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

Interview with Carrie Genzel

TV Interview!

actress Carrie Genzel

Interview with Carrie Genzel of “The Walking Dead” on AMC by Suzanne 8/10/21

It was very nice to speak with Carrie! We had a great chat. I was so pleased to see her on the first two episodes of “The Walking Dead.” Don’t forget to watch it Sunday on AMC or AMC+. She plays Clark, an interrogator with the Commonwealth.

We gabbed a lot about non-TV-related topics, so make sure you watch the audio below… the transcript skipped the first ten minutes of chatting.

Suzanne:   So, tell us about your how your audition came about for The Walking Dead season eleven.

Carrie:   Oh, my God. First off, I am so excited to be able to talk about this. I’ve been like holding this in since February, because, you know, you sign a very hefty NDA. Even to audition for The Walking Dead, I had to sign an NDA, as did the person who was reading with me off camera. So, they keep things pretty secretive, as as you know, with The Walking Dead.

It just came about like any other audition. The Walking Dead is a show that, first off, when you’re an actor, and you live in Atlanta, that’s like one of those ones you want to check off and be like, “That’s the show I want to do when I’m here.” And I’ve been a fan of the show since the first season. So, it’s a world that I know; it’s characters that I know. So, anytime I get an audition for something that I’m familiar with, and that I’m a fan of, it’s special. Having said that, you want to just do your best work and then let it go, because you don’t want to put too much expectation into it. And that’s exactly what happened.

I got the material. They kind of piece together stuff that was actually from the scripts, which sometimes is done and not done. Sometimes they make up fake sides or use material from other episodes or what have you, but this was actually real material from that first episode. And, you know, it was just an audition. I just really tried not to put a lot of pressure on myself, because I was like, “I want to do this so bad.” I had auditioned for the show previously and didn’t get it, and I had also auditioned for one of the spin-offs. So, you know, there’ve been times I’ve been disappointed before. So, I just went in with an open mind and did did my best work and then forgot about it.

And I actually really did forget about it, because I booked a recurring role on Sistas for Tyler Perry. And again, this is back in winter when they were still quarantining and so forth. So, with Tyler Perry’s productions, we actually had to live at Tyler Perry Studios and live in a bubble the whole time we were there. So, I was all, “Okay, I’m going to be away from [everything].” I’m like on location, in my hometown, you know, my home city, this is weird. And what’s really funny is I had some time. You know, you’re in lockdown, essentially, and I was like, wandering around the studio lot.

And I walked around, and I’m looking at this area, and I’m like, “Why does this looks so familiar to me?” I’m standing there. And I’m like, “Oh, my gosh, this is the Kingdom. This is where they shot the Kingdom. I recognize that theater with the round balcony, and I’m standing there, and it was very funny to me. I was like, “Oh, this is where they shot that; that’s really cool.”

And it was a day or so after that, that I got a call from my agent saying, “They want you for this role.” And she’s like, “But there’s a little bit of a problem.” And I’m like, “What? No, no problems.”

Now, because of COVID protocols, it’s not as simple as “are you available for these shoot dates?” anymore. Now you have to be available for testing for all kinds of different things, even before going to a wardrobe fitting.

And because I was in this bubble, I was at Tyler Perry Studios, and I could not leave. There was some crossover in terms of dates where they needed me, and so my agent knew how much I love The Walking Dead and what a great opportunity this was. And so, oh my gosh, between her and the casting director, Tyler Perry’s casting director, and the casting director for The Walking Dead in Atlanta, God bless them all, because they all like moved mountains for me to be able to be available when I needed to be available. And I have so much love for Mr. Perry, because he actually moved up my scenes earlier in the week so that I could leave earlier and be available to The Walking Dead so I could do my COVID testing. So, I’m so grateful to him for doing that. Teamwork.

Suzanne:   Yeah, that’s great that they can do that.

Carrie:   And I have to say, working on The Walking Dead during a global pandemic is very surreal. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but driving up to the studio for the first time, and just seeing not prop signs, but real signs that are saying, you know, COVID, masks, protocols, test site. There’s a trailer, you know, all kinds of things that normally would just be leftover props from the show, but were actual real signs and was very weird.

Suzanne:   Yeah I can imagine.

Carrie:   It was very, very weird.

Suzanne:   When the whole COVID thing started, it reminded us of The Stand, because we were in Las Vegas when they filmed the first Stand, and they were filming right downtown where we were staying, and they put all these side fake signs up. So, I know exactly what you’re talking about now.

Carrie:   It feels really bizarre. And, you know, I did a movie for Crackle, called Dead Rising Watch Tower, which was about a zombie outbreak, so, I’ve been down that road. And I was like, “This is so weird.”

It’s no joke, we had to wear – and they may still be doing this, I don’t know – we had to wear tracers. So, if someone did come back with a positive test, they could go back and see who you were in contact with, which was also very weird. So, we’d always have, and they’d always ask when you get to set, “Do you have your tracer?” “Yes, I do.” And we had our masks and goggles, and we had our z shields, and there was a lot of equipment. They kept us really safe, but it is very, very odd, because you’d be working on this type of material during COVID, and I’m sure all of the actors have said that.

Suzanne:   Yeah, I’m sure. So, how many episodes are you in?

Carrie:   I’m in the first two.

Suzanne:   There’s two. Okay, I didn’t know if you were going to come back later for another episode.

Carrie:   I don’t know. I hope so. I feel like there’re so many other fun things that she could be doing. She’s still around; she’s in the community. So, I’m hoping she pops up again, because I’d love to be able to go back. It really was such a great experience for me.

Like I said, having been a fan of the show, it was really cool to be able to step into those sets and interact with characters that I’ve watched for years. They have such an incredible cast on The Walking Dead. I mean, every one of them, at some point, has made me cry. Every single one of them, at some point, has made me angry.

You know, the thing that really grabbed me about The Walking Dead when I first started watching it was the characters, and I was drawn into the characters and what they were going through, and the whole apocalypse and zombie stuff was just kind of a another part of the show, but it for me it was really about that. And, as an actor, it was watching these incredible performances that would just gut you sometimes. [laughs] That seems like an appropriate way to describe that. But it’s really just heartbreaking. There’re so many moments I think for for anyone that’s a fan of this show that you remember, and just like, wow, and there’ve so been so many surprises along the way, too. Like, really, nobody’s safe on The Walking Dead. So, it was just such an incredible treat to sit down in front of the actors that I worked with, and, in my case, really kind of put them through the works.

Suzanne:   Yeah, it’s it’s very well written. I could see why it has so many fans,  because it is, as you say, great characters, and they just write it so well, and there’s always something happening, and at the end, there’s always a shocking thing. It just makes you want to watch the next episode.

Carrie:   And there’s a lot of humor, too, which I always enjoy, because you got to have that humor to kind of release the pressure. That’s what I loved about what I got to do in the two episodes is that what we shot was really intense, but there’re some humorous moments there too.

Also, what I thought was really cool, as a fan, is I got to learn a lot about those characters. Like there are things that I didn’t know and that fans don’t know. So, it was interesting for me that way, where I’m like, “Oh, I didn’t know that.”

Suzanne:   Yeah, they do a lot of revealing in those episodes of the characters that are there with you and what their backstories are. I like that.

Carrie:   Absolutely. Yeah, you find out a lot about them, which I thought was really fun.

But it felt intimidating in the space. It’s a very, as you’ve seen, a very dark set. It was an old empty warehouse, so it was very damp and cold. It was freezing. We shot that in February, and there was actually like a cold snap that gripped through this area, so much so that the first day that I was shooting, they actually delayed our start time, because they were concerned about ice on the road. So, they waited until later in the day when it heated up a little there. And no matter what heat they would put in there, you would feel it, because it would all go to the ceiling. All of us actors that shot on that set will talk about how cold it was. I mean, they do what they can. I have silks on under my costume. I had the little hot shot warmers, and I had them I had them on my back. I was sitting on them. At one point I was giving them out to the other actors. I was like, “I have six of these. Does anyone want one?”

Suzanne:   And you were wearing quite a bit of costume too. It’s not like you were wearing something skimpy, so it must have been cold.

Carrie:   I was just wearing like a blouse and a suit, and there wasn’t really a lot of warmth to it. And for the other characters, when they’re captured, they were stripped of kind of a lot of things. So, they’re kind of in their sort of bare bones kind of costumes as well without all this stuff. So everybody, our teeth were chattering quite a bit. And, I don’t know if you see this in the scene; I haven’t seen it yet, but we could certainly see each other’s breath as we were talking in the room, which I thought, “Well, you know, that works too,” because it looks intimidating.

Suzanne:   Sure. A bit of authenticity there.

Carrie:   But really, I can see everyone’s breath. That’s how cold it was. Every night when I would leave, I would crank up the heat in the car and put on the seat warmers, because I felt like a Popsicle. It was just so cold.

Suzanne:   Yeah, I think it can get pretty cold in Atlanta and that part of the country. We had the big surprise snowstorm in February.

Carrie:   Oh, wow.

Suzanne:   You know, the big one that they talked about in Texas where their power all went out? So, we got that. We didn’t lose power, thankfully.

Carrie:   Yeah, thankfully, no.

Suzanne:   More snow than I’ve seen since I lived in Illinois.

Carrie:   Wow. There’s been some weird weather, some very strange weather.

Suzanne:   So, when you had to keep it a secret, did you have to keep it a secret from your friends and family as well, everybody?

Carrie:   Yeah, you know, some people kind of figured it out being in Atlanta. I’m like, “I can’t really talk about it.” They’re like, “Well, it’s The Walking Dead or Marvel.”

Suzanne:   Well, there’re a lot of things going in Atlanta.

Carrie:   They know that’s kind of what people are not allowed to talk about. It was very funny. Everyone’s very educated.

Suzanne:   That’s funny.

Carrie:   So, now, I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I can’t wait until the cat’s out of the bag, and I can really, really talk about this.”3

Suzanne:   So, what was it like when you had to stay at the Tyler Perry compound?

Carrie:   Oh, my gosh, that was like being in a movie too. I mean, it really was quite the experience. When we checked in, we all had to be there for the duration. They didn’t want anybody coming in and out, and so you were there for the whole duration of their shoot. Now, he shoots incredibly fast. He shoots over 100 pages a day. So, to go from that to The Walking Dead, where we shot far less – that main interrogation scene in The Walking Dead we shot over two days, maybe longer. So, that tells you the difference of pace, but it was really nuts.

You know, we checked in to Tyler Perry Studios, and before we could even get on the lot, they took our temperature. Everyone was in a full on suit. We got in there, and they did a COVID test. They wiped out all of our bags. They were not messing around. We then had to go and sit in the army bunker barracks, where you’re in a room by yourself. It was sealed to say that it was clean. You had to take the tape off that it was clean. And anything that we needed, there was an app, and you would ask for a meal or coffee, tea, whatever. You were not allowed to leave that room until you got your test results back. And then when they brought you your meals, they were in the suit. Even though they weren’t coming in, they still were in a suit. They would put your tray down and knock on the door and then walk away like nobody would interact with you.

So, I checked into the studio about 11:30am, and then, I guess, it was about 10pm or so that I got the text message to say your test came back negative; you’re free to leave the room. And I zip down to there, because I’m like, “I need some fresh air,” and I just went for a walk.

And then we moved into our housing. So, because it was an army base, there’s a lot of housing on on the studio lot. So, I actually got to live in a really cool heritage home with another actress from LA, and we had this big four bedroom house to ourselves, and that was our home away from home while we were there for a couple of weeks.

But everything was self-contained. I mean, they really took care of everything. We had catering and food trucks, and the gym was open to us with bicycles. We could zip around on the lot on in golf carts, and there was a lot of things for us to do and to feel safe. And even though we were all tested several times a week, and we all got tested coming in, we still were wearing masks and just being safe. You know, nobody got sick on any of his productions, so he really kept everybody safe. I appreciated it. And it was kind of weird to leave the bubble.

When I was wrapped, I had to zip into the supermarket on the way home, and I felt like very, “So, I don’t know where you guys have been.”

Then, with The Walking Dead, even though we could be at home, they did ask that we definitely wear our masks when we were out and be safe and to not go out and do a lot of stuff we didn’t need it to do while we’re shooting. So, I mean, it’s really such a privilege to be able to work during this time. So, you do whatever you need to do to keep people safe.

Suzanne:   Well, it sounds like they did a good job of keeping you safe.

Carrie:   Yeah, both productions did a really great job.

Suzanne:   Did you know anybody in the cast and crew of The Walking Dead personally? Or had you worked with them before?

Carrie:   No, I didn’t at all, just from watching, but, no, I didn’t know anyone at all. So, it was very much that first day of school feeling of like, “I hope everyone likes me,” even though I’m not that like role on camera. But, I mean, like they are truly a family, and so everyone was so welcoming. They’ve all had their first day on set, so they know what that feels like. Everyone was very welcoming, and it was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun just to kind of see everything come to life, and to to be a part of those are those first two episodes in the last season was very cool.

Suzanne:   Now, your character was badass. She got taken down a peg or two.

Carrie:   [laughs] That’s why I think she needs to come back. I don’t know.

Suzanne:   Show the nicer side or something.

Carrie:   A different side of her. She’s just doing her job. I mean, look who her boss is. She’s gotta be a badass. When your boss is Mercer? Come on.

Suzanne:   It’s funny to see in the midst of something like an apocalypse and zombies and all that, to see somebody who’s basically a bureaucrat, like you said, just doing her job, trying to bring order to the chaos.

Carrie:   Well, it’s funny, because when I went through hair and makeup, they were saying they were so excited, because they said, “You’re one of the first characters where you’re allowed to wear nail polish.” Like it was a big deal. [laughs] They were like, “You can actually have a manicure.” That’s a big deal on this show. My hair’s done. It’s not done, it’s perfect. I’m wearing a suit. Clark was described to me as the Scully of the Commonwealth, and I was like, “I’ll take that.”

But yeah, that was the thing that was very odd to me, because when you think of The Walking Dead, you think of a certain kind of wardrobe, kind of like grungy, maybe took it off some dead person. You know, it’s all kind of thrown together, although they still manag to make it look cool. And here I am in this perfect little suit, where I look like exactly a bureaucrat, what she’s supposed to look like, and it was very weird. So, I feel like I’m not really getting The Walking Dead experience.

Suzanne:   Yeah, they should bring you back as a walker or something.

Carrie:   Or something, or I don’t know.

At that point too, outside of the comic book, there was nothing really known about the Commonwealth and what it was and the people that inhabit that community. So, we were all kind of learning as we went along. But, yeah, it was very cool.

Having said that, I didn’t see one walker while I was there. [laughs] Very disappointing. I’m like, “Not even at craft service?”

Suzanne:   Of the two sections of the first two episodes is the two groups. You were in the group that didn’t really have any.

Carrie:   Yeah, we were in the cleaner group.

Suzanne:   I like those guys who were with you; they would look like Stormtroopers, those costumes they were wearing.

Carrie:   Yeah, absolutely.

Suzanne:   Like Star Wars stormtroopers.

Carrie:   They do a little bit. And if you look at the comic book, that’s exactly what they look like in the comic book. They really did a great job of bringing that to life.

But yeah, initially, my character was supposed to be in one of those costumes in the, like, trooper outfit. I was a little disappointed. [laughs] I went in for my fitting, and they brought out this rack of suits, and I was like, “I play Clark.” She’s like, “No, they decided to put you in a suit.” And I was like, “Really?” because I really kind of wanted to be in the outfit. And they were like, “You really don’t though, because they’re not that comfortable.” Apparently, they’re hard to sit down in.

Suzanne:   Oh, okay, yeah.

Carrie:   “So, you’re probably gonna be a lot happier in the suit.” But it’s just, of course, I wanted to be, you know, growing up, and like you said, growing up and being such a huge Star Wars fan as a kid, I was like, “This is my moment. I get to put on the armor.” Maybe there’s hope for something down the road.

Suzanne:   Well, you know, I recognized you right away, because I used to watch All My Children when you were on it. I remember–  it’s funny, you know, it was a while ago, and I remember you being on it. I remember Jonathan Kinder, because I really liked the actor, and that they must have said that name about a million times on the show, too. And I remember that you and Susan Lucci and Robin Mattson, and I think there was another woman. I can’t remember; she actually played Marian, Maybe?

Carrie:   Yes. Jennifer Bassey.

Suzanne:   Right, and then, you had a lot of funny scenes and dealing with him.

Carrie:   Yeah, we did. Those were probably – and people still comment about that whole storyline…We laughed so much during that, because it was so fun to do. I mean, parts of it were so ridiculous, like I think Marian ended up rolling them up in a carpet or something.

Suzanne:   Probably.

Carrie:   And Michael Sabatino was such a lovely man in real life, that it was kind of fun to go after him as a group. It was just such a fun storyline, and, for me, as an actor coming on to that show, getting to work with these veterans of daytime was just such a treat, because that was the first contract role that I had in my career, and it was just so incredible to be able to do that right out of the gate and work with these incredible women and Michael, who I’ve seen on TV for many, many years on different shows. I learned a lot from them. And it really, really was fun to be a part of that storyline.

Suzanne:   Yeah, I bet. Like you said, I still remember it. I’ve watched a lot of TV and soaps, so if I remember some of the details this long ago, then it definitely had an impact.

Carrie:   Yeah, it’s one of the storylines that gets brought up the most when All My Children fans reach out to me; they talk about that a lot. And it was really fun. It’s too bad we weren’t able to do something again, just that group of characters, because people really loved it. We had a good time doing it.

Suzanne:   Well, that’s good. Yeah. That’s important, I’m sure. And with all the acting that you’ve done, the fact that you can look back on it so fondly is good, because I’m sure that not every single shoot you’ve done has been that much fun.

Carrie:   It’s so much more fun than others, but I always look back at All My Children with a lot of fondness. Just, like I said, I learned so much from those actors on that show. And working with David Canary was just incredible. I learned so much. It really was like boot camp; there was no safety net. There were no cue cards, no teleprompters. I mean, we were banging out pages and pages and pages a day. And, you know, I said this going back to working for Tyler Perry, he moves even faster than they did back then on All My Children, but because I had that experience in daytime, it didn’t freak me out to see a huge stack of pages. “Oh, we’re going to do this today.” “What?!”

Although I have to say that the very first day I walked on set of Sistas, nobody told me there was no rehearsal, no camera blocking, nothing that lets you see what happened. And I was like, “What, really? You guys just recorded that?” That was what nobody told me. So, what you see in some of those scenes is the very first time somebody’s walked on set and has no clue what’s going on.

Suzanne:   I’ve heard they do that now on the soaps a lot, because they’re so pressed for time, and then COVID has made it even more so.

Carrie:   Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m sure. You know, the thing is, with daytime too, because you’re playing a character for such a long period of time, you know, for me anyway, it got easier and easier and easier, because you start to learn how your character speaks, how that character reacts to things, and it becomes easier to kind of get into that groove. And you sort of get in that work pace where you’re always moving really quickly, but when you’re out of that rhythm, and you step into another show, and they’re moving like crazy, you’re like, “Woah.” But I say this all the time, my time on All My Children is really, really a part of the foundation of me as a professional actor and how I’m able to sort of go with the flow in terms of changes, in terms of speed, in terms of improv, all of that stuff. It really, really helps me to build up that those skills that I use all the time.

Suzanne:   I’ve heard it’s an excellent training ground.

Carrie:   It’s incredible. Yes, it’s sad to me that there’s so few now, and there’s less opportunity for people to really get in there and learn it, because it really, for so long, was such a great place for new and young actors to kind of get their feet wet. You know? You think of all the actors that have come from daytime TV, and there’s a lot; there’re so many.

Here is the video version of it.

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

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The Walking Dead on AMC on Twitter: “A warm welcome from the Commonwealth. Watch the return of #TWD this Sunday at 9/8c or stream it now with @AMCPlus. https://t.co/XjMgWIYVXO” / Twitter

Born in Vancouver, Carrie Genzel has enjoyed a diverse career, working extensively in both her native Canada and the United States, she is most notably known for her role as Skye Chandler on ABC’s ‘All My Children,’ as well as two memorable roles on the CW’s ‘Supernatural,’ and most recently recurring on AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead.’

Carrie has built an esteemed career in film including roles in ‘Watchmen, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Dead Rising: Watchtower, They’re Watching, and more. Carrie has received widespread acclaim for her performances in both television and film and in 2012, she won the Best Actress award at the Los Angeles International Underground Film Festival for her role of Emma in ‘The Ballerina and the Rocking Horse.’

Off set Carrie is an advocate of good mental health having launched the blog State Of Slay(TM) and becoming an advisory board member for the non-profit Attitudes In Reverse® which brings programming to students on anti-bullying and suicide prevention.

About The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead is an American post-apocalyptic horror television series based on the comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard—together forming the core of The Walking Dead franchise. The series features a large ensemble cast as survivors of a zombie apocalypse trying to stay alive under near-constant threat of attacks from zombies known as “walkers” (among other nicknames). However, with the collapse of modern civilization, these survivors must confront other human survivors who have formed groups and communities with their own sets of laws and morals, sometimes leading to open, hostile conflict between them.

Check out our other All My Children interviews!

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Actress Carrie Genzel

Interview with “The Walking Dead” stars

TV Interview!

Khary Payton as Ezekiel, Eleanor Matsuura as Yumiko, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter, and Paola Lazaro as Princess stumble upon a trap in The Walking Dead Season 10, Episode 15 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

Interview with Khary Payton, Eleanor Matsuura, Josh McDermitt and Callan McAuliffe of “The Walking Dead” on AMC by Suzanne 8/3/21

This was from The Walking Dead virtual roundtable interview, taking place Tuesday, August 3.

This was so much fun! The actors were very funny and silly. They were clearly having a good time. I wish I could show you the video, but we’re not allowed to. You’ll have to read the transcript below. It’s definitely worth it!

Callan McAuliffe and Lauren Cohan in "The Walking Dead"

Question:   Khary, can we expect any flashbacks for Ezekiel and his time as an actor or zookeeper, this being the last season? I really do hope so.

Khary:   Oh, that’s an interesting question. I would tell you to, you know, expect the unexpected, that there’s so much story that we’re telling, none of which I’m going to tell you about. We all spent these last few months shooting all this thing, and I just feel like it would be wrong of me just to tell you in a Zoom call. So, how about this? How about this? Why don’t we set up just like for the next couple of weeks, like Sunday night? Get together, you know, pour a drink. I’ll tell you all about it.

Callan:   Khary, is it Episode Six where they do the flashback where you fall in a panda enclosure, is it six?

Khary:   Oh my god, you know what? We’re gonna have so much fun. The crazy thing is that a panda is much harder to do CGI, so, obviously, we had to just go ahead and go with the the panda that I keep here at the house. And although he’s not as bubbly; we just don’t have the bamboo here. And, you know –

Callan:   I still can’t believe you managed to outbid Nicolas Cage for that panda. It’s crazy.

Question:   As a fellow actor, I definitely appreciate your sense of humor.

Khary:   It’s incredible. Yeah, I’m excited. I’m excited.

Suzanne: Hi, how many episodes have yet to be filmed? Or have they all finished?

Khary:   Oh, it’s far from over. It’s far from over. We’ve got, I don’t know if we’re quite halfway done; we’re nearing the midway point, but we’ve still got – we’re gonna go shooting well into next year. So, I feel like there’s just a lot of story yet to unfold and yet to be told and yet to even be decided upon, in a lot of ways. So, yeah.

Suzanne:   Do they tell you ahead of time, whether your character is going to make it through the end of this show or not?

Khary:   You’d like to think that, wouldn’t you? It’s funny to be on a show like this one. When you get on a hit TV show, you pop the champagne, and you’re thinking, “Oh, it’s time to celebrate.” This is one of those shows that you get on, and you’re just waiting for that phone call around the corner to tell you that you all of your dreams and aspirations are about to be bashed, and the limousine that drove you here is not taking you back. I hope you didn’t take the Uber app off of your phone, because you’re going to need that to get back to wherever you’re going. So, this this show’s a cruel mistress in that way, that it gives a lot, but it can take it all away in a heartbeat.

Callan:   Did you guys all save Angela Kang in your phones with the skull and crossbones emoji? Terrifying every time she calls.

Khary:   Exactly. We’re just [unintelligible], because she’s got such a brilliant, happy little smile.

Callan:   It’s true.

Eleanor:   That’s how I never say hello to Angela. I just say, “Am I dead? Am I dead? Ok, how’s it going?”

Suzanne:   Thank you, guys.

Khary:   Thank you, Suzanne.

Question:   This question is for everyone. Would you rather your character have the glorious Braveheart death, or would you want to end the series as still a living member of whatever society looks like, in your opinion, if you had it your way.

Callan:   If I had it my way, the character’s death would be so unremarkable as to be remarkable. I would want him to trip in a puddle and to bang his head on the corner of a marble counter and for it to never [get] mentioned again. Mid conversation, just heart attack.

Josh:   Yeah. I personally, I want to die of old age or want Eugene to die of old age; that would be my hope, because I feel like he deserves it. I feel like he is a guy that everyone just expected, even myself included, would be gone after two episodes, because it’s like, there’s no way this guy’s living. And he’s figured out a way. He’s been a little cockroach about it, but I would hope that he dies of old age. But, you know, look, if they do decide that it’s time for him to go, I would at least hope they do it justice and give him a hero’s death, just because I think he does deserve that, if he does go, just based on who he was and where he’s been and kind of how far he’s come. He’s certainly been the hero many times before, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he would have a hero’s death. I just hope that if it came to that they would at least do that for him.

Khary:   Yes, jumping off a cliff, dreadlocks flying, slow motion in the wind. You know, a full orchestral score.

Callan:   Wait a minute, Khary. Did I ever tell you about the way I hope to die? That sounds remarkably similar to my plan for [my] funeral. I plan to gather, tell 100 friends that I died, or have them told, have them gather on a clifftop and then emerge dramatically from the coffin to the [unintelligible] gospel choir and leap gracefully into the sea.

Khary:   You know, we’re closer than we think. I had not heard you tell that, but it does not surprise me. And, you know, I hope to be standing on the same cliff one day.

Callan:   The convoluted aspect of mine is that I wanted there to be a shark tank at the bottom, so that I swan dived into the sea, but landed in the shark tank, it ate me, and then we piece up the shark and fire the shark’s ashes into space after it’s reconstituted my flesh

Eleanor:   Don’t do that to space. Space has got enough trouble with all these rockets going into it.

Callan:   It’d be biomass debris and wouldn’t be nearly so dangerous as flying metal.

Eleanor:   I think, of course, everyone, if they’re going to go, you want the big spectacular glorious death, of course you do. These are our characters. We’ve lived with them; we’ve created them, and they’ve been a part of us for so, so long. If that’s the way you want to go, you want it to be – you want to do justice to the love you have for your character. I’m with Josh though, like, I have to say like, I feel like I want for you Yumiko to have this long, long, happy life. We’ve only just discovered, or about to discover, this whole other side of her past life that she had. I think we always forget in The Walking Dead, especially, because the seasons are so long, but, actually, a lot of the action happens only over a few days or a few weeks. I mean, there’re time jumps and stuff, but a lot of the story happens in these condensed moments, and we sort of forget that we’ve actually had these huge lives behind them. I mean, we learned that Yumiko had this extraordinary education, and she’s basically lived the life that my parents wish I had, if I was smart enough to go to Oxford and Harvard, which I am definitely not. And I’m not saying that that makes her a better person, I’m just saying that it’s this discovery of all this stuff that she still has to give that I think it would be a real crime to not have her live that out in all the ways that she could.

Callan:   I think she should be killed in a fight with someone wielding a judge’s gavel. I think that would be full circle.

Eleanor:   Yeah, if I’m going to die, I want it to be from the past – like, yeah in the courtroom, a gavel thrown at my head. It knocks me off my feet. I grab judges’ wigs as I fall down onto the courtroom floor, and then I get eaten by walkers.

Question:   Is that the penultimate episode of the series?

Eleanor:   Listen, I can’t give anything away.

Question:   My question is for Khary. One of the big things that happen in season 10 is that we discover that Ezekiel has cancer, and he has to deal with some really dark things like a terminal disease and even suicidal tendencies. Is there a possibility that this character might attain some sort of peace or serenity throughout the run of season eleven?

Khary:   I hope so, for Ezekiel’s sake. I want so much for him to find that kind of inner light that seems to gravitate people to him, but, you know, you can’t have victory without adversity. So, here we are trying to just tell a story that’s still captivating. I had this push and pull, because I so desperately want him to be okay and and to just be at the forefront, being the big leader guy, but the thing that has drawn people to him is the fact that his life is messy, and he’s had all of this loss, but he does keep his head up. I mean, he’s lost so much. I think it’s enough to break a lot of people and it’s been nice to know that the journey of this character has resonated with a lot of people and helped them when it comes to dealing with adversity, to kind of set themselves aside and find a companion character to be able to live through and say, “You know what? If Ezekiel can do it, I can do it.” It’s meant a lot to me over the years, to have been a part of telling the story of a character that can be that for anyone.

Question:  This is for Callan; actually I have two. Alden is more heart and likes to build things. Is it safe to say that he grew up in a house where he had to take a lot of responsibility at a young age? And also, my second one is does he feel like Maggie is getting too cold to other survivors?

Callan:   To the first question, yeah, it was always an understanding between me and the showrunners that sort of he, in the early part of the apocalypse, had been going around with his with his brother. I believe it was his younger brother. And I imagine that the dynamic there was that Alden had to become something of a reliable – not necessarily a builder or a blacksmith, but certainly someone that you can trust to get things done and to bring things together. So, that’s certainly been a part of his life, and, you know, given that we see him building all manner of weapons and catapults and that sort of thing, we can assume he had some kind of a training in it. And then, can you repeat the second question for me?

Question:   Does he feel like Maggie’s getting too cold to others? It’s obviously warranted to Negan, because, you know, Allan has seen firsthand what he can do, but Maggie seems to be backtracking a little when it comes to the other survivors. Do you think she’s getting a little cold?

Callan:   I think he’s definitely seeing a side of Maggie that perhaps he didn’t expect, and she has for so long been, I suppose, the fulcrum around which his stability swings, especially in the beginning. And I think he finds that contrast disturbing. Yeah.

Question:   My question is, again, for Callan. Your character was Team Negan in the beginning, and now he’s Maggie. If there is a war to happen in season eleven, which side do you think would prevail, considering Alden’s experience in both those factions?

Callan:   I don’t think he was ever Team Negan. You know, I think he was, as most people in life, a victim of circumstance, and he kind of went where the winds blew him, but I like to think that he’s kind of alighted in the right place, if that makes sense. So, his allegiance should be clear, even when there’s conflict.

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

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Previously on The Walking Dead, our survivors confronted past demons and combated new threats, with friendships and relationships suffering from the mounting collateral damage that is the apocalypse. Alexandria is severely compromised, left a former shell of the home it once was from the carnage and devastation left behind by the Whisperers.

Now all who live in Alexandria struggle to refortify it and feed its increasing number of residents, which include the survivors from the fall of the Kingdom and the burning of Hilltop; along with Maggie and her new group, the Wardens. Alexandria has more people than it can manage to feed and protect. Their situation is dire as tensions heat up over past events and self-preservation rises to the surface within the ravaged walls.

They must secure more food while they attempt to restore Alexandria before it collapses like countless other communities they have come across throughout the years. But where and how? More haggard and hungrier than ever before, they must dig deeper to find the effort and strength to safeguard the lives of their children, even if it means losing their own.

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to those at Alexandria, Eugene, Ezekiel, Yumiko, and Princess are still being held captive by mysterious soldiers who are members of a larger and unforthcoming group.

AMC’s 11 Weeks of Reveals Until Season 11 of The Walking Dead

AMC released today a new teaser for The Walking Dead as part of AMC’s “11 Weeks of Reveals until Season 11.” The Walking Dead Season 11 premieres Sunday, August 22 at 9pm ET/8c on AMC, and all 11A episodes will air one week early on AMC+, beginning August 15.

Official Trailer  Official Teaser

Additionally, as part of TWDU.com’s “11 Weeks of TWD” where each week leading up to the Season 11 premiere on August 22, a custom piece of artwork will be shared that looks back at significant moments from each season of the show’s decade-long run. The eighth piece of custom artwork is created by artist, designer and filmmaker Micheline Pitt, and can be viewed here.

AMC will drop new reveals – photos, trailers and more – every Thursday counting down to the Season 11 premiere of The Walking Dead on Sunday, August 22 at 9pm ET/8pm CT. All 11A episodes will air one week early on AMC+, beginning August 15.

Khary Payton

In addition to portraying King Ezekiel on AMC’s The Walking Dead, Khary Payton has become synonymous with one of DC’s hottest heroes, Cyborg, having voiced the character for 17 years in numerous television series, DVM’s, games, and the 2018 critically acclaimed theatrical release of Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, based on the number one cartoon series Teen Titans Go! Payton reprised his role of Aqualad and is taking on the new role of Black Lightning in the fan and critically acclaimed series, Young Justice: Outsiders, which premiered on DCUniverse.com earlier this year. Other current voice over roles include laser specialist Wasabi in Disney’s Big Hero 6: The Series; Grimlock in Transformers: Robots in Disguise; and Rafiki in Disney’s The Lion Guard. Payton also voices in the video games The Sims; Reigel in Starcraft; Drebin in Metal Gear Solid; Azrael and Killer Croc in the Batman: Arkham franchise; and Knox from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Born in Augusta, Georgia, Payton caught the acting bug after seeing a production of Cyrano De Bergerac in the 1st grade. As a teenager, he developed a local rep as a rapper and stand-up comic, sharing the stage with such notables as Tom Kenney and Chris Rock. Payton attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, studying acting and directing. He stayed in Texas for several years honing his craft in classical and experimental theatre before moving to Hollywood. Payton co-wrote, produced, and starred in the independent sci-fi feature, Astronaut: The Last Push, winning 13 awards on the film festival circuit, including Best In Show at the Independent Filmmakers Showcase and Fargo Film Festivals. Payton took home three awards for Best Actor.

Callan McAuliffe

In addition to his regular series role as Alden on The Walking Dead, Callan McAuliffe can be seen in the feature film Summer Night, opposite Justin Chatwin, Analeigh Tipton, and Victoria Justice, for writer/director, Joseph Cross. McAuliffe was discovered by director Rob Reiner, who hand-picked him to play the romantic lead in the Warner Bros. feature film Flipped. This was followed by roles in DreamWorks’ sci-fi adventure I Am Number Four and Warner Bros.’ The Great Gatsby, as the teenage Jay Gatsby to Leonardo DiCaprio’s adult role. McAuliffe went on to work in the crime-drama film Kite, with Samuel L. Jackson; appeared in Underground: The Julian Assange Story; and starred in the U.K. feature Robot Overlords, with Sir Ben Kingsley. More recently he appeared in The Stanford Prison Experiment for director Kyle Patrick Alvarez, as part of an ensemble including Ezra Miller, Billy Crudup, and Thomas Mann. McAuliffe’s many accolades include recognition as Break Out actor by The Toronto International Film Festival for his lead role in the coming-of-age film Beneath the Harvest Sky, where he starred alongside Emory Cohen; and winning the Young Artist Award for his role as the aforementioned young Gatsby. Additionally, McAuliffe is among the youngest winners of GQ Magazine’s Man of The Year Award for Breakthrough of the Year, presented to him for his work in the performing arts in 2012-2013. Outside of his theatrical career, McAuliffe has also volunteered his time to a list of meaningful charities. Always interested in staying true to his Australian roots, McAuliffe became the youngest Ambassador for Tourism Australia for the Friends of Australia Campaign. The Friends of Australia Campaign include some of the most globally influential voices that have a genuine affinity with Australia. McAuliffe also holds a highly regarded position as a UNICEF Ambassador. Besides his film career and philanthropic efforts, McAuliffe has also added the title of Author to his resume. His first fictional book, The Hill Ghost, is a story that recounts the adventures between two unlikely friends, an old Tibetan Mastiff dog and a delusional seagull.

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