If the hit TV drama Revolution is any indication, our postapocalyptic world will be full of mass chaos, destruction, and lots of beautiful women who look good even without bathing for months. It’s a world we can get behind, so long as Daniella Alonso, who plays militia-bombing rebel fighter Nora Clayton, shares our bunker. (We’ll need a Scrabble partner.)
Photo by Brooke Nipar
Your character is kind of a badass. Are you anything like her in real life?
I guess there are some similarities. I can be a nice person, but if someone is messing with someone I care about, the tougher side comes out a little more. I don’t know how to build bombs, but I’m learning. We have props, and even though they’re not the real thing, they walk me through it. So in a pinch I think I might be able to build a pipe bomb—a little fertilizer, a little gunpowder, a pipe, a little piece of string.
Besides chemical warfare know-how, what else do you have up your sleeve?
I’ve been taking martial arts for a long time. I started with tae kwon do, and then I started taking karate and mixed martial arts. Now the cast and I are studying Krav Maga. I like it because it’s a much more interesting way to get a workout, and it makes me feel more confident in any situation.
Have you ever been injured?
In class I’ve been knocked out cold—twice. Once with a punch to the face and the other time with a roundhouse kick to the jaw that sent me flying. But I think it’s good to experience that once, because then you know what to expect, and you’re not scared of getting hit. You just get right back up.
Unless you’re dead from major head trauma. Did you get payback?
No, that’s my one flaw. I’m so nervous about hurting anybody that when I’m working with a partner, I take it really slow and focus more on the technique than the fighting. I go for it when I get home. I practice on my boyfriend the real way. I’m like, “Let’s go. It’s OK if you get hurt.” I once sent him flying into the window, which was fun. It was a front snap kick, and he was holding the pads. There’s a proper way to hold the pads, but I didn’t tell him about that.
Photo by Brooke Nipar
Before your role in Revolution, you played a bisexual woman on One Tree Hill. Was there any, ahem, preparation for that role?
No, but you know what’s funny? When I got the part, she wasn’t bisexual, and halfway through the season the producers decided she would be. So the whole first half, I was playing it straight, and then they told me that the next episode I’d be coming out of the closet. I was like, “Oh, OK, that would have been nice to know.” But for me personally, I like guys.
You were also in Hood of Horror with Snoop Dogg and Method Man. Please tell us there were on-set high jinks.
Yeah, there were. But I don’t think they’re legal, so maybe I shouldn’t talk about it. Let’s just say there was always a distinct smell in the air.
In that movie you meet an untimely end with a can of spray paint to the head. Is there an art to dying such a bizarre death on-camera?
I’ve died a couple of times. I died with a spray can to my head, an arrow through my eye, and a stabbing through my stomach. Not a lot of people get to die in such ridiculous ways. I don’t know if there’s an art to it, but I just go for it and have a lot of fun. I get pumped up and ready for that scene when it comes up. I love it.
Danielle "Topanga" Fishel