My Visit on the Set of The Walking Dead World Beyond

The Walking Dead World Beyond kicked off their first season in October 2020. While the reception has been mixed so far, World Beyond will be a mainstay for the next year. At November 2019, I was invited to attend their set to meet the cast and to see what was being filmed. I will break down what my entire experience was like!

After the travel arrangements were made, I went to bed that Thursday night looking forward to the next day. On Friday morning while I was at the JFK Airport, I made a last minute order for a cab service to the hotel. The airplane was a little late to depart since the engine needed to be changed. But I got there at Virginia safe. After the plane landed, my cab service was there. It was surreal since the driver had my name on a paper on the window. Do not mind me, I never experienced that before.

BTS – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC

I am then dropped off at the hotel. It was actually a great hotel and it was a studio suite. After I dropped off my things, I had to prepare for my interview with Josh McDermitt since that was scheduled before the tour. I then plugged in my Nintendo Switch on the television to play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for 20 minutes and placed my MacBook on the charger. After that, I went to the lobby to be picked up.

BTS – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC

But I was not the only one there. There were five other reporters there. One of them I know is Kirsten Acuna of Insider. We all talked about what could happen on World Beyond at the time on our way to the set. I also have to note that at the time, World Beyond did not have a title yet. It was only known as “TWD3” and not even the cast or crew knew the name of the show yet.

BTS – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC

We arrive on the set which was about 20 minutes away from the hotel. I remember the weather being very cold that day. The cold weather was so brutal, that the tents had heaters. We were all greeted by production assistants, publicists, and representives of AMC. The look of the set is massive. It really felt like it was a real apoclapse in that area. And for some reason, a tall rocket was there.

BTS – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC

Next, we were all guided to the tents where the interviews took place. One by one during the afternoon, cast members arived in between breaks of when they filmed scenes. The interviews that took place at the time were with Nicolas Cantu, Nico Tortorella, Annet Mahendru, and Hal Cumpston. Nicolas’ mother and dog were also present during these interviews as well. It is here, that we learned more about the characters and plot of World Beyond. There were also questions to how this show will tie in to the status of Rick Grimes.

BTS – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC

We did not know until we got there that Michael Cudlitz (The Walking Dead’s Abraham) directed the episode that we were there for the tour. I actually ran into him while I was getting hot chocolate for the second time and we both joked about the cold weather for a brief second. He was not available for interviews since he was busy with the directing. But later towards the night, we all sat on the directors chairs outside to look at a scene being filmed.

BTS – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC

I thought it was interesting to see how one of those scenes were being filmed in different angles and shots. It also gave me insight on the directors point of view of what looks good, and what does not. After the scenes were shot, we all had dinner. I must say, that the food options and catering was really. I also seen the talent and crew all together during dinner and they all seemed happy and excited from what I seen. Let’s say that the family vibe with all of them together was on full display.

After dinner, the interviews with Aliyah Royale and Alexa Mansour took place. In fact, these interviews took place inside the set in different rooms instead of the tent.

After these interviews took place, we talked with the publicists and representives of AMC about World Beyond. They also talked about how they handle large crowds when it comes to the stars of the main show doing public appearences. It was really interesting to hear them talk about that since I can imagine how insane it is. The conversation then shifted to how great the set tour was. Even one reporter said that this was better than the IT: Chapter 2 set tour that he attened since he and four others were in one room the entire day.

The set tour concluded at around 10:00pm. We were escorted back to the hotel. It was a blast and we all talked about our experience during the ride and said our goodbyes to eachother. I had a great time. I will add this because it was strange. About 10 minutes after I got back into my room to start playing my Switch again, a fire alarm went off. This lasted for about 20 minutes as I thought that there was a fire. The fire department even showed up. But there was no fire.

That did not ruin my experience, But I was sure scared. The set tour was awesome and I will always thank AMC for allowing me to visit!

(Editor’s Note: The episode that I was there for the set tour was for 1.07 and the set is also re-used for 1.08)

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The Walking Dead World Beyond Season 1, Episode 7 “Truth or Dare” Review

Alexa Mansour as Hope, Aliyah Royale as Iris, Hal Cumpston as Silas, Annet Mahendru as Huck, Nico Tortorella as Felix – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 7 – Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC

Things got dark really quick on “Truth or Dare.” World Beyong finally showcased how cruel the outside world is for the group. The tone comparison to the previous six episodes are night and day.

Not only that “Truth or Dare” ended with a strong cliffhanger, we also got a glimpse of Huck’s backstory. To me, Huck’s flashback scenes are the most essential flashbacks World Beyond has had yet. Finding out the reason Huck has the pernament scar on her face and her real name being Jennifer is eye opening. Also during her flashbacks, there were questions on the universe of The Walking Dead that were addressed. What is revealed, is why the military did what they did on the first seasons of The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead. I always wanted to see the military’s point of view during the beginning of the apocalypse and I am happy that it was brought up.

I will have to give a high praise to Annet Mahendru. Her performance on this episode is outstanding and I believe this is also her best episode. Her potential was there at the start, but it blossomed on “Truth or Dare” the entire time. Huck did what she had to do when she was in the military. There was no way that she would allow a group of innocent people to be massacred by the military.

Nico Tortorella as Felix, Annet Mahendru as Huck, Aliyah Royale as Iris, Alexa Mansour as Hope – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 7 – Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC

As far as the structure of the episode, there were no moments at all that made me roll my eyes or cringe. There was nothing silly at all as it got real. What was also missing about World Beyond since the start, is the suspension of disbelief. We watch the characters not realistically handle dangerous situations. But this time around, I felt it was realistic. They learned real quick that not everyone is good on the outside. Hope in particular, got into that situation where she could have been killed. That was until Huck saved the day.

That scene is effective because it displayed the true horrors of the world. Do not ever trust anyone 100% when it comes to encountering people. But the end of the episode is something I did not expect. Whether if Silas killed Tony or not, will be up in the air until next week. But the fact that Percy is not there tooo makes me question if he did it instead of Silas.

I also believe that everyone will talk about the Mountain Dew product placement. I had no problem with the spot. But it looked out of place from a visual standpoint. But at least the bottle looked like it did in 2010 (editor’s note: I did actually researched what the bottles’ appearence was like in 2010 and it is the same as that scene). I am a stickler for attention to detail when it comes to spots like that. If there was a bottle that looked like it is manufactured in 2020, then it would be inconsistent. Now I can picture a thirty second ad of Mountain Dew during the commercial break of any of TWD universe shows.

Another good thing about this episode, is how CRM is used for the plot. Instead of a post credit scene, a CRM map is featured. Everyone put the pieces together to figure out the fueling stations on that map and where could Hope and Iris’ father be. A quick inspection of that map also showed a fueling station in Virginia. Which means that the station at that location, could have been close to Jadis’ junkyard on The Walking Dead.

Even the game of truth or dare itself added to the episode in a good way. Percy knows that Hope knows that she killed Elton’s mom. That game was about to bring that revelation out. I thought it was going to happen here, but I now predict that it will happen in the finale.

With a heavy plot, dark tone, and no nonsense approach, “Truth or Dare” is the strongest episode of The Walking Dead: World Beyond.

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The Walking Dead World Beyond Season 1, Episode 6 “Shadow Puppets” Review: Don’t Listen to Strangers

Nico Tortorella as Felix – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 6 – Photo Credit: AMC

There are five more episodes left of World Beyond to finish the first season. “Shadow Puppets” is one of those episodes that has great directing and cinematrography. But it falls flat when it comes to the dialouge and some of the character’s actions.

What did not make any sense at the first five minutes, is how the cliffhanger on the previous episode is resolved. Percy approached them with a weapon and Felix stops him from behind. Then Percy said that he will now leave. What was the point of revealing yourself if you were going to leave. Iris is ready to trust anyone that tells her a false story and believe every word they say. I find that ridiculous that they are easy to trust anyone.

But they got a harsh reality later on when Percy and Tony almost drove away with their belongings. Speaking of Tony, it boggles my mind that nobody else checked his body to see if Tony was really dead. Felix should have been the one to have done that. I also want to bring up the ending scene. While it did not made me blow a gasket like that dance scene did, the shadow puppet show should have happened inside. There is no reason to have loud music outside while everyone is sitting down and not paying attention to see if there are any sights of the undead around. There is no excuse for that scene to happen the way it did at all.

Alexa Mansour as Hope, Nicolas Cantu as Elton – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 6 – Photo Credit: AMC

There are some good moments that I liked. The scary moments really brought my anxiety up. And I believe the sense of urgency worked better for this episode than the others. Specifically when they were all helping Iris out of the dumpster. I was made to believe that she was going to get bit by the undead for a second.I also want to praise Michael Cudlitz for directing the episode because the cinematrography felt sharp and differernt than all of the previous episodes. Especially when Felix smashed the mirror in which he thought was the empty that he had to kill. Also, bonus points for making Tony act like a walker when he got up for a few seconds to trick the viewers.

It is getting close to the point where Hope will reveal that she killed Elton’s mother. The guilt is coming out of her whenever they are talking about his mom. Hope will have the feeling to confess that she did kill her within the next few episodes, or she will let it slip out by accident to another character. How Elton will react, will be intriguing to see.

Although not enough information was revealed at the post-credit scene, it seems like CRM is aware of Hope and Iris’ arrival. What could happen to their father is up in the air for now. Maybe CRM might have him as a test subject before their arrival, or have him stationed somewhere else. Since the truck that Tony stolen is property of CRM, it can make their trip much faster. Putting my criticisms aside, I thought that “Shadow Puppets” is a decent episode and better structured than the previous two episodes.

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The Walking Dead World Beyond Season 1, Episode 5 “Madman Across the Water” Review: It is FINALLY Picking Up

Nico Tortorella as Felix, Annet Mahendru as Huck, Alexa Mansour as Hope – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Macall Polay/AMC

After last week’s disastrously bad episode, World Beyond has finally found it’s footing. “Madman Across the Water” made up for it in a great way. The memories of a cringe dance sequence followed by a wolf that served no purpuse has erased from my memory. On this episode, there was a sense of urgency, suspense, and danger that the group encounters.

The strongest praise I will give is Elton. Nicolas Cantu’s performance on “Madman Across the Water” is his best perfomance on World Beyond so far. That is because of how well his flashback scenes were used to enhance the character. Watching Nicolas portray Elton on this episode compared to the last four is night and day. I say this because for the first four episodes, Elton was a character that was trying way too hard to fit in with the rest of them. Since everyone was forced into a situation where they had to adapt, Elton came off more human than robotic.

Nico Tortorella as Felix, Aliyah Royale as Iris- The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Macall Polay/AMC

The dialouge for most of this episode reminded me of how ridicilous most of the dialouge was on some of the season 8 episodes of the main show. Did we really need to see Iris break up a verbal fight just so she can have this giant speech? Felix is older than all four of them. He should have showed more authority towards Iris at that moment. Felix also should remind all of them that they have no idea what they are in for because this is not a trip to disneyland. It is dangerous out there.

I will admit, that I was jumpy when that thunderbolt hit that shed. When that happened, the tension rised when the empties started to arrive.

The scene with Hope and Elton towards the end is building towards something. Little pieces like this that will come to play in later episodes. Hope now knows that she shot Elton’s mom and when the time comes for her to tell Elton that, I would like to see how he will react. It made me gasp once she seen the photo and I am sure that everyone reacted the same way.

The most interesting part of Elton’s flashback scenes, is his last one. After the military left the museum, Elton found a map that lead him to the Campus Colony. I wondered how the characters ended up there. And I am happy to see at least one of the characters go there.

The final moments of the episode really made me look forward to the next episode. They were all in a situation that could cost them their lives. And this is their first test on how to survive a bad encounter because people are worse than the undead. What worked on this episode better than the last episode, is the task of building a boat with the resources they had. Although the scripting of the dialouge is questionable, the setting and urgency of needing to get something done in a quick time mattered more than dancing in a school gym.

Overall, I enjoyed “Madman Across the Water” for what it was. This is the first strong episode that did not have CRM attached to it at the end. “Blaze of Glory” also did not have a CRM scene, but there were huge inconsistencies that took me out of the moment. Next week, we will see how they all deal with a threat.

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The Walking Dead World Beyond Season 1, Episode 4 “The Wrong End of a Telescope” Review: Dances With Wolves

In all my years watching The Walking Dead franchise, this episode has to rank up there as one of the worst in between the three shows. I know that I was extremely critical on “Swear” and the Season 2’s mid-season premiere, but this episode is worse than the both of them.

If you were to tell me that I would see high school dancing in the universe of The Walking Dead, I would have said “no way that would happen.” But surprise, it happened here. I get what they were going with for the characters to reimagine what high school would have been like, but this is not what fans tune in to see for a horror genre show. It worked on Stranger Things with that school dance. But this is not Stranger Things. That moment with Iris and Silas is a top tier level of cringe that I will not erase from my memory. All of this happened after they both had a drink of 10 year old soda.

When you see viewers online say that World Beyond is like a CW show, they will look at moments like that school dance scene to back up their claim. The scene did nothing but insulted my intellegence.

What was the point of having that wolf heavily featured? For the majority of this episode, that wolf was either hiding, eating empties, or just looking around. So how did Hope and Huck deal with that wolf? by casually walking around it. And you will not hear it again until it scares Iris and Silas. Again, what was the point?

There are minor things that I did like however. Felix and Elton getting to know more about eachother, and the flashbacks with Hope and her dad. Hope really tried to reason with her father to not go with CRM and he insisted on going. It also gives Hope more of a motivation to search for him too. And Silas is still traumatized from his arrest. Now that it is known what he possibly did, Silas and Iris talk about it. He even questioned Iris if she believed those rumors. Iris assured Silas that it does not matter what they think. I seriously hope that these two do not become a couple.

My biggest problem with this episode, is that there was potential with some of the things that are in that school. But it turned into a glorified bottle episode that had me yawning more than it had me excited. Everything that you seen before the credits rolled, will not matter outside of the plot of Hope and Silas. Sure, there is character development. But it was no substance to blend in with the ridicilous plot and pacing. A complete waste of time.

I like Wolrd Beyond so far. I really do. But the most interesting parts about CRM should NOT be saved until the end of the episode. Why? because it is a bait and switch tactic towards the viewers. Three of the four episodes so far ended with something CRM related. And when the next episode began, it does not follow up on the previous ending. At least we now know what “A” and “B” means when Jadis saved Rick.

This is one episode that I will not look back on at all. That is, unless it somehow connects to the future episodes. It is almost halfway through the season and I think that things really need to pick up. I do not do star ratings for episodes. But if I did, it will get a whopping minus 4 stars.

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The Walking Dead World Beyond has Finally Revealed the Meaning of “A” and What it Could Mean for “B”

The Walking Dead World Beyond has finished their latest episode with another CRM scene. For this particular scene, it is closely related to the “A” or “B” taglines that Jadis used when she referred to Rick Grimes as an “B” when she saved him.

At the time “A or B” was first heard, theories about what those letters stood for came to be. Some of those theories also included Alpha and Beta. On this week’s World Beyond, the meaning of what “A” is has been addressed.

On the post-credits scene of this week’s episode, a woman of CRM is recording a message on a tape recorder. There is also a photo that is in view that has four doctors. Of the four, one of them is test subject A-402, and the woman that is talking on the tape recorder is also in that photo. The man was Dr. Samuel Abott from Portlant, OR who is now a walker. It is here, that we see a number of test subjects that are walkers. Those test subjects are labled as an “A” with a number next to it.

Another thing to note, is that it seems like they were all either intentionally bit, or already bit when they arrived. The next test subject (A-403) might have also been another doctor in that photo since the view focused on that photo when she said to bring in the next subject. The next subject could either be Iris’ father, or the other person who is in the photo.

We now know that “A” means bitten or injured. Jadis saving Rick Grimes and referring to him as a “B” saved his life. Especially since she said that he is strong. We did not find out the meaning of “B” on this episode. But I can come to the conclusion of what “B” means based on what “A” means. Tie in to the fact that Jadis originally called for an “A” helicopter and changed her mind once she seen Rick Grimes and labled him as a “B.”

This story would be different if Jadis told the CRM pilot if Rick was an “A” on that episode.

Jadis also thought that Gabriel was a “B” before she knocked him out and tied him up. When she was going to have a walker bite Gabriel, she mentioned that he is an “A” and that he is the price of admission. This meant that Gabriel would have been a “Test Subject A” if CRM would have picked him up.

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The Walking Dead World Beyond Season 1, Episode 3 “The Tyger and the Lamb” Review

Hal Cumpston as Silas – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 3 – Photo Credit: Macall Polay/AMC

If there are ways that I can describe “The Tyger and the Lamb”, I would say “really good.” Of the three episodes that has premiered so far on The Walking Dead World Beyond, this one is the best of the three. I said this because it addressed some of the issues from last week’s episode, and gave us more to look forward to on the next episode.

The strongest plot of “The Tyger and the Lamb” is Silas’ backstory. Well, a slight backstory. Silas was arrested for a violent crime on his flashbacks. During those flashbacks, Silas is introduced to Felix and Iris for the first time. So it is safe to say that he was not there that long before they all went on their first adventure. I am really interested to see more of what he did that lead to his arrest.

I also liked how we were able to dig deep into his state of mind when he was listening to the recordings of his grandparents. Silas must have been tramuatized from what he did. He even does not miss his mom when Iris asked him. On the surface, Silas might be seen as a weird teenager by the rest in that community. But I believe that there is something inside him that is very dark that is beyond the eye.

This may be me, but when Hope was inside that factory with that one empty, Something came to my mind. Remember that scene on Halloween when Michael Myers was going after Laurie in the closet? That jump scare scene with that empty and Hope reminded me of that particular scene in Halloween. It did caught me off guard so I liked it!

The action really picked up the tension later in the episode. Hope came up with a good plan to lure the empties using the giant horn. The strategy worked. But for christ sakes AMC, why cut away during an F-bomb moment with Hope? The sense of struggling to fix that thing would have been a better scene if it did not cut to black the way it did. Other than that, it was good to see everyone take down those empties with more caution now than how they were trying the last episode. I believe it is because there was an urgent matter that was ahead them and due to the fact that Felix was there. He did teach them, so they had to put what they learned to use.

Alexa Mansour as Hope – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 3 – Photo Credit: Macall Polay/AMC

In that same scene, Hope and Iris got into a little bit of trouble. They both almost got devoured by empties that are taller than they are. Hope and Iris saved eachother. But the key part of interest here, is that Hope told Iris the truth about the night their mom died. She told only that part of the story, but left out that it was Elton’s mom that she killed. Iris does not know that yet. When she does, it could cause a great rift. An emotional scene in my eyes.

The last six minutes of the episode told us more about CRM than any other episode of the entire franchise outside of the Season 5 premiere of Fear The Walking Dead. First, a map is in view. But this map has something interesting. When you look at the colors, you will see that the blue is friendly and the red is not friendly. The arrows also displays the positions and how they could attack. While the map will need further analysis, it is interesting to note.

Al Calderon as Barca – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 3 – Photo Credit: Antony Platt/AMC

Elizabeth really shows how powerful and driven she is. Especially with the propaganda that is plastered on the walls of her apartment. One of the soldiers named Barca, told Elizabeth what she did to that community was wrong. Elizabeth sees it in another way as she seen them as a threat. Elizabeth also stated that they have over two hundred thousand people that are part of the Civic Replublic Military. she also said that they are the last light of the world and reassigned him to the Health and Wealfare Complex.

This scene is interesting because it gave more context to what might have prevented Rick Grimes to leave CRM. The only way to know how, is when those movies premieres in a few years. One would think that the massive group is helping everyone. But there are bad things going on behind the scenes. The more there is to find out about CRM, the more dangerous they are.

As an episode as a whole, I really enjoyed it. I am starting to think of this as an standalone show than a show to think about the Rick Grimes movies. It is good to throw a little bit of CRM from time to time. I do feel however that there should be one episode dedicated to that mysterious group in the future.

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The Walking Dead World Beyond Season 1, Episode 2 “The Blaze of Glory” Recap

Nico Tortorella as Felix – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Jojo Whilden/AMC

The Walking Dead: World Beyond returns for their second episode this week. After CRM massacred Campus Colony which has a little over 9000 residents, Iris, Hope, Silas, and Elton go on a adventure to find Iris and Hope’s father. With that out of the way, here is my review of “The Blaze of Glory.”

What I like most about the episode, is Felix’s backstory. Before the apoclapse, he was living with his parents. But his parents did not accept his sexuallity at all. This got really heated when he came out to them and that they kicked him out of his home. Felix also struggles with his memories about this and when he went back to his home with Huck later in the episode, he seen his parents as walkers.

Now how often he goes to his former house to see this is a question in the air, but I thought the way they had his scenes blend in with his younger self was really good. It added to Felix’s mental state at the time when he and Huck were opening up to eachother. Also in his backstory, there is one scene that got my curious mind open during the scene at the start of the apoclapse. When he was running and trying to call his mom, the airstrikes happened. This also happened on The Walking Dead back in season 1. It made me wonder how many other cities had endured this at the start.

Nico Tortorella did great with the character Felix on this episode and he is slowly becoming my favorite on World Beyond.

Alexa Mansour as Hope, Aliyah Royale as Iris, Hal Cumpston as Silas, Nicolas Cantu as Elton – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Jojo Whilden/AMC

If there is a group of people that are not prepared to take on the outside world, it is Hope, Iris, Silas, and Elton. I know that it will take time and that they are teenagers in the apoclapse. How much they learned while they were being taught by Felix has not been put to use yet for them. Their inexperience is really showing when they encountered empties. But I believe that they will be more experienced down the road. But it was also good that they acted in stealth mode to avoid the empties later on until the action begun.

What i found some resemblence of normal teenagers on this episode, is when they played monopoly in the treehouse. I know that World Beyond is supposed to have a dark setting, but once in a while, we have to remember that the characters are young. Monopoly can be played by all ages, but I think it works here for the four characters. A scene like that cannot happen on Fear or on the main show because it would really not fit the same situation. Also, bonus points for that walker taking a bowling ball hit!

Towards the end of “The Blaze of Glory”, I was puzzled by the last few minutes. And I think it is because I have family members who are firefighters that might think the same thing as me. Why would all four of them decide to sleep in an area with all of that heavy smoke from the tire fire? For any normal person at that age, they would have been dead or severly suffocating being near all of that smoke for no longer than an hour. Watching all four of them not even having breathing problems at all the whole time when they went to that area is just not realistic.

Overall, this episode is a slower than last week, but I enjoyed most of the character development from everyone. Felix’s scenes with Huck and his flashbacks are a huge highlight. I am looking forward to next week’s episode.

If you have not seen it yet, check out my interview with Aliyah Royale as we talked about the first two episodes of The Walking Dead: World Beyond.

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Interview: On The Set of The Walking Dead: World Beyond With Nicolas Cantu

Nicolas Cantu as Elton – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC

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.”

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Interview: On The Set of The Walking Dead: World Beyond With Alexa Mansour

Alexa Mansour as Hope – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC

The Walking Dead World Beyond, The second spinoff in The Walking Dead’s long running franchise is set to debut in a matter of weeks. The show will focus on a younger group of individuals that are seeing the world outside of their community for the first time.

One of the main characters of the series is Hope. Hope is played by Alexa Mansour and Alexa had a lot to say about the character during my set tour on The Walking Dead: World Beyond. I will have to add a disclaimer, that I can only give highlights of this interview as there are a few questions that was answered about the current episode that was being filmed that I cannot share at this moment.

Alexa on getting casted on World Beyond

Alexa: “I hadn’t gotten a job in such a long time. I know a lot of people can’t say this but I was ready to quit. I was going on three auditions a day for months. So when you keep hearing, ‘She’s great, but she’s not right for the role,’ you’re kind of like, all right, I need to do something else. But I auditioned for this role back in April. My mom drove me to the audition because I had a long night before the audition day. She is waiting for me inside and I go inside and do my audition, and I remember that I had a band shirt on that belonged to my sister. The shirt had a drawing on it and it is probably something that I have not worn to an audition. So I put it inside out and I went in that audition with the tag sticking outside of my shirt. And I walked out and I looked at mom and told her that I screwed up and that there was no way they were calling me back. Flashforward to June and I got a call for a meeting with Scott Gimple and Matt. I went there, and I saw a bunch of actors that used to watch on television in the waiting room. The second I walked in, I thought that there is no way that this is going to happen. I spent about three hours talking with Scott and Matt. After the meeting, I called my agent and I told him that if I do not get this, I am done. Got a call a week later, and I was told that I was going to be tested for the pilot. They wanted to make sure I was edgy to do it. After the test which was the last part of the audition, I had another audition and I aced it. Then, I was flown to New York to meet with Aliyah Royale , who plays as Iris. Then the night before the 4th of July, I found out that I got the part. The first thing I said is “yay, I can fix my windshield!”

What was the drawing on the shirt?

Alexa: “It had a penis on it (laughs). But it was a band shirt and I can’t remember the name of the band. Before I walked into that audition, I remembered that the character is 16 years old and I can not walk in there with this showing (laughs).”

Alexa Mansour as Hope – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC

How can you describe Hope in your own way?

Alexa: “Hope is such an angsty teen that does not give a s*** about anything or anyone. Hope does not think that she will live very long and she wants to have fun and do whatever she wants. Then she has to face a serious task with her sister and she gets her act together to do that. She is going through a lot of stuff that she does not want to show on the outside.”

How old is Hope when the apoclapse happens?

Alexa: “I want to say about 10 years old when Hope was watching everything happened. And Hope had to grow up knowing everything that she has seen when she was younger.”

Alexa on Hope and Iris’ bond as sisters

Alexa: “Their bond is unbreakable. They love eachother to death. Iris is the responsible one and Hope would be the one to make booze in her dorm.”

Alexa on her life changing now since she is part of The Walking Dead Universe

Alexa: “It’s one of those things where you can’t believe it until you see it. That also comes with people stopping you or knowing your name. That’s one thing, I have a lot of people know my name recently and I am not used to that. When we went to New York Comic Con, AMC had everything arranged for us. The hotels, the drivers, and all that stuff. I went to get lunch across the street and I walk back to my hotel and I never seen these people in my life. They were saying how much they are happy to have me back. I look at them like ‘how do you know my name’ (laughs). How do you know what I look like. So if someone came up to the street, I would probably freak out!”

If there was a real apoclapse, where would you go and what would be your weapon of choice?

Alexa: “I would go back to my house that I grew up in Los Angeles. It is completly gated with trees all the way up. No one can see or hear you. It was built in the early 1940’s and there is a bomb shelter underneath. My weapon of choice would be Daryl’s crossbow because you would not have to make contact with whoever you are aiming at. I wanted to go with a gun at first, but I was told that it would attract more of them to me.

Do you have a dream crossover character that your character would like to meet?

Alexa: “Yes! Daryl and Carol. I look at Carol and I would look at the epitome of a strong female character and I love her. And Daryl, I have a big crush on him to be honest!”

Did everyone in the community grew up there or were some of them transfered there as time went by?

Alexa: “From what I know, we all grew up there. I know that every character has a different story on how they ended up there. Iris and Hope grew up there. Huck has a long story of what she went through which I do not know 100% of what she went through. Felix was taken in by our dad. He was part of our family when we got there and he is like the big brother to us. Elton grew up there. Silas was brought in.”

What is your favorite episode you have been part of so far?

Alexa: “I do not remember the number, but it is called ‘Blades of Glory’ It was one of the hardest episodes we had to shoot because it was very hot out there and we were wearing jackets and there is a huge fire that we had to pass. It is the most emotionally and physically taxing episode. In the trailer, you can see a little of that episode. After watching that, it makes it all worth it. Even though it was the hardest, it is my favorite.”

The Walking Dead: World Beyond premieres on October 4th, 2020

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