The first few episodes of Classic Alice’s newest season have just been released on YouTube and I had the opportunity to talk to the show’s creator and lead actress Kate Hackett about the challenges of making a web series, her character Alice Rackham, and what’s in store for the upcoming season. If you’re not familiar with Classic Alice, make sure to check out our article about why you should absolutely be watching and head on over to YouTube to start from the beginning.
There’s been a lot of web series taking on a single book, what made you decide to go in another direction, to do it differently?
I didn’t want to just do the same thing that everybody else was doing. You always want to try to push the envelope a little bit, to make it more than what has been done. I think everybody does that. All the web series are now going outside and moving beyond it. You want to give people something they didn’t know they wanted. You don’t want to just copy the format, which works and is wonderful, but as filmmakers or artists you always want to be pushing your envelope and challenge yourself.
Was that how you guys found each other? Did you guys come together for the project or did you know each other beforehand?
I knew Elise beforehand. Elise (Cantu, who plays Cara Graves) and I met through Kyle Walters (from New Adventures of Peter and Wendy) even before the web series world engulfed us all. Tony and Chris I auditioned. I knew Chris a little bit through Twitter, but he auditioned 19 times. He’s had 19 different versions of Ewan, so I went “ok you got it, come on.”
What about the new season, did that change? You’re bringing in new people, right?
We doubled our cast this season. The first season, or the first book, almost no one auditioned. Tony (Noto, playing Andrew Prichard) auditioned, but he was the only one. For the second book, Josh the RA (Gentry White) was a friend of mine, and he blew up, which is great, but he couldn’t come and do our dinky little web series. So Josh the RA got written out. The second season we did taped auditions, so people just sent us their videos. I knew Reid (Cox, who plays Reagan Starkie), she’s a friend of mine, but she also auditioned and I just happened to think she was absolutely perfect for the part. With the newest season, we actually had Jenny Powell, who produces The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy, Social Medium and The Lizzie Benett Diaries, and she came on and did a casting with us. So we sat down and watched two eight hour days of auditions, hundreds of people for six or seven new parts. Then we argued about who we loved more, a lot. It was really tough, we had some amazing auditions. I love everybody we picked, I think they’re all amazing, but it was a tough choice sometimes.
I’m excited to see the new characters!
I’m excited too. You saw a new character this week with Andrew’s dad and you’ll see a new person next week as well.