Taylor Hickson, determined and passionate, graduated high school a year early to pursue her lifelong dream in the music industry. Her aunt, however, had a different path in mind, sending Hickson’s headshot to a new agent in her talent agency. The 16-year-old decided to take a risk, met with the agent, and was signed that same day. Two years later, Hickson is thankful for that decision. First acting alongside Ryan Reynolds in “Deadpool” and now starring in Syfy’s new show, “Aftermath,” Hickson is taking this unfamiliar industry by storm.
You basically went from having small parts in a few films to acting alongside Ryan Reynolds in “DeadPool” to now starring in this new show, “Aftermath.” How did this all happen so quickly?
(laughs) It’s been very overwhelming. I had to move to strange cities, away from my family. I had to pick up on the business side very quickly. Although I’ve only been acting for two years, I’ve worked very hard to be where I am, and I’m so grateful. The production team and the network just saw potential in me.
Have you always been interested in acting? You mention that you’ve only done this for two years- did you know you wanted to do this?
No! It was very spur of the moment. My aunt actually texted me saying that a new agent joined her agency and was very driven and determined. I was like, “what are you getting at?” She said that she sent him my picture and he liked my look, and he wanted to meet me and have an audition with me. I told her I didn’t have any experience; I didn’t know how to act, I hardly watch TV, and I never go to Vancouver, which is four hours away. She said to let her know whenever I could get down, and she’d secure something. That weekend, my sister actually had a soccer tournament in Vancouver, so I went down, and he signed me that day!
Wow, what a way to start a career!
(laughs) Yeah. Super random!
Can you tell me a little about Aftermath? From the trailer, it looks like apocalypse meets aliens meets mythology.
(laughs) You hit the nail on the head! It’s a family, trying to survive. It’s a battle between supernatural beings, creatures, freak storms, earthquakes, comets, solar flares, and volcanic eruptions. The beauty of the show is that there are endless possibilities! Alongside that, you get the family struggle with it- all the relationships. It’s very humane and real, and that’s what is beautiful about it. It centers very well on oblivion. Humans love oblivion, and I think you get that from the family dynamic. It’s so much easier to ignore the bigger picture. I think that’s one of the reasons the family has survived this far, as well as keeping them sane. Humans love oblivion and ignore the inevitable.
When the show starts, will the audience automatically know what’s happening or will it take you through the back story of it all?
It’s right off the bat! You are thrown into it- the beginning of the end of the world. I just recently watched the pilot, and I was like, “What is going on!?” It is so fast paced- so much all at once. You should DVR it so you can watch it more than once to catch everything! I was going, “What the hell just happened!?”
Good advice! And you play the middle child, Brianna?
Technically. Brianna is two minutes older than her twin, and she definitely holds that above her. (laughs) We have an older brother, too.
What’s her relationship with her siblings and her family?
She’s the black sheep of the family. She definitely embraces being different, but it’s also her biggest problem and her greatest internal struggle. In the beginning, she’s very social at school. You can tell she’s popular, she’s into boys, and her twin is super nerdy. That’s why I think the twins struggle with their relationship. Brianna socially exceeds in her life while Dana does better at home. Our parents are proud of her and her educational success at school. They live in each other’s shadows. There’s a lot about the twins and their relationship. Growing up, it was a very prominent problem. There’s competitiveness, and I think that’s more from Brianna’s side. The older brother, Matt, feels a little bit out of the loop. He turns the twins on each other a lot for his own amusement!
Like every older brother!
Yeah, he’s become the older brother I never had!
What’s it like to work with the rest of the cast?
Oh, the cast is so funny, super quirky, very talented, intelligent, and just remarkable people! We’ve built our own little family. That was probably my favorite part of the entire show.
Is it weird to go from being an ordinary teenager to being a star of a TV show?
(laughs) I mean, nothing crazy has happened yet. I’m just doing what I love! The only thing that’s different is how overwhelming the business side of the industry is. You have to pick up on that very quickly. That’s what’s really changed for me. I’m very lucky I have the cast I have because they made a home away from home. I’m four hours away from my family, and my siblings. My real siblings are my best friends, but it’s comforting to have this cast!
You have an incredible voice, too! You’ve written original songs. Do you see yourself in the music industry?
That was originally my game plan! I graduated a year early, at 16, so I could do that. That’s why it was kind of weird to stray away from the only thing I’ve really known. I’ve been writing a little bit, and we’ll see where that goes. Mostly, I just write for myself while I’m filming. It keeps me very busy. The only time I really get to song write is the middle of the night. I wake up, and my hand is moving, and I’m trying to find something to write on! (laughs)
To wrap things up: What’s something you just totally nerd out about? A certain singer? Actor? Movie genre?
Oh, that would be my music! I write down my feelings a lot. I write songs. I creative write for myself. I have a journal. I perform in public bathrooms, which embarrasses my siblings! (laughs) Just when I have to get Love Shack by B-52’s out of my system! Basically, it doesn’t matter what I’m doing. I make it nerdy, just by doing it!
Aftermath premieres September 27th at 10 pm on Syfy.