Who is Alycia Debnam-Carey in 'Saint X'? Meet Emily in real life

No stranger to the thriller genre, Alycia Debnam-Carey is now about to take it by storm

Alycia Debnam-Carey headshot on a blue background
(Image credit: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Alycia Debnam-Carey is a thriller queen making her mark on the genre with Saint X, Hulu's latest release. 

A must-watch for fans of true crime documentaries, the book-turned-series focuses on Emily (Debnam-Carey's character) as she settles into adulthood in Brooklyn. But what happens when she crosses paths with the man accused of murdering her sister years ago in the Caribbean? It's certainly not the typical millennial experience in New York City, that's for sure.

The 2020 novel of the same name from Alexis Schaitkin was among the publishing industry's top releases of that year. Readers have been patiently gearing up for the TV adaptation, and in turn, Debnam-Carey's time in the spotlight. But let's get to know the actor behind Emily first. 

Who is Alycia Debnam-Carey from 'Saint X'?

Alycia Debnam-Carey is an Australian actor hailing from Sydney who rose to fame in thriller and horror roles, most notably as Alicia in Fear the Walking Dead—she even got to direct an episode!—and Lexa in CW's The 100

Alicia will seemingly always be a part of Alycia's acting identity, says the actress. "I think it's very rare to get that opportunity where you work with a character for so long and be able to have such a hand in their transition and their metamorphosis, you know," Debnam-Carey told BuzzFeed. "I think what has been really special about it, is the fact that I got to have her from a teenager and see her through to becoming a young woman."

The actor's other popular roles include Into The Storm (2014) and The Devil's Hand (2014). She began starring in shows and movies early on as a pre-teen in McLeod's Daughters (2001) and Martha's New Coat (2003). At age 18, she and her mother, a TV writer, ventured to Los Angeles to kickstart her acting career. 

According to her BuzzFeed interview and IMDB, Debnam-Carey was a talented percussionist in her school days and she took up reading and painting during quarantine. (Wonder if she read Saint X?!) She also seemingly loves fashion and beauty, as she's a partner with Cartier and Philosophy. 

Who does Alycia Debnam-Carey play in 'Saint X'?

Debnam-Carey's character Emily in the show (known as Claire in the book) becomes obsessed with seeking justice for her sister. When she reconnects with the killer in Brooklyn, she becomes completely engrossed in their interactions.  

"There’s this sort of invisible thread that is between them that has fatefully connected them in time and space and that is sort of push and pull and that kind of interesting energetic connection," she told The Nerds of Color

Despite the unusual circumstances surrounding her character, viewers will likely feel particularly drawn to Emily and form a deep connection with her. The story itself has hints of the tragic Natalee Holloway case, and in turn, many are wondering, "Is Saint X based on a true story?" (Well, yes and no.) 

How old is Alycia Debnam-Carey?

Born on July 20, 1993, Alycia Debnam-Carey is currently 29 years old and will soon ring in her 30th birthday. For the astrologically in-tune, she's a Cancer, an empathetic water sign

Alycia Debnam-Carey Instagram: what's her handle?

Follow along with Alycia's travels, her dips into the fashion world and all things Saint X at the actress's Instagram page, @alyciajasmin.

Grab a copy of Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin (available at Amazon)and dig into the thriller with your book club before the series premieres on Wednesday, April 26.

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.