AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead returns for the second half of season four on August 12, 2018. Cast members Colman Domingo, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Lennie James, Danay Garcia, Garret Dillahunt, Maggie Grace, and Jenna Elfman joined the series’ executive producers and showrunners for a panel at the 2018 San Diego Comic Con as well as a press conference to delve into the upcoming new episodes.
Season four part one saw series regulars Kim Dickens and Frank Dillane’s characters killed off, Lennie James arrive from The Walking Dead, and the addition of new cast members Maggie Grace, Garret Dillahunt, and Jenna Elfman. During the press conference both Colman Domingo and Alycia Debnam-Carey complimented the season four newcomers and confirmed that as actors they don’t worry about getting close with someone who might get killed off.
“I think we know it’s the nature of the show,” explained Domingo. “You get into it and you go full-hearted with everyone. That’s just the nature of it. You have basically welcome them on board and create new traditions with them and become a family.”
Fear the Walking Dead Season 4 Part B Press Conference:
What was it like to join an established show?
Maggie Grace: “Like moving into a new neighborhood where everyone brought you a three-tiered cake. It was so warm and friendly, and they just went out of their way. It was, I will say, a little shocking when we lost cast members very soon thereafter. I had no idea.”
Garret Dillahunt: “Yeah, it was great. It was exciting to be a part of it. It’s not the first show I’ve ever joined mid-process. That’s not really that unusual of an event. But I know this was a big change that went on. It’s one of the best introductions I’ve ever had on a show, I’ll tell you that. I’m having a blast.”
Jenna Elfman: “It’s been a really big learning curve for me just with the mythology and familiarizing myself with it and understanding it and wanting to do right by the fans who’ve been so invested for so long. As a newcomer, this is such a fan-based experience – that was really important to me is to make sure I really understood it so that I was in the same world with them. Just artistically it’s been really stimulating and has been a really great adventure.”
What’s the theme for the second half of season four?
Ian Goldberg: “I think there’s a few. We talked at the panel about the end of the first half of the season ended with these characters sitting around a campfire brought together by circumstances they couldn’t imagine and could not have imagined they’d end up with each other. There’s a lot to resolve, both within themselves, within the group, questions of who are they to each other, who will they be going forward, how will they carry on Madison’s legacy of hope, how will they bring light into this dark world. And I think redemption is a really big theme in the back half. It’s about making up for the things you’ve done. How do I go about doing that? That’s something we’ll see.”
So much has happened to Alicia over the past seasons. How have the changes affected her?
Alycia Debnam-Carey: “It’s a been a really exciting journey for me because this character, I think, has had one of the major developments out of any character on this show. We’ve seen her go from a regular teenage girl to a fearless warrior in the apocalypse. She’s been destroyed by it and lost everyone she knows.
It’s interesting. All our characters have become versions of an orphan in the apocalypse. Everyone has lost everyone in their life, their family. And what’s unique about Alicia is you’ve seen the beginning of that journey right to the end. Her full story arc is playing out. If you thread it all together in one journey, it’s quite remarkable how much she’s changed.
This season’s obviously been really, really hard. I lost all the Clarks. I’m the only one left. That was hard. […] What’s great though is that we now get to see Alicia purely as her own character completely. She doesn’t have the same ties to her mother and her brother. It’s just about her as a woman now. That opens up new journeys and narratives for her to play out. I’m really excited about some of the stuff that’s coming up.”
When you came on board Fear the Walking Dead, did you sense any friendly competition with The Walking Dead over Morgan?
Lennie James: “My kind of thing is I try and do my best wherever I am and tell the story in the best way that we think it should be told. I don’t think there’d be any point in the crossover or all of the pomp and circumstance around it, if it wasn’t adding something or continuing the great work that was being done before, if it wasn’t broadening the storytelling. If it was just a gimmick, I’m not interested in being a gimmick. It’s got to be something that works for me and works for everybody else involved in it.
That was the thing that most interested me and most concerned me. I’m very protective and take a real responsibility for Morgan as a character. If it didn’t continue to tell his story in a way I want to tell his story, it wasn’t something that I would pursue. (Laughing) But if we end up kicking the other guys’ ass, that’s a bonus.”
This character allows you to really lean into the idea of a modern-day Texas gunfighter. How did you feel about that?
Garret Dillahunt: “It’s been a blast. I can’t say I wasn’t a little nervous about it, a guy walking around modern day with two guns on his hips and a cowboy hat. It was a thin line we walked but I think they did it really well. I sure loved that first episode. I don’t think I’ve ever had, in a long and busy career, such a great introduction to a series or a universe before and I’m grateful for it.”
Given the timeline in The Walking Dead, does that rule out further crossovers?
Scott M. Gimple: “It does not. That’s about all I’ve got to say. (Laughing) It does not but I wouldn’t expect it all the time – but things could happen. You never know who might pop up on Fear the Walking Dead. That includes not only The Walking Dead stuff but even potentially people in the past from Fear the Walking Dead.”
Is the natural disaster coming up on Fear the Walking Dead originally supposed to be on The Walking Dead?
Scott M. Gimple: “You know what? We had talked, things had bounced around in that area on the original show, but it was never more than talking about it. I think once we talked about some of the crazy imagery involved, Fear the Walking Dead is a show that is incredibly distinct on its own. This half season really establishes that it has such a tonal flexibility. It is a tonal elasticity. There are things that happen, there is this episode 10 that is so dark and so emotional, and so heartfelt. And then, as Lennie has said, within an episode we will see Morgan on a toilet. I would say it runs the gamut.”
Speaking of Morgan on the toilet…do zombies poop?
Scott M. Gimple: “I think there’s a fermentation process that could result in projectiles. I don’t mean to spoil this half of the season.”
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