"I tried every creative avenue possible, except the one I knew that I wanted to do. The most frightening option was the one I saved for last." mine who just put out a record, Jess Williamson. We went on a little two week tour, and to be completely frank, I lost my mind a little bit. It was the first time I stepped away from Austin and got some perspective. It was just this jolt of a revelation, where I was like, “I'm miserable” and I didn’t even know I was so miser-able. When I came back from the tour, I was ready to pull some chords out of the wall. And I did. I broke up with the person I was with, I moved out of the house, then the next morning I got fired from my job. I got into a car wreck in the same day. I didn’t have a job, I didn’t have any money, I didn’t have anywhere to live. I remember going to my parents’ house, getting on a com-puter and frantically looking for a new job. Then I just stopped and I remember asking myself a bizarre question. I don’t know where it came from. “What do you want?” And I heard a very clear answer. It surprised me too, which was being an actor. I was terrified and I also knew I didn’t really have another choice, and I didn’t have anything left to lose. So I went for it. That was the pivotal moment. Tell me about the moment when you first heard you landed your role in La La Land . I was shooting something in Vancouver, and I put a tape down and then they asked me for another tape and I couldn’t believe it. Then they said, “Okay, you have to go to a dance callback,” and I said, “You have to be kidding me.” I’m a notoriously horrific dancer. I had to go to a one-on-one with Mandy Moore, who’s the choreographer. I had one day to prepare, and I went to a dance studio in Los Angeles and I took every class I could get my hands on all day. Then I remember walking into the callback and thinking, “I’m not going to try to convince them that I am a dancer, I’m not a dancer. And maybe I can use that with the char-acter.” So I just went in there and didn’t try to dance well. Just normal cringe-y dancing. When I received the phone call that I had somehow gotten the role, I had actually flown to Texas and I was sitting on my friend’s porch in a rocking chair watching her 44 braid her horse’s hair. My manager was very calm on the phone, and said, “You got it.” And I hung up the phone and started screaming into a field of horses. That’s how it felt when I got La La Land, it was a very surreal moment. There are roles that you get excited for, but that one felt really special. In Alien: Covenant , did you come across any challenges similar to dancing in La La Land ? Oh yeah, trying to look like you know how to drive a spaceship, or know anything about being in space is challenging. I owe a lot to Amy Seimetz, who really broke it down in simple terms for me. First I was like, “Okay, you have to get in this mindset of being in outer space,” and Amy had a very simple approach to it: “Just do it like you've done it a million times.” And then you think, “Oh, okay. Right, that’s easy!” Although I don’t really know if I ever felt comfortable doing it, but that’s part of it too. You’ve described Graves as a show about forgiveness and a shifting of consciousness. As you’ve grown in this industry, has your role in Graves mirrored a shifting of your own consciousness? That’s a hard question. Well, I’ll say this. When I began acting, it was kind of a blind impulse. I didn't know what it really meant. I didn’t quite know what I was going to find, but I remember going into my first acting class and the walls come down, and then you realize it’s about people. It’s about understanding what it’s like to be human. So I guess when I started acting, I was learning the human side of things, and it was something that I felt genuinely that I wanted to learn more about. It made me love people a lot. It’s spiritual in a way in that it has nothing to do with you. It’s human and it’s grounded, you live on earth, you’re not better than anyone else. We’re all part of the collective unconscious, all part of the same thing. When you realize that art has nothing to do with you, it’s really freeing, and you can really experience people. I really love being able to do that openly.