Sonoya Mizuno Interview: ‘Devs’
“I was completely dead,” Sonoya Mizuno reveals about how her starring role on the FX on Hulu sci-fi drama “Devs” took a personal toll on her towards the end shooting it. Like her character on the show, whose journey involves brutal murders, existential crises and her own near-death experience, the actress admits to feeling emotionally and physically wrung out by the end. “I just gave over to the fact that I also felt like I didn’t know what I am or what I’m doing anymore, because I was so exhausted!” Watch our exclusive video interview with Mizuno above.
“Devs” was created by Oscar nominee Alex Garland, the writer and director’s first foray into series television after his acclaimed sci-fi films “Ex Machina” and “Annihilation.” Mizuno stars as Lily, a young software engineer who believes that the secretive Devs division of the Amaya corporation, a Silicon Valley quantum physics company where she works, is behind the murder of her boyfriend Sergei (Karl Glusman). She begins to piece the puzzle of his disappearance together and rekindles a relationship with her ex-boyfriend Jamie (Jin Ha). She soon discovers that Devs, the passion project of Amaya’s mysterious CEO Forest (Nick Offerman) and his offsider Katie (Alison Pill), has developed a machine that can see literally backwards and forwards in time, with devastating consequences.
The series is ultimately a high concept sci-fi thriller, but it also contemplates how grief and love unavoidably shape us as human beings. “It’s often something that is glossed over,” Mizuno declares. “What I was most proud of in the show was the way in which it really examined grief and love and examined the way it motivated people and destroyed people and shaped people and I felt that this was a really truthful exploration of that.”
A recurring trend on Garland’s recent films and now on “Devs” is the grand, existential themes it explores, this time focusing on determinism and free will and the concept of the multiverse, where a person’s action or inaction leads to an infinite number of trajectories. When Lily discovers the true purpose behind the secretive Devs machine, and understands that it appears to have given Forest and Katie the ability to see into the predetermined future, her world-view is shattered while the audience also grapples with these themes at the same time.
“It is kind of mind-blowing because it changes the whole structure of the way we as humans interact with each other and go about our days because what does it mean if it was always determined that someone was going to become a drug addict or steal things or do a violent act? Does it mean they’re a morally bad person?” she ponders. “It becomes this endless thought-provoking argument, which is very typical of Alex’s work.”