Fear the Walking Dead: Mercedes Mason reveals all about Ofelia Salazar

We catch up with the young star of the smash hit TV series to find out more about Ofelia and the show.

Mercedes Mason was one of the breakout stars of the first series of Fear the Walking Dead, starring as Ofelia Salazar.

The thrilling first series of the drama is currently being repeated on AMC from BT (BT TV channel 332, HD 381) on Monday nights at 9pm and series two begins on Monday, April 11.

The show will be simulcast with the US release at 2am, repeated at primetime at 9pm and is also available to watch on BT TV catch-up.

We caught up with Mercedes for a quick chat and catch-up as we eagerly await the show’s return.

How equipped do you think Ofelia is to deal with the horror that lies ahead in Fear the Walking Dead?

“Initially when we first meet Ofelia, she is so ill-equipped to deal with any sort of apocalypse, right down to having a baby doll dress on.

“But I think she’s a strong girl. She’s quite intelligent and I think she learns quite quickly. She realises that she needs to get her bearings about how to survive. You see her change quite drastically even in series one.

“Aside from feeling on her own in the world, she needs to figure out where she stands in the world with her family and her new makeshift family. I think she can survive, but she needs to change quite quickly.”

Fear the Walking Dead

Do you think she can forgive her father for everything she learns in series one?
“I think ultimately she will forgive her father. I’m not sure to what extent, but I think human instinct is to forgive the ones you love. Obviously she does love her father, but she has to come to terms with who he really is now and her relationship with him.

“In a world filled with fear, I don’t think she would want to lose her dad.”

She has a failed relationship in series one, would you prefer it if she stayed single in the future?
“That’s a great question. As soon as you have to be responsible for another person it makes everything a lot more difficult. But then again, love is a beautiful experience. If in an apocalyptic situation you can find love, that shows that humanity is still intact.

“I think after her experience with the corporal she won’t jump into things as much, but down the road, when she’s forgiven her father and recovered from the death of her mother, it would be nice to at least have a bit of flirtation – it’s the only beauty you can have in a world that is so dire and dark.”

How much do you think Ofelia changed in the first series?
“I think she’s a lot more hardened. She’s learnt to stand on her own. If you are thrown in at the deep end you either learn to swim or drown, and she’s absolutely swimming and learning very fast right now. It’s forced her to grow up quickly.”

Is it true that you are the joker behind the scenes on the show?
“I was really well behaved on the first season. I was like Ofelia and getting my bearings on the show, and didn’t want to scare anyone just yet. But on other shows I have the emotional maturity of a very young boy and I just want to goof off and laugh – mostly at my own jokes. I imagine all my cast mates in season two will experience a little bit of Mercedes and her juvenile ways. I pre-apologise to them.”

Fear the Walking Dead

The survivors look like they’re heading to live on a boat in series two – do you think that will change the danger of the show from the walkers to the people they’re living with?
“If they get on the yacht there will be the initial joy of ‘we have everything we need’, and freedom from the walkers, but then I think we’re dealing with humanity here. We have strangers thrown together, a tremendous amount of loss with two characters, cabin fever and claustrophobia. On top of that we have a luxury yacht here – I imagine people will want to take it off them. So maybe we’ll have a pirate situation or people on other boats. I think we’ll be dealing with a dark side of humanity as much as the walkers.

"Or maybe walkers don’t need oxygen to live and they can walk along the bottom and start climbing up our ship when we’re out in the water!”

Why do you think Fear the Walking Dead has been such an immediate success?
“It’s linked to human nature. I think it’s a fascination with death. I think we’re fascinated with things that could potentially happen – not necessarily zombies – but when you look around the world there are horrible, horrible atrocities that are happening.

“Humanity wants to see it to think about how it would react to it. The one thing that binds us all is understanding sorrow and suffering. Different countries laugh at different things, but you can pretty much make anyone from anywhere cry at the same thing or fear the same things. As humanity it really bonds us.”

If you could have one Walking Dead character visit the show, who would it be?
“Daryl Dixon. I think that would be cool. All our characters are starting to understand what is happening in the world, but they are still very naïve to things. To bring another alpha male in to the show that is world weary would be fantastic. Or even a strong woman like Carol… woah, I would love that."

How to watch Fear the Walking Dead

It airs on AMC – 332 on BT TV and channel 192 on Sky for BT Sport Pack customers.

AMC is also available in HD on both BT TV and Sky with an HD subscription.

BT TV customers - Watch now on the BT Player

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