"It was emotional and exhausting," she says of her latest role

By Johnny Dodd
Updated June 23, 2015 07:30 PM
Credit: C Flanigan/Getty

Daryl Hannah may play a character endowed with powerful psychic abilities in the new sci-fi drama Sense8, but what she’d really like to do is keep the ground squirrels around her Los Angeles home from eating all the veggies in her garden.

“The only thing I’ve got going in my garden right now is kale and chard,” Hannah, who has been known to sell her produce at local farmers’ markets, tells PEOPLE. “Everything else has been usurped by the persistent ground squirrels. They’ve taken over.”

Besides dealing with voracious squirrels, Hannah’s latest project is a 12-part Netflix series that began streaming on June 5 and was created by the brother and sister filmmaking duo – Andy and Lana Wachowski – behind the The Matrix franchise. Sense8 revolves around eight strangers in different cities across the world who suddenly find themselves emotionally and mentally linked.

“I love science fiction and anything that makes your imagination soar,” says Hannah, 54. “And I love the concept of interconnectedness. The show deals with it in creative ways, and there are also profound themes that I really resonate with.”

The Splash actress admits that working on the project – which was filmed in nine cities – took a physical toll on her.

“My opening scene was pretty intense,” she says. “We were shooting in an old burnt-out church in Gary, Indiana, and it was so emotional and exhausting that I literally passed out for two days afterwards.”

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The Wachowskis couldn’t have picked a better actress to include in a project that tackles themes like “interdependence and interconnectedness.” The longtime environmental activist is passionate about both topics.

“Interconnectivity is a profound truth,” Hannah says. “But it’s one of those things that we don’t recognize and we don’t consider when making decisions. If we really accepted it, we could solve multiple problems that we face as a species.”