We Scream for Carlson Young

Actress Carlson Young chats with City Life Magazine on fear, fantasy and her beloved pet, Francis the Cat.

CL: Let’s go back to the beginning. What prompted you to get into acting?
CY: I always wanted to be an actress — I’d beg my parents every day when I was little. I was lucky enough to get an agent when I was a freshman in high school. That’s when I got started.

CL: How was the transition from ordinary life in Texas to the life of a working actress in L.A.?
CY: It was definitely a transition since Texas is undoubtedly different from L.A. But I found wonderful friends and I love life here now. L.A. is a really beautiful place, so I just try to stay focused. My Texas upbringing has kept me grounded in a lot of ways and just sort of enabled me to sift through some of the not-so-pleasant aspects of
this industry.

CL: The slasher movie franchise Scream has terrified millions with its gruesome murder scenes and underlying dread. What is your biggest fear and how have you overcome it?
CY: I think there’s always the fear, especially when you’re auditioning, that you’re not going to ever be good enough. I think that’s probably there to some degree for everyone. But just quieting my mind and focusing on all of the blessings in my life helps me overcome that.

CL: How did you prepare for the role of the unruly socialite Brooke Maddox?
CY: I think I may have seen Mean Girls one too many times. My character, Brooke, always came really naturally. She is a blast to play because she’s got a lot of different layers to her personality.

CL: With MTV recently picking up Scream: The TV Series for its second season, you must be excited. Can you tell us a bit about how the show will evolve and what we can expect?
CY: Yes! Very excited. I don’t really know what it will be like to be honest. I think our story is a big one that will no doubt make season two equally — if not more — exciting and bloody.

CL: You made big impressions with roles in True Blood and Pretty Little Liars, as well as the hit series Key & Peele and The League. Of these opportunities, which one would you say kept you the most challenged?
CY: Being involved in the Key & Peele sketches was really amazing because those two are comedic geniuses. I think it was really inspiring to be able to work with them, especially because I love comedy so much.

CL: Any fantasy-related projects you’re hoping to tackle in the near future?
CY: I heard they’re doing a Dungeons & Dragons movie … I would die to be in that.

CL: What are you most grateful for?
CY: My family, boyfriend and friends … and Francis, my cat.

CL: What can we expect from Francis the Cat on Halloween?
CY: Good question. I haven’t fully worked out his costume yet. My boyfriend and I are being Audrey Horne and Agent Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks, so maybe I’ll make him be an owl.

CL: Where and how did you meet your boyfriend, Isom Innis of the band Foster the People? Was it love at first sight?
CY: We met through a mutual friend. And yes, no doubt, it was love at first sight. We were full-fledged dating legitimately hours after talking for the first time.

CL: If you’re not at home, where can we find you hanging out?
CY: At Izaka-ya with my friends! Best sushi in L.A.

CL: What is the one thing you can’t live without?
CY: Couldn’t live without my fantasy books.

CL: What book is on your nightstand now?
CY: Golden Son. The second book in the Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown.

CL: A few thoughts on your upcoming role as Selina Golias in Grimm?
CY: It was so much fun to work on Grimm. My character is a Klaustreich, so I morph into a cat. How perfect is that? I was like, are you kidding me? YES.

CL: What’s at the top of your iTunes list at the moment?
CY: The new Tame Impala and Unknown Mortal Orchestra records.

CL: Tell me how social media has changed your life both positively and negatively. How do you deal when fans recognize you when you’re out?
CY: I don’t mind social media — I like it a lot, actually. It’s nice to just be able to post what I want to post and have it be a direct extension of me, and not an agent/manager/TV show’s perception of me. I just post whatever I feel like and I’m not too calculated about it. It’s always nice to see fans! I get so excited that they like the show.

CL: What would you say has been your proudest moment thus far?
CY: I felt proud to watch Scream on Tuesdays with my amazing co-stars because we put a lot of long and crazy hours into season one.
CL: How do you live your life to the fullest every day?
CY: I try to stay present and just enjoy what’s in front of me.

CL: Any actors you’re hoping to work with in the future?
CY: Too many to count, actually! It would be amazing to work with Julianne Moore.

CL: How do you find balance? What keeps you grounded?
CY: Friends and family. I think you are the company you keep, and I’m lucky enough to have incredibly normal friends and family that are always honest with me.

Instagram: @carlsonyoung
Scream airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. EST on MTV


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