In Utopia Amazonia, a group of comic book lovers met online because of their general obsession with a dark comic called Dystopia, which eventually predicted a series of disasters and diseases. When the sequel, Utopia, is published, the group meets in person and tries to buy the manuscript, only to discover that the diseases and horrors that appear in the pages of an almost mythical book are actually real and will soon be drawn into a dangerous conspiracy to save the world.
Among those involved in the conspiracy is a girl named Alice. Alice, represented by Farrah Mackenzie, is a friendly and sensitive young girl who is unconsciously drawn into the chaos, but soon becomes an important ally of the group, especially when the reality of her position becomes clear – as does her ability to take care of herself and others when things get difficult.
Recently she talked to Mackenzie about her experience with Utopia, what she had learned from the acting talents of veterans Rayne Wilson and John Cusack, her love for horror films and what she hopes for the next season of Utopia.
(Photo: JSquared Photography, Amazon)
What prompted you to act?
Farrah Mackenzie: My mom and dad were actors. My grandparents met on Broadway. So actually my whole family was in the company and I was told that I had natural acting abilities. And I still enjoy playing with friends and cousins, and it seemed appropriate for my family that I started playing professionally.
That’s amazing. I think you can say it was in your blood.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Now most of my readers will meet you in Utopia, where, as I said, you play Alice, who has such an interesting and surprisingly important character. I think when we first meet her, we won’t realize how important she’ll be. How did you get this role? What was that process?
The first audition was about a year ago, and I had to cancel it because of the 5-second summer soundtrack. Oh, sorry, I meant the first audition was two years ago, not a year ago like I said. A year ago, no, two years ago. So I had to cancel my first audition because I had a five-second sound check in the summer.
But fortunately we were able to move it. I went through that process and the recall was about a month later and I met Gillian [Flynn] and Toby [Haynes] for the first time.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And then another month for a second reminder. And a few days later, I got a phone call.
(Photo: JSquared Photography)
Has this particular role aroused your interest in anything in particular?
When I first auditioned, I didn’t really know the character. So I didn’t know much about her, but I read a little script and I thought: Oh, okay. So this girl, she’s a little different from me, and I like to play roles that aren’t mine, to make her completely original and represent my own character. And I just loved the story, so crazy and cool.
Alice is a great character. After all, she does a lot of things that even adult characters don’t do. In fact, it often happens that in this situation she looks more like an adult than an adult person. She’s even killing somebody. Is it a wild thing we’re not expecting? What was it like to get into that aspect of the character?
Well, of course, I’ve never killed anyone before. So it was a little crazy to think and get into that headroom, but I just thought about it. I’ve been thinking about his position, his friend’s position and what’s going on. She and the gang really needed Jessica. So she decided to take a step forward and I knew what was going on. So I put myself in his shoes.
What do you think was the hardest thing to play with Alice?
Well, of course, again, I didn’t have to do what Alice was going through. And I wish I could paint a portrait of this heroine, but it was pretty hard to imagine myself in the circumstances of her life.
Absolutely. Because his situation is certainly not what I think it is… I hope most people in the real world never have to worry, because it’s a lot.
Yes, of course.
There are now some incredible actors in the cast of Utopia. Everyone has done a fantastic job, but there are a few people who are making an entire career out of it. I think like Rayne Wilson and John Cusack. It’s both… Especially John Cusack has a long history in the industry and has a lot of merit for him. As a young actor, what is it like to work with them and to know that they have all these experiences? And did you learn anything from them?
It was an honor to work with them and meet both of them. They were absolutely great, great people, great actors. The first man in the cast I met was John Cusack. He was so hospitable and so kind. And Rayne was so funny backstage. And to learn to be good, I mean, it’s so fun to watch. They seemed so natural, and they just have this ability. So I’m going to observe exactly what they’re going to do, study them and their actions and try to learn from them.
You saw something concrete, and if you were there, I could learn from it. I want to remember that for my next role.
Well, I really want to do a lot of terrible, scary things. So I watched Rayna Wilson in a scene where he was usually tortured, and I just saw how, wow, this is so real. It looks so real. But he wasn’t really hurt. And I really learned from him, because I hope to be there in horror movies or thrillers or especially in his position. Not in real life, but in a movie or something. So I learned from him.
You said you wanted to know more about the horror and thriller genre.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
What about the kind you’re attracted to? Are you a big fan of horror?
Oh, yeah, I’m a big fan of horror. I love all the horrors. Somehow I like it, even if it scares me. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. No, it’s just a lot of fun.
Do you have a favorite horror movie?
Probably computer science, newer.
If Utopia gets a second season, what’s the hope in Alice?
Well, I know she usually goes to sunset with Ian at the end of the first season, and I hope we have that dynamic duo connection where… I hope so, because that seems to be happening right now. But I also hope to find Grant and Becky, put a team together, save Jessica and continue our journey.
Utopia is now aired on Amazon Prime Video.