Astrid & Lilly Save the World chat with stars Jana Morrison and Samantha Aucoin

ASTRID & LILLY SAVE THE WORLD -- "Teeth" Episode 102 -- Pictured: (l-r) Samantha Aucoin as Lilly, Jana Morrison as Astrid -- (Photo by: Alex Stead/Blue Ice Pictures/SYFY)
ASTRID & LILLY SAVE THE WORLD -- "Teeth" Episode 102 -- Pictured: (l-r) Samantha Aucoin as Lilly, Jana Morrison as Astrid -- (Photo by: Alex Stead/Blue Ice Pictures/SYFY) /

We’ve seen countless supernatural dramas over the years of teenagers having to save the world by slaying monsters and creatures from alternate dimensions, Buffy the Vampire Slayer perhaps being the most popular of the group and one that shares DNA with SYFY’s latest series, Astrid & Lilly Save the World, which premiered on January 26.

The series follows outcasts Astrid and Lilly, best friends who cope with being on the outskirts by doing nightly patrols to see what the popular kids are doing. But one night, Astrid and Lilly inadvertently open a monster dimension. Now they’ll have to navigate high school and its many ups and downs while trying to defeat a bunch of terrifying monsters.

Ahead of the show’s new episode, stars Jana Morrison and Samantha Aucoin, who play the show’s titular leads, sat down with 1428 Elm for an exclusive interview to discuss why their characters are so inspirational for a new generation and what it was like to fight monsters week after week.

Astrid & Lilly Save the World chat with stars Jana Morrison and Samantha Aucoin

1428 ELM: I was looking at the reviews for the show, and I saw someone describe it as Buffy without the male gaze. I felt that was accurate. What do you think of that take?

JANA MORRISON: I completely agree. I mean, the show was created by women, and most of the creative team and the heads of the departments are non-male identifying, so I think that helped in making the show more feminist and less male gaze-y.

SAMANTHA AUCOIN: Less sexualized, definitely, which I know we all really appreciated.

Astrid & Lilly Save the World
ASTRID & LILLY SAVE THE WORLD — Season:1 — Pictured: (l-r) Jana Morrison as Astrid, Samantha Aucoin as Lilly — (Photo by: Alex Stead/Blue Ice Pictures/SYFY) /

1428 ELM: Part of what appealed to me about this show is that, wow, there are actually two characters who look like me on screen. I didn’t have that as a teenager, and it’s cool to see that for a new generation.

JANA: It is really cool, and I’m proud to represent for the big girls I’m also representing for my Filipino culture. I would have loved this show as a kid.

SAMANTHA: I totally agree I’m so happy we get to represent for plus-sized people and happy that the show touches on that and touches on body shaming and fatphobia and everything in between really.

1428 ELM: It’s also very charming and has this quirkiness to it I really like. Not to bring up Buffy again, but it has that similar energy and vibe to it. I’m curious what your experience was like with the monsters, so to speak, did you guys have a favorite creature or creature design to work with?

SAMANTHA: Yes [Laughs]. I can’t say what my favorite one is since it happens a little later on in the season. All I can say is that it is probably the most terrifying little thing you’ll ever see.

But our experience with actually slaying these monsters was always so much fun. It was my favorite part of doing the episode. The slaying scenes get a little more extravagant as each episode progresses. I’m very excited for everyone to watch that and for everyone to see us slay.

Astrid & Lilly Save the World
ASTRID & LILLY SAVE THE WORLD — “Tontoom” Episode 101 — Pictured: Seth Foley as The Tearjerker — (Photo by: Alex Stead/Blue Ice Pictures/SYFY) /

JANA: My favorite monster is…. Well, one of them—I have too many! But definitely the one in the first episode, the Tearjerker. I think he was just such a great lead-in to the show. He was scary, he was hot [Laughs].

But that’s how it was in Buffy, too, so it’s okay to keep bringing it back to Buffy because it is really such an amazing TV show. They are just really original monsters, and I loved being doused in monster guts, to be honest. Every day I get to be doused in monster guts and I thought that was a privilege.

SAMANTHA: It’s true. Definitely a privilege.

1428 ELM: I think the Tearjerker set the tone well for the show. I’m curious when you guys found out you would have “superpowers,” what was your reaction to finding out what those superpowers were?

SAMANTHA: For me, my superpower is my leg cramping and getting stronger. When I first found out I was like, are they going to CGI my leg? Like what’s gonna happen? Is one leg going to get big? But I ended up just having to do the work and the stunts with my leg. It was so much fun and there were some cool stunts I got to do. I’ve been harnessed I’ve been pulled up places, I can’t get into specifics, but lots of fun things I got to do with my leg this season. It exceeded my expectations for sure. Our stunt coordinators were amazing, and everyone was amazing at figuring out how to maneuver these fight scenes.

JANA: I like my super scent, it’s great, it helps me. But it doesn’t help me physically. I want a super leg! [Laughs] I was always jealous because Sam got to do the fighting.

SAMANTHA: No! It’s like we were playing—I’m going to make a sports analogy, and it’s not going to be good, but it’s like we were playing soccer, yeah? And you were getting the ball—

JANA: I’m setting it up! I’m usually setting it up.

SAMANTHA: Maybe basketball would have been a better analogy.

1428 ELM: One of the other relationships I love in the show, Sam, is the one between you and Candace because I feel like it starts off as like the “mean girl,” but then it develops and it’s interesting to see if they could have a friendship. What did you think about that when you read it in the script?

SAMANTHA: When I first read the scenes between Candace and Lilly, I loved that Lilly was able to have this side plot with another character, and there was some history there, and we get to see Lilly in a different light. I think because when she’s interacting with Astrid, they’re best friends, it’s very comfortable.

But when she’s interacting with Candace there’s some discomfort, some tension, some weird things that we don’t really know yet. I love the relationship between Lilly and Candace at all stages. I guess we’ll have to see if they become friends or if they don’t! I look forward to everyone seeing the scenes between the two of them.

Astrid & Lilly Save the World
ASTRID & LILLY SAVE THE WORLD — “Teeth” Episode 102 — Pictured: Spencer MacPherson as Sparrow — (Photo by: Alex Stead/Blue Ice Pictures/SYFY) /

1428 ELM: Similarly, Astrid has a subplot with her love interest Sparrow, it’s been fun to watch them and see if Astrid will ask him or not. Can you talk about that specific relationship?

JANA: I thought it was beautiful that Astrid could potentially have the gravitas to ask a boy out because as girls or women, it’s, I don’t know, we don’t do that as often, but we could! Guys do it, why don’t we? I see what I like and go for it, and Astrid is very like that. I just love, in the show, the soundtrack every time he’s around. I think it’s so sweet and cheesy.

At first, I was like, what is going on? This is so cheesy! But I actually think it’s so sweet and it just sets it up really nicely, and playing off of Spencer MacPherson was really sweet and fun and respectful the whole time. I think we had a lot of fun just acting together.

1428 ELM: Obviously we don’t want to spoil anything, but can you tell me anything you’re excited for fans to see from your specific characters this season?

JANA: I’m excited for fans to see how [Astrid and Lilly’s] relationship grows because it is at a place where we are so comfortable with each other and I’m excited for fans to see how we deal with tough situations because best friends go through the ups and the downs. There are definitely lots of downs when there are monsters and relationships involved.

SAMANTHA: I agree, I’m excited about that and something I’m really looking forward to. There are some really fun, interesting moments later on. I don’t want to tease too much, but there is an episode I’m really excited about, episode 8. I won’t go into too much. It’s probably my favorite episode for so many reasons. It has my favorite monster and my favorite homage to a certain thing. I can’t get into detail, but excited for that episode!

Watch the first episode of Astrid & Lilly Save the World for free right now

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This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Don’t miss an all-new episode of Astrid & Lilly Save the World tonight on SYFY! New episodes air Wednesday nights at 10:00 p.m. ET.