“12 Monkeys” Actress Amanda Schull On Playing Cassandra, Season 2 & More


As Dr. Cassandra Railly on the Syfy series 12 Monkeys, actress Amanda Schull plays a sharp-minded virologist who is trying to eradicate a deadly virus in the year 2043. On screen, the 37-year-old Hawaiian-born star joins forces with actor Aaron Stanford (who plays time traveller James Cole). Off the screen, Schull is a passionate actress who made the transition to stealing the show after a ballet career. Real Style caught up with the 12 Monkeys leading lady about Season 2 of the science fiction mystery series, playing a strong female character and more.

12 Monkeys airs tonight on Syfy at 9/8 p.m. CT

Real Style: What can you tell us about your character Dr. Cassandra Railly in 12 Monkeys?

Amanda: Cassie is the most complex and exciting character I have ever had the privilege to portray. She is fiercely intelligent and very driven. Very early in the series she is essentially tasked with the mission of saving the world. The ways she goes about doing this, and the metamorphosis she undergoes from the first to the second season make her a woman I empathize with, admire and respect.

Real Style: What can fans expect in the coming episodes of Season 2 of 12 Monkeys?

Amanda: The last few episodes of 12 Monkeys are epic. That is really the best word to describe them.  We have been weaving these incredible storylines, building characters’ plots and mythology, and it all comes to a head in the final three episodes.

Real Style: Can you relate to your character at all?

Amanda: Yes, I can relate to Cassie in a number of ways. Of course I can’t imagine everything she has been through, the life she has been forced to live, but I can relate to her determination. I think the ways she approaches situations, her discipline, and a bit of her sense of humour are things I respect and relate to as well.

Real Style: What are some challenges of acting in a mystery or science fiction series?

Amanda: I think one of the big challenges about science fiction is finding truth to relate to as an actor.  I am so lucky with 12 Monkeys, because the characters are very grounded in reality.  Nothing is so whacky or out there that I don’t feel stable in my character, the surroundings or her dynamic with other characters.

Real Style: You’re a former professional ballet dancer! How was the transition from performing on stage to performing on the small screen?

Amanda: Stage performance is obviously a much grander sort of depiction.  The audience isn’t right in your face as close as a camera lens gets.  I think the idea of embodying the physical presence of a character is the same on stage and screen.  There are just different levels of expression to keep in mind for each platform.

Real Style: What originally inspired you to pursue acting?

Amanda: I have always loved to perform. I love the process of creating a character; someone entirely different from myself, and depicting it, either on stage or screen.

Real Style: Have you seen any films or watched any TV shows lately which have inspired your own acting?

Amanda: I think there is a wonderful trend of strong female characters on television right now.  One of my favourite shows was The Good Wife.  I thought that Julianna Margulies did a fantastic job portraying an incredibly complex role.

Real Style: If you could work with any actors, who would be on your team?

Amanda: I think Jason Bateman and Maggie Smith would have to be on that team. The problem is, if this actually happened, I would probably spend so much time enjoying them I would forget what I was doing!

Real Style: Do you have a dream TV role?

Amanda: I think I am experiencing my dream TV role right now.

Photo: Annie McElwain

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