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Fan Expo 2016: Aftermath’s Anne Heche Feels Naked Without Ray-Bans And An M16

When actor James Tupper read the pilot script for Aftermath, he quickly determined that this is an “amazing” project. But after signing on, he faced one major uncertainty: who would play his TV wife? While he took the time to read with several actresses, he eventually concluded that the best candidate is someone he already has experience raising kids with: his longtime partner, Anne Heche. “We don’t usually read each other’s scripts,” she said during the duo’s Fan Expo appearance—moderated by InnerSpace’s Ajay, Morgan, and Teddy—on Saturday. “But he kept saying ‘this woman is so kick ass,’ and the more he said it, the more appealing it became.”

Those in attendance got a chance to see an extended clip from the first episode, showing a family inundated with freak paranormal occurrences. According to Heche, this excerpt barely scratches the surface of what’s to come in this apocalyptic new series. “The show continues to be mind-blowing,” she explained. “And it really is a ride that neither one of us had ever taken. The heart of it is this family—they really are good people and they love each other and want to fight for the survival of their family and do the best that they can for each other. We really liked being able to represent that and talk about what survival is today.”

For Tupper, there were several reasons to be excited about Aftermath. In addition to his enthusiasm for the script, he was relieved to steer clear of green screen, preferring the show’s emphasis on practical effects. “Oftentimes when you’re an actor… you find out the monster’s massive and drooling saliva on you and you’re like, ‘Damn, I didn’t know that, man. I was standing there like an idiot.’ So they tried to do it live and I think you can just see it.”

As for Heche, Tupper says her “tough and badass” character is one of the best of her storied career. Describing Karen Copeland as “an ass-kicker,” Heche says she’s having so much fun that it’s a struggle not to remain in character at all times. It’s so hard for me to not have Ray-Bans and an M16 on me… and I feel a little bit naked,” she joked, before gushing about her new TV family. “We have gone through a lot of stuff together. Although it’s pretend, it’s been very gruelling, very physical. Each one of us has a life or death encounter every episode. It’s intense for all of us and I think one of the things that’s unique about the show is that everybody has to transform because of what they’re facing.”

Aftermath premieres on Space Tuesday, September 27 at 10e 7p. Once you’ve stocked up for the apocalypse, be sure to check out the teaser below.