Lindsley Register is known as portraying Laura on AMC’s The Walking Dead. Laura was a Savior that eventually turned into not only a resident of Alexandria, but a member of The Council as well. But there is more to Lindsley other than The Walking Dead as she has more credits to her name such as House of Cards, Six, and Outcast. Not only has she been acting, but she also produced her upcoming film Scorn which is set to release in early 2020. I recently got the chance to speak with her and got to know more about her in this exclusive interview!
Before we get to The Walking Dead, you were raised in Virginia. What was it like for you when you grew up over there with your family and what are some of your great family memories that you cherish?
LR: “I was so normal hahaha. I grew up in a really conservative baptist Christian family. I was very invested in my highschool. I was captain of the cheerleading squad, I was in student government, I went to a lot of basketball games, etc. I really cherish holiday meals with my family. My mom is the best cook ever (isn’t everyones?). She always went all out for Christmas and thanksgiving. Every thanksgiving we’d go stay in these cabins on a beautiful lake and eat great food.”
How did your family react when you told them that you would like to pursue a career in acting?
LR: “I can’t say they were thrilled. I think they were surprised and maybe a little scared. They agreed to pay for my schooling as long as I was studying to be a teacher or a nurse. I got around the rules by getting a degree in acting simultaneously while I got my teaching license. I think they’re still kind of confused by what I do!”
Have you always wanted to act? If you were not acting, what would have been the career path for you?
LR: “I remember when I was super young, I said once that I wanted to be an actor. But I also said I wanted to be a super model, a missionary, a painter, and lots of things. I’ve known that I’ve always been a performer, but I never revisited acting until college. I always saw that as an unattainable career and not practical at all. I learned Spanish when I was a preteen and decided that I wanted to work with the Latino immigrant community in some way. Maybe teaching English as a second language, translating, or something.”
The first time I have seen you was on Netflix’s House of Cards. How did you get the opportunity to be part of the show?
LR: “I got my first agent when I was a senior in college and was auditioning for professional projects for the first time then. I had auditioned for that show multiple times before for much smaller roles, and I’m so thankful that’s the role that worked out for me. It was momentous for me, and I felt like my dreams were coming true during that time. They were and still are. I made a selftape in my childhood bedroom while I was visiting my parents in VA. I gave the scene everything I had and played it with lots of conviction. Casting said they liked my tape and wanted to see me do it six different ways so I sent in six more tapes. They liked me and booked me, giving me my first real professional opportunity.”
When you were auditioning for The Walking Dead, did you know which character you would audition for?
LR: “No, I didn’t. It’s a super secretive process. I remember auditioning for a fake character with fake sides. If I remember correctly, I was playing a scene where I shot some guy and was “bummed” afterwards because he was cute. I played it with lots of dry humor.”
Laura was one of Negan’s lieutenants during season 7 and 8 of The Walking Dead. How did it feel for you to be part of The Saviors during that time?
LR: “It always the most fun to play the bad guy. They’re always infinitely complicated. This role was so different from anything I’d ever played so I was flattered to get the chance to play someone I felt was at the far end of my range.”
Laura also tried to intimidate Eugene many times while he was in The Sanctuary including when she made him watch Negan threw Dr. Carson at the burning furnace. Do you remember how many takes it took for that scene to finish?
LR: “That scene took most of the day. There were lots of practical and special effects to make it work which meant it was very time consuming. However, it was so cool seeing all the moving pieces. We’d be pausing the scene all the time to switch out the real bat for a plastic one, and then switching it out with a rubber one. Then we’d pause to grab stunt double Carson and then pause to get a dummy Carson. It’s insane all the work that goes into those scenes.”
Laura was also the one to tell Negan that Dwight (Austin Amelio) has double-crossed The Saviors. I love how that scene played out on camera as Dwight returned to his room to find you there. Do you have any great stories working with both Austin Amelio and Jeffrey Dean Morgan?
LR: “Austin Amelio was one of the coolest people I met doing that show. He’s so down to earth and like this sweet polite cowboy. I really respected him as an actor and he was also just very kind to me. JDM and I didn’t interact much. I never got the impression that he was a very open and chit chatty person.”
In the comic book series, Laura has a tattoo on her neck at the same place as her TV counterpart but they are different tattoos. Did you have any input to what the tattoo would look like?
LR: “Oh my gosh! I didn’t know that! Now I’ll have to look her picture up again. I just found out that she makes it to the very final comics (Issue #193) which was exciting for me. During my hair makeup test, I got to have input into my character’s look and I loved the tattoo and voted to keep it. I’ll be posting a youtube video soon about the neck tattoo so keep an eye out.”
After the final battle at the season 8 finale, Laura becomes a resident of Alexandria. She is also a current member of the council. Do you believe that everyone can fully trust her more than ever since she is no longer a Savior?
LR: “Every now and then, we’ll be filming a council scene and Ross Marquand will look over at me and be like “I can’t believe you got here.” And I’ll be like, “Yeah, honestly me either” and we’ll have a good laugh. I’m surprised that Laura has come as far as she has, and if I were an Alexandrian, I’m not sure I would trust her. But she really is a contributing member of the community now.”
We have not seen Laura and Negan interracted while he was in the cell. If he was still in the cell, what would you believe that Laura would tell him if she visited him?
LR: “Oh this is a great writing prompt. I’d love to write this scene just for fun. I think it would be such a still and powerful moment. I think she’d tell him that she followed him because she thought he was strong, but she knows now that he was weak. His way of doing things never could’ve lasted. He was a dictator and her life is so much better in Alexandria now.”
What has been your best fan experiences since you have been part of The Walking Dead?
LR: “It’s really difficult to pinpoint just one. I believe The Walking Dead fans are the best. I’ve experienced so much kindness, so much support for what I do and my other projects from them. Whenever I go to cons, people are so sweet and just easy to hang out with. I love seeing how much joy the show brings them and how caught up in the drama everyone gets. It’s just fun.”
Within the next few years, what are some goals you would like to accomplish?
LR: “I want to do more comedy. I’m currently writing some projects that I’m excited to refine and eventually start pitching. I’m excited to challenge myself by playing a role that is very far removed from both Laura and myself. I’m ready to get caught up in a new character. I’m hoping to learn French and improve at the piano. I love a good challenge.”
Below is where you can find and contact Lindsley Register