Exclusive Interview with Beyond’s Dilan Gwyn

Photo Credit: Freeform/Katie Yu

Swedish actress Dilan Gwyn studied French at the University of Sorbonne in Paris and film at Stockholm University. She was then accepted into the drama school The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. After graduating from The A.A.D.A., she booked acting roles throughout Europe and North America. Some of her best-known work includes Da Vinci’s Demons, Là où Atilla passe…, and K7. This January, fans can see Dilan as Willa on Freeform’s mystery/sci-fi series Beyond. The full 10 episode season of Beyond will be available on the Freeform app the night of its premiere (January 2, 2017)!

When we first meet Willa, we assume she’s just taking an interest in Holden because she thinks he’s cute but then we learn that she’s just trying to protect him. Though it’s made clear that she wants to keep him safe, do you think we might see them together in the future?

(laughs) As you can tell from the teasers and trailers, she obviously believes that they have a long history together. When it comes to them having some sort of future, only time will tell. The viewers are just going to have to tune in to see how that one unfolds. My lips are sealed.

Unfortunately, we don’t see too many women in TV being fearless because they just aren’t written that way, so it’s great to see Willa being such a badass. How was it shooting the scenes where your character runs to the rescue?

I agree with you, and it’s a subject that I’m very passionate about. Something that I didn’t want to do with Willa was to make her one dimensional. I feel that in TV and film they sometimes have a tendency to write female characters like this as all or nothing. The more badassery a woman gets, the more they take away her human qualities. I’ve always loved portraying strong women, and I had such a rare opportunity with Willa to be really badass and tough. Looking at her we wanted you to get the feeling like “is there anything this girl can’t do or doesn’t know,” but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have very deep emotions. She doesn’t like showing them, but she feels very much and very strongly. Just because you can get sad or hurt doesn’t mean you can’t be kick-ass.

Shooting the rescue scene was really fun to do and amazing to watch. All the guys worked for hours in the rain for that scene and then I got to swoop in and be Holden’s knight in shining armor. I have to say I felt pretty good about that.

Did you have a favorite scene while shooting?

Again, I don’t want to spoil anything but the scenes I loved shooting the most comes further into the season. All these different worlds start colliding, and nothing is black and white anymore. I like that, the more complicated, the better. (laughs)

We recently learned that if you wanted to, you could do your own stunt work with all of the athletic activities under your belt. Can you tell us if you’ve ever seen a stunt in a movie that you wished you could try?

I can’t think of a specific trick I would want to do although I love that story of how they tricked the late great Alan Rickman when filming Die Hard. The director told him they were going to have him do the 25 feet drop on the count of three. But then they did it on the count of one without telling him, obviously making his reaction very real. (laughs) Not that I would want to get tricked like that, but at the same time, it’s a pretty cool story to have to tell later on. I love doing my own stunts. I wish I could do them all, but they don’t always let you because they are scared you might hurt yourself, and that costs the production money because they might have to reschedule and so on. Unless you’re Jackie Chan and you injure yourself but still finish the movie, doing all your scenes with a cast on your foot. Jackie, you deserve that Oscar!

The entire first season of Beyond is going to be available to watch on the Freeform app the night of premiere making it the perfect present for people who love to binge watch their favorite shows. What show would you love the opportunity to binge watch right now if you could?

At the moment I’m binging Broad City and Bob’s Burgers. I will be binge watching the latest season of The Walking Dead very soon as well as Penny Dreadful. Other than that I’m eagerly waiting for the new seasons of It’s Always Sunny In Philadephia and Rick and Morty. I even have “Get Schwifty” as my ring tone. (laughs) I do get some weird looks from people, but it’s worth it.

We know that Holden is told to trust no one but should we include Willa with everyone else since he really doesn’t know much about her just yet?

I don’t know; I guess you shouldn’t trust strangers. But then again, are they really strangers? All will be revealed on January 2nd; patience is a virtue! (laughs)

Many actors find similarities between their characters and themselves. Have you found any in yourself and Willa?

Definitely. For one she would do anything for the people she loves which I found easy to relate to. But the thing that I love the most about Willa is how unspecific she is allowed to be. We have a tendency to put people in boxes, but she doesn’t fit in anywhere. Seeing her in this small town in America, she really stands out. The way she looks, the way she carries herself, even the way she talks. Something is just a bit off about her. It might seem like somewhat of a stretch, but I felt very comfortable with that since growing up I was never 100% of anything either, not really fitting neatly into any box.

Can you tease anything about what to expect from your character in the upcoming episodes?

That’s a hard one because Willa is such a mysterious character, I would argue that she might even be the most mysterious character in the show. I feel like anything I would say would be a spoiler of some kind. All I can tell you is that she has a lot of weight to carry on her shoulders. She starts out a woman on a clear mission but things get muddled along the way.

What can you tell us about what’s to come for this season of Beyond?

Beyond is just a mixture of so many genres: it’s almost like a coming of age story for Holden, where he has to come of age very, very quickly. It’s also a relationship drama in many ways, and at the same time, there is the supernatural and sci-fi aspect of it all. I love that everything is all mixed up in there. Exciting story, great cinematography and interesting characters… all of us who worked on the show believe in it very much, and I really hope the fans will enjoy the ride.

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