EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Amber Coney Talks Episode Three Of ‘Dead of Summer’ And What’s Next For Cricket And Alex

During last week’s episode of Freeform‘s Dead of Summer, fans finally got a glimpse into Cricket’s life before coming to camp.

In Episode Three, titled “Mixtape,” Cricket desperately seeks Alex’s attention during a night on the town. As she’s vying for his affection, flashbacks of Cricket’s life show her struggling with underlying insecurities, which seem to stem from a broken marriage between her parents and a lack of self-respect.

Celeb Secrets spoke to Amber Coney, who plays Carolina “Cricket” Diaz in the horror/thriller, to ask her about the filming process behind the intense episode surrounding her character. We also talked about Cricket’s complicated relationship with Alex, who she walked out on mid-make out after pining over him for years, and what the future holds for them. Plus, she gave us some scoop on tonight’s episode, so make sure to check out our exclusive Q&A below!

Dead of Summer airs Tuesdays at 9 PM ET on Freeform.

Celeb Secrets: Since I last talked to you, it was before Dead of Summer even aired and there’s been a lot of great feedback about it. How has it been watching the show live and hearing from the fans of the show?

Amber Coney: “It’s been amazing and the fan base that’s been created is already just so wonderful and dedicated. I just got on Twitter and I’ve kind of been experiencing the whole Twitter aspect of the fandom and that’s definitely (laughs) intense, but amazing as well. I’ve been able to live tweet during the shows and actually talk personally to the fans and some of them have been asking me for like life advice and it’s been cool to be able to touch people in ways beyond what your character arc might be able to, and yeah, I’m just so happy with the response and the feedback from my friends and everybody I’m talking to. It’s really cool to see our hard work not only manifest on the screen, it looks amazing (laughs) on the screen, it’s just like, wow, I cant’ believe that’s how it is on the other side (laughs), but yeah, it’s also just cool because you can really get into it, especially after episode three aired, like I had so many fans reach out to me and being like yeah I’m actually really going through what your character went through before she came to camp, asking me what I would say to people who are struggling with either the body image aspect of themselves or just self worth in general, so it’s been cool to get that platform to talk about it and I’m obviously not an expert, but at least I have not only life experience but experience working on this role, so I can give my two sense and hopefully elevate peoples’ spirits in a way.”

Celeb Secrets: Yeah, I mean, Cricket had a huge episode this week and we got to see a little bit of her backstory and where her insecurity comes from. How was it shooting that episode, especially going through the motion of gaining more confidence to the point where she takes off her shirt and she’s got this awesome bikini on and looks amazing? How was that? 

Amber Coney: “(Laughs) Thank you. It was intense. I mean, the thing is, when we are shooting our episodes, our characters episodes, it’s basically like doing a mini movie where you’re the lead because you’re working every single day. Thankfully, my director Mick Garris is like one of my favorite people now. He was so amazing in creating a safe, artistic, creative environment and also he’s just like a master of scares and just the ominous kind of tone, so he created totally episode. It’s wonderful. I think it’s so magical in a scary way (laughs), so I’m really happy with what he did directorially, but also everybody was so respectful of my process because sometimes, for certain scenes, I really have to stay in the zone and I don’t want to talk to people and I just have my headphones on and I’m just going through like maintaining the mindset and kind of where my heart lies as Cricket, and everybody was so just respectful of that and really helped me along. No one tried to intrude or tried to disrupt kind of what I was creating for the role, so it was really awesome to have that experience. I also didn’t feel like insecure or embarrassed about how I had to prepare like I just felt very free and safe to go there where I needed to go prior to shooting, so it was awesome.”

MARK INDELICATO, AMBER CONEY

Celeb Secrets: During the episode, Cricket has this thing with Alex, but by the end, it kind of seems like she might be a little bit over that, but can we expect something else to happen because now he seems like he might be interested in her?

Amber Coney: “Yeah, that’s the funny part. Now he’s going to want what he can’t have (laughs). I mean, yeah, we saw in the make out scene in the cabin, I finally come to terms with like a breaking point, you know what I mean? I remember my mom being like, ‘women like us have to settle,’ and I realize that by hooking up with this guy, who isn’t really into me for who I am, like I’m totally settling. I really deserve more than that, and right now, Alex, where he’s at mentally, he’s not able to offer me what I truly want, which is someone who cares about me or who I am, which is what Blotter could have given me, and that’s why I, you know, I’m not necessarily like, I wasn’t pining for Blotter in anyway, but seeing the mixtape makes me realize as well that he represents kind of what I can have and I actually don’t want something that’s superficial just to kind of be a checkmark on my trophy list. I think like having that breakthrough definitely gives me more confidence, and making that decision, it takes a lot of strength, trust me (laughs), to break away from Alex. That takes a lot of strength and a lot of self-respect to do that, and I think I take off my bikini because I’m accepting where I’m at and I was able to take action based on where I’m at and now I’m just going to be there and not care how people judge me or my body, and you know, that’s scary and it’s not like I can completely change my mindset overnight, but by doing that, by taking the action of revealing myself and, you know, kind of shedding my former self and my former insecurity, I am able to embody that more, so it’s a really monumental arc in that kind of way.

In terms of Alex, the feelings couldn’t have gone away. I’ve been obsessing about him since I was a kid (laughs), you know, you can’t really shake that off in a day, but until he is able to see me for who I am, which might be this episode or might be never, then I’m not going to give him a chance because I know I don’t want to waste my time with that. He’s going to hurt me just like I got hurt in high school.”

Celeb Secrets: What can fans expect from next week’s episode?

Amber Coney: “Oh wow, I mean, it’s gonna be heart wrenching for sure. Zelda, I’m sure, has given an amazing telling of Drew’s story. It’s going to be just as, if not even more emotional, than this past episode. As we progress through the series, everything that’s dark and chaotic kind of is gonna rear its head in full force. I would just say to expect things to get crazy (laughs).”

Photos: Katie Yu/Freeform

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