When creator Greg Daniels (‘The Office, ‘Parks and Recreation’) was looking to cast the part of Ingrid in his latest Amazon Prime comedy series ‘Upload,’ he didn’t even need to meet actress Allegra Edwards in person. It only took two self-taped auditions portraying the complicated girlfriend of Robbie Amell’s Nathan in the show to land the role for the 34-year-old actress.
“And it totally changed my life,” Edwards explains.
The role was the first series regular gig the actress booked during a busy pilot season. But, even before she landed ‘Upload,’ the script stood out.
“The first indicator for me that something is quality is that I breeze through it and I can’t put it down. I couldn’t stop laughing [at the pilot], I thought it was interesting, I thought it was inventive and I hadn’t seen anything like it before. Another tell for me is when the dialogue is so natural [that] you can’t get ahead of what the next person is going to say,” continues Edwards. “With the ‘Upload’ pilot, I was taken by surprise and totally taken on the journey and I was really invested in what was going to happen next. I thought, even if I don’t get anywhere near booking this show, I can’t wait to watch it. ”
Luckily, Edwards would be able to watch from home and on set herself.
Her character of Ingrid starts the show as central character Nathan’s girlfriend. And well, the rich Beverly-Hills type blonde with an unlimited credit card limit and a controlling tone certainly stands out on screen. In a world where digital after-life is part of the life/death transition process (though you find out through the show that it’s more of a luxury than a resource for most), Ingrid is distraught when Nathan winds up in the hospital and the doctors inform her and his mom that he is going to die… So, she hastily sends him to Lakeview, where he can be uploaded.
Even despite the glamour of this after-life, Nathan is shocked at how sudden his death was, and questions start to arise about the nature of how he passed. But at the center of it all, his “Angel”—aka a very alive New Yorker named Nora (Andy Allo) who uses an updated form of VR to assist her clients while working for a corporation running Lakeview—is able to give him some comfort…and also a love triangle along with Ingrid, who controls Nathan’s account and spending.
“With the character of Ingrid, it was unique that she was in this position. I thought it would be interesting to see what someone like her would do, knowing that she could control her boyfriend virtually,” Edwards explains.”Would she treat him like a video game or would she treat him like a person? Did she have something to do with his death? Is she the villain, is she not? Did she save his life?”
We find out more about Ingrid as season one progresses, and we unpack also a complicated family history behind the money and so-called facade that she has to live with.
“[Ingrid is] very put together and very polished. She knows what she wants. She can be controlling and pretty narcissistic and selfish, but deep down, she is driven by a genuine love for her boyfriend. She has a very limited tool belt when it comes to how to express herself and how to express what she needs and in season 2, we explore the depths of how painful sometimes it is to be her and to be someone like her,” explains Edwards.
At the end of season one, we find out that Ingrid has uploaded herself to be with Nathan in Lakeview, and right as season 2 kicks off, we see the eager homemaker ready to set her digital footprint on a happily ever after-life… sort of.
“Ingrid probably has fantasized about being in Lakeview for as many years as it has existed for her. Her grandma is there, her boyfriend is there…so, she just can’t wait—and she didn’t in some respects,” Edwards explains.
We see Ingrid come to terms with the fact that her boyfriend may have fallen for someone else, but in her own way. The story, which is just as layered as the character Edwards’ portrays, also picks up immensely for the sophomore season.
“I’ve got new questions about where she’s going to go next and how much growth is required for her to release Nathan as an object of affection and desire,” Edwards continues. “What path is she on in terms of her emotional growth and evolution? Starting with the sleepover episode in season one, the compassion and grace element that I began to feel more and more for Ingrid came out. Especially when they started to build more on her family history, I see her much more as a fully realized person who is in a lot of pain.”
We’ve seen the uptight and complicated character with a hidden heart of gold concept done before, but, just like the fresh theme of ‘Upload,’ Ingrid’s development does not feel played out. Daniels’ writing and themes help build a flow that feels relevant and real although set in a world that is so different from the one we live in today.
“I think we take bigger swings at some bolder and riskier ideas [in this season.] Everybody is more settled into these characters, and the writers know how to write for these actors,” Edwards finishes. “Everything is bolder. The jokes are funnier, the technology is crazier and the no way moments are a little more no way, and I think we packed a lot into this season.”
Catch Allegra Edwards on ‘Upload’ when season 2 drops on Amazon Prime March 11.