This week’s episode of The Walking Dead World Beyond showcased the demise of Lyla Bellshaw. Her death is one of the best executed of the series so far. Here to talk about the big character death is Natalie Gold, who played the character in this brand new exclusive interview.
The theme for this episode is to catch the mice and then when the mice runs out of energy, it gets devoured better. And the next thing you know, the same thing happens to your character later in the episode. What went through your mind when you went through the entire script?
NG: “I knew that Layla was going to go. I just didn’t know how. And so when I read the script, I just thought it was a really cool epic death. I thought it was a full circle moment for Lyla in a way that she gets killed by by an invention of her own creation. Like she killed Barca and its poetic justice for her. In her mind, she started to break a little bit. But she keeps telling herself it’s for the greater good and she ends up being on the other side. So. I felt sad for Lyla. I think she was trying to do her best.”
Your death scene really played out well and I love the gore that came with it. Would you like to tell me some of the behind the scenes work that went into developing that scene?
NG: “Oh, we had an incredible like a whole VFX team. So the special effects team and their whole department took me to the trailer to get that huge bite mark on my neck. And then we had a whole system with the blood and everything. So that was really cool. I hadn’t gotten to see them yet because they work on all the empties and they do all the cool effects and stuff like that. So that was pretty awesome.”
Was that scene done in one take?
NG: “The blood was done in one take because we just did that at the end. But the fight between me and Barca, we did multiple times and that was kind of a beautiful. We had our stunt choreographers creating this amazing fight. And then Al Calderon, who played Barca and I rehearsed it, and then when we went to go do it, we just added 1,000,000 times and it was a lot of fun and totally exhausting. We were both very sore the next day and exhausted. And then we had our two amazing cameramen. Craig and Joel, and they’re with us at some points. So we were jumping around the cameras and over cables maintaining this fight. So that was crazy and fun. Safe, but just a lot of energy. And then we stopped so I could go get the prosthetic on my neck like we would. We would cut right when he was about to bite me and we had just that take for him and for the blood to kind of spread out.”
Do you have any stories to share about working with Pollyanna McIntosh?
NG: “Oh God, it was. We had a great time. We spent a long day like in the interrogation room and we just felt really like happy to be working with each other and it just felt like a kind of cool, incredible energy. We were excited to do those scenes and then work with each other. Pollyanna is so cool and such an amazing actor and so dedicated to the universe and the story and the character Jadis. it was so incredible to have her come on. I was kind of her direct subordinate and her being the one that I had to answer to, all the pressure fell on my character in a very cool way.”
Were you able to take anything home from the set from either season one or season two?
NG: “I did get somebody on our props department made these like amazing stickers that were like comic book kind of photos, but hand-drawn. It is Leo and Lyla being scientists out in the wilderness. That was so much fun.”
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!”
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
This weeks’ episode of Fear The Walking Dead titled “In Dreams” is a devastating and also a heartbreaking one. Grace and Morgan finding out that her baby is stillborn will go down as one of the darkest moments in the franchise. Here to talk about that shocking moment, is Karen David as we go over all the details about that moment in this exclusive interview.
How did you prepare for that twist at the end of the episode?
KD: “I knew about these storylines when Ian and Andrew sat me down pre pandemic, so I had this extended period of time to to prepare for this, which in hindsight I’m really grateful for, because it’s a very devastating storyline. It’s a very sensitive subject. And I needed to really even let that sit with me. I took a lot of deep breaths when I was reading the script and then had many meetings with Michael Satrazemis. He is one of our most wonderful magical directors on the show with Jalaludin, who is a magnificent director of photography. Ian and Andre, who penned this, just found that that perfect balance in telling this this story. We kind of all came together and sat down and we went through the whole the whole thing and what to expect. I was so excited because esthetically and stylistically, this is an episode that we’ve never really done in our universe. With the subject to of infancy loss, it’s something that has never been talked about. And then from there, you also have like those little easter eggs in the unconscious state where you see the bird poop walker, my truck, and Grace in her suit paying homage to her journey, which began in season five. I just loved all of that coming into play in Grace’s unconscious state. I was really excited that we were doing something very groundbreaking and very different. And I could not be more proud of the end results. And to see the initial feedback of you guys, you know, having watched the advance screenings and all that, it just it means the world to all of us. We knew that this is going to be a very big episode for the universe, but also a very big episode for Grace and I. It’s been a real honor to tell her story.”
After I watched “In Dreams”, I had to take a few minutes to process what I witnessed. At that time, I thought of that particular episode of Chernobyl where a pregnant woman lost her baby due to her baby absorbing all of the radiation from the character. Did the comparison of the real life incident and that episode came through your mind when you were going through the script of the episode?
KD: “I know each case is very different and I’m not a medical expert where I can speak on those things. But I certainly watched all of Chernobyl. I did a lot of research on Hiroshima and Chernobyl and what had happened and the stories of what different people had been through. And I tried to take as much of that. And, you know, Mikey, I, Ian, and Andrew had many discussions about this and how that played into Grace’s experience in this apocalyptic world. One thing that remains true is having personal experience with this with my family members and dearest friends who have suffered through infancy loss and doing so much research, listening to many videos of families who were so courageous to talk about their experience. For me, it was so important to tell their story through Grace as well, and to honor and respect what they have been through, through Grace. It was a fine balance to achieve. And as an actor, this storyline was with something that is a gift to be challenged in a way both emotionally, spiritually and physically, and to talk about a subject that’s so important and so sensitive. I can only hope and pray that I was able to do that respectfully and and with justice to the storyline. So to hear all the feedback has just been so wonderfully overwhelming and just means so much to to both Grace and I.”
As you said, the structure of this episode has never been done before and you and Lennie James did an amazing job telling this story. Do you have any stories on how you and Lennie work on this way of storytelling?
KD: “Michael and the rest of us kind of sat together mapped everything out and they showed these wonderful vision boards and storyboards of what they wanted to achieve in the unconscious state for Grace, but also in, you know, the conscious state. There is no break for me or Grace in this episode. And it was very much trying to navigate very delicately through each scene. I couldn’t have been in better hands and in safer hands, with or without crew and with Michael and the gang and certainly with Lenny, who is the best scene partner I could have ever dreamed of that last scene. We didn’t want to over rehearse it. That was one all done in one take. We didn’t want to see the baby, the prosthetic baby, which special effects did a phenomenal job. We kind of just read the lines for the sake of reading them. So we kind of knew where things were at, but we didn’t want to rehearse it. It was just going to do it. It’s just one of those deeply emotional scenes that you can’t really rehearse as it’s going to happen in the moment. And I knew that I was in safe hands with Lenny and with Michael and the crew. There was this bonding moment and we’re a tight knit family. But in that moment, if I can explain and do it justice, I never felt more supported and loved by every crew member and our cameraman, Ramon and Chris. They were right there where I didn’t have to worry about anything. I could just allow myself to go through this moment with Lenny and with Michael. When Lenny placed the prosthetic baby in my hands for the first time in that moment, my tears were for my family members. I cried for my not only my family, but my dearest friends and all those families whose videos I watched for what they had been through. I can’t even call it acting in that moment. It felt so real. And the minute he placed the baby in my hands, I was just broken. It broke me. And one take was all we needed. It was quite devastating. I was just relieved that we got through it. And it was a beautiful and even though devastating moment, but a beautiful moment for Lenny, Michael and our crew to have endured together, which is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. In my heart, I just felt so supported in that moment. And I’m just really grateful. And it turned out just the way that it should have.”
Do you know what was the significance of the pink leaves were during the dream sequence?
KD: “I know that Michael wanted to create this very ethereal world where it was sort of a break for grace from reality. As we all know what was happening later on the episode and what was happening in real life, she’s in this world where she could have this opportunity to delve into the future, where she could see her future and what her daughter was like, and to know that everything was going to be OK because she’s so convinced that this is her time. From the minute that Grace is introduced into this universe, we know that her clock is ticking and she’s convinced that this is it for her.Time is to be called on death’s doors and she has this moment now to to say goodbye to the people that she loves and to also find some peace, knowing that everyone and everything would be OK. It reminded me a lot of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind which is one of my favorite films. And, you know, just being in this world where clarity happens for her. Clarity, gratitude, remorse, like all the feels that she kind of navigates and goes through in this unconscious world, is something so powerful and and so exciting for me as an actor to have been able to to delve into for Grace.”
Silas’ journey so far on The Walking Dead World Beyond is sad. Knowing that his father was abusive towards him and his mother really tramutized him. Anyone that suffers from that dark past, I would have sympathy for and I do for Silas. On this exclusive quick interview, Hal Cumpston breaks down the development of Silas on the most recent episode of The Walking Dead World Beyond.
How did you mentally prepare for your flashback scenes before the cameras started rolling?
Hal: I was very excited and ready to go for this episode for a while so there wasn’t too much trouble trying to get into character.
There is one thing that your character and Felix has in common and that is, that their fathers were not great role models to them when they were teenagers and young adults. Have you and Nico Tortorella talked about that behind the scenes?
Hal: We filmed such a long time ago I can’t remember discussing it exactly. We spent 6 months with each other so there isn’t really a topic we didn’t delve into.
How intense was it for Silas to know that the first walker that he killed, is his father? And will we find out if his mom forgave him?
Hal: Silas is still intensely haunted by his past in particular having to kill his father twice. And I cannot answer the second question for now.
The first season is going to conclude soon. What are your favorite memories being part of World Beyond’s first season?
Hal: My mind is a bit hazy about particular memories from set but it was definitely a lot of fun. I’d say the overall experience that I get to be so lucky to do this as a job is definitely what sticks with me the most. But to give a funny memory there was a hilarious shocker where a cake was arranged for Annet’s “Birthday” yet low and behold it wasn’t her birthday. Another time that was funny was a day on episode 3 where I couldn’t make eye contact with Nicolas Cantu in an emotion scene because Nick, Nico and I had the giggles.
How challenging was it for you at first when you were first introduced into this universe of The Walking Dead?
Hal: I was pretty all over the place emotionally as I didn’t have a point of reference, it being my first US audition. The overall feeling was more of a “I’m so lucky to be here” than being a challenging or daunting experience. I did feel pretty comfortable pretty quickly thankfully. The fact all I had to do was act and I had money for the first time in my life was an easier version of life than the previous years working non-stop for little moneys on my indie film.
If there are any two characters between the main show and Fear The Walking Dead that you would like to see Silas interact with, who would they be?
Hal: Rick and Daryl probably. Sorry boring answer but that’s who realistically would probably be the coolest.
Kjersti Long has started her music career at an early age. She was nine years old when she wrote her first song “Rollercoaster” as it was about her personal struggles with anxiety. Kjersti also released her first album Stronger Than You Think I Am a year after she headlined The Bitter End in New York City.
At that time, the future was bright for her and it still is. The talented singer also headlined many iconic venues across the united states such as The Apollo Theater, The Velour, House of Blues, The Delancy, and The Stone Pony. It would take a massive amount of years to headline those world famous venues, but she did it.
With the support of her family, friends, and fans, Kjersti will go very far in this industry. Her passion really shines through her music and her great personality. Kjersti Long also has hobbies outside of music such as horseback riding and reading books. As the time goes by, Kjersti will have plenty of stories to tell through her music and social media.
Her new single “Not Your Princess” tells a unique story and Kjersti Long explains it all on this exclusive interview. Also to note, there are two versions of this song. One is pop themed, and the other is rock themed. Kjersti also goes over the decision to produce two versions of “Not Your Princess” as well.
The Walking Dead’s 10th season has finally concluded earlier this week. The Whisperer War has taken a toll on each community and now that it is over, what is coming next is bigger than what we seen before. One central character during this arc has had a journey.
That journey started tragic, and ended with a satisfying victory. That character is Carol and Melissa McBride is here to talk all about the season 10 finale!
I first have to bring up that masterful scene at the cliff. When you watched it for yourself, What went through your mind?
MM: “When I watched that scene, I was screaming in my head for Carol to walk back and away from the end of that cliff. I was also thinking that Carol has been through all of the trauma that Alpha put her through. You would have to be in a really dark place in your mind at that moment just like Carol was because she had all of this guilt, anger, and sadness that was building up inside her mind and she really thought the best way to heal from that, is to get away from everyone forever. But I am happy that Lydia saved her because Carol saved Lydia from a similar situation back at the season nine finale. The last thing that was on my mind, is that the post production did an outstanding job with the effects when the walkers were walking off the cliff because I did not see the finale until it aired.”
The moment that really stood out for me is when Lydia saved Carol when she was near the edge. You and Cassidy Mclincy worked together during this season, and it really came full circle during that scene. What can you say about how impactful that moment was with the both of you?
MM: “I love working with Cassady McClincy. The dynamic between us when we are ready to act our scenes out is great. We both knew that it would be an emotional scene when we read it on the script. But acting it out is really different. The part when Lydia threw Alpha’s mask away signifies that the era of The Whisperers is totally over and that we can peacefully move on. So I can say that scene did really impacted us and I believe that there will be a lot of fans that will relate to that scene and hug Lydia and Carol shared.”
Do you feel that Carol is finally relieved that Alpha and The Whisperers are over?
MM: “Oh yes! She is relieved that they are all gone. I feel that Carol was releaved the moment her and Daryl talked about New Mexico. What we seen with Lydia and Carol, was them two grieving and sharing each other’s pain while fully accepting eachother. What we then seen with Carol and Daryl, is a huge healing band-aid that they can both share when they hugged eachother.”
At the end of “A Certain Doom”, we were introduced to The Commonwealth soldiers. How do you think that Carol will fit in The Commonwealth if she goes there?
MM: “I am not sure if she can fit there. But I hope that Carol can. There is a lot about the final season that I cannot say for now, but The Commonwealth is going to be a challenege for most of the characters and you will find out how their lives will change. I do love the way those soldiers look though” (laughs).
The news broke that Daryl and Carol will be getting a spinoff series in 2023. Although it is not named yet, what would you name the show?
MM: “I would name it The Walking Dead: Ride with Daryl and Carol (laughs). But I have a few more names in my head. This spinoff has been in the works for quite a while. You can also see a few hints that the series was happening back in season 9, and early into season 10 of The Walking Dead. This is something we are both looking forward to!”
Aliyah Royale plays as Iris on The Walking Dead: World Beyond. Iris is the sister of hope and these two have a great bond with eachother that we will see when World Beyond debuts in a matter of weeks. During my set visit tour, I got a chance to speak with Aliyah Royale about her role on World Beyond and her love of The Walking Dead in this exclusive set tour interview.
Aliyah on being casted on The Walking Dead: World Beyond
Aliyah: “It was absolutely insane. Wednesday I got this call to go in this room super early in the day. At the same night when I was with my friends at Benihana’s and I get a call to be in New York tomorrow. I tested for it that day with Alexa, and I was in New York for 12 hours max. And on Saturday morning, me and my mom were heading to the movies. My agent called me while we were in the car at the parking lot. He told me that I got the part and My mom was clearly the first person I told.”
“It was so crazy because we both told eachother that we were going to the movie and to also remain calm. But we were there jittery and we could not stop moving. We then decided to leave and go to the cheesecake factory to talk about this. It was so exciting and I got to share it with my mom.”
Do you remember what movie it was? And did anyone in the theater notice that you were very excited?
Aliyah: “It was Stuber. We sat there for the first two minutes and I could not stop moving or pay attention to this movie. There were people looking around in that theater like ‘who the hell is this’, ‘who won’t stop talking, and ‘who won’t stop shaking the whole theater with her legs.’ I do have to watch Stuber at some point.”
Aliyah on describing Iris Bennett
Aliyah: “I like to describe her as a really good friend. She is very sweet, loyal, and a giver. Iris is ready to do anything for anyone at anytime and she does not need to know you. For example, the first time she meets another character, everyone else is asking ‘who the hell is this guy’ and Iris gives him a snack after she asks him if he is hungry. I like that about her because she always gives people the benefit of the doubt.”
Does Iris have a weapon of choice?
Aliyah: “Yes! her name is shilo. I am the only character that named their weapon. My favorite character on the main show is Negan and he has Lucille. So I wanted to name my weapon because of that. Shilo isa pole with a triceratops horn attached on the top of the pole. It belonged to Elton at first and he wanted to make the weapon cooler. And then Shilo was born!”
Has the name of Iris’ weapon made it to the show?
Aliyah: “It has not made the show, but it has made it to the crew which I am very happy about. Like when they hand me the weapon in the props area, they know that it is mines because I have the weapon’s name on a card where it is placed. Shilo is also the same name of my husky I had when I was eight years old. I associate both of them with the same level of coolness.”
How long have you been a fan of The Walking Dead?
Aliyah: “I would say ten years ago, but I was very young. I was too young to watch it at the time, but my brothers love the show. I became obsessed with The Walking Dead because of my brothers. My brothers also still do not believe I am on the show. They are in denial even after I told them. But I technically have no proof to show them because I can’t share any pictures at the moment (laughs).”
What kind of conflicts will we see Iris go through?
Aliyah: “I think one of the biggest conflicts Iris has, is making hard choices. She is trying to find the line between putting everyone in danger vs. doing the best she can to find her father. Her and her sister went on a journey to their father. During that journey, Iris has been put in situations that potentinally put people in danger that nobody expected to be in. If someone gets hurt, she does not want them to be left behind. She wants to make sure that none of the people that she brought with her on this journey serve the conciquences because of her decisions.”
Nicolas Cantu plays as Elton on The Walking Dead: World Beyond. Elton is the youngest of the group of main characters and he is interested in observing everything that is outside the walls of the community. But there is more to Elton than his bright personality and Nicolas Cantu is here to talk about the character.
Myself and other journalists got a chance to speak with Nicolas Cantu during the set tour of The Walking Dead: World Beyond and here are some of the highlights of the interview I will share. Also to note, Nicolas was accompanied by his mother and dog as these interviews took place.
Nicolas on his audition on the show and his initinal reaction
Nicolas: “When I saw the audition and it said ‘TWD3’ (at the time), my mind flipped out. Then I realized that it had nothing to do with the main show. So I had to play this character, but they could not spoil anything of the story elements. So it was a very weird audition to do that. But then I did the audition and I thought it went well. Then I got the callback and I thought that things were getting closer. A month later, I got the call that I will be joining the cast and I jumped on my couch. I was so estatic! It was so crazy.”
Nicolas on his character Elton
Nicolas: ” Elton is a very analitical, 14 year old boy. He is an old soul and is obsessed with this discovery with the world around him. He grew up in this fortified community and he has done all of this study behind the walls. Now it is time to get visceral with this study. Elton’s quest is to go out to the world and seeing how nature and these ’empties’ have affected the way people live outside of these walls. He is obsessed with discovery.”
Why are the walkers on this show called empties?
Nicolas: “In the main show, there is no zombie media so you could not call them zombies. In different parts of the world, people call them different things. We call them empties because they are empty inside. They are a shell of a person now. That is what I think of the thought process is. They are very distinct from the walkers on the main show. They are very affected by the enviornment and you can see how nature has taken both physical places and the bodies of these people.”
Nicolas on if Elton has a weapon of choice
Nicolas: “Elton’s weapon is karate, the knowledge of martial-arts, and his brain. Instead of actively going out to fight these empties, he knows that it is way more effictive and efficent to try to deter them or not engage at all. Every second you are fighting an empty, you also have every second of dying. If he ever comes face to face in a grim situation, he would rather deflect than try to completly demolish the threat.”
Does Elton have a special connection with anyone in the group?
Nicolas: “Elton is an orphan child in the community and he has not had a family in a long time. He and Silas get close together in the pilot. He also gets close with the girls of the group. Elton is building this family that he has not had in a long time. It is a very special thing for him and it is what he cherish the most.”
How does everyone that is younger find out about the empties?
Nicolas: “From inside the university, there are people doing research on the world out there. Elton would read books in the library to study up on what people know and documented on the outside. There are also clases to try to fight these empties. When the time comes, you would know what to strike, what to target, and what to avoid. They do know a lot about it. They have not seen these horrors first hand, but they know of them. The empties lurk outside and the security dispatch them like it is nothing.”