BBCA.com had the distinct pleasure of speaking with actress Emily Bevan, who plays Amy Dyer in zombie drama “In the Flesh,” about her character’s past, what it was like on set, and more.
“In the Flesh” is a new 3-part drama airing on BBC America June 6, 7 and 8 at 10pm/9c.
The show has recently been greenlit for a second season after glowing reviews and positive audience reception in the UK.
The series follows zombie teenager Kieren Walker (Luke Newberry) as he becomes reintegrated back into both the local community and the heart of his family after his brutal death.
Bevan plays the unabashed and spirited Amy, who, like Kieren, is a Partially Deceased Syndrome Sufferer, and while in her untreated state as a zombie, she and Kieren hunted bodies together.
“The detail of the makeup was incredible, being able to catch the tiny little veins and the different colors of the veins on the face,” Bevan says. “I had a few different looks: ‘au naturale,’ medicated with cover-up, ‘fresh out of the grave’ and, of course, my rabid state, so I would come on set asking, ‘What are we doing today?’ We spent hours in the makeup chair but it was fun because Nadia (the makeup artist) has such great taste in music.”
Makeup is such a poignant aspect of the show’s success, considering the different ‘states’ the main characters have to experience, and she and Luke (Kieren) had to wear expensive, hand-painted contact lenses that were difficult to apply. “I ended up getting a corneal abrasion,” Bevan says.
How did she prepare for playing a PDS sufferer?
“The project was quite instinctive,” she says. “What’s interesting about Amy is that she has this opportunity to have a second life, and has a healthy sense of perspective. The character is so funny, brave and bold, and unlike any other I’ve seen.”
There are some downsides to her new-found opportunity, however. “The fact that they (PDS sufferers) don’t age is going to present a problem. In time it’s going to be hard. They’ll outlive the people they love, they can’t have children, and they’re just going to keep on going.”
Bevan spoke with writer Dominic Mitchell in pre-production about Amy’s past. Raised by her grandmother and having never met her parents, she went to a girl’s grammar school, and wasn’t used to living in a small, closed-minded environment like Roarton.
“Since her nan has passed, she’s left missing her, and just feels really alone.” Post-zombie, Amy dresses in her nan’s old clothing, and roams around her house. By the time the series begins, “she’s been isolated for a very long time,” Bevan says.
“Amy may have cared too much about what people thought before she died,” Bevan adds. “I think the ballsiness we see in Amy is genuine. She is quite sparky and has loads of energy and is quite brave. And that comes from realizing that it doesn’t matter what people think as much.”
“But she’s also vulnerable,” she adds. “We’re always trying to find people who understand us, and the wonderful thing is that she can actually talk to Kieren about their circumstances.”
So what’s next for Amy?
Emily confirms that she will be in the second (longer) series that begins shooting at the end of the summer.