EXCLUSIVE: Hand of God’s Alona Tal Talks Emotional New Series
If you’re a fan of biting, psychological drama then you’re in luck. Amazon has just released the full season of the Hand of God, the stand out from last year’s Amazon pilot season.
We sat down with star Alona Tal (Burn Notice) for a quick chat about the fantastic new series.
How did you get involved in Hand of God? What was the auditioning process like?
Pretty much everybody and their mother wanted to audition for this, because it is quite possibly the best script that has come out for a very very long time. Everybody is looking for something that is different and inspiring. Kerry Barden is one of the best casting directors out there at the moment and I was lucky enough for him to see me. I went in and just – as my husband eloquently put it – went for broke. I just threw it all out. I had a tremendous migraine at the end of it. I came back and met with Marc and Ben and I think I was one of the first characters to be cast. It was quite surprising because I didn’t expect that. You hope for the best but you never know. I remember getting off the phone when it happened, I was definitely surprised and very nervous.
What did you find interesting about Jocelyn?
The vulnerability. It’s not that she’s interesting – she’s not mischievous or devious, there’s no agenda really with her. It’s her vulnerability and her strength. It’s very easy to mistake her for a victim. When I was speaking to Kerry when I was auditioning, [I learnt] they wanted her very very strong, and I like that. Most women that you see portrayed in this type of predicament will be portrayed as damsel in distress – she’s not. Everybody has weak moments, it depends how they come out of it, and we’re not watching her in the moment, we’re watching her come out of it.
Throughout the first series, would you say we see her begin to recover?
100%. In different degrees. It’s a natural thing for people to try and survive and get better. It’s what you do.
You’ve got some incredibly emotional scenes in the pilot. How were these to film?
I had a tremendous migraine again. I actually didn’t remember meeting someone. There was a medic on set and I had such a pounding migraine. Sometime during the filming apparently the medic came and performed acupressure on me to try to relieve my migraine. I didn’t remember that at all.
How did you prepare for these scenes?
You can’t over prepare for something like that. There’s a lot of – what if it were me? In a lot of roles you have to bring a little bit of yourself but especially a role like this. I think the most important thing that people relate to is when you make it personal, and when you make it mean something. If I started thinking about what it would be if it were my husband, that’s enough.
How is this different to everything else you’ve done acting wise?
I feel like it begins and ends with the script. It’s so well put together [and] the people involved are so high level. It really is the difference between flying economy and flying business class. You’re still flying, but you can stretch more. I’ve been involved in some decent television, but nothing like this.
What do you think people responded to about the pilot?
From what I read [from Amazon reviews] they liked the intensity. They liked the mystery. I think people enjoy being challenged. And when they’re confronted with things that are “taboo” it actually excited them, it’s not supposed to be forefront, but it is. And I think people have been waiting for something that doesn’t dumb them down.
What have you got planned for the future?
I did – and apparently people have already seen it, which is annoying, because I didn’t see it – a movie I did called One Shot. It’s a musical comedy. Talk about a 180 from Hand of God! It’s based on one hit wonders, so all the songs in the movie are one hit wonders. It’s funny. It’s very very different. And then I did a movie called Modern Love, which is about same sex marriage, but it doesn’t deal with same sex marriage, it deals with relationships, it just happens to be about a same sex couple. It was cool because we shot the wedding scene the day it got passed in congress.