Cult, the CW’s new series premiering on Feb. 19, has a show-within-a-show premise that might need a little explaining.
Luckily, actress Alona Tal stopped by The Hollywood Reporter’s video lounge to talk about the new mystery drama.
“Cult is about a show called Cult that is very successful,” says Tal, 29.
Within the show, an LAPD detective named Kelly Collins is trying to bring down the leader of the cult named Billy Grimm. Kelly also used to be in the cult.
And then there’s the real-world story-line: “Our hero Jeff, played by Matt Davis, is a reporter that finds out that things that are happening in the inside show Cult are starting to happen in real life,” says Tal.
Tal gets to play two characters: She plays Kelly Collins, who is a former cult member on the show-within-the-show, as well as Marti Gerritsen, who is the actress who plays Kelly.
Alona describes Marti as an actress and artist “dealing with the repercussions of a very successful show with a rabid fan-base and maybe something more than that.”
She adds that Marti lives a lifestyle that’s “very close to my life and the way I live my life.”
Tal says that switching between the characters was not difficult because they are very different.
“I find the challenge not so much in the switching, but in the dosage of the heightened reality, because the inside show has to have a little bit of a heightened acting so people can differentiate real-world from the show,” she says.
Cult premieres February 19 on the CW.