Fear the Walking Dead returned for its fourth season last night after the Season 8 finale of The Walking Dead. AMC hosted a red-carpet premiere for the finale of Dead and the debut of Fear, the latter of which is the source of an exciting crossover involving Morgan Jones (Lennie James) and a few others. SYFY WIRE dispatched a reporter to attend the event and speak to members of the casts from both shows. Here are a few things we learned from four of the actors.
Madison Clark has been the emotional glue holding the show together since Season 1, but she's become so much more than that in the intervening years. Dickens said that as the series has evolved, so has her character, and she's become much stronger because she's had so much more to protect and lead.
“Madison is the mother. [When] we started Fear the Walking Dead, it [was] about a family and Madison is the leader of the family, she’s a leader of the extended family that they put together, you can expect her to remain at the center.”
Touching on where her character stands in Season 4, Dickens said:
“Well you’ve seen Madison through the years become a very benevolent character, complicated, always complicated, sometimes making mistakes but fearless and becomes sort of dangerous in her own right. And I think this season that you can see Madison trying to not only avoid the past mistakes that she’s made, but sort of make up for all those past mistakes. It’s definitely different than cutting off heads [from] last season.”
Victor Strand went from con artist to businessman, but that doesn't mean he's gone totally legit. When asked if Strand is a good person, Domingo responded that he's not sure on that front. “I would say Strand is an incredible enigma of a man, who has many surprises and he surprises himself," said Domingo. "So I’m not quite sure, if he would say if he were a good guy or bad guy, he would say that I’m simply Strand.”
Domingo doesn't want the character to die because he's awesome and very good at producing soundbites. “I would never want my character to go," he said. "I think Victor Strand is like a cat with nine lives, I think that he will be around, and around, and around.”
In Season 4, Strand is "trying to become part of a new community, so we’re trying to see if he can fold into a community, or is he gonna look after himself or his best interest? So it’s a little bit of a battle.”
Gilliam spoke about the importance of tackling faith on The Walking Dead, something his character, Gabriel Stokes, does quite a lot of on the show, especially since he's a priest. “I think in the situation we’re in, the question of faith is a huge one to have, I mean the dead are walking the earth, what does that mean, what does it mean to hold onto your humanity?" said Gilliam.
He couldn’t say much about the illness that Father Gabriel has, but it will definitely be a big part of the show.
Eugene is one of the most hated characters on The Walking Dead, serving at the mercy of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors. On the red carpet, McDermitt talked about Eugene coming a long way and about his betrayals, but there’s a lot of conflict within him.
“He absolutely needs both sides, but the interesting thing is, he’s always been on his own side," said McDermitt. "I don’t know if he’s ever needed to choose one side over the other, but he certainly needs both sides in order to keep himself alive. One of the themes that’s been running through his character the entire time he’s been on the show, is like, is he a survivor? And he doubts that in himself. But I really feel like what we’re gonna see tonight, is that he is a survivor, he is going to continue to live and survive in this world, whatever that looks like.”
The actor drew inspiration from his brother when crafting Eugene's monotone voice, although he claimed his brother doesn’t think he sounds like that. When discussing which characters he would like to come back, McDermitt said he'd like to star alongside John Bernthal (Shane Walsh), because they never worked together on the show. He also added that Eugene's "mullet must stay."
Fear the Walking Dead returns next Sunday for the second episode of Season 4, "Another Day in the Diamond."
Additional reporting by Erin Locascio