Interview with Alexa Mansour, Nicolas Cantu, Hal Cumpston and Julia Ormond

TV Interview!

Alexa Mansour, Nicolas Cantu, Hal Cumpston and Julia Ormond

Interview with Alexa Mansour, Nicolas Cantu, Hal Cumpston and Julia Ormond of “The Walking Dead: World Beyong” on AMC by Thane 12/3/21

This was my first interview for the site. We had some technical problems, but it worked out well in the end. It was great to listen to the actors talk about the final episode of the show.

Question:   Congratulations on a great season of the show. Now, the show was, as far as I know, entirely filmed in Richmond, Virginia, or if not, mostly filmed there. I was wondering if each of you could give me a recommendation for a great restaurant or spot to do or to go to the next time I’m in Richmond?

Alexa:  The Jefferson Hotel. Go to the Jefferson hotel; get a dirty martini. It’s great.

Hal:  Yeah, the Jefferson hotel is awesome. They’ve got an alligator out at the front, because apparently they used to have alligators walking around the hotel there in the 30s or something. What else is there? Where did we all go for that dinner by the river? That was awesome.

Alexa:  What was it called?

Nick:   The Lilly Pad? I’m pretty sure it’s the Lilly Pad.

Alexa:  It was the Lilly Pad. It was the Lilly Pad.

Hal:  The Lilly Pad. Hell yeah.

Nick:   My shouts out for Richmond are this hot chicken sandwich place called Hot Chick.

Hal:  Yeah, I was about to say “Hot Chick.”

Nick:   Hot Chick sandwich place, and I would go to the skate park a lot called Treasure Island. It’s a DIY; that place is sick. Those are my two shout outs for the city of Richmond. And the river is just beautiful, like just finding little stuff to do along the river. That’s great, too.

Question:   Did ever of you go to GWARbar ever, or that was off limits?

Nick:   What’s GWARbar?

Hal:  I walked past it once.

Question:   The heavy metal band GWAR has a bar/restaurant in Richmond.

Nick:   Wait, what? Do they? My friends just went to a GWAR show. I didn’t know they had a bar in Richmond.

Hal:  [unitelligible] skating now.

Nick:   I didn’t know they had a bar. Man, I missed that. Thank you.

Hal:  You could have taken photos at it and pretended you were cool.

Question:   Congratulations on this amazing season and wrapping up the show. It’s just been fantastic. My question to you, and this is open to anyone, looking back, your character started the series with a very distinct view of how the world worked, and most importantly, how it should work and what those rules should be and how you should function. I’m wondering how your character’s vision changed by the end of the series. Who wants to go?

Nick:   I’ll go. I’ll go. I think Elton has changed was very much from kind of spectating to being a part of everything now, but, also, he saw the gray area of the world more in season two. Season one you see him just kind of being this, I guess, more of a pacifist, but in season two as he accepts the world for what it is, he starts participating in the more gray aspects of apocalypse life.

Hal:  Yeah, that was a real same this season…I also thought growing up was it a theme of the show.

Alexa:  Yeah, I agree with that. I think growing up for sure. I’m just realizing what’s important and what’s worth actually stressing yourself out over, you know, like, I feel like in the first season, at least for Hope, she was really very bitter towards everybody. She just was so ready to destroy anybody that she thought was bad. Second season, she became a little bit more methodical about the way that she approached things, like realizing like sometimes you do have to kind of – not sleep with the enemy, but sleep with the enemy, to get what you want and to get ahead. Nick’s looking at me like –

Nick:   What do you mean by that? Sleep with the enemy?

Alexa:  Like the CRM was the enemy, and she went undercover in that area, which I feel like first season she would have been like, “Screw this; I’m not doing this.”

Nick:   True.

Hal:  I’ve never slept with anyone let alone the enemy.

Alexa:  I’ve never slept with anyone either.

Julia:  I’ve [unintelligible] slept with people, but, I don’t know, I sort of feel with Elizabeth, the pragmatism of being committed to an agenda that was really tough and seemed really clear just became much more complicated for her and clearly hadn’t worked [unintelligible] defeated by that.

Question:   This is what it’s for Alexa, how was it manag[ing] to get the F bomb in on the last episode?

Alexa:  I didn’t even know I had an F bomb in the last episode.

Hal:  Yeah, what the hell? You fully got a fuck in there.

Question:   No, that was the previous episode, sorry.

Alexa:  I didn’t know that that was as big deal. I didn’t know that was like an actual thing that you couldn’t do. I figured because it’s television and whatnot, but people actually think it’s a really big deal, and I say that word all the time.

Hal:  Alexa is awesome like that. She’s such a swear bear.

Alexa:  [laughs]

Hal:   She doesn’t sleep with anyone, but she sure as hell swears a lot.

Alexa:  Yeah. No, I’m actually pretty excited that I got that F bomb in there, because Hal didn’t get it.

Hal:  Yeah, I didn’t even get as much as like a “crap” or a “shit.”

Alexa:  Because Silas doesn’t talk. You have to talk more.

Hal:  It is so weird with the ruling. I think, because there’s so much violence, they’re not really allowed to like swear and have violence, but it’s like is killing someone not a little bit more offensive than swearing?

Alexa:  Not if what you’re killing was a rotting piece of flesh.

Nick:   We kill people in this show.

Hal:  There’re people being killed.

Nick:   Yeah. We don’t shy away from human death.

Hal:  I’ve killed nearly as many people as I’ve killed zombies.

Alexa:  You’ve killed people on the show?

Nick:   People die in the show.

Hal:  I kill two people, I think. Yeah, I do…My two father figures.

Nick:   That’s a shame.

Hal:  That is a shame.

Thane:  Nicholas, tell us how they did the special effects and such at the end, where you lost part of your arm.

Nick:   So, for that last shot, we were kind of coming over the hill in Portland, and they gave me like a blue like sleeve to put my arm through. They just kind of said, “Don’t move it.” So, I just kind of stood with my arm just still. Then, I guess they blue screened it out. But then for one scene where I had my arm chopped off and I’m sitting in that hospital bed, my arm is just a pool noodle. I always thought that was funny that they just put a pool noodle and wrapped and bandaged, like, “That’s his arm,” and my actual arm was under some covers. So, that’s how they achieved the effect of me not having an arm.

Hal:  They toyed with the idea of actually doing that.

Nick:   They were thinking about actually chopping it off. It was not them thing; it was a me thing for the character, where I wanted to go all the way. But my doctor said “no.” So, we had to do blue screen and pool noodles.

Alexa Mansour, Nicolas Cantu, Hal Cumpston and Julia Ormond

Hal:  His therapist said “yes.”

Nick:   Therapist said “yes;” Doctor said “no.”

Alexa:  Did you tell the doctor how much they were gonna pay you for the arm?

Nick:   Ah, it’s a weird thing with me and my doctor. So, I feel like they would raise my prices if I did something like that. So, I just kept it chill.

Hal:  Nick’s sleeping with his doctor.

Nick:   I kept it chill. So, it was able to be figured out basically with special effects and movie magic

Thane:  When you read in your script that you were bitten and then cured, were you disappointed that you didn’t get to be a walker and/or die on screen?

Nick:   A little bit, actually, because ever since I signed on to The Walking Dead thing, I was like, “Okay, the whole experience would be, get in the show, kill some things, and then get killed,” because that’s like the cycle of The Walking Dead universe. So, I was wanting to be a part of it, but, hey, maybe my day will come someday. I got my arm chopped off. That’s part of it. I’m getting like drip fed little apocalyptic checkmarks on a bucket list. So, maybe one day I’ll get to die. It’s a start, but you know, zombies. [laughs]

Question:   Pollyanna came from the main show, The Walking Dead, as Jadis, but now she’s on World Beyond. She’s a completely different character. So, what was it like working with her? Because compared to the main show and this one, she’s a force to be reckoned with.

Alexa:  I didn’t know. I mean, I knew she was on the original one; I didn’t know that she was playing a completely different character. I thought that it was like, maybe just a different side of her of the character. Like maybe the character went through some shit and came out. You know, when you go through a hard time [and] when you come out you’re like a completely different person, but that’s kind of interesting to know. She’s awesome to work with. She’s like, insanely talented. So, regardless of like, different character or not, she was great to work with.

Hal:  Yeah, Pollyanna. Very fun to work with. Yeah.

Alexa:  And it was sick, knowing that someone from the original show was crossing over. Because I was like, “Oh, there’s there’s hope.” Not no pun intended.

Hal:  I like getting to work with my British brothers and sisters. They’re a little bit less American, so it’s fun.

Question:   Julia, the moment at the end of the series finale, it was just so beautiful, and watching Elizabeth, the realization come across Elizabeth, as she kind of gets a sense of what’s going on. I’m curious, do you think she knew that Huck was torn as much as she was between this life she’d been living undercover and her duty to the CRM?

Julia:  I have to confess, I haven’t actually seen how they ended up cutting it together, but I do feel the Elizabeth buried any fears that she had about Jennifer and her relationship. And I know that is something that kind of is in pretty much every scene that they have together, is this question of how much Elizabeth cares or connects and the things that Jennifer’s gone through. But I don’t think Elizabeth, by the time that she’s arrested and put into [a cell], I don’t think she has completely been able to – I think she’s emotionally distracted. I don’t think she’s been completely able to quite admit the degree to which she’s made some – she’s made some legitimate sort of mistakes, as a leader, in terms of the vulnerability. So, it’s understandable to me that Jadis does comes at her with the things that she does, and I think Elizabeth just hasn’t really realized how much of a distraction it’s been, the emotional stuff. So, I think it’s gut wrenching for her that Jennifer’s not connecting with her as a mom as a result of choices that Elizabeth has made and found family in other people to be worthy of being loyal to, and I think that destroys her.

Hal:  Things are so bleak for Elizabeth at the end there.

Alexa:  I mean, she kind of deserves it, no offense.

Hal:  Everyone is throwing hate.

Alexa:  She destroyed our home.

Julia:  Well, she does have to make some tough decisions, but yeah, I guess so.

Question:   For all of you, did any of you get to take home any kind of either weapons, or items from the set?

Hal:  Hell yeah, they sorted us out.

Alexa:  Yeah.

Hal:  I’ve got my wrench. I’m moving to a new house and I’m going to get it in a glass box.

Alexa:  I took my S-pole

Nick:   I don’t know if you can see it. I’m gonna get the pocket fisherman. I’m going to bring that out.

Hal:  Gotta get the pocket fisherman Nick. Do your mother fucking thing.

Alexa:  I have the S-pole.

Question:   Oh, it’s somewhere in the other room?

Alexa:  Yeah, mine’s in the other [room].

Nick:   The pocket fisherman; rock it up with the pocket fisherman. It’s got all the action. It’s just sitting here. I got to keep the suit. I got to keep this. They gave me like the little archeology bag; they gave me the whole thing.

Hal:  Nick uses that fisherman as like a pickup line.

Nick:   Yeah, when I’m bored.

Hal:  Nick, demonstrate. What do you do? Go on; demonstrate.

Nick:   I say, “Hey, baby. I’m trying to do this interview. So let’s move on.”

Hal:  He always says baby.

Nick:   Always with the baby.

Question:   How about you Julia?

Julia:  [laughs] No, I got a great mug as a takeaway that had a Walking Dead design on it from one of the crew members that was super fun, but no. I don’t want to take home weapons. I take home my memories.

Hal:  Did Elizabeth really have weapons? I feel like other people did her dirty work sort of.

Julia:  Excuse me! No, she had like the stiletto pen thing.

Hal:  Oh, true. I remember that from the show.

Julia:  But I mean, also, kind of like the way that we had set about it in terms of Elizabeth’s stuff is that she could kind of…turn anything into a weapon instead of sort of – yeah, she had a stiletto that was sort of kept [in] the jacket somewhere, but the idea is that she could take any weapon and use it sort of as somebody who’s got a military background and training to do that stuff, but you don’t really get to see that in the series.

Hal:  There wasn’t enough time for anything.

Thane:  [Hal], all of the characters went through so much; yours seemed to go through the most changes all throughout the series. Which part did you enjoy the most, and, in your opinion, does Silas stay loyal to his friends, or does he [go over to] the dark side or the CRM?

Hal:  Well, yeah, he does really change, because at the start he’s scared to say anything or look anyone in the eye. Then, at the end of it, he’s almost like a pretty normal, normal-ish person, which maybe just is my acting not making sense that I came back and decided it was a new character, or it’s really good emotional range, or like range to go from that, from the start to the end, but who knows? That’s for the people to decide as to whether he’s loyal or going to the CRM. Again, I’d like to think that he thinks for himself, and that’s an option for him that he doesn’t know. Maybe he is half seeing what’s going on with the CRM and checking it out and then seeing if he really wants to take it down. But I do get the sense that now that these little young rebel rebel kids have got a taste for taking down the establishment, I feel like that’s gonna happen again. They’re not able to sit still and just deal with living in the post apocalyptic world. They have to be like fighting something constantly. They’re all going to Portland and stuff. I mean, they could just chill out. That’s what I like to do, just chilll.

Thane:  Were you a fan of The Walking Dead before you auditioned for the show?

Hal:  I’d never seen any of it…I hadn’t seen it before, but, obviously, because I hadn’t lived under a rock, I knew what The Walking Dead was. It’s like a humongous thing, but then I got to watch, and it was actually pleasant. I was sort of surprised. I thought it would be this particular thing, but I watched the first two seasons as I was getting the callbacks. You get to another point, they’re like, “Oh, I think they’re gonna make an offer, blah blah blah,” and it was my first American audition. So, it was all very surreal for me. Then I’m able to watch the show, and I’m like, “I actually like this show. This is crazy. It’s a pretty cool [show].” The first season, it’s almost a bit like it has an independent movie feel, but with a budget, and the acting is pretty awesome and fresh and interesting.

Alexa:  Yeah, I only watched the first couple seasons. I think I stopped at season three, but I really liked it. I just tend to fall out with TV shows and just forget to keep watching them, and I lose my spot.

Nick:   Yeah, I watched the first two seasons as well, I think, when they put them on Netflix, and then I tapped out, because I was like ten or something, and it was just a lot of blood and guts. But my older brother kept watching it, and it was always in the household. Then, he was like, “Hey, come check this out,” when Glenn died, and he just showed me his brains getting splattered on TV. I was like, “Oh, great, dude. Awesome.” So, it was always in my house, but I only kept up with seasons one and two.

Question:   All of you, for the final episode, were there any scenes that were very hard to pull off when it came to either the dialogue or during the stunts?

Alexa:  Yeah, there was, I think it was in season two, either episode one or two, but when Hope has a fight with Candice, before she gets pushed against the wall and eaten alive or whatever, that scene took all day, because we had to keep switching between me and the stunt double. So, that was probably one of the longest, hardest scenes that I had to do. Yeah, I’m very happy that I made it through it in one piece.

Nick:   Yeah, by the end of season two, we were there, I think, from January to June, so once it got it started getting closer to summer, the days were getting hotter, and the season was ending, so we had to do all of our stunts. We shot every season in Richmond; it was really nice, but once we got to the summer, it got hotter, and [there were] just bigger set pieces. There was the whole battle at the the community village where the CRM comes in and Elton’s about to get executed, that whole like battle piece where the building blows up and everything, that was multiple days. That was a lot of prep, but it turned out awesome. That was probably the hardest.

Hal:  They blew up the barn. That was nuts.

Nick:   That was crazy. Did you see that?

Hal:  Remember there was a fire; the whole fire department was just sitting there having to watch it burn.

Nick:   Yeah, because it was a controlled burn or something. They’re just sitting on the sidelines.

Hal:  Yeah, the fire people couldn’t handle it.

Nick:   Yeah, but it was sick.

Hal:  It was like Pavlov’s dogs.

Question:   How about you Julia?

Julia:  I think, honestly, as an actor, the the first episode scene, just from a technical point of view, I had so much. [laughs] I had this six page speech for Elizabeth. I don’t think [unintelligible] all of it, but I was absolutely terrified, because I think the way that it shot, it’s kind of like you don’t have – I think when you see it come together, it looks as if it could have been chopped up. [laughs] It was just kind of –

Alexa:  You killed it, though.

Julia:  Oh, my God. Thanks, I appreciate that. Yeah, it was just really challenging, because it was also, how do I make this interesting instead of kind of having people go, “Oh, my God, when is she going to shut up?” But yeah, I think just that I sort of ended up with something that was a bit kind of technical, but that was probably my most challenging…I think, as an actor, the scenes that I love are the scenes where you don’t have any tech, so being given something [laughs], it was sort of like, “Oh, no!”

Hal:  What was the question?…Sorry, my phone ran out of charge; now I’m on my computer.

Question:   I was asking, were there any scenes of stunt work or dialogue that was very challenging during this whole season?

Hal:  I don’t know; everyone else has answered. I don’t know, the scenes where I don’t – like a lot of the time, Silas doesn’t have many lines, and that’s a little bit like odd sometimes, like sort of the opposite. You know what I mean? I wouldn’t mind a few extra lines, so I don’t have to do all this, like, “I’m not saying anything, but I’m acting.” Sometimes it’s fun just to be able to go to set and say some shit. We’re there for so long, like six months. So, honestly, I feel like the challenging part probably was there was so much time in between, because all the storylines were so caught up. So, actually, we weren’t really  working that much. Well, I wasn’t. I love being on set. I love being on set.

Julia:  I think one of the really hard things was actually doing it under COVID circumstances, because when you’re rehearsing, you’ve got all this stuff around your face. You can’t really kind of see the reactions of people; you’re not interacting. I felt like I [wasn’t] able to interact with crew in the same way. So, there’s this kind of block from having this human experience. That is the sort of joy of of putting together a story and a collaborative process. The COVID restrictions has had a huge impact, I think, on the experience, just in general, of being an actor.

Hal:  Yeah, I’m so glad hopefully it’s [over]. I mean, I don’t even know. Is it coming to an end? But, yeah, it gets a bit depressing a little bit when everyone’s wearing masks. Also, yeah, taking direction from a director, and you can’t really see what their emotions are or how they’re feeling, because they’re wearing a big mask and a face shield.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

MORE INFO:

Scene from the end of the last episodeThe Walking Dead: World Beyond – Series finale airs December 5th at 10pm ET/9c on AMC and will be available one week early on AMC+

Season two of The Walking Dead: World Beyond concludes the epic story of Iris (Aliyah Royale), Hope (Alexa Mansour), Elton (Nicolas Cantu), and Silas (Hal Cumpston) — four friends who journeyed across the country on a mission that transformed everything they knew about themselves and the world.  As they face off against the mysterious Civic Republic Military and fight for control of their own destiny, goals will shift, bonds will form and crumble, and innocence will be both lost and found.

The Walking Dead: World Beyond is executive produced by co-creator Scott M. Gimple, co-creator and showrunner Matt Negrete, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert and Brian Bockrath, and is produced and distributed by AMC Studios. In addition to Royale, Mansour, Cantu and Cumpston, the series stars Nico Tortorella, Annet Mahendru, Julia Ormond, Joe Holt, Jelani Alladin, Natalie Gold and Ted Sutherland.

Episode 210: The Last Light

The remaining members of the group fight back enemies, both living and dead, on their quest to save the future.

Written by: Matthew Negrete, Maya Goldsmith, Carson Moore

Directed by: Loren Yaconelli

SciFiVision article and interview with the same actors

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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"The Walking Dead: World Beyond" Season 2 poster

Interview with Julia Ormond, Alexa Mansour and Annet Mahendru

TV Interview!

Julia Ormond (Elizabeth), Alexa Mansour (Hope) and Annet Mahendru (Huck) of "The Walking Dead: World Beyond" on AMC

Interview with Julia Ormond (Elizabeth), Alexa Mansour (Hope) and Annet Mahendru (Huck) of “The Walking Dead: World Beyond” on AMC by Suzanne 9/23/21

I love this show, so it was great to chat with some of the stars this week on press panels. These women were so nice and had thoughtful answers to all of the questions. I can’t wait to see the rest of season 2. I’m just sorry that it’s ending after that.  Note that the questions that don’t have my name are from other journalists, not me.  Don’t miss the season premiere 10/3 on AMC!

Julia Ormond (Elizabeth Kublek) on "The Walking Dead: World Beyond" on AMCQuestion:  My first question’s for Julia, and then the second one’s for the two of you, but I’m wondering if you could talk about her morality, because last season, she seemed to be upset about some of the stuff she was doing, but this season, she seems a lot more apathetic. I’m just curious, is there a line she won’t cross, and is it still bothering her? What’s your take on it?

Julia:  My take is that Elizabeth is somebody who compartmentalizes what emotion she will show to what person. So, if something is bothering her profoundly, she would have trouble showing that to somebody she’s intimate with, just because of her personality type. So, yes, but I think really what happens with Elizabeth is…what happens to her belief in what they’re doing in season two.

In season one, for me, she’s utterly, utterly committed to an agenda that’s necessary. They’ve identified that Hope actually has something that could be really critical to the survival of mankind – if she comes in with the right attitude…[and] doesn’t bring in the anger; she goes along with the plan of what they’re meant to be doing and that she’s productive and effective in her time there.

And I do think that it’s not black and white, or I hope it’s not black and white. It’s more kind of gray. It’s like she has to sign up for something that she’s not happy about, but I think people do that in war all of the time. In the military, you accept that there are people who are going to die, and you accept the tragedy. I think we as a populace accept the tragedy of collateral damage. So, I don’t think it’s as much of a pivot as I wish it was in the world.

Question:  Then, for Annet and Alexa, obviously, Huck has been changed by the two girls, even though she says she hasn’t. Can Hope trust her? And for that matter, can she trust your character, because obviously, you’re more about your [getting back to your] sister right now.

Alexa:  I think Hope can learn to trust her; whether or not she does is different story, but I think there’s a lot that Hope doesn’t know, and she has to take that into account. And just like Hope did a bunch of crazy things, or Hope would do a bunch of crazy things for her sister and the people that she loves and to protect them, I think Huck was kind of put in a tough situation as well. But Hope is pretty scarred after what happened in season one, so it’s gonna take a lot if Huck wants to rebuild that relationship with her.

Annet:  Yeah, Huck’s in a really bad spot. At this point, Hope’s just looking at her like, “You’re crazy; I don’t ever really want to talk to you again.” So, I don’t know how she’s gonna get out of this. It’s just looking pretty bad and things are so entangled. She’s relieved to be back, but it’s looking really [like] she’s sort of in the worst position she’s been thus far. In a way, she’s in prison the way Hope is too, because of this web of lies. And all these people out there who know things about the CRM that they shouldn’t have known and that’s Huck’s family now, too, she obviously feels alignment with, and maybe more so than she does with Elizabeth at this point. As we know, there’s more family at the CRM now that Huck has some entanglements with that are problematic. So, it’s just the question – it’s funny when Hope and Huck are sitting in this sort of dog kennel…where they have their conversation like, “Hey, this is a great place for all of us.” It’s so ironic, because they’re just both in prison, really, and it seems like there’s no way out of this all, and is this a better place? Are they safe, or, actually, have things just gotten worse?

Question:   Alexa, I love Hope’s friendship on screen with Elton – or I guess their former friendship, as it were. Will we get to see them mend [it]…and is there hope for them to mend this relationship?

Alexa:  I don’t know if I can tell you what happens with Hope and Elton, but what I can say is that I think there’s always that room orAlexa Mansour (Hope Bennett) on "The Walking Dead: World Beyond" on AMC the possibility of mending something. I think if both people are on the same page and they each get to get their side of the story out, I think that there’s a very strong possibility that they could be friends again. They’ve all been through so much that they realize that sometimes you have to do things, or things happen that are out of your control, and I think when you care about someone, you understand that. I would appreciate the honesty, so I hope so. I hope they do get to mend their relationship.

Question:   Julia, what kind of backstory were you given about Elizabeth’s connection with CRM, and will we be seeing that play out, maybe explore her backstory a bit this season?

Julia:  That’s super hard to answer…without doing spoilers. I think some of the backstory, I think when you have supporting roles, and basically Elizabeth is this sort of character. It’s not always helpful for the backstory to come into the story story, but, yeah, that was kind of [vague]. [laughs]

I think the biggest thing is that she’s a real believer, she signed up for this philosophy, and she thoroughly believes in the choices that they’re making and what they need to do in order to save mankind. Then, there’s this greater detail in that, but I don’t want to answer it any more, because I don’t want somebody like Scott [Gimple] or Matt [Negrete] to go, “Why did you say that, because we’re going to use that.” They sent us a list, “You may not talk about this; you may not [talk about this].” I don’t know if they sent that to you. I was like, “What do I talk about? I don’t know what to talk about now.” So it’s a little scary. There you go, that was an all over the map useless answer.

Question:  Julia, I respectfully have to disagree. I think she’s more than a supporting character, because she casts a very big shadow in the story. She manipulates; she tests people, and when somebody pushes her, she pushes back hard. What’s it like to play all those different aspects and then throw in the fact that she’s a mom, too?

Julia:  Well you know, Jamie Ruby was asking the question earlier in terms of you see her get upset in season one, you see kind of the soldiers get taken off, and then she’s upset. I think, for me, that upset at that moment is this private moment of grief in terms of I’ve not just done this awful thing to this kid that I frankly liked and was a good soldier and all the rest of it, and the grief around how much people can tolerate, but what is my kid going to think of me when they find out and I have to tell them? I think that just packs a punch. And for me, what happens with Elizabeth is you see the dehumanization of it, she becomes increasingly disconnected. She’s just disconnected, and she’s shutting down. So, she’s dissociating, and it’s at certain moments that I really value that she has actually with her own family that pull her back. And maybe – maybe yes, maybe no –  that will actually impact her reevaluation of what they’re actually doing.

Question:  For Alexa, Hope is kind of in a new place. We won’t say more than that. She’s kind of getting acclimated to a lot of different things, and also, there seems to be an aura of distrust a little bit. Where is she mentally at this point?

Alexa:  I thinks she just came from getting so hurt and feeling so betrayed after what Huck did, and she just left her sister; her and her sister just split up, and the only friends that she really feels like she ever had she doesn’t have them, and she doesn’t know what’s happening to them, or where they are. So, I feel like she’s in this spot where she’s like, “Do I let more people in?” Because everyone kind of leaves and no one, nothing ever lasts. Anything good that’s ever happened in my life hasn’t lasted, or it’s turned out to be completely fake. So, I think she’s a little bit on the fence and has this guard up in this new place that she’s in, because she doesn’t want to get hurt again. At least she’s got her father and whatnot, but anybody else that’s not really family, that’s not really a necessity in her life. I don’t think she really is trying to get attached to them after what’s happened.

Question:  And Annet, really briefly, do you feel like she’s a woman without a country right now?

Annet:  Yeah, the other one got exploded, and this one is under attack. Yeah, I mean, she’s always been a woman of her own country, I suppose, of her own reality. So, I don’t know if she particularly needs to be anywhere. She’s not truly attached to anything. She’s a true soldier in a way, going from point A to B, and then she has to keep going. She can’t really sit still anywhere, and you’ll see her coming back to her room, and it all seems distant and doesn’t really mean anything anymore, because she’s changed so much. So, it’s sort of these pauses in between that a soldier never really knows how to deal with anyway. They just like to be away and like to be in these explosive situations; that’s where they thrive. So, Huck’s ready. I think she’s ready for another mission.

Suzanne:   Julia, you’ve been working since you were very young, since high school, at the very least, in acting, and then after that, and a lot of the cast are very young people. Did you have any advice for them? Or did they come to you for any advice?

Julia:  They don’t need advice from me. They don’t need advice from me. I might be asking them advice. Annet, Alexa, did you come to me seeking any advice? [laughs] Did I ever give you any advice? I don’t remember. No, I dont think I did. I’m not much of a sharer in that respect.

Annet:  Honestly, watching Julia and just being in the presence of her is your advice and your lesson and your inspiration, and you just respond to the person, the greatness that’s in front of you. So, that’s everything.

Alexa:  Yeah, Julia is a force to be reckoned with. I know every time I go on set with her I’m like, “How are you doing this? I don’t understand.” So, if there was a person I was going to go to advice for, it would probably be Julia.

Suzanne:   I recently learned that the [show’s] timeline is concurrent with the original Walking Dead, and there’s going to be a movie and some other spinoff series. Have any of you heard about whether any of your characters, or whether you as actors, will be involved in any of these other things, or whether your show will be involved with the ending of the other Walking Dead?

Julia:  I think that’s really a kind of Scott and Matt question. It is one of those things that I like to call them spoiler blurts that you sort of trip up in terms of, “What do I say? What do I say? What do I not say?” So maybe somebody from AMC could help fill in on that question.

Suzanne:   None of you have heard anything that you can comment on at all?

Annet Mahendru (Huck) on "The Walking Dead: World Beyond" on AMCAnnet:  I mean, we’re done, right? But there’s always crossovers. I mean, Jadis joined us. We’re all gonna be around, so they can always pluck us up at any given moment. That’s, I think, what is so cool about all these, this threesome, so to say, of shows, because we can all play with each other at any point.

Julia:  Also, they have this format where there’s flashbacks, and you go back, and you see stuff, so even if a character dies, you still don’t know whether or not they’re going to resurface in another [show].

Question:   Elizabeth is such an insanely manipulative character and who really sends chills down my spine. So, as an actor, what is your process going into this character, and how do you prepare yourself before you act the hell out of her?

Julia:  So, everybody sees her as manipulative, and I guess there’s a part of me that once you find that justification, I think it was I was talking to Jamie about in the beginning. My justification is that she is part of the military; there’re very few human beings left as far as they know. They work from the facts that they can [unintelligible], so they don’t know if there’s anybody else left in the world. They don’t know if they’re the only human beings left. So, they are working towards building hierarchy and structure and laws, and the ethics have just gone to hell, because their ethic has to be protect the border of whatever the human race is. We can’t let other people – we’ve got limited resources, we can’t necessarily share them with everyone. We need to make relationships with people outside of it. That’s her MO. That’s where she has to end up making tough decisions that, from my own perspective, people who are in the military, they’re making those decisions all the time. Somebody being killed somewhere on our behalf right now, and we kind of have gotten a little bit of – it feels globally as if there’s a little bit of weird acceptance around it, because it’s too painful to confront.

So, there’s a piece of Elizabeth that’s an amplification of that. It’s like I go into a state of denial, because it’s just too painful to accept the reality. Then, that state of denial, I mean, she’s disconnected; she disconnects from personal relationships as well. Then, I think once you have that, you can sign up as a believer. But you can believe in something and not be happy about the consequences of it. You can believe that, “Oh, I had something wrong with my leg and the doctor’s telling me that I have to have it cut off.” It’s kind of like, “Okay, I’m not particularly thrilled about it, but this seems like that’s the best plan going forward.” But I think, for me, it’s kind of getting into it.

Like I watched some of it last night, I was like, “Oh my god, she redefines resting bitch face.” [laughs] Oh my God, this just makes you so grim. But I think that’s kind of like what the sadness and the resignation is. There’s a harshness to the choices that she’s making, and so that kind of shows on the exterior.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

Don’t miss our other interview with Joe Holt (Leo) and Natalie Gold (Lyla)!

MORE INFO:

cast members of "The Walking Dead: World Beyond" on AMC

The Walking Dead: World Beyond’s ten-episode second season premieres October 3 at 10pm ET/9c on AMC with all episodes available one week early on AMC+, beginning September 26

Season Two trailer HERE

Season two of The Walking Dead: World Beyond concludes the epic story of Iris (Aliyah Royale), Hope (Alexa Mansour), Elton (Nicolas Cantu), and Silas (Hal Cumpston) — four friends who journeyed across the country on a mission that transformed everything they knew about themselves and the world.  As they face off against the mysterious Civic Republic Military and fight for control of their own destiny, goals will shift, bonds will form and crumble, and innocence will be both lost and found.

The Walking Dead: World Beyond is executive produced by co-creator Scott M. Gimple, co-creator and showrunner Matt Negrete, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert and Brian Bockrath, and is produced and distributed by AMC Studios. In addition to Royale, Mansour, Cantu and Cumpston, the series stars Nico Tortorella, Annet Mahendru, Julia Ormond, Joe Holt, Jelani Alladin, Natalie Gold and Ted Sutherland.

Episode 201: Konsekans – Premieres October 3 at 10pm ET/9c on AMC

Hope’s commitment to the future is put to the test, jeopardizing a potential reunion.  Iris and Felix meet a new group. Startling revelations are made.

Episode 202: Foothold – Premieres October 10 at 10pm ET/9c on AMC

While some members of the group enact a plan to cover their tracks, others attempt to acclimate to their new surroundings.

Julia Ormond

Julia will next be seen in AMC’s The Walking Dead: World Beyond which will premiere this year. She can most recently be seen in BBC’s Gold Digger. Julia performed opposite Maya Rudolph and Catherine Keener on Amazon’s series Forever from creators Yang/Hubbard (Parks and Rec). She was recently nominated for Best Actress for the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television for Ladies in Black from acclaimed director Bruce Beresford. It will be distributed by Sony later this year. Other recent work includes Howard’s End written by Oscar winner Kenneth Lonergan for the BBC and STARZ which garnered rave reviews. Julia also appeared in HBO’s comedy Tour De Pharmacy opposite Andy Samberg, Will Forte and Orlando Bloom. She also starred in the independent film Rememory opposite Peter Dinklage and late Anton Yelchin which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. On the small screen, Ormond received an Emmy® Award in 2010 for her role in the HBO movie Temple Grandin and in 2012 was nominated for a second Emmy for her guest role on Mad Men. Julia wrapped a season of the SyFy series Incorporated which was produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. Among her film work Julia Ormond starred in the epic Legends of the Fall alongside actors Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, and Aidan Quinn and played the lead role with Harrison Ford in the film Sabrina, directed by Sydney Pollack. In 2008, she starred with Brad Pitt in the fantasy- drama The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and also worked with Benicio del Toro in Steven Soderbergh’s biopic Che. JULIA’S PASSION AND NON-PROFIT WORK Julia was the first and former UNODC Goodwill Ambassador Against Trafficking and Slavery and is the Founder of Alliance to Stop Slavery and End Trafficking (www.assetcampaign.org) that was the origin, architect and convener of the Transparency in Supply Chains Law in CA that passed in 2010. She is Founding Chair of FilmAid International. She was Executive Producer of Calling the Ghosts: A Story of Rope, War and Women which won an Emmy, a Cable Ace, a Robert F Kennedy Journalism Award. and after a screening at the Council of Foreign Relations spurred legislation that enabled the arrest of Milosevich. Julia also participated in Call and Response. a documentary on the state of enslavement today and one of the first documentaries promoting cell phone technology to accept immediate donations to the cause. She is an Associate Producer to Libby Spear’s Playground, which focuses on the environment that enables child trafficking within the U.S. As an advocate, Julia has traveled the world assessing solutions and challenges and she has appeared as an expert witness before the US. Congress and the United Nations. For this advocacy work. she received the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award” and Women for Women International’s “Peace Award.

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Alexa Mansour

Alexa Mansour just wrapped filming a series lead in the highly anticipated 3rd installment of The Walking Dead universe for AMC. Set in The Walking Dead’s near-future, Mansour plays “Hope,” a hard-drinking and disillusioned teenager who yearns to experience the world outside the confines of her contained community. Mansour beat out thousands of actors for the role and stars opposite Nico Tortorella and Annet Mahendru. In film, Mansour recently starred in the buzzy, social media-driven genre feature Unfriended: Dark Web from director Stephen Susco. She also starred in the MarVista ensemble thriller #Squadgoals . Next up, Mansour will be seen in the independent feature film She’s in Portland opposite François Arnaud and Minka Kelly. On the small screen, Mansour was last seen in guest lead roles on CBS’s Madam Secretary and Bull. She also appeared in notable recurring arcs on CBS’ Seal Team (opposite David Boreanaz), FOX’s The Resident (directed by Phillip Noyce) and most notably, as the troubled “Faiza Assaf” in ABC’s critically acclaimed How to Get Away with Murder. Alexa made her television debut in 2014 as the lead guest lead in Law and Order: SVU’s season 16 premiere, which boasted the highest ratings for a premiere episode in seven years. When Alexa is not acting, she continues to create as a talented singer-songwriter and pianist. She released her freshman single entitled “Misguided Youth” in 2018.

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Annet Mahendru

Annet Mahendru has become a highly sought-after performer for both film and television. Perhaps best known for her critically acclaimed role on the Golden Globe & Emmy winning FX series The Americans, where she played Nina, the mysterious spy opposite FBI Agent Stan (Noah Emmerich). Her portrayal of Nina earned her a Critic’s Choice Nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series and a Gold Derby TV Award Nomination for Drama Guest Actress. She was awarded Showbiz India’s Trailblazer award, recognizing her for an ‘Emerging Leader’ as a rising South Asian Female Actor in Hollywood. Recently, she appeared on the highly anticipated anthology series for Amazon Prime, The Romanoffs. Created, written, directed and executive produced by Matthew Weiner (Mad Men). The series features eight separate stories about people who believe themselves to be descendants of the Russian royal family. She also starred in the dystopian SYFY thriller The Slows, which marks Marvel scribe Nicole Perlman’s directorial debut. It is currently appearing at international film festivals. Annet has established a notable television resume with other credits including The X-Files, Tyrant, The Following, Lethal Weapon, Grey’s Anatomy, White Collar, 2 Broke Girls, and The Blacklist. In addition to her television work, Annet starred in the Sundance film Escape From Tomorrow, played the title role in Sally Pacholok, and appeared in Bridge And Tunnel, and Love Gloria. She was also the voice of Eva in the Penguins of Madagascar movie co-starring Benedict Cumberbatch. On stage, Annet performed in Seven, a play about Afghan refugee Farida Aziza at the LA Theatre Works. A collaboration between 7 playwrights and 7 female activists from around the globe that tells inspiring stories of overcoming adversity to effect real change and improve the lives of women. Born in Afghanistan to an East Indian father and Russian mother, Annet spent her early years learning 6 languages in the Middle East & Europe. She finished high school in New York, earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy at St. John’s University. Then embarked on a Master’s degree at NYU’s Global Affairs Program. In addition to her studies, Annet was always part of a stellar acting troupe whether with a renowned Russian actor in St. Petersburg, the HB Studio in New York, at the Groundlings or Diana Castle in Hollywood. She is also highly trained in Mixed Martial Arts and Indian classical dance, Bharatanatyam. Annet currently resides in Los Angeles with her director husband Louie Gibson and their son. She is part of the local charity BreastfeedLA where she advocates for the importance of breastfeeding to help families meet their goals.

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Julia Ormond (Elizabeth), Alexa Mansour (Hope) and Annet Mahendru (Huck) of "The Walking Dead: World Beyond" on AMC

Interview with Joe Holt and Natalie Gold

TV Interview!

Joe Holt and Natalie Gold of "The Walking Dead: Worlds Beyond" on AMC

Interview with Joe Holt (Leo) and Natalie Gold (Lyla) of “The Walking Dead: Worlds Beyond” on AMC by Suzanne 9/23/21

This was such a fun interview, and I really enjoyed it. I loved how they let Joe call on us. Usually they have a PR person doing that. It was a nice change, and he was great at it. Personally, I think he should have his own talk show or podcast (if he doesn’t already). Both actors were very kind and funny. Don’t miss the season premiere 10/3 on AMC!

Question:   Natalie, does Bellshaw have real feelings for this man? Or is it all just part of her need to get him there and keep him there?

Natalie:   Oh, Lyla loves Dr. Bennett. Lyla Bellshaw loves Dr. Bennett. Oh, yeah, absolutely her feelings are real. I, as an actor, and Matt, and Joe and I have had a lot of conversations about that. Oh, yeah, it’s so much more interesting if her feelings are real and genuine. But yeah, she’s in love.

Jamie:   This is actually kind of continuing on that. Natalie, she still, obviously, though, is, with the CRM also. So, my question is, do you think that she would be willing to potentially leave them if [Dr. Bennett] decided to do that and go against it? And can she trust him? I mean, maybe he’ll side with his daughters. Could you both talk to that?

Natalie:   I think I kind of love the way that season one ends and teases that up, because those are all the questions, right? [Can] we trust Lyla? Does she have ulterior motives? What are her ulterior motives? It became kind of clear in season one, by the end of that episode, and that monologue that she has that she really wants to go and tell Leo, and she ends up not telling him that she’s kind of the catalyst for this whole thing starting. It’s because Leo came to Lyla and said, “I have this daughter who’s brilliant,” and Lyla obviously then told her higher ups. So, I think that this season is kind of a great exploration for Lyla’s character, her push and pull between her love for Leo and her real belief in the greater good. And one person what’s the balance? How much is one life worth versus hundreds of thousands of lives and the work that she’s doing? So, it’ll all be explored in season two.

Joe Holt and Natalie Gold of "The Walking Dead: Worlds Beyond" on AMCJoe:   Yeah, I mean, not to speak for her character, obviously, but I think that there’s absolute chemistry between the characters that is real, which probably creates some of the conflict for her with her duties. There’s a Civilian Republic, and there’s a Civilian Republic military, and I think the second season starts highlighting some of the differences. Like, I did not plan on being a pawn of the Civilian Republic military. I was working for the Civil Republic, as was Lyla. I do think that the theme of the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, as Spock stated in Wrath of Khan. I think that is a constant theme and a constant source of conflict in the second season. We each keep getting pushed to the next level. That tests that principle and that belief within ourselves.

Natalie:   That was said so much more eloquently [by] Joe, as per usual.

Question:   I think what’s interesting about both your characters is obviously you have a personal relation, and you have both kind of walking a tightrope with the military, but also, there’s the scientists’ portion of your lives to that. You want to do something for the greater good as well. So, talk about kind of balancing all that as characters and playing that as actors. That’s a tight rope you could easily fall off of.

Joe:   I think that the joy of acting is conflict, and also, at the crux of any television show or movie is creating and constantly pouring gas on that fire. As an actor, you can sink your teeth into choices. The beauty of this character, and I think of all the characters in the show, is the constant tug of war between what’s right for me and what’s right for the greater good. Within all that we have to battle our own demons. I have to deal with the guilt that I have over leaving my daughters. I won’t speak for Natalie’s character, but every character, I think, in the show has some inner conflict. Then, they have an external conflict and trying to sort all that out is what creates a lot of joy, I think, for actors.

Natalie:   Yeah, and I think as far as kind of Lyla’s love for Leo, she really fell in love with his mind. He’s one of the greatest minds and most brilliant soul she’s ever met. I think that that’s such a deep part of their connection is how well they work together. She found a real partner in him as far as that goes. I think everything Joe was saying is really right, the inner conflict and guilt that all these characters have, and I think it’s going to be cool as we learn more about all of their backstories in season two, but it’s really a push pull between falling in love with somebody, getting close, being in a relationship with somebody in this universe, because it’s a dangerous universe.

Suzanne:   You just finished shooting the show in June, correct? Now, when did you start shooting?

Natalie:   February.

Joe:   February.

Suzanne:   That didn’t take too long.

Joe:   It depends who you ask.

Suzanne:   Joe, you play a character who’s supposed to be brilliant. So, besides the script and the costumes, what else helps you prepare for such an intellectual role?

Joe:   The beauty of television is – this is gonna sound so obnoxious. They kind of cast the person that fits the role. There’s not much research you can do to become smart. So, hopefully, I can say the words they give me and not trip over them, but what was great was having a sit down with Scott Gimple and Matt Negrete, really, day one or day two, when I got in Virginia the first season, and having them talk about what Leo is operating from. And as actors, that’s the most useful thing is to understand [is] where is it we’re coming from? What is it that we want, and what are the things that have created us? That way, we don’t get into trying to characterize what a smart person does. Fortunately, we have good writing, good casting, and good storytelling, and then, as an actor you just need to try to be as honest and truthful with your circumstances as you can be. So, I credit them with making me seem like a smart person.Joe Holt and Natalie Gold of "The Walking Dead: Worlds Beyond" on AMC

Natalie:   Joe got his PhD in Physics in between seasons.

Joe:   [laughs] Go back to grad school for six years in two months.

Natalie:   He’s that good.

Suzanne:   Well, you’re both supposed to be a very smart — too smart maybe for your own good. Natalie, is it safe to say that your character is not very honest, especially in your relationship with Leo, and would you say that she’s not a good person, or she is? What do you think?

Natalie:   I think rule one of being an actor is to find the gray area. Rule one of being an actor is to love your character and to believe in what she does. So, I would never go as far to say that Lyla was not a good person. And I worked really hard and had a lot of great talks with Matt and with Joe this season as well that she – We have found out by the end of season one that she has not told Leo the whole truth. There’s obviously some stuff going on that he does not know about – her motives for doing what she does. We’ll find out more about what she does and why she does what she does in season two, but I think I always, for myself as an actor, had to believe that her reasons were and are formidable, and that the work she does, she believes in it, and that as people, we are capable of honesty and dishonesty and love and betrayal, all in one breath. So, it’s kind of fascinating as an actor to play that.

Suzanne:   Great, and I have a feeling that your relationship will will not end well.

Joe:   [laughs] Don’t say that. Don’t jinx our love affair. It was gonna be a wedding at the end of season two, what are you talking about? A purple wedding.

Natalie:   Like every Shakespeare comedy.

Joe:   That’s right. [laughs]

Suzanne: Well, you have a Huck, not quite a Puck.

Joe:   Well played. Well played.

Question:   Joe, I love the relationship he has with his daughters. Are we going to be getting more of a backstory though about his relationship with Felix to see why he trusts him with the most important people in his life?

Joe:   I think the writers have a real challenge with trying to write for so many characters in a ten episode season, and [there are] definitely glimpses of that coming up in season two – without giving too much away – but I think that a lot of what we saw in season one really lays the groundwork for his relationship with Felix. He took Felix in. Felix was essentially orphaned when the earth fell, or when everything went wrong. Felix needed someone to take him in, and that’s when our relationship began. There’s just tremendous trust there.

In the second season, I think the writers were constantly trying to figure out a way to go forward and provide some sort of historical perspective. So, we didn’t get to go too far in anybody’s past, because we were trying to move forward so much, but the Felix/Leo relationship is family. I think that the relationship definitely gets flushed out more in the second season, and we get to learn a little more about what’s going on with it.

There are pictures of us on a camping trip.

Question:   You and Felix, or the girls?

Joe:   Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Question:   Then I should ask what’s on your desk at work. Whose pictures do you actually have on your desk at work?

Joe:   Are there any pictures at all?

Natalie:   He has pictures of himself.

Question:   Touché.

Joe:   High school prom king.

Jamie:   Are we going to get to see you guys out of the lab at all? Maybe killing walkers, maybe not, but at least a little bit different atmosphere? Is there anything you can tease about that?

Natalie: Yeah, we venture out of the lab here there. I would say.

Joe:   Yeah, I think that everybody gets put into uncomfortable situations is the best way I can put it. Everybody gets put into a situation. Every character gets put into a situation that they are not comfortable with, and that’s part of the measure of what their character is, part of the measure of their ability to grow. Their willingness to survive in this new world is how they respond to the new environment.

Question:   There’s another component here that’s going on with each of you. Joe, you’re a father, and you’re dealing with that as well as everything else. Natalie, Elizabeth is putting a lot of pressure on you as well. So, it’s juggling lot of different things. Talk about playing those aspects of the characters.

Joe:   It was really challenging in the best of ways to try to find that the truthfulness of those relationships, because he does have an obligation to raise these two young women who, despite their independence, intelligence and resourcefulness, need a father, and as we saw in the first episode, lost their mother tragically. So, he has got his own inner drama going on between trying to move forward, trying to find a solution for this horrible disease, and meeting this new person who he shares so much with. They have a real connection. He admires her mind, and in the same way she said he admires her mind and her soul, and I think there’s some guilt there of even trying to move forward, feeling like in some way you’re doing an injustice to your former life. So, all that stuff is wonderful in the way that it unfolds in season two. And, again, it just it pours more gasoline on that conflict fire of how many masters can you serve? And when you have to make [choices] who gets left out in the cold? So, that’s a really good question. It really does create a lot of tugs of war for Dr. Bennett in the second season.

Natalie:   I think that for Lyla, she is definitely balancing the role that she plays in the CRM, and obviously, she cares about the science. More than more than anything else, I believe she wants to save the world. She wants to find a cure for this disease. She wants the world to go on. She wants it to have a future. She wants to teach all the generations coming up what she does, so that this facility can go on and the science can grow. It’s the only way that the future is going to happen, and she believes in the future. So, she’s balancing that, yes, with the pressure that she’s getting from Elizabeth, and the work that she needs to do and her feelings for Leo. There’s a lot going on internally with her and a lot that she’s struggling to balance as well.

Question:   That’s half the fun, though.

Natalie:   Oh, it’s so much fun.

Suzanne:   In the trailer, it shows Iris and Leo hugging, so we know that they do eventually wind up – finally – in the same place. What was it like for both of you, working with the actresses who play Hope and Iris this season?

Joe:   I nicknamed them “Thing One” and “Thing Two,” because they bring such different – It’s such a different energy to have them on set. They’re sort of getting started in this, and you’re dealing with, to some degree, moody teenagers, but you love them, because they’re so gentle and so wonderful and lovely, really, as people. It’s like, this is what a dad deals with. So, it was really just staying open to the energy that they bring, because you never know what they’re going to bring in. But I’ll tell you this much, when the camera rolls, these two young women know exactly what they’re doing. And, again, they have different personalities. So, it is like you’re the dad of these two different daughters, and the two daughters love each other and then have their own little rivalries. So, it really was a matter of like playing centerfield when you get on set just like what are they bringing in today? And how can I be of service? And how can I be Dad?

Natalie:   Alexa and I met for the first time really on that first episode of season two, because we had not – I have said this, and Joe’s heard this ad nauseam, but the first season I worked by myself until we got to the tenth episode where, thank God, I got to work with the amazing Joe, and that was the best. So, Alexa, when I read the 202 [script] I was like, “Oh, I get to meet Alexa and be with her,” and that was so much fun, because we were kind of meeting each other as people for the first time as our characters were meeting, and I was able to kind of guide her and show her this world and give her a tour of that. So, it was really fun. I was trying to play the, “I love your dad, but I don’t think you know that yet, and I really want you to like me” and the stepmom thing, [and] “you have a brilliant mind, and I’m trying to bring you into this world and get you really excited about everything we’re doing here.” So, there was a lot of personal professional dynamics at play. Then, I mean, Alexa is great. She’s fantastic.

Suzanne:   And Joe, following up on what you just said about the girls, I believe you were on As the World Turns. Was it about the same age as these girls, or were you a little older at that point?

Joe Holt (Leo) of "The Walking Dead: Worlds Beyond" on AMCJoe:   As the World Turns was 2004, 2003 so I was 33. So, I was much older. I was much older than them. Stupider, but much older. Not as good as them; not as good on cameras they are, to my discredit.

Suzanne:   Did either of you watch either the regular The Walking Dead or Fear the Walking Dead before you started on the show?

Joe:   I didn’t before I started on the show, because it all happened very quickly for me. I got an audition on a Friday for I think it said “TWD 3.” I was aware of the show, obviously, but I hadn’t watched it. You get an audition, and you go do your thing, and you do the research you can do. But then after I got the part, I watched ten seasons of The Walking Dead. I binged it too, which I don’t recommend. I mean, I do recommend watching it, but bingeing it – like I was watching six episodes a day, and I think the theme song got into my head, and I was like waking up like a drug addict. Like, “I gotta watch Walking [Dead] It was addictive, as you all know, right? It pulls you in. But not before I did the show, and I’m actually kind of glad, because I think the whole point is these characters are starting from their jumping off point, and their jumping off point is with no knowledge of that world. But watching it afterwards, it was just great to watch Negan and Daryl and all those guys. It was great. And Michonne.

Natalie:   I also am admittedly a wimp with anything horror. So, I had not watched The Walking Dead until I got the job. Then, I did exactly what Joe did, and I binged all episodes. And what I loved about it, and what I love about our show is, God, it’s the universe that is created by these brilliant people. It’s terrifying obviously, but it’s the human interactions that make it so rich, and the love between people and the betrayals of people. And, God, I have like an abnormal fear of the apocalypse to begin with, so anything apocalyptic, I’m like, “Oh, that’s not for me. I shouldn’t do that.” My husband read The Road, and I went to go see the movie, and he called me, he’s like, “Don’t watch the movie! I’m begging you!” I’m like, “I’m going to watch the movie,” and I did, and it was a terrible mistake. It’s always about –Joe:   [laughs]

Natalie:   It’s true.

Joe:   I don’t think your fear of the apocalypse is abnormal. I think it’s okay to fear the apocalypse.

Natalie: Is it? It’s like not something you should wake up thinking about all the time. Maybe now, but it’s like, what’s going to happen in the apocalypse? But it’s people that are – I mean, the zombies and the monsters are terrifying, but it’s people who turn into monsters, who stays human, who wants to help, all of that, that’s kind of what I absolutely adored about bingeing The Walking Dead, the original, and then working on our show, as well.

Suzanne:   Yeah, I’m the same way, in fact, because I don’t watch The Walking Dead either for that reason… but I like your show better, because it seems to have a little more human element and little fewer zombies. So, I like that.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

Don’t miss our interview with Julia Ormond, Alexa Mansour and Annet Mahendru!

MORE INFO:

The Walking Dead: World Beyond’s ten-episode second season premieres October 3 at 10pm ET/9c on AMC with all episodes available one week early on AMC+, beginning September 26

Season Two trailer HERE

Season two of The Walking Dead: World Beyond concludes the epic story of Iris (Aliyah Royale), Hope (Alexa Mansour), Elton (Nicolas Cantu), and Silas (Hal Cumpston) — four friends who journeyed across the country on a mission that transformed everything they knew about themselves and the world.  As they face off against the mysterious Civic Republic Military and fight for control of their own destiny, goals will shift, bonds will form and crumble, and innocence will be both lost and found.

The Walking Dead: World Beyond is executive produced by co-creator Scott M. Gimple, co-creator and showrunner Matt Negrete, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert and Brian Bockrath, and is produced and distributed by AMC Studios. In addition to Royale, Mansour, Cantu and Cumpston, the series stars Nico Tortorella, Annet Mahendru, Julia Ormond, Joe Holt, Jelani Alladin, Natalie Gold and Ted Sutherland.

Episode 201: Konsekans – Premieres October 3 at 10pm ET/9c on AMC

Hope’s commitment to the future is put to the test, jeopardizing a potential reunion.  Iris and Felix meet a new group. Startling revelations are made.

Episode 202: Foothold – Premieres October 10 at 10pm ET/9c on AMC

While some members of the group enact a plan to cover their tracks, others attempt to acclimate to their new surroundings.

Joe Holt was born on February 22, 1970 in Tachikawa, Tokyo, Japan. He is an actor and producer, known for The Walking Dead: World Beyond (2020), The Punisher (2017) and Delilah   Check out his Instagram and Twitter

Natalie Gold is an American actress who has appeared in film, television, and stage productions including on Broadway. She is perhaps best known for playing Julia Harwell on the TV show Rubicon, and she has appeared in many films including Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, I Don’t Know How She Does It, and Love & Other Drugs. Gold grew up in Miami, Florida, and studied theatre at the New World School of the Arts and Emerson College. Find her on Instagram and Twitter!

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Joe Holt (Leo) and Natalie Gold (Lyla) of "The Walking Dead: Worlds Beyond" on AMC