Magic, secret societies, and monsters – the perfect ingredients to your new favorite sci-fi thriller. Earlier this month, Netflix released The Order, a show about a boy named Jack Morton who is trying to avenge his mother’s death. Rising star Sarah Grey plays “Alyssa,” Jack’s partner in crime. Grey shares with us some behind-the-scenes anecdotes from set, what she admires in her character Alyssa, and a message on embracing yourself and everything you have to offer. Read our conversation below!
By looking at your acting background, it looks like you gravitate towards action shows and films (Power Rangers and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow). Have you always wanted to star in action-based films?
I didn’t know that would be a common theme for me. As an intensely sensitive and feeling child, I pictured my start in the industry being some dramatic indie film that would circuit the film festivals. I never imagined I’d be flying in red and blue spandex, or casting magical spells, but here we are! … Honestly, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It’s been a blast.
Now, tell me what’s behind the superpowers. How would you describe yourself?
Why is this question always the hardest? Externally, I can be extremely silly, but internally, I can take life way too seriously. I’ve always been an observer… I love to listen rather than talk. I’m a deeply feeling human… so I guess I’m in the right industry. I’m a romantic, who loves to laugh, and am extremely passionate about personal growth.
Was the transition from action-based films to a horror series challenging?
Not at all! For each acting job, I use similar tools to understand and break down the character, I just shift the overall tone depending on the style of the show. I think the writing itself can do that naturally, as long as you understand what the writer is going for.
You play “Alyssa” in the Netflix Original horror-drama The Order. For anyone who has not heard of it, could you tell us about the show and your role?
The Order revolves around magic, monsters, and secret societies. The show follows college freshman “Jack Morton” whose life long goal has been to seek revenge on his absentee father, who he believes is responsible for his mother’s death. To do so he joins a secret society where he discovers, not only are they performing the dark arts, but that they are at an underground war with werewolves, and Jack finds himself caught in the middle. There is an immediate curiosity and connection between Jack and my character, “Alyssa.”
How did the role of Alyssa come about?
I just did one audition for our producers and director, which is bizarre. Usually, the auditioning process is drawn out with many callbacks and screen tests, but mine was fairly quick and painless! I wish they could all be like that, haha.
What drew you to the script and to your character?
First off, I’ve always been obsessed with magic, so I’m naturally drawn to that. Secondly, I loved the comedy in the script. I think that’s what sets this one apart. It’s hilarious, while also being dark, adventurous, and romantic. I loved Alyssa because she was such a powerhouse. She’s a strong female lead, and I feel so fortunate that I was the one to portray her.
How would you describe Alyssa? Do you connect to her in any ways?
Alyssa is extremely intelligent and focused. “The Order” is what’s given her purpose in her life, and that makes her fiercely loyal to it. At the end of the day, she’s just another young adult trying to find her place in this world. I can connect to most things about Alyssa, but the way that we carry ourselves is quite different. I think we are both empathetic people, trying to do what’s right. Alyssa is a bit more self-assured and confident in her abilities, which is what I admire about her.
While The Order is a horror series, the show also humor to it. What was your favorite scene to film?
Alyssa is the level headed one, surrounded by hilarious characters. So the real acting happens when I have to try and keep a straight face. It’s always hard to pick a favorite because the entire experience was so fun. Without saying too much, there is an intense scene between Alyssa and Gabrielle. We were just happy to get through it without breaking into laughter. We’re pretty close, so if one of us started, we wouldn’t have been able to stop.
What was the scariest scene for you to watch?
There’s a scene where something called an “elemental transference” takes place. That one made me squirm. You’ll see why!
Besides memorizing lines, early mornings, and typical actor-life routines, what do you like to do in your free time?
I like to sing and write music with my guitar, dance, be in nature, and laugh with friends until my sides hurt.
The more you love yourself, the more love you can spread for everyone else.
Give a shout out to someone you look up to!
I really look up to Kristin Bell. I think she’s a phenomenal role model. I respect her, not only for her hard work and talent but also what she does with the platform she’s been given. She’s raw and honest about her personal struggles with anxiety and depression. She’s helping break the mental health stigma, and I think that’s so powerful.
Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
I just want to put out a little reminder that what someone presents to the world is most often an edited, touched up, and heightened version of themselves. At the end of the day, we are all human, we all have struggles, and we don’t need to be ashamed of that. Perfection is boring. The flaws, quirks, and ups and downs are what make life so damn beautiful. Embrace them. The more you love yourself, the more love you can spread for everyone else.
STORY MEGHANA PATNANA
PHOTOS HUDSON TAYLOR
STYLIST CHRIS HORAN
MAKEUP ADAM BREUCHAUD
HAIR DEREK YUEN