'The Man in the High Castle' Will Make You Sympathise With Nazis, Says Alexa Davalos
One of the stars of dystopian drama 'The Man in the High Castle' has suggested that the new series could have you rooting for the Nazis
Express, 16 November 2015
American actress Alexa Davalos, who plays the lead role of Juliana in the show, says that viewers may end up feeling sorry for some of the more unsavoury characters.
'The Man in the High Castle' envisages a world where Hitler wins the Second World War with the help of the Japanese, leading to America being carved up between the two superpowers.
However, with the Fuhrer close to the end of his reign, a power struggle has begun between the Nazis and the Japanese that could end with the dropping of a nuclear bomb.
The 10-part series explores what it’s like for people living under this totalitarian regime through the characters of Juliana, her boyfriend Frank Frink and undercover Nazi agent Joe Blake. The show also features the American-born Nazi commander John Smith, played by British star Rufus Sewell.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Alexa said that viewers would end up sympathising with the Nazis.
“I don’t want to give anything away but… yeah,” the 33-year-old actress admitted.
She went on to explain: “Rufus Sewell is so incredibly brilliant in this show, just chillingly powerful and quiet. He’s spectacular.
“He brings a level of humanity to that character that you can’t really wrap your head around it but you feel for him – that’s the power of something like this. [It] really puts everything on its head.”
Given the grave topic of the show, Alexa said that things would be getting dark and promised some scenes that would be “absolutely mind-blowingly, excruciating to experience” for audiences.
Yet she said that it wouldn’t simply be a descent into the abyss: “There’s definitely ups and downs and there’s so many surprises.
“You really find yourself in some moments really rooting for characters that you would never ever root for.
“There’s this twist on your own emotional barometer and your own moral barometer. It really makes you question things, which is a fascinating ride.”
Alexa prepared for the role by reading the original novel of the same name by 'Blade Runner' author Philip K Dick and finding out more about the Second World War.
She had previously done extensive research for her part in the 2008 film 'Defiance', which saw her star opposite Daniel Craig. 'Defiance' was set during the Nazi occupation of Belarus and was based on real-life accounts of a group of Jewish resistance fighters.
Alexa also looked into Japanese culture, explaining: “That character is growing up in that culture, that’s all she knows.”
Juliana also practices the ancient marital art of Aikido, which Alexa described as “fascinating” and a “moving meditation” that required her to be “completely present” in the moment when she was learning it.
“It’s very much about taking the opponent’s energy and turning it back on them, which became quite an integral key to Juliana for me. She’s not outwardly aggressive but she’s able to take whatever comes her way and sort of channel it back,” Alexa explained.
She said that she was drawn to the role by the intricacy of character. Coincidentally Alexa admitted that she had read 'The Man in the High Castle' years ago and the character of Juliana had “oddly stayed” with her since then.
“So when it came back around in script form I was quite taken with the idea of playing her. She’s quite extraordinary,” she said.
Alexa continued: “She’s got a stiff upper lip and that was quite interesting – someone who has to keep her emotions reined in and who doesn’t completely fall apart in moments that I think most people would. I know I would.”
'The Man in the High Castle' is latest series to be produced by internet streaming service Amazon Prime and has been penned by Frank Spotnitz, one of the writers on cult Nineties classic 'The X-Files'.
'The Man in the High Castle' is available on Amazon Prime on Nov 20