Fear the Walking Dead’s fourth season is its most exciting and highly-anticipated since its premiere run in 2015.
The arrival of Lennie James as Morgan Jones in the show’s first ever crossover with The Walking Dead marks a new chapter in the apocalyptic drama, when it returns on April 23rd - exclusive to BT customers.
We headed out to Texas, the new location for season 4, to catch up with the cast including Alycia Debnam-Carey to find out some secrets.
Alycia returns as Alicia Clark and the young Aussie is gearing up for her most action-packed season yet…
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It feels like everything has got that bit bigger on the show – the first two episodes of the series seem more cinematic?
Yes, it is so much more cinematic. I think they wanted to pull it back to the simplicity of westerns – there are a lot of one-shot takes – and the scope, now we’ve merged these two worlds you get to play with so much more.
How has Alicia changed? Is she different in this new world?
Very different… you wait!
I can’t go into too much, but one of the exciting elements of this new season, particularly the first half, is that we play a lot with time – so you get to see Alicia at very different points of who she is as a character – and they’re very, very different.
They filmed it very differently – they look different, which is really something I’ve never seen attempted in the Walking Dead universe, or really even in any other TV show. It’s really cool. There’s also a lot of dramatic changes happening for her. She’s growing and learning. You think we’ve seen her become somewhat of an apocalyptic bad-ass? This steps it up a whole other level.
Is there going to be more action for Alicia in season 4?
Last season we were doing one or two stunt days per episode – now it feels like four. I think it’s just for everyone – there are more walkers, there’s more travelling and action – it’s a lot more, not just stunt and action-based, but also element-based. The elements affecting the characters and the environment around them are surprisingly physical too.
How much of the changes in Alicia over the past four seasons has come from you?
Ever since the beginning of this show for me, I had the role of a young, teenage girl. I believe you can do a lot with that, if you put it out there – say what you want, ask for things, ask for different material, be invested and be an active member of this show. So I was always pushing for this character to maybe move a certain way, and have a strong opinion, and grow and become very able-bodied in this world. So I was quite active in asking for what I wanted and what I liked, they listened and were receptive to it – if you ask nicely!
And then they see what you’re good at and what works for you. Between those two elements, you can actually move in a certain direction. And they’re very respectful of that. When we got into this season – even though it is so different – we were all on the same page with what we wanted to create.
There’s a challenge now to keep the The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead separate with different flavours. How will Fear keep its own personality?
We’ve wanted this show to feel different, and it always has – at least for us. I would say it’s still very different – they’ve almost made Fear another show entirely. I’d say it’s been elevated to another realm. What grounds this show is its characters – they’ve always been very different and always had their unique voice. That’s always made it very different from the original.
How has it been having Lennie James join the show?
He’s great. He’s such an amazing actor and a really humble and hard-working person. So working with him has been fantastic. It took a little bit of getting used to having a different situation created. Colman and I ended up organising a night of barbecue, because that seems to be the great equaliser! Once we did, that kind of kick-started everything to just get us all comfortable with one another.
Because Lennie has crossed over from Walking Dead, is there a possibility of cast members from this show crossing over to that show? Would you be into that?
Sure. This was such a surprise because we’d always been told ‘no – it’s never going to happen!’ Every question we’d get in every interview and every panel was ‘is there going to be a crossover?’ And I remember everyone getting kind prickly by the end of it and saying ‘no, it’s just not gonna happen’. But when (executive producer Robert) Kirkman put it out on Twitter I was, like ‘WHAT?’ It happened very quickly. It was really cool – as a fan of all of this too, I thought ‘great!’ It’s so exciting. I don’t know about moving to the other show, though, I know they’re attached to the comic books, so it’s a bit different.
The city that the show is set in always seems to be another character, from LA to Mexico. Now we’re in Austin – how has the move affected the world of Fear the Walking Dead.
We’ve had so much luck with this show – we’ve been to four different cities, and they’ve been a huge influence for us shooting it. We have been using that – the environment, the essence is coming through – it’s Texan, there’s allusions to cowboys... even the essence of the way they want to shoot it – longer shots, holding on frames longer, the dialogue – the essence of it is more reminiscent of westerns.
In places it almost feels like an epic – the post-apocalyptic world is so down to basics that it almost feels like something from 3000 years ago…
Yeah, it’s primal and instinctive. That’s always been my favourite part of this show – not the stunts and the massive sequences, it’s when you get to play (scenes) between the characters, that’s great fun.
How important is it to you that there are so many strong women in Fear?
It’s unbelievably important. Children grow up watching TV, films, and it’s important to have strong, well-drafted, in-depth characters. We’re obviously reaching a point in time where that’s becoming a big issue, and it’s finally being addressed, and we’re seeing more female lead characters than ever before.
So it’s exciting to be part of a show that’s invested in that. We have some amazing actresses on the show, they’re all really good at what they do and they deserve the same attention. It’s inspiring.
Kim has become one of my female role models – she’s one of the most grounded people I’ve ever met, she’s an incredible actress and she’s taught me so much about how to lead a show, and that’s invaluable. She’s really established an amazing atmosphere on set – I think a lot of the success about how our crew and this cast work together is because of her.
Fear the Walking Dead season 4 premieres in the UK on Monday, April 23rd at 9pm.
BT Sport pack customers can watch on Sky Guide channel 192.
AMC is home of TV dramas including Preacher, Snatch, Into the Badlands and Fear the Walking Dead.