Sigourney Weaver stars in the new Prime Video miniseries, “The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart.”
Based on the eponymous novel and set in Australia, the series follows Alice (Alyla Browne as a child; Alicia Debnam-Carey as an adult), an orphaned girl who survives a terrible house fire. She’s taken in by her estranged and secretive grandmother, June (Weaver), to her rural property that’s filled with flower fields — and women who are fleeing abusive pasts.
Executive producer Jodi Matterson (“Nine Perfect Strangers”) answered some questions via email.
What attracted you to “The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart?”
We get sent a lot of books to consider for adaptation at [production company] Made Up Stories, and I can honestly say that I knew from the first page that I wanted to make this into a show. I finished it in one night because I couldn’t put it down.
How was working with Sigourney Weaver?
There are very few roles that come up for a woman in her 70s that have the complexity of June, our central character in this story.
It required an exceptional actor, and Sigourney was at the very top of our wish list. It was an absolute privilege to watch her work every day playing this incredibly difficult character that spans decades. To have had her fierce intellect, exceptional taste, and experience — and to also have her as a producing partner — has been an absolute gift for me professionally.
Was it challenging to find the right actresses for Alice?
We underwent a massive search to find an actress to play adult Alice. Fortunately, it was a role that practically every Australian actress wanted to play, so we were inundated with people testing for the part.
Even though Alycia Debnam-Carey had been working for years on “Fear the Walking Dead” and had a very devoted following, I was completely unaware of her because I had never seen the show. When I saw her first audition, she was a revelation … We then had to find an actor to play young Alice who could not only pass as a young Alycia but who could also handle a very challenging and dramatic role.
We had previously worked with Alyla Browne on “Nine Perfect Strangers,” where she played Nicole Kidman’s daughter. I have worked with a lot of young performers in my career and I can honestly say I have never seen anyone as talented as Alyla; I tell everyone she is the Meryl Streep of child actors! I have never before been on a set where everyone from the lighting technicians to the standby props people were in floods of tears watching her do emotional scenes. She is going to blow people away.
Did Sigourney Weaver do anything with the character that surprised you?
The word I would use to describe Sigourney is “fearless.” She jumped head first and inhibited this character with no ego or vanity, and allowed herself to be completely raw and vulnerable — all while tackling an Australian accent!