How the ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ actors are surviving the zombie apocalypse
Kim Dickens, Colman Domingo and Danay Garcia chat with Metro about the evolution of the series.
The post-apocalyptic television series "Fear the Walking Dead" focuses on two families dealing with a world that collapses — thanks to an inopportune invasion of the flesh-eating undead.
The AMC standby is chock full of stars: Kim Dickens plays Madison, a high school guidance counselor who is willing to do anything to keep her family out of imminent danger; Danay Garcia stars as Luciana, a member of the La Colonia community who joins Madison’s family under some rather unfortunate circumstances; and in Colman Domingo's role as Victor, a smart and sophisticated businessman with a mysterious past, he is suddenly forced to face who — and what — he truly is. Well, besides very good looking.
The show — which returned last night on AMC — saw the demise of Western civilzation last season. But where can we expect these characters to go in the third season? Will they follow the footsteps and Rick and his gang in "The Walking Dead?" Metro spoke with the three actors on set to learn more about transformation of their characters in the upcoming season, premiering June 4.
What can people expect in this season from your characters?
Kim Dickens (KD): I think it's different this time. I'm proud of this season and I think it gets better and better as the zombie apocalypse unfolds. I think it's more intense. We are now on the border between the U.S. and Mexico, which no longer exists because of what happened and now we see more violence. That’s where our characters are. [Madison] becomes more ruthless and dark, according to what the circumstances require of her and her goal is to rebuild civilization for her family.
Colman Domingo (CD): I think [Victor is] fine as he is. The second season was the destruction of Western civilization, the third season is about surviving. This is about being forced. The characters do things that they would never have thought of during the previous two seasons. Likewise, they are becoming different people: they become what they fear.
Danay Garcia (DG): It’s interesting that Kim mentions that we’re transforming ourselves. When [these characters] arrive in Mexico, they’re strangers. Now they act as if they were at home. As if they knew what they were doing. They’re no longer afraid to go out and survive, like before.
How does the relationship between your characters change?
DG: There is an adjustment period. As Luciana, I am now part of the family and it's the first time I see Nick with his mother. There I see him as a son and a brother and it’s somewhat uncomfortable. But I also know who they are and how they are. I have to develop that relationship there.
KD: We started out as a dysfunctional family and in that sense, we are living the zombie apocalypse. This season explores how those ties continue during the events that unfold. Strand and Madison created this bond in the beginning and now it’s interesting to see how their paths will be very different. In Madison's case, she has to see Luciana as part of the family, through Nick.
How did you prepare to live with that intense emotional load this season?
KD: As an actor, you have to have certain bases. It's different for everyone, but for me, a lot of it was in the story, especially with what happens with Travis. There you have to mentalize what will happen and connect with the emotion of the circumstances.
CD: It's very interesting to see how the losses affect you in a show like this. It made me think about where we really are and how it affects you and the others around you.
DG: We didn’t know where we would end up while reading the script. And that's fun too. Then you begin, as an actor, to analyze how you can translate all the emotions of your character to what’s going to happen. In this case, she deals with people who killed her family and you have to think how you will defend your values there and survive at the same time.
How did your characters take you out of comfort zone?
DG: When I started killing zombies, it was an adjustment. Going back, it shakes you up a little and that consumes you, being so active.
KD: The action, I'd never done so many action scenes before. I loved it. I'm also somewhat familiar with the apocalyptic genre, since I did a show that [takes place] after Hurricane Katrina. Then I did ‘Deadwood,’ which was apocalyptic, in the Wild West, so it wasn't so different.
CD: It was a genre that I didn't understand at first, but now I love it. The scripts have depth and complexity. You also learn new skills and do things you never imagined. We're very lucky.
How do you feel to be part of this great universe? There are two series, a video game, comics…
All three: We love it!
"Fear The Walking Dead" airs on AMC, Sunday nights at 9pm.