Ahead of the series premiere of The Walking Dead: World Beyond the cast members delve into their characters and chat about what to expect from the franchise’s newest entry.
When word dropped that The Walking Dead universe was expanding, fans of the beloved franchise were left to wonder what direction the producers were going to take with this new instalment. The series was slated to debut in April of this year but the COVID outbreak halted any plans for the targeted release date. Set to premiere on October 4, The Walking Dead: World Beyond revolves around two teenaged sisters Iris and Holly, portrayed by Aliyah Royale and Alex Mansour respectively.
While the show centers on the sisters and their companions’ struggle to come of age during the apocalypse, World Beyond’s cast is multigenerational and has a focus beyond the central characters. Being part of an established universe is to World Beyond’s advantage. Instead of spending a large part of the opening episodes on world building the time is spent focusing on character development.
Julia Ormond plays Elizabeth Kublek the leader of the Civil Republic Military, the mysterious outfit with the three-ringed logo that has previously made appearances in both The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead. While her character is the big bad of the series so far she’s anything but one-dimensional.
Annet Mehendru portrays Huck, a security guard for the Campus Colony and close confidant to Felix who in her own words, “is having fun surviving (in the apocalypse) which is rare in a way. She’s got that scar on her cheek and she wears it with pride and might. She has used her experience to see a future for herself.”
Nico Tortorella’s Felix probably has the most backstory revealed during the first two episodes of World Beyond. Felix carries the titles of Head of Security and Survival Instructor at the Campus Colony and there are flashbacks opening a window into his troubled past.
The following is an excerpt from our interview:
Steve: One of the things that struck me after watching the first two episodes is the amount of vulnerability the characters have, whether they are good or bad. Can you speak to how your characters use that vulnerability to gain strength or to conform to the world around them?
Julia: In terms of Elizabeth, it’s her relationship to disassociation and being responsible. Her take on being part of the CRM (Civil Republic Military) is that the buck stops here. We don’t have the indulgence of just protecting our family unit as we have to take on the responsibility of protecting everyone. The vulnerability lies in how isolating that is for them to take that on. There are the little windows where that seeps out, but does it or is that fake? Is it reaching for something that is a bit lost?
Annet: I feel like Huck is the least vulnerable of all of them because she feels like she’s worked through her vulnerabilities and is on the other side and has found the light. (laughs)
Nico: I feel like Felix has a hard shell and a raw, cut open inside but when that comes out there’s a roughness to it. He doesn’t fight it but it is rooted in all of our emotions and in our past and histories. It’s not just as individuals (but as) communities and members of lineages and deep ancestral trauma. This isn’t new. We all carry this with us and Felix has the ability to open up to his family and the people closest to him.
Julia: I also wanted to add that you are talking to the upper two generations as Nico kind of identified it, and I might be even one further on, but there is this enormous vulnerability in terms of the coming of age story that surrounds Iris and Hope. I think that is where everyone else’s vulnerability falls away from. There are some beautiful moments and times with these two girls and their very different approaches to what’s going on and their very different personalities. There is vulnerability in that. There’s also the other kids (Elton and Silas) in it as well and their vulnerability is what gives them access to their moral compass. It has that sense of innocence and freshness and the vulnerabilities, always for me, are this window into the hopefulness of it.
Nico: The boys, I mean Elton and Silas, their performances and the vulnerabilities from those two as actors and characters…holy shit! We all got it on this show for sure.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond premieres October 4th, 2020 at 10 pm EST on AMC.