Convention.Life was fortunate enough to score some face-to-face time with the cast and creators of AMC's hit show "Fear the Walking Dead" at this year's San Diego Comic-Con. We were joined by actors Kim Dickens, Colman Domingo, Mercedes Mason, Michael Greyeyes, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Frank Dillane, Dayton Callie, Sam Underwood and Daniel Sharman, as well as series writer and producer, Dave Erickson. We took a few minutes to catch up with our survivors, as they head into the second half of season 3 of the apocalypse.
Season 3 finds our survivors separated.
The Clark Family (Madison, Nick and Alicia) have cautiously taken refuge in a community of doomsday preppers run by a tough-as-nails rancher named Jeremiah Otto. Jeremiah's two sons, Troy and Jake, have differing ideologies when leadership of the ranch is thrust upon them, with Jake being the level-headed peacemaker in direct conflict with Troy's hot-headed sociopath. The ranch is built on Native American land, and is under siege by the tribal owners, demanding its return. Ofelia has returned, but on what terms? To make matters worse, The Clark Family's moral compass, Travis, is gone, and is probably not coming back.
Strand is wandering, looking for friends in the apocalypse. He finds out very quickly that friendships of the old world don't necessarily translate into the same friendships in this new apocalypse. In the end, he drives around in a Jaguar and celebrates the end of the world on his yacht, so things may be looking up for him.
Finally, a ghost from the past makes his return to the land of the living dead. Daniel Salazar is looking for his daughter, and he is prepared to kill a few people to find her.
CONVENTION.LIFE: From season 1 to season 3, how has your character evolved to adapt to the apocalypse?
KIM DICKENS: For Madison, she's definitely become more of a merciless character. In the beginning, she was probably a merciless high school counselor, but she was really beholden to her morality, her compassion and her heart. By season 3, she realizes the currency is more brutality when required. Her main goal throughout has been to survive and protect her family. And now, it's at a higher cost. I think Madison has been quick to realize that.
CONVENTION.LIFE: One of the themes of "Fear the Walking Dead" is that they can't seem to stay, or find a home or place to rebuild. Is there hope that this crew can rebuild somewhere?
COLMAN DOMINGO: I think there's always hope. I think that's the nature of all these characters, that you're constantly going to this new place to build and rebuild. And you see them fall apart, like great civilizations crumbling down. That's just the nature, the humanity that we're exploring in the show. That we're always hopeful, and seeking this place we can build on.
KIM DICKENS: The nature of the human spirit is resilience. That's a human instinct to survive.
MICHAEL GREYEYES: The narrative also plays with the tension created when people are homeless. It asks, "What do you do when you don't have a home?" It presses on the nerves of the audience, and I think it immerses us in that kind of tension.
MERCEDES MASON: I think it's more exciting for the fans, too. I remember, in "The Walking Dead", when they're stuck in one location for too long, I'm like, "C'mon, c'mon! Let's move on!" I love getting to see all of the different places.
CONVENTION LIFE: At this point in the show, we all know that no one is safe from being unexpectedly killed off for the sake of progression of the story and characters. If the producers of the show came to you and said, "We are going to kill of your character tomorrow, but you get to decide how your character dies", how would you choose to go?
DAYTON CALLIE: I don't have a choice, do I?
(LAUGHTER, AS WE REALIZE THAT DAYTON'S CHARACTER HAS JUST BEEN KILLED OFF IN THE MID-SEASON FINALE)
SAM UNDERWOOD to DAYTON CALLIE: How WOULD you have wanted to die?
DAYTON CALLIE: Heart attack... with Alycia.
SAM UNDERWOOD: I love that this show is such a female-driven, female-empowering show...
SAM UNDERWOOD: There was a lake that I took Alicia to in episode 5, and one of the things that wasn't left in the episode was that was the lake where I was taught to swim. I had this line with Alicia about how you start learning to swim, and you drown a couple of times, but you keep going. So, I think poetically, if Jake was to die, it would kind of be cool if he walked into the lake, and just kept walking into the lake. That would be cool.
ALIYCIA DEBNAM-CAREY: I would think being a zombie is too much hard work, to be honest. That's all I've decided. Doing the whole makeup, the eyes, everything. I don't want to have to do that. It seems really hard. So, I'd have Madison shoot me in the head or something. That would be crazy.
CONVENTION.LIFE: What is one key thing to know about your character in the second half of the season?
ALYCIA DEBNAM-CAREY: We get to see (Alicia) stake out her path. I am really looking forward to her character's journey.
DANIEL SHARMAN: Finding out who Troy is. Finding out what it is he really wants out of life.
SAM UNDERWOOD: Assuming Jake wants to lead or be a leader is not necessarily true, but we'll see how that plays out.
DAYTON CALLIE: I don't know this, but I think the camp is gonna' go to Hell without me. I don't know this, but I think so!
FRANK DILLANE: I have a 9mm, now. With notches on it. I'm gonna' use it.
CONVENTION.LIFE: Looking forward to it. Stay alive. I'll find you.
"Fear the Walking Dead" returns on September 10, 2017, and can be seen on Sunday nights on AMC. Check your local cable provider for time and channel.