VIPAccessEXCLUSIVE: Amazon Prime Video’s “Panic” Star Kariana Karhu Talks About Working On The Hit Series, Filming The Nail-Biting Tiger Cage Scene And More In Her Interview With Alexisjoyvipaccess!

Kariana Karhu
Photo Credits: Terry Cass

If there’s one show that everyone has been binge-watching, it’s definitely Amazon Prime Video’s adrenaline-filled and nail-biting, thriller series, Panic. The show welcomes viewers into the small town of Carp, Texas; but within this small town comes an annual game with a large prize of $50,000. The thing is, this isn’t your average, local community competition. In fact, the stakes are incredibly high, the danger is unavoidable and it’s a big risk to take for a ticket out of town and a chance at a better life. The action-packed series has been raved by fans and critics alike, and it’s clear to see why. It goes without saying, it’s hard to resist watching the show over and over again.

Panic follows graduating senior, Heather (played by Olivia Welch), who is yearning for a way to get herself and her sister, Lily (portrayed by Kariana Karhu) out of Carp. When the annual Panic competition comes around, Heather sees the challenges as her only way to get the money she needs for her and her sister’s journey, but is putting her life in jeopardy really worth it all?


With an absolutely sensational, knockout performance from the lovely Kariana Karhu in the series, the amazing, rising star truly is making her mark with her awe-inspiring, acting prowess. The gifted actress kicked off her career at an early age — three-years-old to be exact, with her first print job. Not long after, Karhu began acting. The fabulous, young lady has always been destined to work in the entertainment industry as acting comes so naturally to her and she effortlessly shares her effervescent personality, great charm and wonderful talent in every project she’s a part of.

At only nine-years-old, Karhu truly is a wonder. She immediately lights up the room as soon as she walks in and it’s easy to see how passionate she is about her craft. In fact, when she’s not on set working on a project, you can find the outstanding Kariana Karhu looking over old scripts and redoing previous self-tapes to see how she can make the scene even better. The beauty has big plans to expand her work in her field. Not only does she want to continue to share her talent on-screen, but Kariana Karhu also hopes to eventually work behind the camera as well and try her hand at directing.

The marvelous Kariana Karhu wowed all viewers with her work in Panic. From the many edge-of-your-seat scenes like seeing her character, Lily in the tiger cage, to all of the jaw-dropping challenges, Panic has every possible element that makes it a smash hit of a show (and we definitely need to see a second season of this series ASAP).


Watch out world, Kariana Karhu is a name you will certainly be hearing a lot more of. And, without further ado, let the games begin!

Alexisjoyvipaccess had an excellent time interviewing the magnificent Kariana Karhu all about what it was like working on her stellar show, Panic, a moment that sticks out to her the most from working on the series and she even gave us the 411 on what it was like filming her heart-racing scene with Lily in the tiger cage. Karhu even revealed what she would like to see happen to her character if Panic gets picked up for a second season – see what she had to say in our VIPAccessEXCLUSIVE interview below.

Read my VIPAccessEXCLUSIVE interview with the phenomenal Kariana Karhu below and be sure to catch her in Amazon Prime Video’s Panic streaming now!

Alexisjoyvipaccess: Congratulations on all of the exceptional success with your career! Can you first tell us what inspired you to focus your life around acting?

Kariana Karhu: Thank you so much, Alexis! It began with print modeling when I was three-years-old and discovering how much I love being in front of the camera. A year later, I took a commercial acting workshop and was singled out by the casting director in charge of the class as someone she thought would do well as an actress, especially for my age. I started doing lots of commercials soon after, and it’s naturally progressed to where I am now in the new Amazon show called Panic. I truly love acting and all of the fun that goes along with it.


Alexisjoyvipaccess: You star in Amazon Prime Video’s incredible series, Panic, which everyone has been enjoying binge-watching. What was it like for you working on this great, thriller series?

Kariana Karhu: It was such an amazing experience! The cast and crew were so nice and fun and I made a lot of friends! For the first five months of filming, we were talking to each other, joking around in between scenes, and really having a lot of fun together. When we had only two weeks of filming Panic left, COVID-19 hit, which meant that we had to go on an indefinite hiatus. We came back quite a while later and the set was MUCH more structured, and we had to wear masks and keep our distance, of course. But, the hardworking cast and crew from Panic fought through those difficult times and we got some really good scenes finished once we resumed filming. I am really proud of how everything came out!

Alexisjoyvipaccess: Is there a moment from working on the show that sticks out to you the most?

Kariana Karhu: There are a lot of fun moments on set that occurred during filming, but one of my favorites was when the production crew made me a flower crown with real flowers and gave it to me after I finished filming for the day. It was so sweet of them to do that, and I very much treasure and appreciate it to this day!


Alexisjoyvipaccess: One scene that makes ALL viewers’ jaws drop is when your character, Lily is in the tiger cage. What was it like filming that scene?

Kariana Karhu: That was an intense couple of nights of filming! It was very cold outside, so I was doing all kinds of things to try to keep myself warm in between takes. It was tough to pretend I wasn’t freezing. In fact, they had to edit my exhaled breath out of the scenes! It wasn’t a real tiger, of course, but it was fun to pretend it was. There actually wasn’t anything there at all! The tiger was put in by CGI, which basically is where they can edit something into a scene. But, what I imagined in my head was pretty scary, so it helped when it came time to film it. I enjoyed the experience very much!


Alexisjoyvipaccess: Out of the many challenges seen throughout Panic, which one had you “panicking” the most?

Kariana Karhu: There are a lot of scary challenges that the players have to face, but ironically, the tiger cage challenge that my character Lily ends up doing in episode nine is by far one of the scariest challenges to me from the show!

Alexisjoyvipaccess: If you could bring only one item with you to help you get through the Panic games, what item would it be?

Kariana Karhu: That is a really tough question and had me thinking for a long time about what my answer would be! Does the love and encouragement from my parents count? I couldn’t do anything as scary as that without their confidence in me. Otherwise, it’d definitely be a cell phone!


Alexisjoyvipaccess: After watching the series, all of the fans are crossing their fingers for a second season. What would you like to see happen to your character if the series gets picked up for another season?

Kariana Karhu: It’s been really fun to think about and explore all the possible storylines for Lily if we do get a second season. There are so many good ones that we’ve come up with and brainstormed and that even fans have suggested. Since the audience seems to have connected with Lily so much, I’m thinking people may want to see more of her — I’d love that! There are so many great possibilities!

Alexisjoyvipaccess: If you could work alongside any other actor in a future project, who would you like it to be?

Kariana Karhu: Ooh, I can think of so many actors I’d love to work with in future projects. I had so much fun with Olivia Welch, so of course, I’d love to work with her again. Amazing actors like Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, McKenna Grace, Natalie Portman, Kristen Bell, Jennifer Lawrence, and Mallory James Mahoney are a few
that I’ve really enjoyed watching perform, and they seem like they would be really fun people to work with. It would be awesome if we could work together someday!

Alexisjoyvipaccess: What would be your dream role to portray?

Kariana Karhu: I took an acting class where I had to play a character who had the exact opposite personality than me. Believe it or not, that was actually one of my favorite classes! So, I think I would really enjoy doing that and the challenge that would come along with it.


Alexisjoyvipaccess: Lastly, if you could bring out one message to all of your fans, what message would that be?

Kariana Karhu: Thank you so much to each and every one of you out there! I read all of your messages to me and they are all so sweet and supportive — I love it! I hope all of you enjoyed watching Panic. You can follow me @karianakarhu on Instagram. Stay safe, and go watch Panic all over again!!!

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