While the final episode of Aftermath ends in a bit of a cliffhanger, the storyline follows a logical conclusion. It is hidden amongst the weird and wonderful characters that the players meet up with, but it is a solid line of reasoning nonetheless.
It is all about string theory.
The season has been full of mythical creatures from other cultures along with scientific anomalies, like wormholes and time differences, that have also affected events and people in this verse.
Initially it seemed that the series was all about the “End of Days” aka the apocalypse. However, with the skin changers, flying demons and man eating plants the world was not just ending but changing to include “boogeymen” from every ethnicity on earth.
In “Whispers of Immortality” Moondog gives us a bit of backstory. Like the prophets of old, the man headed out into the desert.(On a sidenote: Kudos to Ferreira for being a hip physicist version of Wolfman Jack. The man rocks it with that voice and his character’s attitude.)
After 12 years in the Mojave, Bob’s wife declares him dead and the DJ/prophet knows a lot about string theories and how they are affecting the world.
In essence, the final answer is that gravity waves are forcing all the dimensions into one path. “The one is many and many are the one” is not just a mantra by a few people it is the key to what is happening to Earth.
These waves have forced all 11 dimensions to occupy the same timeline. Ergo, it seems, that dimensions are not just variations on one time, one culture, but many. (See what we did there?)
We also learn that the bullet given to Karen by the dead woman in her vision, that later turned into a rock, is a key to the Delphi. (Nice touch with the “Delphi Cafe” being the oracle’s hangout. The crowning glory was the pinball machine being the actual “fortune teller” and not the waitress.)
The keypunch computer cards are finally put to use. When the cards are finally put through the reader, a machine that they imply was last used in 1979 but the keypunch system was still being used in the very early ’80’s, they get their answer.
For those who are not overly religious or not at all, the fragmented message is one of hope. “The End of the World Is Not the End of the World.” It takes the trio a little time to work out this new bit of evidence.
Joshua, the Adept, is the one who makes the connection. He tells Dana and Moondog that in each culture there is a tale of the world ending but, in essence, it does so for a new beginning. In other words, each culture has their version of a “Noah” scenario.
The finale of Aftermath kept up the pressure. Matt is copied by a shape shifter, they are getting smarter it seems, and Dana steps right out of her comfort zone to save her dad and the card reading machine.
When Junkman gets the drop on Moondog and Josh, while a group of bystanders turn the scene into a cacophony amid all this madness, Dana approaches Junkman from behind and shoots him in the arse.
Moondog asks why she shot the man in the nether region and she responds that it is not lethal but is still debilitating. Dana is right, her lack of a deadly response takes the homicidal Junkman out of commission.
Karen learns from the oracle that “she is the price for what she wants.” In essence, the mother must sacrifice herself to save her family and kids.
(One bone of contention here: This feels all too much like the “death is your gift” plot device from Buffy the Vampire Slayerseason five. The meaning is exactly the same, in the Joss Whedon season finale that year, Buffy Summers must die to save the world and Dawn. In this episode, Karen must sacrifice herself to save the family and the world.)
On top of string theory being the answer to all the phenomena that has been hammering the planet and the people on it, those wormholes are also part of the solution. Using the tesla tower to attract the holes above the station allows those giant moon rocks to be sucked out of the air before destroying the world in that area.
Of course the downside is that Karen, after repairing the tower’s power supply, is also sucked up into the giant wormhole above her. Brianna swears that they will find their mum but…
Sure, the canary lady’s husband was sucked up in Portland and returned to her here, but if this proves to be what Brianna is thinking there is one small, or very large problem.
If Karen is spat out someplace else those huge earth destroying moon rocks will also be ejected. Mrs. Copeland’s chances of landing safely and alive are, pretty much, non-existent.
Still, as finale’s go, Aftermath gave the viewers one that pretty much tied up all the plot threads. It also allowed each player to reach some sort of definitive arc.
Performance wise Anne Heche killed it. Mad props to Ferreira, Stone, Hickson, Meaden and Tupper are also in order. Each actor gave a performance that was truthful and on point.
Whether or not Aftermath comes back for another season is still up in the air. Their viewing figures are not bad for SyFy and could well allow the network to greenlight a second season where finding Karen could be the main plot point.
Aftermath started out with a slow measured method to its madness. This did not detract from the show’s all encompassing tale of a family striving to survive the apocalypse.
It gave viewers a strong matriarchal character, in Karen, and allowed the other female members of the family to evolve into strong characters as well. The men, both Levi and Josh, represented male figures who were not afraid to acknowledge that women should be seen as powerful equals in this new world.
Aftermath “Whispers of Immortality” was an excellent end to this fascinating look at the end of the world.
Aftermath shifts gears somewhat in “Now That We Talk of Dying.” The storyline boils down to “RV Man” meets Bob Black with some other peripheral strangeness taking place. As moon rocks strike the earth, with more on the way, the Copelands struggle to pinpoint the radio transmissions from Moondog.
Matt and Sarah, the girl he saved in the previous episode, continue to get closer, although she initially resists his efforts to turn them into a couple. Later she will save Josh yet again, it was Sarah’s Tetra that saved Copeland earlier when he had the fever, but the mantle of hero does not rest easily on the girl’s shoulders.
Karen, Josh and their girls meet a young man named Bennett who believes he is in 1972; Vietnam. After the A1C shoots an RPG at the family, they convince him that they are not dangerous. Brianna takes a picture of the 20 year old soldier on her smartphone. Later, this photograph will stop the older Bennett from shooting them again.
Time, explains Dana, is shifting around. She noticed it earlier when she and Martin were together. She mentioned then that time was different, it was slower. Shortly after, it sped up and now time has changed again.
Two government men are looking for Moondog. The DJ seems to know what is happening and they want to stop him and take over his communications tower.
They speak to the woman whose husband disappeared in Seattle but returned. She talks about Josh, RV Man, and Dr. Simmons. She also repeats the mantra:
“The one is many, but the many are one.”
The two men recognise this from Moondog’s transmissions and they head off to find the doctor, RV Man and the DJ. Dana and Josh actually have an idea of what is happening with the time/space issues. Later when the Copelands meet the two government men, Jones and his colleague have killed everyone they have questioned except the woman with the dead canary.
In this episode time is very fluid. Bennett appears three times, and is a different age in each one. He shows up in an electrical store as security and the Copelands explain that they saw him when he was 20.
After this interaction, the two government men meet Bennett as an older man and they shoot him.
The leader of the two; Jones, has lost his family and believes that Moondog is causing all the problems. He also believes that the man is not from a different time at all. Later it will appear that Black can seemingly move between times at will.
Moondog broadcasts from a Tesla tower and Josh follows the signal when he hears that Black wants to meet up with an “Adept.” This is what Josh’s dead father called him when he was suffering from the plague.
It appears that Josh may well be able to influence the events of “the end of days” with a little help from Moondog.
Aftermath this week separates the Copelands when Josh is taken by Jones and his colleague to find Moondog. At the Tesla tower the family meet a man who claims to be Black. He is taken with Josh to find the real DJ and he dies when Jones shoots him.
Oddly, Moondog is in an RV just like Josh’s. The vehicle is empty when one of the government men search it. Later Black exits the RV and saves Josh’s life when Jones goes to shoot Copeland.
After Brianna, Matt and Dana are disarmed by the agents, Sarah proves to be adept at the bow and arrow. She takes the bow left by the faux Bob Black and joins Karen and Matt as they chase after the two government men.
Apart from one close call with a skinwalker, Dana is possessed by one until Brianna saves her, this episode leaves the myths of Revelations behind and focuses on the space/time aspect of the world’s end.
The family wind up together for a moment but are separated once more when Sarah runs off. Matt goes after her and Brianna joins her brother. Karen, Josh and Dana stay with Bob Black after he saves Josh’s life.
By the end of the episode, the family are separated again and Josh joins Moondog in the RV.
Director Leslie Hope (she also played Dr. Gloria Douglas in the series) keeps the action zipping along while focusing on the things that make this episode important. There are still many questions that need to be answered but it seems that at long last we will learn what an “Adept” is and what it can do.
Ferreira makes a great entrance and this “Wolfman Jack” soundalike, sans the “heavy dudes and chickies” patter is spot on as the “cool” time-savvy DJ.
This penultimate episode seems set to turn everything on its head and it will be interesting to see if the family get back together before the earth is bombarded by more moon rocks.
Aftermath airs Tuesdays on SyFy. Tune in and see what the Copelands do next.
After Josh learning that he is an “Adept” “Where the Dead Men Lost Their Bones” shows that whatever else he might be, Joshua knows something important. Aftermath manages to up the stakes quite a lot in this episode. The disquieting nature of Josh’s ailment, fighting off the effects of the fever, and that huge vortex in the sky manage to increase the goosebump quotient quite a lot.
Initially, it seems that Josh’s visions are specific to his experiences and the recent events that have affected his family. The re-appearance of Audrene, the TV reporter last seen in Seattle, adds another interesting aspect of the end of days.
The woman who traveled to the town the Copeland’s are now in is captured and inspected by the local “Doc.” He decides she is not a threat, no signs of the plague, and Audrene is released. The reporter knows something. “Many are the one, ” she says.
Josh has been murmuring “The one is many,” something that was written on the wall of the hospital in episode 10. This mantra is half of the equation and later when the two meet up, Audrene is convinced that Joshua knows “what all this means.”
This episode of Aftermath is unsettling. The family splitting up, twice (the second time when Brianna leaves Dana alone with their father, as well as the very nature of the town keeps the viewer on edge throughout. The two men who snatch up newcomers for the town’s veterinarian to inspect for fever are disquieting as is the news that “fever heads” are executed.
Brianna runs into trouble when she breaks off on her own. A group of teens jump her, take her gun and make her their prisoner. She tricks the trio into taking her back to the house where Josh is meant to be. Brianna tells the leader; Maize, that there are drugs back at the house.
Levi, finds a teen hanging by her neck, the girl tried to commit suicide after having to shoot a friend. Sarah is connected to the small group who have taken Brianna prisoner. The two converge at the house when Levi returns with Sarah who has Tetra.
There is a brief standoff that ends when Karen returns. There is almost a repeat of the wholesale slaughter of the camp but Dana stops her mother from killing the trio of street kids.
Josh is rescued from execution by Audrene. She recognizes the mantra that Copeland is repeated over and over. Later she will be sucked back into the vortex as Karen holds her husband down.
The small amount of Tetra starts Josh on the road to recovery. The family listen to Bob “Moondog” Black and he mentions “the one is many” and Josh realizes that the D.J. seems to know something.
Meanwhile, the debris from the moon is drifting to the earth and will soon be caught up in the planet’s gravity. Moondog transmits that the after effects of the explosion will reach the earth in two days time.
So far this series has managed to keep things interesting. The inclusion of mythological creatures and deities from other cultures has broadened the scope of “the end of days.”
The focus of each episode has been more “within” than “without” and this episode of Aftermath has zeroed in on some of the more peripheral events. The “destruction” of Seattle, or rather, the de-population of the city’s inhabitants, now has more significance than just the news segment where Audrene freaks out before the signal is lost.
It will be very interesting to learn just what Moondog knows. There are two episodes left of the series with next week’s episode being the penultimate one of the season.
The vortex, which seems to be consuming and regurgitating people somewhat randomly, is impressively scary. Clearly this is not part of the “rapture” as one character believed in this episode, if it were, no one would be returned.
Aftermath airs Tuesdays on SyFy. Tune in and see what befalls the Copeland family next.
It was all too tempting to label episode 9 “The Barbarous King” as “Trouble in Paradise” just for the locale of this segment. While there were some excellent revelations and a reluctant family reunion of sorts, this week in Aftermath we learned more about Karen’s lineage. There was also some character evolution in the family Copeland.
The survivors run into a road block where a grizzled ex-biker is demanding a toll from the family to cross through his territory. To his followers, the biker is known as Ewan. To Karen he is dad. The capable woman introduces her kids to the bandana wearing chieftain, “Kids, meet your grandpa.”
There is no love lost between father and daughter and the old renegade is in the “tetra” (or medicine) manufacture business. He swears that he has gone “legit” but Karen is not buying it.
Josh stumbles onto the truth of the matter, Ewan is making substandard medication and people are dying. He caught snooping and, after being bopped over the head with a shovel, is given peyote and death sentence.
As usual, the villains in this apocalyptic world underestimate Josh. Even as he trips out on the hallucinogen, Copeland kills his executioner easily. The male head of the family is becoming quiet adept at dealing out death.
He learns from his dead father that adept is exactly what he is. Josh’s young father reveals that he and his family are all “Adepts.” They will, the vision says, survive because of this “trait.”
Meanwhile Brianna, Dana and Levi go on a job with Ewan’s right hand “Rafaela” and Raf. they go to a bar for a delivery of ethanol and after a few drinks, Dana drops some hard truths on her sister. She finds out that the Brianna gave her non-alchololic drinks and rips her sister a strip for lying to her.
After their argument, Brianna leaves and is stopped by a skin walker. The woman steals the truck and returns to the bar looking like Brianna. Levi is discovering that he has an unpleasant side to his personality.
The eldest sibling takes after his Grandpa Ewan and the locals at the bar fear him. Back at the camp, as Josh is being set up for the kill, Karen goes with her dad to check on the kids.
As they arrive, the real Brianna returns and fights with the skin walker. Karen aims at the two figures fight on the floor and it is Dana who kills the imposter. The kid who hates guns just used one to save her sister.
Episode nine revealed some hard truths about the Copeland clan. A lot of what makes Karen tick is revealed in this episode. She obviously takes after her father in the “tough” department but did not inherit his nefarious streak.
At the end of the episode, as Josh is coming down off his trip, he begins coughing and Karen sees that he may have blood coming from his mouth. This is a symptom of the “fever” and it looks like Grandpa’s offer of the Tetra was not an idle offering.
Episode 10 of Aftermath “Hieronymo’s Mad Againe”sees a family of four, bar one, dead and “stretched” and Josh is still coughing out blood. Karen starts searching for Tetra in earnest while her husband’s condition worsens.
Josh is hearing voices and interacting with people who are not there. Dana finds a Tetra box and the family head off to search for the drug. First, however, Karen takes Josh’s gun and Brianna reminisces with Matt about video games.
As the women in the family search the pharmacy for Tetra, Josh is handcuffed in the RV and he tries to communicate with Matt. He tries to give his son some reassurance but his speech is riddled with nonsensical words and phrases.
In the hospital pharmacy, the women are not alone.
An man infected with the plague, aka fever, jumps out to attack the three Copeland women, but another woman (Willes) shoots the man dead. She asks the trio for help with the wheelchair patients on the upper floor.
The women are asked to leave their weapons in the lobby as the patients are frightened of guns. Partway up the staircase, Brianna and Dana are sent to collect the Tetra while Karen and the woman proceed further up the stairs.
Josh’s symptoms get worse. Oddly enough, he begins to have intuitive flashes, matching the times of death (of the three corpses found at the start of the episode) and the destruction of Seattle. As he verbal skills deteriorate further, Matt takes his dad for a drive.
The wheelchair bound patients are a ploy. Karen discovers that the elevator works just before the woman knocks her out cold. When Karen wakes up she learns that the “patients” are dead, and have been stuffed, and that both her girls have been locked in on the second floor.
Dana and Brianna try to break out as Josh’s condition worsens. Karen, who has been drugged, is on the roof with the woman and as they watch, the moon is hit by a number of asteroids.
The woman starts coughing blood and as the moon sends debris into space, the fever infected woman tells Karen, “I don’t know how I feel about that.” She is referring to the blood and not the parts of the moon which will obviously start raining down on earth.
Josh has another vision, “The One is Many” has been written on the wall by the missing boy. Brianna and Dana get out of the second floor trap that the woman set and Karen is given a paralyzing agent. She learns that Ewan, her father, killed the woman’s family and stole supplies from the hospital.
The trio of Copeland women manage to kill the woman and escape with antibiotics but there is no Tetra. Josh is still having visions and Dana tell the family that the debris from the moon will hit in about two days.
This episode of Aftermath has been the most macabre of the season. With “Kathryn” aka “the Woman” wearing the face of the patient she kicked down the stairs, (a bit reminiscent of Otis in The Devil’s Rejects) this whole segment was about as twisted as can be.
As both Taylor Hickson and Levi Meaden pointed out in two separate interviews with Mike’s Film Talk, all the family are going through some intense changes in the show. The last two episodes have indeed proven that the entire family are changing as the season progresses.
It seems pretty grim for Josh right now, but his condition seems to be more focused on visions of some sort versus the wholesale madness that most fever heads seem to suffer from.
Karen is still the strong member of the family, but the Copeland clan are rapidly catching up. Brianna finishes off the crazy in the hospital, that Karen shoots first with her hidden weapon. Dana has also gotten tougher.
Aftermath is upping the stakes in each episode. The show’s theme has changed somewhat from “mythical” creature of the week to the family surviving each obstacle placed in their path.
Taylor was born and raised in Kelowna, BC Canada. She started working age 12 traveling and singing with her father on stages across British Columbia. As time progressed, Taylor began writing her own songs and graduated from high school a year early to work on her music career.
She stumbled into acting when a relative talked her into auditioning for an agency at 16. Taylor started landing roles right off the bat; she worked opposite Anthony Hopkins, Ray Liotta and Julia Stiles in the psychological thriller “Blackway.”
Next Taylor landed the role of Meghan Orlovsky in the blockbuster film “Deadpool” where she worked opposite Ryan Reynolds. She then starred in the biopic film Hunting Pignut. The film is based on writer and director Martine Blue’s life and follows the life of Bernice (played by Taylor) a 15 year old runaway who is trying to solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance.
Ms. Hickson stars in the indie thriller Residue (produced by Motorcycle Boy Productions and XLrator Media) which will hit cinema screens in early 2017. The film follows James Clayton’s character, P.I. Luke Harding. The private investigator reads a book with somewhat sinister overtones and inadvertently puts Luke and his daughter Angelina (Hickson) in danger. Angelina has to fight for their lives and souls.
Taylor also has roles in the MGM film “Everything, Everything” and “Incident in a Ghost Land” working with Mylene Farmer, Crystal Reed and Anastasia Phillips. The horror thriller was written and directed by French filmmaker Pascal Laugier.
In “Aftermath,” Taylor plays Brianna, the fiercely independent teen daughter of Karen (Heche) and Joshua (Tupper) who is initially separated from her family and struggles to meet back up with them in the new apocalyptic world.
Taylor spoke with Mike’s Film Talk on Friday 18 November.
Michael: Hello Taylor! Thanks for speaking with Mike’s Film Talk today.
Taylor: (Laughing) Well thank you for speaking with Taylor Hickson today!
Michael: (Laughing) Right since the feeling is mutual, we’ll get right down to it. So, how did you get cast as Brianna? Did “Deadpool” or “Hunting Pignut” play a part?
Taylor: Wow… That’s a good question. I don’t think either one played a part. “Aftermath” was a new audition and it was really a bit nerve wracking thing for me. They didn’t know who I was… I kind of came out of nowhere, I was really new and they were willing to work with me. They saw potential and that is something I’ll be forever grateful for.
Michael: Well you do a brilliant job on the show, in my own humble opinion. I love the character and love the arc Brianna has gone through. Oh. I’ve got to tell you, I was speaking to Levi yesterday and he says “hi” and can he have his Bowie shirt back please?
Taylor: (Laughing) That’s fantastic. Oh my gosh I love him so much. I really miss him and he really was my older brother and Julia really was my sister. We totally have a sibling dynamic on and off screen. It made everything so easy and smooth and it was awesome.
Michael: He said much the same; that you all got on really, really well, on and off camera. So what’s it like working on the show. It really is pretty grim subject matter, isn’t it?
Taylor: Yes it is quite a grim subject matter…
Michael: Do you have any favorite scenes?
Taylor: Absolutely! Most of my favorite scenes are the sibling scenes. I think there’s one coming up in the very next episode. There is a scene between Dana and me and a lot of pent up stuff comes out on the table that really needed to be said and everybody gets called out. It was one of my favorite scenes to shoot because she did such an amazing job. Julia is so talented and she made me feel like I was in real fight with my sister. Everything was so real that it was unbelievable she is just amazing.
Michael: I have to agree. I like the “kids” on the show. I am a huge Anne Heche and James Tupper fan, but the thing that has really stood out in the show has been the kids.
Taylor: Really? That’s awesome.
Michael: Who has been your favorite cast member?
Taylor: Ooh…As a person or as an actor?
Michael: Both please.
Taylor: Wow. That’s really hard…Actually there are pieces of all of them that I would use to build a favorite character or cast member. They are all such a huge contrast to each other but I have to say that I’m kind of in love with all of them.
Right off the bat, I knew I was walking onto a project with a lot of respected artists who had long resumes and a lot of experience. I knew I had a lot of work to do. I also had a lot of studying to do. So I started watching them and the way that they worked and the way that they felt and the way that they spoke and moved.
I learned a lot just by studying them as people and studying them at work. Anne (Heche) I watched a lot. Mostly because I felt that my character takes a lot from her. So I was watching her for a character aspect because she is incredibly talented.
Taylor: I learned a lot from her and she mentored me a lot through the show and I learned so much. She pushed me to get better and work harder and that was something beautiful. She is not soft about it. She is not like “Oh nice try sweetie. It’ll be better next time. She is blunt and to the point but because of the industry I’ve learned not to let my feelings get hurt and I found it to be very helpful. I pushed myself and we would go out for dinners and stuff and she’d sit down and talk to me.
The whole cast are all so beautiful and it would be impossible to pick out just one favorite.
Michael: You all seem to have a brilliant rapport and there is a splendid bit of give and take on the show. The way the show is set up, your character seems to take after her mum and Dana (Julia) takes after her dad. It all works out really well. Now your character has gone through an awful lot…
Taylor: (Laughing) That’s an understatement…
Michael: Yes it is, very much so. So how do you prepare for the heavy-duty scenes? Say, for instance, Dylan’s death or the death of Aunt Sally?
Taylor: Wow. You don’t. You don’t prepare for that. How could you prepare for someone’s spontaneous death? I think that is the aspect that you have to walk in with. You have to walk in that day and think ‘this is going to be some heavy sh*t,’ and you never know how it’s going to play out or what the director is going to ask you to do.
There have been countless times that I’ve walked in with an idea or an interpretation of how I think the scene, or the mood of the scene is going to be. And then quite often find that the scene will be rewritten. If that happens we all sit in the tent before hand with the director and the writer. Then if we’re not agreeing on something it’s “Okay go.”
Then we all just spin out ideas until we find something that matches and find something that works. There are other things too; there was something I saw Anne do as an actor. The way that she would break down scenes was just incredible. She would catch stuff that blew me away. I was like,” How did you see that?” It would be something that I just read right past and because she is so on the ball she gets it.
Plus she’s a mother; her son would be there quite often and working with her husband… She has so much on her plate. She was flying out and taping other shows at the same time. And the way she managed to keep her head in the game was so inspiring.
Michael: She is a true professional.
Taylor: For example, the Aunt Sally [death scene] Anne said come on guys we have way too many women crying over this. She said, “I’m not going to do it.” What I watched her do shocked me, maybe even confused me and at the end of it, I thought, ‘wow, that is freaking brilliant.’
She just lay down beside Aunt Sally and just; she almost had no emotion… What it made me think of was my grandma who had been very, very sick with cancer. She suddenly went from having three months to live to three weeks. I couldn’t quite understand, or cope. I think everyone goes through that at one time in their life, and when you’re not prepared for someone’ death it is a shock to the system.
I was out with friends at around three in the morning and we were around the corner from my house, and we were listening to music in my friend’s truck and laughing and my dad called me at three in the morning. And my parents are very caring, they care a lot, and they knew where I was, just around the corner, and my dad called; he was in the gas station right behind me. He told me, “Your Gran has died.”
I had seen her just three hours before, stroking her hair and she was telling me that she was ready to go. Life is so funny that way… I had no emotion at all and I stepped out of the car and walked over to an empty parking lot and just started walking and walking. Then I started sprinting and then I just fell down and I cried like I’d never cried in my life.
So when Anne did that with Aunt Sally, I thought, she gets it. Then when it came to the crying part, she left that to me; to cry over Devyn’s body. That was a very hard scene, crying over Devyn and I’ve heard from other people on other shows that when they find out another character is going to die they say, “I can’t do this. I’m going to leave the show, I can’t do this.”
I understood then what they meant. It was very, very hard.
Michael: Quite emotionally taxing I should imagine.
Taylor: Oh absolutely. It’s like this show I’m working on now, I’m constantly fighting for my life in this movie and I’m just drained. It makes “Aftermath” look like a fun game. And I’ve been exhausted on “Aftermath.” This industry really beats you up but it makes you proud of the result when you look back.
Michael: Definitely. On a slightly lighter note… You’ve used a number of weapons in the show. Although not quite as many as Matt or your mum. Did you get any special training for all that?
Taylor: (Laughing) No. They told me when I first got cast, “Yeah we’ll send you to all these shooting arenas and you’ll get some practice. We’ll do training with all of you and we’ll get you shooting like a Marvel villain. I was like, “Wow that’s going to be awesome.” I was thinking of them like “real” guns and that somebody was going to get hurt.
But things started happening so fast that we wound up having one day that was kind of like rehearsals. They said, “Okay! You’re all family now. But I never really got to shoot “proper” guns.
Nerf guns and water guns were as bad a** as Taylor gets. I’ve never been paintballing or anything like that. So when we started the show I didn’t know how to hold a gun; the props people had to show me how. They were like; think about it, Brianna wouldn’t know how to hold a gun.
And if you watch the show from the beginning she is just holding the gun and her arm will go flying when she starts shooting. Since that isn’t working, in Brianna’s mind she’s thinking, ‘now what have I seen in movies.’
So then her other hand will start holding her wrist so it’s like “almost.” She finally figures out your hand goes under your other hand. As the season progresses you watch Brianna build her skill and confidence with guns.
Michael: It tracks very well. Stepping away from “Aftermath” for the moment; are you still filming on “Everything, Everything?”
Taylor: No I’m working on another show right now. I’ve finished on “Everything, Everything.”
Michael: So what are you working on now?
Taylor: I’m working on probably one of the scariest, most horrible scripts I’ve ever read… In like the best way
Michael: It sounds interesting.
Taylor: It’s raw and terrifying and beautiful at the same time. I’m working with Pascal Laugier and he is the most visionary director. I’ve never met anyone with the eye that he has, and the patience he has. We’ll spend two days shooting one scene, so taxing is a great word to use. It is very physically, emotionally and imaginatively draining and demanding.
I can’t say too much about it but if you look it up on the Internet, it’s just been put up on IMDb.
Michael: It hasn’t been put against your name yet. It still shows “Everything, Everything” as filming.
Taylor: Well I’ve definitely finished my work on that film. I shot my part in Vancouver and then the company went down to, I believe, Mexico. I’m now working on Ghost Land.
Michael: You had the starring role in “Hunting Pignut,” when will that be hitting cinemas?
Taylor: I don’t know. That one is still running through the festival circuit. I haven’t even seen it, if you want to know. Over half of Canada’s seen it and I haven’t even seen it. I asked for a link and they said, “No we want you to see it at the Whistler Festival premiere. So I’m like “Okay. I’ll wait.”
All I’ve seen so far has been on the monitors or when we did ADR, that’s the most I’ve seen. It should be interesting; I’m not sure whether they’re going for theatrical release. Maybe in a few select theatres; like maybe in my hometown or one in Vancouver or something… It’s very Canadian so it may only be released in Canadian theatres. I’m not sure what the distribution plan is.
Michael: You’re very busy right now; on screen at any rate. You’ve got Residue coming out in 2017 and I’m guessing “Incident in a Ghost Land” will be coming out either late in 2017 or 2018. Of course the big question goes all the way back to Deadpool, the first thing I ever saw you in, if they find a new director, will you be coming back as your character Meghan Orlovsky? Have you heard?
Taylor: I haven’t heard anything so I’m not sure. I believe they might have a new director; I’m not sure, there are lots of rumors. I’ve heard a lot of Marvel conspirators say that the character is in the comics. They say “your character is Megan Gwynn, aka Pixie, so you’re a Marvel character.” And I’m like, “I don’t think so… They didn’t tell me that.” And they go no you’re a superhero.
So all the forums are convinced that I’m going on but I haven’t heard anything. But it would be fun to have another tiny appearance with another cast of Deadpool.
Michael: I’ve got to ask… What was it like, working with Ryan Reynolds?
Taylor: Oh it was amazing. You know I’d been on a few smaller sets before because I was originally focused on music and it was massive. I didn’t really know how badly I wanted to work as an actor until “Deadpool.” I had worked with Anthony Hopkins before in my first role and that was incredible but it was just… I’d never had a chance to talk on screen and I didn’t really understand and I was trying to find my footing I thought it might just be a fun thing I did on the side. That was the thing that changed my life.
There are all these people running around you and they all have different tasks, and a routine and here was this awkward teenager who knew nothing about anything and the atmosphere was very anxious. It was everything that would turn me off of acting and yet it pulled me in.
We spent an entire night with a scene and it was very playful humorous. Ryan is very low key and nonchalant about the whole thing and I think that helped because he didn’t add to the anxiety so I just started speaking with him, he was a producer as well, and he was throwing out all these suggestions: “What if Meghan came up and hugged me and I was like, “Yeah that’s great.”
I would start teasing him, “Aw, I have to hug you again.” We were doing “pick-ups” and I had to start by hugging him already and he would say, “Shhh. Listen to the sound of my heartbeat.” He was so weird and funny that it made everything loosen up. Later, as I was still awkwardly holding him he said “Shhh” and started patting my head.
It all seemed totally weird and he says, “I never noticed those things told the time before.” He was talking about the things; I don’t even know what they’re called that’s how new I am to the business. I called it a clapper…
Taylor: That’s what I call it. And he was saying he never knew it told the time. He was saying he knew that it had times on it to sync the camera and the sound but never knew it told the time. And he says, “I’ve been doing this for how many years and never knew these things told the time.”
So I was singing this song by Salt N Pepa, “Shoop” because the scene originally started with us all singing “Shoop” we were sitting there and like rapping the song at the start but they cut it out. It was taken out for pacing since they wanted everything to click along. A lot of lines were taken out to make it move faster.
My two friends in the scene were also both cut out.
So we had to sing the song again and again to get it exactly right, they were playing the real music for sound and then had to pick it up later, which is probably why they didn’t use it. I said to Ryan that this song is going to be stuck in my head for two months and he says, “This frickin movie is going to be stuck in my head for two years.”
Michael: That’s funny. To wrap this all up, I know you have some favorite charities. Would you like to give them a shout-out?
Taylor: Oh yes, thank you! Definitely IJM (International Justice Mission), they are incredible. They do a lot of things for young people in third world countries and they save a lot of children who are sold into slavery, and sex slavery, and they are absolutely incredible. I’ve been doing work on and off with them since I was 13. They are amazing.
Another one would be Craig and his brother Marc who do We. [Free the Children] Have you ever heard of We Day?
Michael: No I’ve never heard of it.
Taylor: It is amazing Craig and Marc Kielburger, the charity’s founders, do all these things to help children and their families. I’ve donated and worked with them to fundraise for so many things. We got one village a school. I’ve done lots of work for them over the years.
They do it all over the country, they’ve been held in Toronto, or instance and they always have loads of celebrities and singers attend. The aim is to help the children and their families across the world.
Craig and Marc started the charity when they were young children and I’m so proud of what they’ve achieved and I’m very proud to be part of Movement.
Michael: So what does your schedule look like right now? Are there any other projects you want to mention?
Taylor: Well, I’m working on the film right now (Incident in a Ghost Land) and that will take me up to December and then I’ll be attending Whistler Film Fest for “Hunting Pignut”. I’m auditioning for tons of things and I’ve gotten an offer for something in January.
In March or April I’ll be doing a film called “GLO,” it’s short for Giant Little One and it’s a beautiful script. It’s a brilliant film that we’ve been trying to do for a while. If Aftermath is brought back, there may be a conflict, we won’t know till January.
There will be another movie, called Dry Swallow, written by Joel Thomas Hynes who played Pignut in “Hunting Pignut.” So there are lots of open doors and projects to look forward to.
The Wrap Up:
Taylor finished with her feelings about Aftermath and her onscreen family. She pointed out, quite rightly, that as the season has progressed the audience learns more about the Copeland’s and the show is evolving. We also talked about the “flying dragon” and what it was really called (Quetzalcoatl and not a dragon, as Levi Meaden pointed out in an earlier interview) that her character calls “the Q thing.”
Ms. Hickson also talked about the basis of the show. It is based on the Book of Revelation but since each culture has their own version of this apocalyptic series of events, these were included in the show, hence the Quetzalcoatl and the Japanese man eating plant.
She would love to see a second season of Aftermath be approved as her on-screen family have all gotten so acclimated to one another that she feels the show would be even better. Taylor mentioned the series was shot out of order and how odd it was to see the final product afterward and the difference between watching it and “living it.”
We also talked about the mythology that went into the creatures that appear on the show (like the Q-bird) and Taylor mentioned that after each episode the YouTube channel “Geeksiders” do a complete rundown on all the creatures and cultures of each Aftermath episode. Taylor revealed that the channel is incredibly thorough: “They knew more about the show than I did”
Taylor Hickson is a very busy young woman who is enthusiastic about her job and the business. A talented young actress that had high words of praise for her co-workers.
We also spoke of muppets and fraggles and how Julia played a prank on her with some M&M’s.
There are two episodes of “Aftermath” left in this season. The show airs Tuesdays on SyFy and Space in Canada.
Note: Unless otherwise stated the images used are by Ryan Orange Photography or Eike Schroter.