Alycia Debnam-Carey leaves zombies behind for her follow-up to Fear the Walking Dead.
On Saint X, Debnam-Carey takes on the role of Emily Thomas, an environmental documentary editor trying to unmask the truth about her sister Alison’s (West Duchovny) death several years before.
The series is based on the novel of the same name by Alexis Schaitkin.
Debnam-Carey revealed exclusively to TV Fanatic that she chose not to read the book because she knew there would be distinct changes in the series.
“I didn’t want to cross-pollinate what was happening on set versus in the book,” the star shares.
“So I decided to just focus on the scripts and that character arc as it was being written for the show.”
The star revealed that she waited to read the book until production was completed, and she hopes fans of the show will discover the book.
Debnam-Carey was coming off a seven-season run on Fear the Walking Dead when she landed Saint X.
“I think one of the joys of this job is being to be a chameleon and change, and move to different jobs and work with different people and different characters and different environments.”
Alycia looks at Fear the Walking Dead as a training ground but believes the time was right to move on to a new project.
Alycia says that Emily’s story on Saint X is a story of a “fractured human being that had experienced trauma at such a young age, and it sort of left her frozen in time in a certain sense.”
“She then developed a different personality to cope with that trauma,” Debnam-Carey said, adding that Emily finds herself embodying her sister’s role to fill the void within her family.
“That pressure’s sort of also coming in a way from her parents and that dynamic that they all now had to sort of form around, and even the way she sort of embraced life by moving to a Caribbean neighborhood.”
Alycia said that viewers could pick up on these elements throughout the series but that we should be aware she is, first and foremost, desperate for answers.
Alycia said she approached the role as though Emily had to “marry these two parts of her world back together.”
“It was a search for answers at its very core, for sort of who she is without Alison and also who she is in relation to Clive, because, when we first see them together, they’re friends and he’s lovely, and he’s kind to her.”
“And so for her, she’s trying to understand how this person could have done this crime because it’s not really computing.”
If you’re out of the loop and want to know more about Saint X, the official description is below.
Saint X is told via multiple timelines and explores and upends the girl-gone-missing genre as it explores how a young woman’s mysterious death during an idyllic Caribbean vacation creates a traumatic ripple effect that eventually pulls her surviving sister into a dangerous pursuit of the truth.
The cast also includes Josh Bonzie, Jayden Elijah, Bre Francis, Kenlee Anaya Townsend, Betsy Brandt, and Michael Park.
The first three episodes of Saint X premiere on Hulu on Wednesday, April 26, 2023.
Check out the trailer.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.