‘Fear the Walking Dead’ – Alycia Debnam-Carey and Maggie Grace Interview on Season 5

Fear the Walking Dead Alycia Debnam-Carey
Alycia Debnam-Carey as Alicia Clark and Lennie James as Morgan Jones in ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ season 5 episode 1 (Photo by Ryan Green / AMC)

AMC brought the entire cast of Fear the Walking Dead to the 2019 WonderCon in Anaheim. That included the surprise return of Rubén Blades and the appearance of series newbie Austin Amelio who’s crossing over from The Walking Dead. Of the original Fear cast, only Colman Domingo and Alycia Debnam-Carey remain.

Alycia Debnam-Carey was paired with Maggie Grace for roundtable interviews about season five of Fear the Walking Dead. The trailer showed fans a few hints about where the new season is headed, but unfortunately the series isn’t returning to AMC’s primetime lineup until June 2, 2019.

What is Alicia up to this season with her signature weapon?

Alycia Debnam-Carey: “I know. She levels up. That’s what happens. She’s been through so much loss in season four. She’s now completely on her own. She has no family remaining and that’s had a huge effect on her. It’s something that hasn’t been resolved, something she’s struggling to work through and how to move forward. […] She becomes like a protector for the group, because I think that’s the only thing she knows how to do that she thinks that’s where she’ll put all her energy. Probably because she’s terrified of losing again but also getting too close to people.

That’s another part of the journey that starts to happen where it’s a much more emotional mental journey of is she able to let people in again? Is there more to life than just this? Can you begin to trust, I guess, in something bigger and better than right here, right now?”

Is there going to be an Alicia-centric episode this season?

Alycia Debnam-Carey: “There’s not so much yet, but there are definitely episodes that are, not in the same way like 410, where that was just like a bottle episode. There are definitely episodes where she’s working through some of these things. Not yet. I can’t speak for the back half.”

Where will Alicia draw her strength from without her mother?

Alycia Debnam-Carey: “Drugs, mostly. (Laughing) I think her mother’s message is really ringing clear, that no one’s gone until they’re gone. This thing is her just trying to build a community like her mother had, trying to fulfill her mother’s wish. That’s still striking a chord with her, but she’s really struggling to ground that and I think it’s Morgan as a character who’s trying to bring her out, to see that there is more and that it can be about reaching out to other people and that there is hope beyond just keeping people physically safe.

So, it’s different. There are a lot of layers of her interpreting how to be strong. There’s an element of her being too, ‘I’m going to be strong. I’m going to be the warrior, the attack dog, like I’ll keep everyone safe.’ But, what she’s just really doing is avoiding really connecting to anyone. So it’s a strength over a weakness that’s probably got an inner strength that we all have. It’s a layered question.”

What’s going on with Grace this season? She was reluctant to connect but we saw connections starting to happen.

Maggie Grace: “Dragged kicking and screaming towards community. Yeah, I think she finds a much more direct sense of community in using the tapes to get to people that need help and potentially build a community around Morgan’s philosophies. I think what’s an interesting side this season is being thrust into context of a much wider world, a new part of The Walking Dead universe”

Can you talk about what was happening in the scene where you’re being knocked around and dragged?

Maggie Grace: “Well, I can because there was this dragging machine where my hands were bound, my legs were bound to the bar. And as the dolly moves, it drags me with it. Basically, I was just bound to the dolly. I don’t know what I ever did to Mike [Satrazemis]. It was a cool shot that Michael came up with that I was happy to do.

There’s a great contest that goes on with Alex in our props department. In the trailer, you can see that I’m doing this to get out of my hands. Actually what is happening, whenever they had the stunt ones, I had to do such crazy things that they’d break so we started actually binding them, as if you’re really properly. I was able to get out of them three times in a row with my feet. Maggie 3, Props 0.”

What’s up with the cat?

Maggie Grace: “It’s the best actor on the show. I feel like that’s a big declaration.”

Alycia Debnam-Carey: “I don’t work with the cat.”

What’s a bigger peril, walkers or the elements?

Maggie Grace: “The environment’s not exactly doing us any favors.”

Alycia Debnam-Carey: “I was going to say, hang on a second, the environment’s not exactly just peachy keen.”

Maggie Grace: “It’s doing its level best to kill us.”

Alycia Debnam-Carey: “There were a couple of environmental factors happening. It’s not like a hurricane. It’s more that we find ourselves in an environment that is…”

Maggie Grace: “Uncharted.”

Alycia Debnam-Carey: “That’s a good way to put it, uncharted and unknown and quite unpredictable for many reasons of which we cannot disclose.”