You will soon know Emilia McCarthy as one half of the twins from Netflix new original series Hemlock Grove. Her character, Alyssa Sworn, daughter of Sheriff Tom Sworn (played by Battlestar Galactica alumn Aaron Douglas) along with her sister Alexa (Eliana Jones) are very welcome comic relief and also quite the friends to main character, Christina Wendall (Freya Tingley). Expect some great banter between these ladies.
TV Equals got a chance to chat with Emilia McCarthy about her role in Hemlock Grove, creating a twin bond, her first meeting with series star Landon Liboiron, her future projects and more.
Enjoy the full interview below and don’t forget to watch Hemlock Grove on Friday April 19th when Netflix will release all 13 episodes from the first season at once.
How would you describe ‘Hemlock Grove’ in one word?
Emilia McCarthy: In one word? Ooh, that’s tricky. I would say unique.
How would you describe your character, Alyssa, the daughter of the sheriff, to people who haven’t seen the show yet?
Emilia McCarthy: I’d say that Alyssa is probably one of the most typical teenagers in it, compared to the other ones, I think. She’s definitely a heightened typical teenager, but in a way she is kind of relatable even though she’s definitely out there. Both twins are definitely out there. Definitely, they’re comic relief for sure.
Speaking of your twin sister, you actually look alike and have a great chemistry. How did you achieve that?
Emilia McCarthy: Honestly, we met at the chemistry test, and it was just kind of a natural connection. We didn’t know each other before that chemistry test audition. So it was really just fate, I guess.
How was it working with Freya [Tingley]?
Emilia McCarthy: Freya, she is a fantastic actress. She is from Australia, and I mean that was a great topic. We talked about that a lot. We always love hearing her accent, but yeah, working with Freya is fantastic. She’s so nice. She’s so sweet. She’s a great joy to work with.
There’s a great scene where you guys are getting ready for a party, and you are having this really funny banter. Will there be more of those types of moments?
Emilia McCarthy: Definitely the three of us are kind of like the three best friends, and there is a lot of those type of moments where it is just us. A lot of it is actually ad-libbed. We did a lot of that which I feel gives more of a natural feel to it, and obviously that shows onscreen as well.
What can you tease about what’s coming up this season, and specifically for your character?
Emilia McCarthy: There is a lot more of the comic relief kind of. I feel like our characters, right when there is that suspenseful moment and it’s all mystery, there’s a lot more mystery that’s going to happen. I feel like our characters just give a lot of that sort of different, kind of switch to the show. It’s a tricky thing to do because the show is dark and mysterious, and then us twins are kind of like a lighter kind of aspect to it. But I think that it gives a different kind of vibe to it, which I think is good.
Will you guys have more scenes with your dad, Sheriff Swoon (Aaron Douglas)?
Emilia McCarthy: Yes. There is more scenes with our dad, and definitely there’s some twisting moments that are going to happen, but yeah, speaking of our dad, Aaron Douglas who plays our dad is fantastic. He’s great, great to work with. He makes us feel so comfortable and we really enjoy working with Aaron.
What was the most memorable or surprising moment you had during production?
Emilia McCarthy: The most memorable moment, I have to say, would be meeting Landon [Liboiron] who plays Peter, and actually it was kind of funny. The very first time that we spoke, he comes up to me and he goes, ‘Hey, do you know where the wash room is,’ and I don’t know why, but I just found that really funny, that that was the first moment that we had meeting each other. But that’s definitely memorable because I love Landon. I watched him on ‘Degrassi.’ So it was definitely funny, that that was like my meeting moment with him. ‘Where’s the wash room?’ I’m like, ‘Wait. I know you. Hold on.’
The series will be released on Netflix, and every episode will be available all at once. How would you suggest viewers watch the show, all at once, or one at a time or two at a time? What’s the best approach, in your opinion?
Emilia McCarthy: Yeah, see that’s the thing. I feel like each person can do it however they want. That’s the beauty about it, that it’s flexible that way and there’s not just one specific way you can watch it. You can watch it any way you like. It’s up to the specific person.
How would you watch it?
Emilia McCarthy: What I’m going to do is I’m just going to watch all of them in, like, one day. I’m not going to be able to wait. I have to watch all of them for once.
So you’re ready for April 19? It’ll be ‘Hemlock Grove’ day?
Emilia McCarthy: Yes it is. I’m bringing some friends and the whole day, we’re just going to have a marathon. It’s going to be really fun.
Do you have any upcoming projects?
Emilia McCarthy: Yeah, I do. I have a YTV web-series called ‘Unlikely Heroes,’ and that’s definitely different than ‘Hemlock Grove.’ It’s more of a family show. It’s light. It’s a fun show, and also I have another web series called ‘Kid’s Town’ which is still mid production. We’re still filming that. We wrap up in June. That’s also kind of like a kids’ show. It’s fun. It’s silly, that type. So definitely different from ‘Hemlock Grove’ for sure.
If you could guest star on any show, which one would it be?
Emilia McCarthy: Ooh, I’m going to have to say ‘Pretty Little Liars.’ That is like my all time favorite show. While I was filming ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ which I was on as a guest, I met Yani Gellman who plays Garrett on ‘Pretty Little Liars.’ That was huge for me. And because now I’ve made that connection, that would be great, to be on the show.
Who would you want to be on the show?
Emilia McCarthy: I’ve thought about this, and I feel like I could be Hannah’s long, lost sister.
I can totally see that.
Emilia McCarthy: Yeah. Ashley Benson and I, I see it. I see it.
(Top & Bottom Photo Credit: S. Markus Mathurin – Middle photo Courtesy of Netflix)