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Source: Sylvie Rosokoff

Exclusive: Alexis Molnar 'Nearly Freaked Out' When She Scored the Role of Raya in Netflix's Series 'Eric': 'Very Thankful'

May 20 2024, Published 8:05 a.m. ET

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It's not every day you get to work with such an acclaimed actor as Benedict Cumberbatch, but Alexis Molnar was able to have that experience when she scored the role of Raya in the new Netflix series Eric, which premieres on May 30.

"Working with a colleague like Benedict Cumberbatch is a dream come true. Beyond being wildly talented, he is a very kind and collaborative human," the actress exclusively tells Morning Honey. "When we first met, I was immediately intimidated just from the mythos — but I was struck by his immediate willingness to have a discussion, whether personal or professional, to make the experience safe and comfortable."

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Source: Sylvie Rosokoff

The star plays Raya in the new series 'Eric.'

The thriller tells the story of puppeteer Vincent (Cumberbatch) who is hung up on his missing son's drawings of a blue monster puppet named Eric. If he can get Eric on TV, then he believes his son will return home. Molnar auditioned for the show like everyone else, and when she got the call she landed the part, she "nearly freaked out."

"It’s always great to get the job, I just felt very thankful to have been considered and given the opportunity," she notes.

"Eric is a gripping new thriller by Abi Morgan that I was super lucky to be part of. I play a character named Raya who lives in the subway tunnels of Manhattan dealing with a crack cocaine addiction. Playing her was a very intense and gratifying experience," Molnar shares of her character. "Playing Raya was a dream come true for an actor like me. Getting to delve into a world and struggles that I am unfamiliar to was a beautiful experience and I was massively supported by everyone around me."

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Molnar admits it was "physically intense to play a person suffering from extreme addiction," but she luckily had "wonderful drug counselors on set" to "provide support if I had any questions, as well as the most protective crew on set around me if I needed a moment to gather myself."

When the brunette beauty watches TV, she is typically drawn to darker material, so making Eric wasn't "difficult" for her.

Source: Sylvie Rosokoff

Alexis Molnar acted alongside Benedict Cumberbatch in the new series.

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"I made sure to take self-care and decompression very seriously at the end of the day. While your mind can separate the acting experience, sometimes your body has a harder time of letting go of what is has been put through — physical and mental recovery for me at the end of the day were vital in my process," she says.

Ultimately, Molnar is thankful for her time on set. "My favorite part of making this series was all the beautiful people that I got to meet and connect with. Everyone both on and off set were some of the most beautiful humans to work with — I genuinely believe there were some lifelong connections made that I am forever grateful for," she gushes. "I am very excited for audiences to see the world that Lucy Forbes and Abi Morgan (amongst *many* others) have created so beautifully. There was so much attention paid to detail in references, it can’t go unappreciated. I’m also excited for audiences to be unexpectedly moved by a 7 foot tall blue puppet!"

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Over the years, Molnar has been lucky to dive into a bunch of different genres — from playing Alana Beck in Dear Evan Hansen to Lexi Jones in Rise.

"I definitely feel like I have more fun acting on dramas or getting to play in more intense situations. Comedy is fun, but I wouldn’t consider myself a comedian — I’m more drawn to dark comedy," the Emergence star, who is also diving into filmmaking with her upcoming short horror film BOYHOARDER, says. "I think the two most memorable roles I’ve ever gotten to do were Alana in Dear Evan Hansen and Raya in Eric, only because these are the roles of which I learned the most — both as a human and as a professional."

Source: Sylvie Rosokoff

The star is dabbling in producing.

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Going forward, Molnar, who describes herself as a "natural born performer" hopes to take charge and dip her toe into new things, including producing.

"Producing is a wonderful and heavily responsible gig. I’ve always wanted to explore other facets of my chosen medium as I feel it makes you a better artist. I have no problems making decisions, taking accountability, and making sure that things will get done at the end of the day and considering all available collaborative options," she explains. "I would love to do more roles where I have the opportunity to transform myself — whether than be physically or do some very deep character work. I love Altman, Haneke and Lynch films — so something under that umbrella for sure. I would love to work with David Lynch, Michael Haneke, Isabelle Huppert, and Coleman Domingo — but the list is endless. I want to work with people who aren’t afraid to do the grotesque thing."

"I think you have to dabble in a lot of different things to maintain sanity. Maybe that’s just the frequency of how my brain processes, but I will go insane if I only do one thing," she adds. "I am very proud of what I have accomplished so far. Every time I feel like I am being surpassed or not where I want to be in life yet, I think about 9-year-old me, 17-year-old me, and 24-year-old me — and how they wouldn’t believe me if I presently told them what we’ve been able to do. It can be difficult to celebrate the wins, but I do hold every one close to my heart."

Netflix's six-part miniseries drama Eric premieres on May 30.


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