Epix has a hit on their hands with FROM.
The horror series about a town keeping its residents hostage while unleashing monsters on them at night has been an enjoyable ride since its debut. And the stellar cast has a lot to do with that.
Avery Konrad plays townie Sara, who is harboring several secrets. We talked to Avery about all things Sara, the FROM audition process, and the family feel amongst the cast.
We also got to chat with her about what she's currently watching, what projects she's got coming up, and a host of other things. Enjoy this wonderful discussion down below.
Hi, Avery, how are you?
Avery: Hi, I'm good. Thanks. How are you?
I'm doing great. Thank you. I wanted to talk about FROM first. It's out, and it's getting great feedback from the public. You guys put a lot of work into the show. How does it feel to see the public response now?
Avery Konrad: It's honestly really crazy. And this is going to sound silly, but I feel like I haven't even processed getting the role, let alone making it. The fact that it's out and people are liking it and are invested in it is surreal.
I can imagine. It has a really great social media presence. FROM does. It's been fun seeing the fans theorize during the episodes. Do you enjoy seeing all the different theories floating around about Sara and about the other aspects of the series?
Avery: Yeah, it's so fun. I love how people are jumping in with fan theories and all that kind of thing and tweeting me and just seeing what they say about Sara and all that kind of stuff is really fun to engage with them.
How's that feedback been? People don't really know what's going on with Sara.
Avery: Everyone thinks she's insane, which is really honestly funny to me because playing the role, I had to get her, obviously in a different way than she's going to be received from everybody else, or it wouldn't make sense for me to go through shooting if I was thinking about it that way.
So, to have it be completely out of my hands because she's so near and dear to my heart, it's like I'm giving her away, which has been an interesting thing. But yeah, I love hearing everyone's thoughts on how things are going to unfold.
And since FROM is horror and science fiction, and within that genre, you're dealing with some dark material. So did you have to get into a certain headspace with the material for Sara because it is dark?
Avery: Oh, definitely. Yeah, I was definitely in a bit of a space shooting this show, and it was a huge challenge just because the content is really heavy, and there's a lot going on with her all the time. So I really had to prepare myself for that. And I had a lot of support from Jack and John as well, as we were on set, and stuff like that.
But yeah, it was a huge challenge. And at the end of the day, sometimes it would get to me, and I would carry the work home with me. Thankfully I had the rest of the cast to lean on who were going through the same thing and would talk it out, and all that kind of stuff. That was super cool to have everyone there to lean on as well.
That's great. What was the audition process like for FROM?
Avery: So, the audition process, I got the breakdown for FROM, man, when was it? Well, we started shooting in, it was like March, maybe, last year.
And I read the breakdown, and as soon as I saw that Jack and Jeff were attached to it, and it was the creators of Lost and the executives, I was super excited because I was always such a huge fan of Lost. So that was super cool. And then I read the breakdown for Sara, and it got even more interesting.
She's such an interesting character, and there's so much going on, which is kind of every actor's dream to play a character as in-depth as she is. I was thrilled to even have the audition in the first place. So yeah, I did the initial tape, and then a couple weeks later, I found out that I got a screen test for Sara.
But the funny thing about this is, I don't usually do things like this, but there was something about this project, something about this role, that felt different to me. So I wrote in one of my notebooks that I booked the role, even though this was after my very first tape that I did.
And then I found out I got this screen test, and I was like, "Oh, this is interesting." And I did the screen test, and I found out less than 24 hours later that I booked the role. And I was on a plane in a couple weeks, and we started shooting shortly after that.
Wow. That's really cool. It's like, you manifested it.
Avery: Yeah, totally. Which I never really do stuff like that, but I was like, "I got to do ..." Because everything is so out of your control in this industry. So I was like, "Well, I did the work. So what can I do now? I guess I'll try to do everything that I can." So yeah, it seemed to work, and I'm so ecstatic about it, still.
That's great. So, horror as a genre it's one of those things where I feel like you either love horror or don't like it at all. Are you a horror fan, and what is it about horror that you think people enjoy?
Avery: I think what people enjoy about horror is everything is so unexpected all the time, obviously. And the adrenaline rush, I think, brings people in. Also, I find that the storylines are always super intriguing as well.
Because there's so many different things that you can do in so many different ways that you can go with horror, which I think is really interesting.
I personally get scared really easily. So I don't watch a ton of horror. But as far as my career goes, I seem to always kind of fall into the horror genre in some sort of way, which is pretty funny.
But I love the challenge of doing horror, and trying to make it as grounded and truthful as possible is always one of my goals when I step into any project. Those are a couple things that I like to focus on.
Yeah. I was always curious because, you know, one of the ways when I watch horror, I'm always like, "It's not real. It's not real," to kind of get through it. When filming scary things like that on set, does it actually feel scary when you're filming it? Or is it kind of just these are the roles, this is the lines, and you just kind of go through it?
Avery: I think it's so important to put yourself in the circumstances, or else it's not going to read. To me personally, I always like to put myself in those circumstances as truthfully as possible as this character. How would they feel? How would they react? And I feel like the performance is always more truthful and genuine when you just-
When you like, dig in.
Avery: Yeah. When you dig in and get into it. So definitely, yeah. It can be scary always because the content is daunting. That part in itself can feed into it as well and can kind of help you get to that place. But for me personally, it's always so important to be as there in those circumstances as possible.
Sure, sure. And you kind of touched on this earlier when I asked you about the headspace for the role. That one thing I like about From is that all the relationships feel really earned and authentic. And you guys, it feels there's a family feel to the show. So, what was the filming experience like with all the cast and crew?
Avery: I'm so glad you brought this up because I always say how close we were. And I'm so happy to hear that it translates through a viewing experience. Because we truthfully all love each other so much and all had a family dynamic, each and every one of us have our own special relationships with each other.
And we would get together on the weekends, and we have a huge group chat with all of us, and we're all talking all the time, still.
And yeah, I think just like you said, that's what makes the show so special is because we all have genuine relationships with each other, off-camera. That no matter who you see on camera together, we all have friendships with each other and care about each other a lot.
Yeah. It definitely translates. I think really, really well. Those relationships feel very lived-in if that makes sense.
Avery: Yeah. I love that. That's great feedback. Thank you.
Yeah, you're welcome. I'm not sure how much you can touch upon this yet, but is there anything you can tell us a bit more about Sara? Because she's kind of an enigma. She's hard to figure out, so what was she like before she came to the town? Did she have any hopes and dreams, things like that?
Avery: And there's not too much I can reveal as far as Sara goes, just because there's so many layers to her. But if you continue to tune in, you'll definitely get some answers. And that's all I can kind of say on that topic.
Okay. I totally understand. Sara's the one character I'm like, "I just want to know so much more about her."
What is something that you hope people take away from the show?
Avery: Yeah, because of how universally something that we can relate to is going through this pandemic.
There's not one person who didn't experience it, and I'm sure we've all felt scared, and we were trapped and like there were no answers, and there was no way out. And that's exactly what all of these people are going through on this show.
Which I think maybe subconsciously will land with people without them even realizing it because it's been in the back of our heads for a few years now and something we've been trying to navigate as well. So I think that will land with people and I mean, the writing is so good, and the story's so good.
The acting's amazing. The cast is great. Everything. Everyone's just so talented. And I just hope people enjoy watching this mystery unfold.
I know we're definitely enjoying it so far. Is there anything you can tease for us or things we should get excited about for the rest of the season?
Avery: You'll definitely get answers. I'll say it's a rollercoaster ride for sure. And yeah, it's going to be a ton of fun to watch if you continue to tune in.
Okay, cool. Switching gears from FROM, I was reading that you got into acting at an early age. Did you have any early influences that sparked your interest in acting, or was there something specific that got you into acting?
Avery: Honestly, I don't know what it was that made me feel like this was something I wanted to do. My mom told me that I went up to her one day and said, "This is something I want to try." And so, I was homeschooled my whole life.
And I had neighbors who I kind of idolized, and they're older than me, and I did everything that they did and was the first thing that I kind of expressed that I wanted to try on my own.
My mom put me in a class, and I am also dyslexic, so schooling was always a little bit difficult for me. And I think the thing that I loved about acting was that it was the first place I felt accepted in the way that I thought.
And that was celebrated, and I could express myself in a way that made sense because there was no right or wrong. There's no black and white as far as it comes to acting, which felt liberating for me. And I think that has kind of carried me through to where I am today.
That's really great. I also read that you are a trained dancer, which is incredible. I'm very curious whether there are aspects of dance that you can carry over into your acting career.
Avery: Oh, 100%. Dancing has taught me, not just in the art form, but it teaches you to be a team player. It teaches you to show up on time. You're not only accountable for yourself but everybody else you're dancing with. It teaches you to be part of a team. It teaches you to be always prepared, on time.
Very punctual, which I think is very important in this industry. I was actually saying earlier today, I'm like, it's all that dance training I've had from when I was dancing to carry me through to where I am today, as far as all of that stuff goes. So many life lessons that I think are so important.
I was thinking, depending on the role, of course, but even body control, you know what I mean? That's something that could be very important in a certain role you might have that you'd be able to learn from dance.
Avery: Yeah. As far as physicality goes, it gives you an edge up just because you're so aware of your body, which can also be a hindrance because you are so aware of your body. I have super long limbs, so I'll be very aware of my arms sometimes.
And I'm like, "What are my arms doing?" Which is kind of funny. And my acting coach makes fun of me for it sometimes because I'm just so lanky, and she is like, "Avery, what are you doing with your arms?" I'm like, "I don't know. They're just floating around."
But yeah, it definitely gives you an edge up for anybody who has a dance background. Physicality is so huge when it comes to film and TV, I think.
I would totally agree with that. Is there any advice that you would give to younger people who are interested in acting?
Avery: My first piece of advice would be to take a class because I think that's the most important thing. The second thing would be to do it because you love it, and it fuels you, not because you want recognition for something.
Just because that will only take you so far. I mean, it will take you somewhere, I'm sure, but you got to be determined, and you got to work hard, and you have to believe in yourself because there will be other people who don't believe in you. You have to be the one who kind of pushes yourself as well.
Yeah, for sure. That's good advice.
So as the name states, I work for TV Fanatic, so we are massive fans of television. I was curious: Are there any television you are currently watching and enjoying?
Avery: Honestly, right at this moment, I don't have time to watch anything, which is unfortunate. Okay. I will be honest. I am re-watching Gilmore Girls for like the 18th time, so that's one thing.
But as far as other things go, I love the Queen's Gambit. I really love Cheer just because of the dance background. I love watching people working together that are conquering their goals, and all that kind of thing was super inspiring to me.
Yeah, that was my next question. I was going to say what kind of shows pique your interest and why?
Avery: I honestly love competition TV shows. There's this glass-blowing show on Netflix that I go crazy for, which is something people laugh at me for it. I'm like, "No, listen. They're so talented." I love watching them do their thing. It's so cool.
I really like Cheer. If it's a guilty pleasure show, I like Selling Sunset, that type of thing. And then I still haven't finished the second season of Euphoria.
Are you more into episodic television, or do you like to binge a series?
Avery: I'm a fan of both! I like having something to look forward to entertainment-wise if it's episodic. But if I'm super invested in something, I want to binge it right away.
Do you have any upcoming projects you can tease for us to be on the lookout for?
Avery: I do! I just wrapped a movie called "Honor Society" it's a comedy starring Angourie Rice and Gaten Matarazzo. It's a coming-of-age story. I play Emma, one of Honor's (Rice's) best friends. She's super colorful and funny, couldn't be more opposite of FROM. I'm excited for people to see my goofy/funny side in this film.
We had a ton of fun shooting it and will be out on Paramount Plus later this year!
Avery is currently starring in From, which airs on Epix Sundays at 9/8c.
***This interview has been edited for length and clarity.***
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.