HAYLEY PHELAN: Your character Lexa on The 100 was a fan favorite. What is it like to have a cult following?
DEBNAM-CAREY: My friend asked me recently, “Do you find it weird that you are now the property of other people’s imaginations?” I hadn’t thought about that before, this passionate following, with fan fiction and artwork. At first it felt like an invasion of privacy, but then I realized it’s nice that the character can be shared.
PHELAN: What’s the biggest difference between Lexa and your character Alicia onFear the Walking Dead?
DEBNAM-CAREY: To go from playing a character that was so self-assured, so mature beyond her years, and so kick-ass and ruthless to someone who’s quite normal is interesting. Playing normal is hard; especially playing normal that’s not you. The biggest challenge in playing Alicia is trying to make a teenage girl seem fully formed and not the quintessential moody teenager with a quippy, sassy line here and there.
PHELAN: What were you like as a teenager?
DEBNAM-CAREY: Everyone sort of feels alienated at that point, so it’s hard to say whether I felt like that because everyone does or because I was so focused on acting [since the age of 8]. I did go to a performing arts school, so that facilitated my creativity, though I ended up going in a more musical direction.
PHELAN: What did you play?
DEBNAM-CAREY: I studied classical percussion for ten years. At one point I was thinking about going to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, but then I realized it’s actually not what I wanted to do.
PHELAN: If you weren’t an actor, what would you be?
DEBNAM-CAREY: I would love to do something with space. I’m obsessed with it. I just can’t stop reading about it or watching videos about it or listening to TED Talks about it.
PHELAN: Have you learned any cool facts recently?
DEBNAM-CAREY: I did. There is one living organism, called a tardigrade, that has survived the five great mass extinctions on Earth, and it can survive in vacuums in space and boiling hot water and freezing subzero temperatures.