The end of the world genre is bursting from the seams with new takes on each horrible situation while also taking television and film to some highly creative places. New programming like Aftermath has found a unique mixture of dramatic and apocalyptic writing that fulfills both the needs for ‘final moments on earth’ intirgue but also relationships and profound connections between characters.
The SyFy show premieres Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 10/9c and rolls all of those elements together, while tackling the drama of one family during the end of days.
PopCultureNow.com spoke with Aftermath co-star Taylor Hickson about the show and her daily drive across an ice road to get to this point in her young career.
Yes, before dealing with a daily battle with death on-screen, the 18-year-old actress traveled the Ice Road Truckers road to get to her auditions -- a real battle with death each day.
"I got into acting just under two years ago," she said. "Total whim. Total fluke. I graduated a year early to pursue my music career. That was all I ever thought about. There was one track and that was the only thing I ever wanted. I had no backup plan and was just going for it. My aunt's sister is an actress out in Vancouver; she messaged me one day asking if I wanted to come in and see this agent who was new, determined, fresh, and looking for teenagers for his roster."
"I explained to her that I have no experience and I didn't know how to act, never watched TV or movies, and didn't know much there. I explained to her I never came to Vancouver so I couldn't really audition. But one day my sister was going down there for a soccer tourney so I went down there, auditioned, they signed me that day, and I've been doing it ever since."
Hickson completely came into her career by talent and chance.
After pivoting her dream, it appears that she has a bright future in acting and her dedication to her new career is impressive.
"I had to drive four hours to every audition so that was four there and four back in a day," Hickson said. "I worked very hard and was driving one of the most dangerous highways in Canada in the winter time. There's a TV show based on it about truckers driving it, and dad thought it was not worth it and that I was risking my life. I wanted to push and try something new. I was very open to it."
Her insistance paid off.
Aftermath follows a family trying to stay together during the apocalypse - Hickson playing Brianna Copeland, the darker sister in the family. This apocalypse features demons, storms, and an overall collapse of the system - something that, deep down, terrifies everyone. It also stars James Tupper as Joshua Copeland; Anne Heche as Karen Copeland; Levi Meaden as Matt Copeland, and Julia Sarah Stone as Dana Copeland.
"Right off the bat, that has been my dream role. I love playing darker characters - grungy, edgy, she is all of that. She's human. She's real," Hickson said. "It's so amazing that I got to explore and build this character. What attracted me to the role and to the show was this dream genre and this dream character. There was nothing more I could ask for. And a look at a different system is terrifying, but it's surreal because one day it could be inevitable. It's like an impending doom. It's very interesting to learn about a new and alien way of living," she said. "That what I love about it."
There are a lot of shows coming out in this genre, but it seems Aftermath has pinpointed an engaging angle that allows us to not just enjoy it from a popcorn entertainment level, but from a deeper, family connection level as well.
"I was the first cast on the show so I got to see the rest of the cast fall into place," Hickson said. "Just watching the rest of the cast work was...beautiful. We got to build our own family behind the scenes."