Alexa Davalos and Chelah Horsdal Interview: ‘The Man in the High Castle’ Season 3

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Amazon’s critically acclaimed dramatic series The Man in the High Castle returned for its third season on October 5, 2018. The cast, including series stars Alexa Davalos, Chelah Horsdal, Rufus Sewell, and Joel de la Fuente, were present at the 2018 New York Comic Con to discuss the new season which finds Juliana (Davalos) “grappling with her destiny after seeking safety in the Neutral Zone.”

Teamed up for roundtable interviews, Davalos and Horsdal talked about their characters, the new season, the scope of the series, and their favorite scenes.

The third season really keeps you on your toes. Is it ever difficult for you to remember which characters you’re interacting know what in which multiverse?

Alexa Davalos: ““No, but I think when you live in something for years and years it sort of becomes part of your makeup. It’s constantly in the back of your mind.”

Who do you think throughout the whole show Juliana will never falter from supporting?

Alexa Davalos: “For her, it’s more of an idea than a person in a lot of ways. I think when you live in a realm where the ceiling is so low and the oppression is so serious and you’re alone, it becomes more about the path that she’s on, the trajectory that she’s on, the focus forward more than any one person. And Trudy – she carries Trudy with her always.”

What’s the atmosphere like on set? Are there ever moments when you can relax and have a little fun?

Chelah Horsdal: “We have a gas. We really do. We have a really great time.”

Alexa Davalos: “We lost it the other day together, actually, so that was the most recent.”

Chelah Horsdal: “It was the first day of the season for shooting and the two of us collapsed into a giggle fit.”

Alexa Davalos: “That happens, and you know what? Thank goodness because it is such a serious world we’re living in.”

Chelah Horsdal: “It almost seems because it’s so dark that the levity that we have in between sort of offsets the ability to be able to go to those deep dark places and be more honest and open.”

What was your favorite scene shooting from season three?

Alexa Davalos: “For different reasons there are always scenes that you love and scenes that you loathe and scenes that are daunting. I don’t have a favorite right off the top of my head.”

Chelah Horsdal: “The 5th Avenue – the parade – John’s parade as he’s been elevated. It was a really intense, beautiful day. We had 300 background there. We had 50 makeup artists. We were shooting in this huge open area that they had built a whole bunch of what you see on screen. We had green screens; we had 20 green screens that were being moved around by machines constantly. It was just logistically one of those days where you go, ‘This is what I do.’ Like, it was a really…the scale of it was extraordinary. My least favorite scene was having to take care of Alice Adler.”

The Man in the High Castle season 3

Conor Leslie as Trudy Walker and Alexa Davalos as Juliana Crain in ‘The Man in the High Castle’ season 3 (Photo Credit: Liane Hentscher/Amazon Prime Video)

Speaking of the scale, since the first season has the production noticeably increased in size? Or does it feel like an intimate production?

Alexa Davalos: “It feels intimate. I mean, certainly our production designer Drew Boughton is a genius. She’s hands-down a genius and creates the most magnificent spaces for us and has done since day one. It doesn’t feel like it’s shifted, really. We have much larger sequences, certainly, and the third season toward the end that whole set piece was… I mean, it’s an airplane hangar. The thing is enormous. That certainly is the biggest that we’ve had.”

Chelah Horsdal: “That being said, starting shooting season four – I’m not going to give anything away – but there is the largest stunt sequence that is ever happened on The Man in the High Castle in the first episode. It’s a feat what they have put together, our two stunt coordinators. Well, our one this year because Jeff (Aro) left. We have a married couple who are our stunt coordinators on the show or have been up until this year. But now Maja Aro is our coordinator and she put together an incredible sequence.”

Can you tell us if you were both personally involved with that stunt?

Chelah Horsdal: “I will never reveal that.”

What about the character journeys this season? What kind of journeys are they on as people?

Chelah Horsdal: “Helen starts in such a place of deep devastation. She’s utterly heartbroken and unable to, I think, even cope in any way. I think what I feel like is through the course of the season you see her completely fall apart at the seams and then come back to some strength. I get goosebumps when I think about it because she arrives back at certainly the woman and the character that I began to know in seasons one and two of making this really strong decision for the primary reasons of protecting her daughters. That’s everything. So, it was a really fun sort of melting and then coming back together towards the end.”

Alexa Davalos: “I think at the end of two, to be honest, we find her in that really broken place. She has to find a way…I think she’s the kind of person ultimately in this season where if you sit still for too long and really sit in what you’ve experienced, you may not be able to continue. She’s just trying to survive, ultimately. And obviously the mid-season arc of it all was extremely painful and difficult. She carries that with her as well. She’s a soldier. She’s going to keep going.”

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