famous orchards and wineries, to the desert-like landscape and heat. I consider myself lucky to come from such an amazing part of Canada. That being said, it has been quite the adjustment moving to a much larger city and working with such respected artists. As it stands right now, I am on such an incredible learning curve that there hasn’t been much time for self-reflection. I am currently working on a new project with French director, Pascal Laugier, and well known French pop artist, Mylène Farmer. Growing up my parents always said strive to work and play with people of a high skill set to improve my craft and continue to grow in my music and life.
Tell us more about your character, Brianna, and how you relate to you in real life. She’s a determined learner, quick to adapt, and emotionally driven. Impulsive, with an attitude, carrying her mother’s combativeness and her brother’s temper. Other than that, you might not sense her relation to the rest of her family. And she’s completely at ease with it. Effortlessly comfortable in her own skin. I at times share her temper, I understand her impulse, especially when it comes to love, and protecting the wellbeing of her family. It gets her in trouble often, but I resonate with the place in her mind and heart that she holds her family. She holds her family above everything. For that, I have nothing but utter admiration for her intention. Though irritatingly snappy sometimes, she has a very large heart. Building this character has shaped myself as a person and an actor. Plus, I get to shoot stuff.
Do you think there’s difference between science fiction and reality or do you believe there is a little truth to it all? Absolutely there is truth to it all. Each to their own, but what are the chances that other life doesn’t exist in such a massive universe? I believe in plenty that isn’t proven. It’s a vast world out there, and the human understanding of it all is still in its infancy. I like the unknown. It keeps life exciting and mysterious. That’s the beauty of Aftermath. Nothing is a given.
Two words: Ryan. Reynolds. Fill in our readers on how Ryan helped you relax for your scene. Two words. Life. Changing. I had been on a few smaller sets before, but my original focus before I fell into acting was my music. An agent I was introduced to convinced me to test the waters with this industry. Being 16 years old, I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted. The story of every teenager ever. That was the first night I discovered how badly I wanted this. I’d never been on a set of that mass; every crew and cast member is whipping around you with different tasks, all seeming to know their place and routine. It’s very difficult to walk onto a set with a specific and practiced momentum- you can feel very in the way and awkward. Essentially, the atmosphere just increased my stubborn, already existing anxiety. I know that over half of the takes were unusable because I couldn’t shake this super persistent face twitch. Ryan made the entire night playful, and humorous. He’s very down to earth, and having that low-key lax energy made my experience much less overwhelming. He thought the scene would maybe have a bit more movement/energy/emphasis if I jumped up and hugged him when thanking him. So when we were doing pick-ups, I had to begin from already hugging him. So we’re mid-awkward embrace, waiting for cameras to roll, and I teased him saying “Oh man, I have to hug you again..?” and he said “Shhhh. There, there. Listen to the sound of my heartbeat.” while stroking my hair. Deadpool or Ryan? No difference.
This was your first speaking role, as well, correct? Correct! I didn’t even understand what I’d booked when I landed it…
We did some digging and came across your YouTube cover of Green Eyes, (which is amazing, btdubbs. Haha!) Will you be pursuing a career in music as well as acting? Ha! Thank you so much. I was only 15 there. I would love to dedicate some time to get into my studio and record the EP I’ve been working on, or potentially a full album. It is quite a time consuming project and I would be financing and producing it myself, so I’d really like the time to commit and get the effect I want (it’s very moody indie folk). As of now, still writing and juggling these two dear parts of my life.
What is the biggest misconception that people have about you? I think there is a general misconception that acting is an easy, non-demanding career. The hours are incredibly long, the time on set is stressful, and I know I still have so much to learn. I didn’t understand either until I became part of it. My job is not easy. I would think the biggest misconception about myself, personally, would be my confidence. I’m sure many relate. I think it’s sad that I have to constantly remind myself that I’m beautiful. Everything around us influences our brains to forget. The poster at the bus stop, that Instagram selfie, the ad on TV. A chubby tummy, a wide nose, a thigh gap; these things do not define a person’s beauty. We love objectifying others; we’re a species that should look out for each other or we’ll kill ourselves off by insensitivity alone. Self-love takes practice. Remember: You are a human. Not a magazine cover. So start acting like one.
Lastly, Contrast Magazine is named after the definition of the word “contrast,” which is “to be strikingly different.” How do you express yourself? What makes you strikingly different? That’s a big question. A great question. It’s something I’ve never really thought about. Mostly because I don’t see myself being much different as the person standing next to me. It’s also a matter of perception and mindset. What makes me different? It could be as simple as the freckle under my eye. I wear what I want. I believe in what I want. I walked into an industry I knew nothing about and said take me or don’t, because I love what I do enough for myself. I love creative writing, and writing songs on my guitar and piano. I express myself through my style. With all that being said, it’s a great question, but a difficult one to answer because I could never truly know how others perceive me.