Pollyanna McIntosh Joins The Walking Dead World Beyond for Crossover

The first official crossover between The Walking Dead and World Beyond is in the horizon.

Pollyanna McIntosh, the actress who plays Jadis on the original AMC’s The Walking Dead, is going to make her long awaited return to the franchise. But this time, the character is crossing over to the second spinoff, The Walking Dead World Beyond.

Starting with the second and final season, Jadis will be a central character on World Beyond. Her appearance on the show will most likely tie-in with the upcoming The Walking Dead films on Rick Grimes. In case if you forgot, Jadis is the one that saved Rick Grimes at the end of the river when she called for a CRM helicopter to pick both of them up. Jadis referred Rick as a “B” when she saved him.

The meaning of “A” and “B” is getting closer as we see more clues play out. On World Beyond, there was a scene where “Test Subjects ‘A'” were being experimented on. Maybe Jadis could give more of an understanding to exactly what “B” means.

World Beyond’s first season ended with a small cliffhanger that will be explored on the second season. With Jadis now on World Beyond, so many things can happen since she is an unpredictable character. This also raises more questions of whether or not if the Jadis character will appear on the upcoming films to at least show what were Rick’s first few days like at one of CRM’s locations.

Season two of The Walking Dead World Beyond is set to premiere on October 3, 2021.

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Interview: Khary Payton, Melissa McBride, Josh McDermitt, and Eleanor Matsuura Talks Working With Michael James Shaw

Eleanor Matsuura as Yumiko, Michael James Shaw as Mercer – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

Fans of The Walking Dead are going to be in for a treat tonight when the season 11 premiere airs.

The highest ranking security guard, Mercer will make his long awaited debut on tonight’s episode. Earlier this year, It was announced that Michael James Shaw will play as Mercer. In issue #177 of The Walking Dead, Mercer was introduced for the first time. Additionally, he appears on the cover of that issue.

There is more to Michael James Shaw than playing the character. On this exclusive that happened during the virtual press junket, I asked Eleanor Matsuura, Melissa McBride, Khary Payton, and Josh McDermitt what was it like to work with him. The cast dished out some details about their experience working with Michael James Shaw.

Eleanor: “He’s a Big Guy. I know Mercer is from the comics and all, but if there was anyone that could be an incarnation of him, that’s Michael. He’s built and he could hit me out with one hand and throw me around. And then you work with him, he is the sweetest, softest, funniest, and nervous kind of guy. He is the opposite of what you expect him to be. And then when he is Mercer, it is like “woah, he is so cool.” I love it when you work with people who are different from their character.”

Melissa: “Someone else that is like that is Cassidy McClincy. When she is on the set, she is in the mood of raw and full of emotion. Then when the director yells ‘cut’, she falls apart laughing. She is pure fun and joy when I worked with her. Cassidy and Michael are obviously different, but I can see the comparison between them when they are in character and not in character. Michael is a sweetheart and that tall man brings a unique aura to the show.”

Khary: “Those are really great examples! I do not recognize Cassidy sometimes when we are on set. When she plays Lydia, her smile goes away. I remember looking at her and not recognizing her for a minute because I’m just not used to seeing that bubbly version of herself. Michael is the same way. You come upon this huge bear of a man as you slowly get to know him. Its like when you come up to him and you think you should be on your guard or he might throw all kinds of testosterone on you. By the end of the day, you wonder how I can get this big bear of a man into my arms because I want to hold him like a baby! But he is just too big.”

Melissa: “I would like to see you hold him like a baby Khary!”

Khary: “I know!”

Eleanor: “There’s four of us that need to try to hug him!”

Josh: “We did scenes with him and his size and intimidation as the Mercer character really suits him. The thing that struck me with him Julian, is his performance. This is a guy we just spent the last few minutes talking about his size and he can certainly do his performance that way. When I was acting across from him, he had this intensity in him when he speaks and when he changes his facial expressions. Then when it was time to cut, it was the slightest change to the softness and I appreciate that. He is a tremendous actor and a wonderful human being. I am sad that this is our final season and that we didn’t get to have more seasons with him!”

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My Slasher: Flesh & Blood Non-Spoiler Preview

Paula Brancati as Christy Martin, Chris Jacot as Seamus – Slasher _ Season 4, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Cole Burston/Shudder

Netflix is where I learned about the horror show Slasher. In 2020, AMC announced that it had acquired Slasher and it would air exclusively on Shudder. Watching the first two episodes of Slasher: Flesh & Blood gave me a chance to formulate my thoughts on the series!

The series “Flesh and Blood” is right up my alley, recalling everything from Agatha Christie to CBS’ short-lived “Harper’s Island.” This is actually an excellent pitch for “Slasher: Flesh & Blood”: “Succession with violent, gory murder scenes.” Who wouldn’t want to watch that?

A branch of the Galloway family is headed by David Cronenberg, the King of Horror himself. A wealthy family gathers on an island retreat for a reunion under the sway of the vicious leader Spencer Galloway. It’s not surprising that Spencer keeps a few secrets, including that he’s reviving a tradition that was retired 25 years ago. To this point, Spencer had pitted relatives against each other in endless rounds of challenges and games. 

Sydney Meyer as Liv – Slasher _ Season 4, Episode 4 – Photo Credit: Cole Burston/Shudder

During one of these challenges, Spencer’s grandsons were kidnapped for a gold bar worth almost $200,000. What is this year’s contest prize? Millions of dollars worth of fortune. The cast of characters also discuss the missing boy’s story over the course of the episode, which is the 25th anniversary of his disappearance.  

A murderous serial killer is also behind the ground, waiting to reveal these individuals’ darkest secrets before burying them. The season includes a humorous twist where they may kill each other and catch the serial killer. While there is little opportunity to comment on social issues between the characters in the game, at first it appears as if the personalities in it are similar to those in “Knives Out.”

Even though Grace (Rachael Crawford) believes she earned what she has through marriage, she believes the things she has are not hers alone except for her son Jayden (Corteon Moore). In spite of striving hard for the family business, Seamus (Chris Jacot) receives no respect from his father, even when Christy (Paula Brancati) and Aphra (Nataliya Rodina) try to comfort him. 

Sabrina Grdevich as Florence – Slasher _ Season 4, Episode 3 – Photo Credit: Cole Burston/Shudder

Although Florence (Sabrina Grdevich) is one of the most disliked Galloway twins out there, the loss of her son a quarter-century ago leaves her feeling nostalgic for the remaining twin Theo (Alex Ozerov). That’s only a small part of this giant cast, which also includes Theo’s sister O’Keeffe (Breton Lalama), the housekeeper Birgit (Patrice Goodman), her daughter Liv (Sydney Meyer), and Spencer’s doctor (Jeananne Goossen).

In comparison with the previous seasons, the season premiere of Slasher: Flesh & Blood feels all over the place. It is still a jaw-dropping experience to watch the violence and gore. 

Probably due to the show killing so many people by the end. It appears at times that some of the actors are playing daytime television characters rather than movie slashers. I don’t want a masterpiece of acting on a 5 star budget. Just make it plausible. There’s not much left to say about the season premiere, but it will cut deep into any horror fans’ hearts until September.

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The Walking Dead’s Season 11 Premiere Brings Back The Horror That Was Missing!

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon – The Walking Dead _ Season 11 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

AMC’s The Walking Dead will kick off their 11th and final season on August 22, 2021. I was given access to the first two episodes of the season back in July. Although I would love to give you all the juicy details of the episodes, I cannot go in detail with certain plot points. For now, here is my non-spoiler preview of The Walking Dead’s 11A premiere.

I will also note that these two episodes are titled “Acheron Part 1” and “Acheron Part 2.” These two are not airing back to back and these were the rough cut versions of the episodes.

What I like about Part 1 and Part 2, is how the boundaries are tested. Those mostly have to do with Maggie and Negan. The two of them are reaching a level of a big clash that I believe will happen later in the season. Their tension that is building up on Part 1 that is carried into part 2 also affects the group too. But not to the point of who’s side is one person is on. More like if what one person is trying to make sense over another in the current situation. I will have to say this, one line said from one of the characters will have a trigger warning. What happens after that said line is exactly what that character deserved at that moment.

The atmosphere truly brought out the threatening horror of The Walking Dead, which has been missing for quite some time. It is no surprise that AMC has managed to capture the horror vibe on the show from the abandoned train station to the military compound. Especially the first opening minutes where one move wrong could have been a disaster for the group. Additionally, the group encountered a very disgusting walker who almost resulted in one of them losing his life. However, there was one character who made sure it wouldn’t happen.

The sound department also gets a high praise from me. The score, and how the sound was used for one particular scene made me question whether if it was reality or just part of the episode. And I am not sure if it is because these are the earlier versions of the episodes, but one line said from a character is muted. I read that character’s lips when it was muted and it might have been a “F” bomb (Editor’s Note: I watched the final cut of the episode last week and the line was unmuted. No “F” bomb to be heard).

One question that ran through my mind during the first two episodes was about the status of Alexandria. There was no explanation on what happened to the community. I hope this will get addressed later on in the season.

What you knew about Maggie a long time ago, is completely gone. Although I will refrain from calling her a “Dark Maggie”, she is different and cold. You’ll have to discover what the reason is, but there is one. As far as I recall, Rosita, Aaron, and even Carol did not get much screentime in the first two episodes. But when they were on screen, it did matter!

Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter – The Walking Dead _ Season 11 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

I did not forget to mention Eugene, Yumiko, Princess, and Ezekiel. It might have been debatable whether if their scenes could have been one episode, but It worked for these two. They have not stepped foot in The Commonwealth yet, but they are questioned for a long period of time. There were multiple times that this sequence was showed to us as a split screen. Speaking of The Commonwealth, Mercer is here! I will not disclose which episode he debuts on, but Mercer is more menacing and threatening than he is over his comic book counterpart.

The scenes with the guards were good, and I liked their interactions with them, but there was one major scene that caught me by surprise. Whether the actress is being recast or if the character is a decoy is unclear, but I was caught off guard when I saw it. Furthermore, a revelation to one of the characters is also depicted in the comics in a similar manner if you understand what I mean.

I do also feel that 11×01 should have been longer, or aired alongside of 11×02 based on what happened at the end of 11×01. And a few minutes before the end of 11×02, be sure to pay close attention to the area!

That is it for my preview. While the first episode of the final season is not as strong as the season 10 premiere, it did made me look forward to the rest of the season. I am sure that fans of The Walking Dead are happy that the show is back. I can also say that The Walking Dead is back and better than ever!

Be sure to check out my weekly recaps of this season along with interviews from the cast. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @julianexcalibur for more content.

The Suicide Squad is a Fun and Bloody Mess!

With the insertion of the word “The” to the title as the only acknowledgment that it is the second film in the series, the title seems to be a dig at its 2016 predecessor, Suicide Squad, which was widely panned. Even though that movie could have been a random take on The Suicide Squad, the new movie is The Suicide Squad, and that’s what counts.

In the DC Cinematic Universe, the Suicide Squad occupies an odd spot. Though it’s not the sequel to Suicide Squad, it’s a kind of sequel nonetheless. Even though it isn’t a reboot, it works in the same way. There is a new creator with this film – James Gunn who did the Guardians of the Galaxy. A much more violent version of the already ultra-violent original, it is rated R. Characters from the show are some of the same ones (and actors), while others are different. The film does not feature Jared Leto as the Joker, which is a good thing. While definitely better than its predecessor, it isn’t all that great by itself.

James Gunn’s track record as a writer and director would fit well with such a film. In addition to being based on characters in the comic books who were relatively unknown at the time of the films, the Suicide Squad is a throwback to Gunn’s early days in film making.

In summary, The Suicide Squad is cheesy, gory, funny, a bit goofy (always a plus for a DCEU film), but it makes little or no sense. Death is a common occurrence in the plot – mostly violent – and the villain is a monster starfish that threatens to end the world. For all its flaws, The Suicide Squad isn’t a bad film in the least. It was very humorous to see all the characters interact with one another and the brutal deaths that took place in the movie.

The main problem with this film (as with the Guardians of the Galaxy films as well) is that the antiheroes are, on the whole, not that exciting or likable. During the course of the second film, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) is the only fascinating character who develops a wider-eyed perspective.

While the other characters have their moments, such as John Cena as Peacemaker and Idris Elba as Bloodsport, King Shark (voiced by Sylvester Stallone as Steve Agee) offers a lot more entertaining moments than his predecessor did.

Although The Suicide Squad is an entertaining movie, there are two significant problems. A major problem with the story is its lack of involvement. As the Squad is assigned a top-secret mission, there is little room for plot development or character development if the mission does not make sense. It’s not unreasonable to expect a film called The Suicide Squad to have both of these elements.

As well as the flaws discussed above, The Suicide Squad depicts shocking violence in an overly violent manner. The gore and violence aren’t a problem for me, but the casual viewer would find it excessive. The first DC movie’s R rating opens the floodgates for more blood and even some sex scenes, as the Deadpool films experienced in the outer reaches of the Marvel universe, however, the blood and guts eventually subside. When presented with extreme violence, an audience is close to being anesthetized.

The Suicide Squad would have been better if it demonstrated a certain amount of self-restraint and tact. However, a film which is populated with criminals probably shouldn’t ask for too much of either. I can see what a DCEU entry might have become if the movie had been a part of the wider DCEU. However, this one appears to be anomalous as well.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Suicide Squad, an improvement over the 2016 film and it made me forget that it even existed. This is DCEU’s Guardians of the Galaxy in its finest and most violent form, and I can see myself watching it again!

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Space Jam: A New Legacy Review

I remember when Space Jam was released in the 1990s, and it was a fun movie. With age, I became more conscious of the flaws in the film. Even though it remains fun, I would not call it perfect. A sequel to Space Jam had been talked about for a long time, but it never seemed to happen.

However, the discussions intensified during the last few years, and the resolution was achieved. My reactions to the idea were mixed, because I would have preferred some more original take on it. No matter what, I did not see any problem with updating Space Jam to the newer generations. 

Compared to the original, this film does not stand out as anything exceptional. Rather than writing a clever plot, the original movie set up a premise well. The first film is much more magical than Space Jam: A New Legacy. We are given a few lines of introduction to this villain, but his character is never fully developed. Furthermore, I’m generally fine with a film doing something and accepting it for what it is. A fatal flaw in this film is that it tries to explain everything in a manner that is realistic and serious. There’s no need for that!

While the last ten minutes of the film have some emotional impact, the rest of the film is impersonal. It lacks emotion and thought. In addition, Warner Media’s properties appear to be used extensively in this film. The two hour commercial was non stop. Not to mention Michael B. Jordan’s bait and switch!

Although LeBron’s basketball skills are numerous and world renowned, his acting skills pale in comparison to Jordan’s. In other words, he is wooden without a basketball in his hand, and frankly, he is boring to watch. Supporting cast also fails to impress. There is no good outcome from any of it.

There was some connection between Space Jam and space. Even that isn’t in this movie because I felt like the name of this movie was used as a trap to exploit the branding name of what we remembered when we were all kids.

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Square Enix’s E3 2021 Presentation Proved That They Are Out of Touch

This year’s E3 marked the first time since 2019 that Square Enix showcased a presentation. The two year long wait at the biggest gaming conference of the year should have been worth the wait. But it fell flat really quick.

The first reveal was Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. I will admit that I was intrigued and interested since it is a single-player experience. But knowing how Marvel’s Avengers was handled, I could not let my guard down. The gameplay is not too bad. But did this need twenty minutes of airtime that could have went to something else? What was Square Enix thinking?

Those twenty minutes could have been towards any news on Final Fantasy XVI or Project Triangle Strategy. But we got nothing of those upcoming titles. In fact, the first showing of any Final Fantasy games, were the “2-D Pixel Remasters” of Final Fantasy I-VI. Who asked for this? I love Final Fantasy, but these should have came to consoles in one package instead of buying them individually on mobile or Steam.

Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin is the upcoming “Souls” inspired game set in the Final Fantasy universe. When I read the rumors of Square Enix possibly developing this take of Final Fantasy, I was curious. And then the awful dialogue of the characters about Chaos screeched my ears. At least Garland’s voice actor from the Dissidia Final Fantasy series somewhat saved that mess of a trailer.

This did not help due to the fact that the demo of Stranger of Paradise was corrupted and unplayable when you downloaded it. I have not seen a mess from Square Enix like this since the original launch of Final Fantasy XIV back in 2010.

The final nail in the coffin was the next offering of Marvel’s Avengers. Even with a diminishing player base, the War of Wakanda expansion includes Black Panther and the Wakanda location that will progress the story. The question is, why was this not in the original launch of the game in the first place?

The hits keep on coming with this year’s E3 and Square Enix should be embarrassed of themselves for pulling off a bad atrocity of a presentation. Hopefully they can recover from this.

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Fear The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 16 “The Beginning” Review

Lennie James as Morgan Jones, Karen David as Grace – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 16 – Photo Credit: Ryan Green/AMC

Fear The Walking Dead’s sixth season started with Morgan’s Group separated. The story that followed that was with the conflict with Virginia’s group and the death of John Dorie. The season concluded with the warheads dropping in the area while the group is separated again.

I can tolerate it this time unlike the disaster of the season five finale. This time, I am looking forward to what is coming in season seven. Now that the bomb dropped, everyone will have to figure out a way to adapt to the radiation environment. Unlike how they encountered this on the previous season, the whole area is contaminated.

There are some really great moments that I love. The opening with Rachel was sad and dark for all of the wrong reasons. Nobody could save her after her injury and she had no choice but to kill herself. The dog did manage to use a walker to bring Morgan jr. to Morgan. I would want to question how this logically happened, but I let it pass because my next question is coming up.

Christine Evangelista as Sherry – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 16 – Photo Credit: Ryan Green/AMC

I must be the only one happy to finally see Sherry and Dwight together for good. I completely understood why it took time for their bond to go back to the way it was before the apocalypse. It was Negan that caused all of the trauma for her. She can finally move on with Dwight. Also, good thing that they killed those people that stolen the home owner’s basement.

Despite my feelings about Dakota, she received one of the best deaths in the series. Standing face forward of the bomb blast fried her to death and I loved it. I am also curious whether if we will see Daniel, Luciana, Charlie, Sarah, and Wes ever again since they are picked up by CRM. If we do see them again, hopefully it is at one of CRM’s locations.

The bomb drop on the finale also said “f*** them kids” from season five as they were nowhere to be seen during the whole season. And Strand’s speech before and after the bomb dropped is a masterclass of acting from Colman Domingo.

And finally, am I supposed to buy that Morgan and Grace is safe from the bomb blast by hiding under the car? Clearly Morgan Jr. is now dead from the blast. Everyone else was sheltered and they were not. Morgan and Grace must have a ton of radiation in their bodies now.

Overall, a great episode to close out the sixth season. I must say that Fear The Walking Dead bounced back in a good way as they really put the fear back on this show that was needed. In my opinion, this is a can’t miss season!

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Interview: Christine Evangelista Talks The Season 6 Finale of Fear The Walking Dead

Christine Evangelista as Sherry – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 16 – Photo Credit: Ryan Green/AMC

Dwight and Sherry’s reunion on Fear The Walking Dead has not been all roses and flowers the entire time. There was past trauma that Sherry shared with Dwight on what she went through with Negan. But by the end of the season, it seems like Sherry and Dwight are back together for good.

Christine Evangelista breaks down everything that happened between Sherry and Dwight on the season six finale of Fear The Walking Dead in this exclusive interview along with what she would like to see on the seventh season.

How did you and Austin Amelio prepare for the warhead landing scene?

CE: “The scene where they’re coming out of the house and the scene right after they shoot the guy and head back into the basement when the bomb going off was really intense. The tunnel that they go into the bunker was built on a soundstage. So they built this bunker that we dove into. And the entire thing is built on these mechanics that vibrate and move and all the shelves are knocking down and dust going everywhere. And it was a really intense scene to shoot. Because of that, you don’t know what is going to fall on top of you. So how do you prepare for an atomic bomb going off? I don’t know. But you just do. And it was legitimately scary because we’re in this device that was moving and vibrating and things were flying all over the place.”

Do you know if everyone shot their explosion scenes the same day as you and Amelio did, or were they all different days?

CE: “They were all set on different days because everyone was in different locations.”

Based on your experience being a featured character on The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead, were there any differences between acting on both shows?

CE: “Fear The Walking Dead and The Walking Dead are so similar in so many ways. And the point of obviously a lot of the cast is the same. We have Lenny, we have Austin and myself. But we also have a lot of our writers and executive producers and directors go back and forth. So I’ve been able to work with the same people on both shows. What’s been exciting about Fear The Walking Dead, especially this season, which is really unique to both shows, is that we’ve been able to shoot it in this anthology style. Which means that each episode is more character driven or you’re not having so many different characters in one episode and they’re just following one story the whole time. So you’ll see a day in the life of Sherry and Dwight. And for an actor, it’s really fulfilling because every episode has like an arc to it, like a real beginning, middle and end. And it’s been really great to go into Fear The Walking Dead while it’s doing this anthology style format and be able to really tell the story of what happened to Sherry. We don’t really know what happened. We don’t know how she’s different or what’s been going on the past few years. I mean, the last time we saw Sherry was years ago. So it’s been really cool to now pick this all up and be able to do the story justice, really tell it in a full way. So that’s been really exciting and like such a unique opportunity.”

As a viewer, are you relieved to see Sherry not go after Negan anymore when she realized that it is not worth doing so?

CE: “I think Sherry’s relieved, but I’m relieved also. I think even just as a viewer, I love that these characters are able to be together again and also that Sherry is able to, in some way move on from it and to get her power back and to not just chase the wrong God, as I say all the time. She’s just able to move on, be with her partner and maybe use all this experience that she had to help other people. And I think that’s really exciting. But it’s definitely a relief for everyone now.”

Now that the warhead has dropped and obliterated the entire area, I would like to see a situation like the video game Fallout where everyone is going to have to think of ways to gather resources in a nuclear environment while also protecting themselves. Is this something you would like to see for the seventh season?

CE: “Yeah, I think it’s so interesting. I remember when they told me that there was going to be a massive bomb that was going to go off and radiation was going to take over life as they know it. And I couldn’t even believe it because it’s going to change the dynamics of everything. You know, if you think about it, resources right now aren’t really available. After radiation and the bomb goes off, it’s going to be even less. And I think you could really bring out the worst in people. It’s a really scary situation. A lot of people died in the finale episode. And I think that mixed with life changing as they know it, is going to be really complicated and it’s going to make people choose a different path in life. And it doesn’t always bring out the best in people. So I think it’s going to be a very intense season because of that, It’s not just even about the walkers anymore and it’s not even just about the people that they know. It’s now you have this added element of this bomb destroying everything in sight. And I mean everything from like food to water, just think about how difficult things are going to be for them.”

Austin Amelio as Dwight, Christine Evangelista as Sherry – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 16 – Photo Credit: Ryan Green/AMC

Who did you like working with the most during this season?

CE: “Austin’s always amazing, and I was so excited to work with him again. He is just fantastic. We started this whole journey together. So it’s really cool. And it was almost like neither of us ever left. We just got back to working together. And we’re just good friends. I really love Jenna Elfman. I was always such a fan of her from Dharma and Greg. And to see her in this role of June, which is entirely different. That show was really cool. And she’s so committed to the character and she’s such a fantastic actress. And I just really love hanging out with her and like shooting the show. Everyone’s amazing, really. Everyone’s great. Mo Collins is great. She’s so funny. And she brings such a levity to the performance, which is really great to watch in a show that’s really difficult and challenging and dark in a lot of ways. I mean, everyone is so talented, but it’s cool that there’s so many great female characters on the show too.

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Interview: Aisha Tyler Talks Directing Fear The Walking Dead’s “J.D” Episode

SANTA MONICA, CA – FEBRUARY 25: Actress Aisha Tyler attends the 2016 Oscar Wilde Awards at Bad Robot on February 25, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)

Aisha Tyler has done practically everything in Hollywood: acting, voiceover work, hosting, directing, writing, and producing. She has been in the industry for over 25 years with several projects in her name. Aisha Tyler is also a fan of The Walking Dead and she as also appeared on AMC’s Talking Dead.

Last November, it was announced that Aisha Tyler will direct an episode of Fear The Walking Dead. It turned out that she directed the episode “J.D” and Aisha Tyler is here to break down directing this monumental episode in this exclusive interview.

You’ve been a fan of The Walking Dead for some time now, and this is now your first episode in the franchise that you directed. How excited were you when you first got the news?

Aisha: “Incredibly excited. I wish I could come up with some phrase that’s like spectacularly descriptive, but I was thrilled because it had been something I’ve been hoping to do for a long time. And I had had some meetings with AMC where we talked about the fact that I love the franchise. I would love the opportunity to direct, but I don’t know that I thought it was going to happen. So you’re kind of always just doing your work. I was off directing other stuff. And it was just a thrill when it came back around.”

Do you remember exactly where you were or what you were doing when you got the call that AMC wanted you to direct the episode?

Aisha: “That’s a really good question. I don’t. It’s all just blended into a beautiful golden memory. I do remember that I did a zoom call with the show runners Ian and Andrew, and that was great. We just hit it off. And a friend of mine and I were texting and I got the email from my management team and I was like, “I got the job!” I do remember that. I just remember that I was very excited.”

Knowing that Fear The Walking Dead was filmed during the pandemic, what were some challenges you had to endure as a director?

Aisha: “Well, the biggest issue right now for covid productions other than testing is a shorter shoot day. And so that’s just challenging. You just have less time to do the same amount of work. And that remains the challenge across this episode. But luckily, because the episode was essentially set over a single day, we could only shoot from sunup to sundown. And that natural kind of time limit meant that we had to work really effectively and efficiently, which we did. So it was exhilarating. You’re always rushing when you’re directing. Every day is just a sprint. But it was beautiful and enjoyable and we were able to get done.”

This episode is a tribute to John Dorie Jr. I thought that the eulogy scene was beautiful from the way it was shot and with the way Jenna Elfman delivered her lines. What are the conversations like between you and Jenna when it came to crafting that scene?

Aisha: “We had a really good conversation before we started shooting the episode about how she felt about it as an actor and what was her character was going through. And, you know, this was really June’s first real moment where she allowed herself to mourn John. She just been on this kind of mad sprint to redeem herself and really driven by grief and by anger at the world about herself. And this was her opportunity to say goodbye. So we really wanted to make sure that we honored that moment for her because it was a really transformational one for June. And I think also on a larger level with Dwight and Sherry. John and June’s relationship represented something really specific in their world, which is that it’s possible to find beauty and it’s possible to find love in a terrible state of affairs in the world around them. And so I really wanted to make sure that there was a lot of beauty in that scene and a lot of love and that it wasn’t just sad because it was all of our opportunities to both say goodbye to a character that we all really love and also to celebrate the beauty of that relationship.”

Jenna Elfman as June, Christine Evangelista as Sherry, Austin Amelio as Dwight – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 13 – Photo Credit: Ryan Green/AMC

Were there any scenes that you directed for this episode that you felt like you wanted to put yourself in any of the character’s shoes, whether it was June, Dwight, Sherry or John Sr?

Aisha: “Not really. When you’re directing, you get to be in everybody’s shoes all the time. That’s really the nature of being a director. You’re kind of inside all of it all the time. And that’s why I love directing because I really get to care for everybody on set and think about every every character and their experience and their journey. And I get to put my feet in the shoes of the fifth character, which is the audience. And I really get to be a part of things and thinking about how the audience will experience this episode and how they’ll connect with the characters. So that’s the coolest thing about being a director, is you get to play all the roles.”

Are there any past episodes of either The Walking Dead or Fear The Walking Dead that you wish you had the chance to direct?

Aisha: “Well, my favorite episode of The Walking Dead and there are a lot of really good ones, is ‘Clear.’ It’s the episode where we find Morgan again. And I love that episode of television as one of my favorite episodes of television period because it’s so incredibly layered and emotional and it really focuses on what grief and loss do to a person. And Lenny James is just such an extraordinary actor. And I just remember crying through the whole episode because it was just so beautiful and so painful and it was so tender. And seeing Rick and Morgan together again was so wonderful. But it wasn’t the reunion we all expected them to have as fans. And just to see the shell around Morgan kind of crack a little bit of him, connect with human beings again after all that time suffering alone was just such a beautiful episode.”

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