FTWD is back on September 11
Walking Dead spinoff Fear The Walking Dead resumes its third season in a couple of weeks, following a mid-season break that saw the Clark and Otto family reaching an uneasy alliance with the Nation. In episode 5, Danay Garcia’s character Luciana Galvez left her boyfriend Nick Clark at the ranch with an explanatory note, and hasn’t been seen since. Meanwhile, in episode 8, we saw Daniel Sharman’s character, Troy Otto – a chaotic guy and source of constant disruption – lose his alcoholic father, Jeremiah. NME caught up with the two actors to discuss what we can expect from the rest of season 3.
Cliff Curtis as Travis Manawa and Danay Garcia as Luciana, in Fear the Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 1
What can we expect from Luciana in the next few episodes?
“I can’t tell you what we can expect – but we can expect that whatever you’re gonna see, there’s no going back for her. She’s gone, she’s not coming back. She’s not gonna be in the corner, waiting for Nick to come out. She’s out, and she’s looking for a new home. If she doesn’t find a home, she’s gonna build it herself. And that’s where she’s at. That’s her intention for leaving.”
What about the situation in the ranch didn’t appeal to her?
These people killed the entire Colonia. They murder people. We started the entire season seeing this guy do experiments on people. And that doesn’t go well with her values, the core of her train of thought. This is not something she wants to be in involved in, or fight for, or protect. They killed my entire family – they killed the entire Colonia. That’s not something she’s gonna settle for.”
How has all that she’s gone through affected her? How has she changed?
“She’s a different animal, for sure. Now more than ever, she’s gonna fight for herself and her values, because that’s the only thing that kept her sane and safe. All kinds of characters, they’re twisted, they have these dark sides that come out at different times. For her, it’s more like straightforward. You cannot cross the line. If you cross the line, you have to get out, and if you’re not out, I leave. She’s that kind of woman.”
Did we ever find out what Nick read on the note that Luciana left for Nick?
What did it say?
“I wrote it but I don’t know if that’s what is there. I don’t know if they used it. I don’t think they showed it!
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“I wrote: ‘Please come, whenever you’re ready.’ She’s hanging onto him. The thing about their relationship is that when you fall in love in hard times, and you’re ready to go with that kind of love, to go for a relationship, in times of an apocalypse, it’s because there’s a real connection. Because it’s too much to lose, everybody’s dying already, so I don’t wanna lose one more person, right? If bring somebody into my world, it’s because I know it’s gonna stay. And if he dies, it’s because of bad circumstances, not because he’s leaving me, or abandoning me.
“I think to some extent, she wants him to come with her, but his family is what stops her from telling him to come. She gets family, she understands the values. She’s in this really weird place where she cannot tell him a bunch of things, she just has to suck it up and say “you know what, this is my call, I’ll do it, I just want you to follow me”, but things take time.”
“No! But he’s charming. I mean Frank is somebody that is so charming that even if you throw him in Japan, and he doesn’t speak Japanese, he will get around. It’s like he has this soul of wanting to communicate and he’s so open about it, it’s fantastic. Even though he was bad at Spanish, I understood him.”
Do you think anyone in Fear The Walking Dead will ever end up on The Walking Dead? Is there a possibility of a crossover?
“I would love for that to happen, I love them so much, I love those characters on The Walking Dead. I would love for us to do it but we’re far apart. We walk and we travel and we can get a boat somewhere, or we might find another helicopter… As an actor I would have loved for that to happen, this is a beautiful franchise and the messages and the characters that are involved are so unique. They’re not repetitive, they all have a different journey and they all have different obsessions and paths – it would be nice to cross.
What’s your favourite thing that Fear The Walking Dead has brought to the table that The Walking Dead hadn’t provided already?
“We brought a different perspective of surviving. Because you see Madison – it’s all about her children. She will do anything for them. Her values when it comes to her family are very unique. The Walking Dead has Rick and his son, but Madison is the mother: mothers are different than fathers. These two people come from her body – it’s really an extension of herself. Seeing a woman deal with that in that world is a different perspective.”
Did you have to do much training, or were you already quite good at action?
“Not at all, I had never been trained to kill, I danced my entire life. I had never had a machete or a gun in my hand, maybe once in show, but it’s not my thing, so when I joined the show, nobody trained me. But they brought two stunt guys that are amazing, so we just had an afternoon of fighting choreography and I was good at that because of dance – I could memorise choreography.
Have you ever had any gross-out moments on the show?
“Of course, starting the episodes, for episode 1, season 2, some of you notice, I’m in the sewer with Frank escaping. We were really in a sewer of Tijuana, it was disgusting – every time I had to look down that ladder, it was not ok. I was just praying to God, don’t tell me I have to faint in the sewer. It was not pretty. That first episode was the longest episode, I thought I was gonna die. (…), helicopters, sewers, rats, blood, it was like a big shock to come back. I was like, this season is gonna be intense.”
Who are you rooting for in the show?
“I am rooting for me. You have to root for yourself in the apocalypse. But I’m rooting for Maddison, I think she’s such a great character. Everything she does can be justified by her past, she can kill everyone and I’ll be like “yeah, you deserve it”, her desire to overcome and to protect her family is so strong and with her past, she killed her own father because he was a drunk and because of what he did. She’s amazing.”
Most of the characters are in the ranch right now – what is it like to shoot there?
“It was not my favourite place to shoot. We had so much rain at the beginning and the rain would wash away the roads that they built to get there. There’s no wifi, you can’t make phone calls. You’re really in the middle of the apocalypse. That ranch was like a journey.”
Several actors on the show are British – Frank Dillane, you, your ‘brother’ Sam Underwood… what’s that like?
“It’s really fun, I was saying at Comicon that all these Brits and Australians, we’re doing this scene in the back of like four pickup trucks, with guns and American army uniforms. Frank and I were just like: ‘How weird is this?’ We have no attachment to this stuff, we have no memory of it, it’s not really a part of our culture – and we’re doing such an American show. We were all there going: ‘What are we doing here?’ We’re all talking about football or music or whatever – we have such British references and yet we’re telling this American story – a border story – with militia, guns, uniforms and all this. It’s one of those really odd things, kind of sitting there going: ‘What are we doing here?!’”
Fear The Walking Dead seems to contain a bit more on social commentary than The Walking Dead with its issues of gun control and borders – do you agree?
“They are just two completely different shows, I think. Personally I’m more interested in the world of Fear The Walking Dead because, like you say, they tell stories and are dealing with a timescale very soon after the collapse of civilisation. You’re dealing with a very different subject matter, with people having lost something who still have memories of what they’ve lost. You don’t have to make it interesting or make characters extreme, because you really get to tell stories that are very human and very detailed. The ideas of race or religion or any of these things – there still a part of the conversation in some way, and that allows the world to have more humanity.”
Why does Troy react so negatively to gun control?
“You’ve got to understand Troy’s isolated personally. He’s an isolated, introverted person. So anything that he’s believed or gone through he’s really believed because he’s never had to be challenged in any way. It’s hard to judge somebody who has never had those stops and balances. I think if you staunchly believe something and been brought up in this environment that has always revolved around those ideas, taking away any of those things is like taking away part of who you are. It’s easy for audiences to judge Troy’s actions as being ‘evil’ but you’ve got to kind of put that under the lens of somebody who has such an isolated idea and has only ever had one upbringing, has left school and hasn’t had any of the kind of influences that you need in order to form a balanced judgement.
“When things are taken away, they mean everything to Troy because they are fundamentally the building blocks of who he is. For Troy, things are constantly taken away, things that he has relied on have been taken away slowly and carefully. I think what’s interesting is by the end of the season Troy’s actually gained more than any other character because the taking away of those things has led him to have to have more influences and interact with more people.”
What’s your worst FTWD gross-out moment?
“That spoon scene. I have such a thing about eyes – if anything goes near it I’m not happy about it. I couldn’t see it obviously the thing in the eye, but they put this noise on it which is the spoon scraping against the bone of the eye socket, and I was just like: ‘That is the worst thing I could ever imagine’. This noise, the details of the noise! I was like: ‘Oh yeah, I’ve seen this a hundred times, I can deal with this’, but that noise… watching the finished product with this noise of the metal against bone and the back of the socket lifting the eye – I was like: ‘That’s it for me, that’s me done, that’s too much.’ It’s funny, when you put real honest detail in, it’s amazing how, you just kind of have a visceral reaction. Even talking about it makes me feel ill…”
Fear the Walking Dead returns Monday 11 September at 9pm, on AMC on BT TV.