Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn’t watched Fear the Walking Dead Episode 9.
Nobody was getting gross with their beverage and food choices this week on Fear the Walking Dead, thankfully. The action shifted in part to focus on Madison, Strand, Alicia and Ophelia as they stumbled upon a potentially safe and secure new location in a dark and looming hotel, a horror staple that offers up one of this series’ best visuals in all those zombies plummeting from the balconies. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Alycia Debnam-Carey about the show, and I asked what scared her the most about filming there.
“She’s alone in a hotel, and that already is just such a creepy idea. When we were filming it, parts of it were all blacked out, and we’d have sectioned off pockets of zombies in each room, and so when I’d open up doors, it was horrible! [laughs] It was like, ‘Oh no, there’s too many of them!’ So it became really not a fun thing.”
Sometimes all you want to do when you’re done with a scene is get to craft services to grab a bottle of water and calm down, but you can’t do that when other rooms are temporary homes for handfuls of ghastly zombies. Filming on locations means every bit of space is generally utilized, so the extras-as-zombies – can I call them “hellhops” in this scenario? – can’t wander too far. Plus, I mean sometimes they’re actually in the scene, as we saw in tonight’s episode. You’d think Alycia Debnam-Carey would get used to it, but some things are just impossible to adapt to, I guess, and it’s probably okay that “walking in on zombie hordes in dark rooms” is one of them.
Through most of “Los Muertos,” the hotel had more than most places to offer by way of shade and beds. Madison and Strand got ripped and took a load off, while also developing a bit of a flirtatious bond, though Alicia and Ofelia weren’t quite so lucky with their serious conversations. No one was really lucky in the end, as it became clear everyone had let their collective guard down at a particularly bad time, and you know that more hard times are coming for this frazzled group of survivors.
Alycia Debnam-Carey told me it wasn’t even just the zombies that creeped her out while filming this part of Fear the Walking Dead’s sophomore season.
“In terms of scary, just shooting at a hotel at night time is a bit weird. And that hotel is new but still gives you a little shiver up your spine if you think about it too long. . . . We were living and working in the same hotel. That was actually the scariest part. It was like, ‘Oh my God, I’m living in Groundhog Day.’ Living upstairs and shooting downstairs. It was so weird.”
I imagine that would get unnerving after a while as the brain starts to anticipate seeing undead folks milling about the living areas, as well as the sets. I spent years working in the hotel biz (and am currently not regretting moving away from it), but my fascination for them long before that, and I’m glad Fear the Walking Dead found a way to introduce one in such an effective manner, while also giving us a lovely musical performance. I want to see a high-rise get built in Alexandria in The Walking Dead Season 7, too, with a water fountain that is timed to music.
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC, with Season 3 coming next year. To see when everything else will be hitting the small screen later this year, check out our fall TV schedule.
When “Fear the Walking Dead” rolled the credits on its midseason finale back in May, the show’s dynamic was much different. Up to that point, “Fear” had been largely a family affair. Now the group has been split into three separated factions, each struggling to survive in the burgeoning zombie apocalypse. Star Alycia Debnam-Carey, who plays Alicia Clark, says this new structure opens the show up to further explore the individual characters in the back half of Season 2.
“What was nice is it gave us a little bit more of an opportunity to feel the characters individually as opposed to a group,” she tells Variety. “While working in a group is great, on-set especially, it means you just don’t get to see the characters one-on-one. We finally get to see these characters grow on their own a little more.”
Debnam-Carey says fans can expect to see Alicia become more assertive in latter half of the season — likely a welcome evolution for fans of Lexa, the hardened warrior queen that Debnam-Carey played on “The 100,” which proved to be a breakout role for the 23-year-old thesp.
“She’s the one person that hasn’t lost as much as everyone else,” she says of Alicia’s position in Season 2. “It’s the first time she’s been able to step into that leadership role. She’s putting down the role of daughter, the role of the child, and proving herself as an equal.”
Despite the potential similarities in her characters’ post-apocalyptic circumstances, however, Denbam-Carey is hoping to keep Lexa and Alicia separate.
“I’ve tried to steer clear of any sort of parallels,” she says. “Lexa is an amazing warrior character and I adore her, but I definitely don’t want that to seep in because that’s not what Alicia is.”
According to the Aussie actress, Alicia wants to focus on what’s ahead, which leads to more tension with her mom Madison (played by Kim Dickens) who wants to go back and look for the rest of her family — especially Alicia’s troubled brother, Nick (Frank Dillane).
“Alicia starts to take control and think what’s important is what’s in front of you,” Debnam-Carey says. “Their dynamic has been filled with tension for a long time, because of the fact that Nick has been running off, and fueled by Travis becoming part of the family, and the two of them finally come head-to-head.”
She adds, “They’re both focusing on different things. For Madison it’s for everyone to be together and be safe while Alicia [is] adapting to this new world and it’s about how to actually survive with what’s in front of them and with what they have … They’re both strong characters, and it leads to a lot of tension.”
“Fear the Walking Dead” returns with its midseason premiere Sunday, Aug. 21 at 9 p.m. on AMC.
I’ve added 2 more interviews from the recent European press tour for Fear the Walking Dead that Alycia and co-star Colman Domingo did. Check them out below & you can also view screencaps in the gallery.
‘Fear the Walking Dead’ cast only know what’s happening days in advance, actress says –
SINGAPORE, Aug 17 — The zombie genre is one that never seems to be in danger of fading, and Australian actress Alycia Debnam-Carey thinks this is because of what is going on around the world.
“I’m a bit surprised that the zombie craze has gone on for so long, actually. But I guess it has a lot to do with what we see in the media all the time… the environment, genetic engineering, poverty, diseases like Ebola. I guess it’s all part of our collective consciousness and that’s reflected in films and on TV,” she said. “I think we’re realising our place in the universe, that we’re quite fragile and the more that science and technology takes the lead in our development as a species, the easier everything could be taken away from us.”
Debnam-Carey, 23, is currently playing Alicia Clark on AMC series Fear the Walking Dead, an American horror drama which is a spin-off and prequel to the channel’s uber-popular The Walking Dead. Her character is the overachieving teenage daughter of high school guidance counsellor Madison Clark, played by Kim Dickens.
Initially, the horror genre was not the actress’ cup of tea. “I’m not really a horror person so I was a little apprehensive to read the scripts for Fear. But when I did, I thought it was so engaging and so well written,” she admitted.
After she started watching The Walking Dead, she “quickly got into it”. “It’s nowhere near as much about the zombies as I thought it was. It’s about the human beings and what they’re willing to do to each other to survive. The manipulation, the power balance and the struggles… that’s what’s so interesting about it,” she shared.
Not only does the show cause viewers to be on tenterhooks, the cast, too, are left in the dark. Debnam-Carey says from episode to episode: “It’s very much a case of working one work week to the next.”
“So, we find out, perhaps five days in advance, what will be happening in the next episode… And while we’re filming, we really don’t know the outcome of the season. You chat to people on set, speculate a bit! But everyone’s really tight-lipped about the details.”
Without giving away any spoilers, will there be an especially dark moment or event in this half of the season? Will one of the main characters become infected, perhaps?
Without spoiling? I couldn’t tell you something like that without it being a spoiler! (laughs). What I can say is that our characters are now being exposed to a lot more in this new world. They’re fractured and they’re separated which means they have less security. So, definitely, they’re certainly at risk of coming into contact with the infected a lot more and that’s definitely more of a threat. But, really, you’ll have to watch and find out what happens!
Your character has been forced to grow up very, very quickly. Do you feel that has also happened to you in real life?
I was always a pretty serious kid, to be honest. My mum always used to tell me that I was like a little grumpy old man with a grey cloud following me, because I was so driven and determined and serious! (laughs) I think me and my character are actually quite different. I think we’ve grown up very differently, as well. But yes, I guess growing up happened quickly for me, in terms of starting work and then for that work to be recognised so suddenly. But, a lot of the time, you do a job and there’s a lot of time before it’s released and it doesn’t actually feel like a lot is happening. Being out on a press tour has actually helped me realise the impact of the work a bit more! But, no, growing up for me hasn’t been such a severe transition as it has for Alicia.
Your character was very much a teenager in Season One. Did you look to any inspiration to play that part?
No, not really. I was 21 when we started, so really being a teenager wasn’t that far behind me. I actually think it’s quite hard playing a teenager because you’re the subject of a lot of predetermined characteristics. There’s a stereotype, in a way. You know, people already have the idea that a teenager is obnoxious, or moody, or naive, or maybe sassy … But as an actor, you’re trying to make it more real. You want to find out about the essence of the character rather than the stereotype. What defines her? What does she want? — TODAY
*Transcript courtesy of AMC.