The Walking Dead is returning for a new and final season. In regards to this latest addition; Seth Gilliam, Michael James Shaw, Lynn Collins discuss their characters and everything that we will see in this rollercoaster of a season. Along with that they also dive into the off-screen dynamics of the show. Here is their interview:
Q: Can we expect to see more of Aaron and Gabriel together? Because their episode intensity was just so gripping and it really set them kind of on a darker path.
Seth Gilliam: We’ll see a little bit more of Aaron and Gabriel together, but I think that Gabriel may have freaked out a little bit. I think he may want to keep his distance at this point. They have a spinoff coming in the near future. I feel that they can be private detectives who lived together on a houseboat or something you never know.
Q: This question is for Michael. I wondered if you could speak to the Commonwealth going so far as to have a haunted house with walkers in it, and how do you get that comfortable with life to go there?
Michael James Shaw: Well, I can neither confirm nor deny, the existence of such a house, but the protocols are laid in place, to keep the Commonwealth safe. They’re pretty foolproof. Walkers are not a problem for us at the moment.
Q: This is a question regarding walking dead spin-offs. Luis has a fake GA. She is going around calling herself a JD Stokes. I don’t know if you have noticed, so your thoughts on that and where do you think she’s taking your old friends?
Seth Gilliam: I’m not sure where she’s taking my old friend, but I would say that that bitch is delusional. I don’t recall any ceremonies or exchanging of rings or anything like that. It was the last time that Gabriel and Davis were together. She had them tied up to whatever those things are when you move boxes around and drop a Walker on his face. Then she knocked his ass out and left him for dead. So I don’t know why she’s going around calling herself Stokes. I think that father Gabriel would have something to say about that.
Q: Lynn Collins character (Leah) has so many speculations about the dynamics she has with all the previous characteristics and some are unfriendly, but that is the point of the character. So I wanted to ask how did you get into the role and how did it feel adorning such a character?
Lynn Collins: From day one, Norman has just sort of given me the lay of the land, we have a lot of fun. We’re dedicated. We go for it. And he just really showed me the way. This character I think is incredibly polarizing because I think we can identify with her, you know when you’re hurt you want the person who hurt you to like, hurt you. This is natural. If we act on it or not, that defines our character. And I think she’s constantly been given these moments where we’re really getting to know her character. hard decisions, like choosing love over family and allegiance over attraction.
And it’s a lot. So I think, but at this point we see her. And there was just nothing to lose at this point. She’s lost everything and that’s going to be a totally different side of her. So, honestly, the thoughts I’ve had was like, oh my God, I wish I had more time. I wish I had more time with these people to work with these people.
It’s just been incredibly rewarding and so fun. It’s like an amusement park every day. We go to work. I don’t know about you guys, I’m a super fan of the show. All of the actors. So I’ve kind of been like pinching myself the whole time and just trying to like serve them all.
Q: This question is for Lynn also. Of all the adversaries, that our survivors have taken on over all of the seasons. There’s something about the reapers that really does feel like kind of this final boss. Before everything moves into this, just other completely different planes. What is it about the reapers that makes them so uniquely different from all the other threats?
Lynn Collins: That question just gave me goosebumps. I wonder why. I think the reapers are different because they were trained killers. They were mercenaries, they were soldiers. They worked together before the apocalypse. They already had a bond. They, you know, this isn’t just like people who the apocalypse hits and they have to dig down deep and find their inner warrior.
They were warriors, they are warriors. So then the apocalypse happens and then there’s like times 10 and amps up all. I think that’s why they’re terrified because they’re equipped for this and then some, but it doesn’t, it’s interesting. It doesn’t, as you see the more intimacies of the group, it doesn’t take away from like how religious they got and how they are coping.
Yes. They can all protect themselves or so we think, but how do they cope with the emotional ramifications of what’s going on and losing each other? It’s interesting. I often think the more we typecast or judge someone as being a bad-ass or like a fierce, whatever that means inside is a soft gushy centre.
That’s usually in a lot of pain. So I think, especially now as she’s like Reaper queen on her own, what, what makes her dangerous is. She has no access to that place anymore. Like she’s lost everything.
Q: For Lynn, when you took the role, were you aware of how passionately the fans would react?
Lynn Collins: I was warned by Angela and Norman at the very beginning where they were like, you know, you can engage or not engage. We suggest you don’t engage. And there was originally like an issue where I had said something about Melissa and Norman’s relationship, their characters Carol and Daryl being so complex because. You just don’t know what it is. Like sometimes it’s this sometimes it’s that. And I had said, sometimes she’s maternal and then Carol ship was like down with Lynn. And I was like, really? I was like, why is that a derogatory statement? And like, I’m a mom. That’s what I’m doing with my life right now. Like it’s all about being maternal. And then I get these breaks to do these awesome jobs and like find these other parts of myself that I’ve had to like put on a shelf, you know?
So it was interesting how polarizing, I think the character was, but then I think I polarized some people too with that comment. And then it was like, they started talking about grey hair and I was like, y’all, don’t even know I come back and I’m, this is my natural hair colour. I’m grey. Like, what are we talking about?
Why. It’s divisive. So it was interesting, but I also, like I was able to detach from it because I was like, this is what successful entertainment is when people become so passionate that it creates dialogue outside of that one hour that they watch it. This is. And it certainly wasn’t comfortable at the beginning, but it has nothing to do with me, you know, at all, this is actually like a good thing.
I would just say to the fans out there, like be kind and gentle to each other because the show was about to end and you’re all going to need it. Regardless of what ship you’re on. This is going to be very emotional for people, all of us when like the last episode airs, it’s a big ending. This is what we’re talking about over a decade of people bonding with characters that allow them to maybe have some relief about their own, you know, the mundane, nasty of life, there is something.
We’re talking about the fact that what the last two years have been like for everybody. It is a parallel kind of to what these characters go through. We all have had to adapt to this insane change. That’s changed the world forever. We can’t go back to what we knew and these characters. I mean, I think the, probably the walking dead fans are ahead of the game. Everybody else the last two years, because they’ve been working with these themes the whole time.
Q: I’m wondering if at this point going into the last stretch of this series if Gabriel had any regrets. What his biggest regret would be, and if there’s anything at this point that he wouldn’t do to keep everyone safe?
Seth Gilliam: I think there’s nothing he wouldn’t do to keep everyone safe at this point. That he would lay down his life for his family. As far as regrets go, I think one regret that Gabriel might have is the way he tried to expose the group to Deanna when they first got to Alexandria. I think he kind of handled that situation.
Q: We obviously don’t know what Maggie thinks of Meagan. What does father Gabriel think of Meagan’s character arc from the beginning?
Seth Gilliam: I think father Gabriel invested a lot of time in trying to rehabilitate Meagan and bring out the sanity in him. that was not there for when we first were introduced to him. I think he considers him at this a companion. I think they’re kind of polar opposites. They are an interesting kind of pair. I’d like to see, a spinoff with the further adventures of father Gabriel and neighbors. I don’t know what we would call it.
The Movie Culture Synopsis
Stay tuned for our review of the part two of The Walking Dead Season 11. The Walking Dead Season 11 premiered on February 20, 2022, also available on AMC+ to stream. Also, do check our interview with Lauren Ridloff, Paola Lazaro, Eleanor Matsuura & Khary Payton for Part 2 of The Walking Dead.