Alexa Mansour Feature Story for Fall/Winter'20

Photographed by: Jordan Kelsey Knight

Alexa Mansour has always been proficient when it came to balancing her love for acting and music. At just five-years-old, her passion for music blossomed when she began to religiously play the piano. Over time, her talents evolved when she began creatively writing her own music. While maintaining her undying love for melodies, she found her way into the world of acting at a mere seventeen-years-old. Understanding the depth of a character and portraying strong emotions that leaves the audience mesmerized is what left Alexa captivated; leading her to pursue acting. After attending numerous auditions and guest appearances, Alexa landed the role of Hope in the highly anticipated AMC spinoff series, The Walking Dead: World Beyond,  premiering on October 4th. Ahead of her series debut, we talked with Alexa to gather further insight on her audition experiences, on-set challenges, and the release of her upcoming EP. 

Khayla Biscoe: Did anything/anyone, in particular, inspire you to pursue acting?

Alexa Mansour: I grew up watching a lot of movies with my dad: scary, funny, sad, etc... but the ones that always stood out to me were the ones that made me feel deeply. Titanic was a big one, I remember feeling numerous emotions all at the same time. I knew that I wanted to be a part of something that could evoke so much emotion and feeling in other people. 

KB: Can you give an overview of your past in the entertainment industry and how it led you to where you are now?

AM: I started acting when I was about seventeen-years-old. I wanted to release music and I thought that if I could make it in acting then people would be more inclined to listen to my music. My first real audition was for Law and Order: SVU. I taped the audition with my manager at the time and within a week I was off to NYC to shoot. I fell in love with every aspect of the job and knew right then and there that college would have to wait so I could pursue my dreams. 

KB: What is it like to be a part of the upcoming AMC spin-off series, The Walking Dead: World Beyond

AM: It was insane, in the best way possible. It challenged me and pushed me out of my comfort zone every second of every day. I've always been a fan of The Walking Dead and to be able to portray the younger generation of the show has been an absolute dream. Not to mention the amazing people I met and got to work with. 

Photographed by: Jordan Kelsey Knight

KB: With this being a very sought-after role, what was the audition process like? 

AM: It was crazy. I had initially auditioned for the show in April. I knew it was for The Walking Dead, but I didn't know which series it was for. I didn't hear back about the job until about mid-June when I got asked to come read for Scott Gimple, Matt Negrete, and Jordan Vogt-Roberts. I made the mistake of googling all of them before the audition and freaked myself out. Luckily, it went amazing and I got to test for the pilot. The test went great but AMC wasn't convinced I could be "edgy" enough so the next day I had to meet with Matt and Scott again and read completely new scenes to persuade the rest of the network. 

KB: Can you give some insight into your character, Hope? 

AM: Hope is the poster child for teenage angst. She lives for today and doesn't think about the consequences of her actions. Hope has a really tough exterior, but she's a huge softie on the inside. 

KB: Was there anything, in particular, your character, Hope, taught you throughout the storyline? 

AM: She taught me to not be so hard on myself and to accept the things that can't be changed. 

KB: As of late, female characters are so much more than just a damsel-in-distress. Can we expect to see this same type of energy from Hope? 

AM: Oh yeah, Hope is the last person to ask for help or let herself seem weak. She would rather risk her own life instead of admitting that she can't do something on her own. She's definitely a boss.

Photographed by: Jordan Kelsey Knight

KB: Where do you tend to draw your inspiration from when preparing for a new role? 

AM: Honestly, I know you're not supposed to do this, but I usually draw inspiration from things I've gone through in life. 

KB: You are also an up-and-coming singer, when did you begin to get involved in the music industry? 

AM: I've been playing piano on and off since I was about five years old. I started writing music around fifteen years old; that was my way of letting everything out after my parents split. I didn't start recording until I was seventeen and haven't stopped since. Music will always be my first love. 

KB: Do you have any new or upcoming projects that you’re particularly excited about?

AM: YES! I'm releasing my first EP in October and I can't wait for everyone to hear the music. The songs mean so much to me and I just hope they can give everyone a little insight into my life. 

KB: Do you have any hobbies you enjoy partaking in when you’re not acting or creating music? 

AM: I'm super into health and nutrition. I love coming up with weird workouts or going on long walks and seeing new things around the neighborhood. I've also been experimenting a lot in the kitchen to see how I can make healthy versions of all my weaknesses. 

KB: Have you ever experienced any notable challenges throughout your career? 

AM: Yes, I think the biggest changes happened when I stopped worrying so much about what everyone else was thinking. When I started doing everything for myself, that's when the real progress happened. 

KB: What is your biggest accomplishment thus far?

AM: Definitely getting through Season 1 of The Walking Dead: World Beyond. I wasn't ready for how physical it was going to be and there were definitely moments that I thought I was going to fail. Getting through it made me feel like I could accomplish anything. 

KB: What does your everyday style look like? 

AM: Lately I've been wearing oversized t-shirts, biker shorts, and combat boots. Those are all staples of mine. Oh, and my leather jacket. I would die without it. 

KB: Who is your ultimate style icon? 

AM: I have to go with Zoe Kravitz. She's so effortless and natural. 

Photographed by Jordan Kelsey Knight

Written by Khayla Biscoe

Styling by Alexa Mansour

Makeup by Sara Farha

Hairstyling by Anna Farha