Interview: Colman Domingo, Danay Garcia, & Colby Hollman Talk Fear the Walking Dead

Fear the Walking DeadTomorrow, AMC premieres the back half of season six of Fear the Walking Dead. At the end of last season, likely after sabotage from “The End is the Beginning” group, one of the wells exploded where Luciana (Danay Garcia) and Wes (Colby Hollman) were in Tank Town. Wes was injured from shrapnel and subsequently treated by June (Jenna Elfman), after being tortured by Virginia (Colby Minifie), who thought he might be to blame.

Meanwhile, Strand came looking for Dakota (Zoe Colletti) at the behest of her sister. When Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) told Strand that Dakota was going with them, he told her that he wouldn’t be able to protect her and that she would dismantle what he was working towards. He then went to Virginia and told her what happened and that he was on her side. It’s hard to know whether he was telling her the truth or simply what she wanted to hear.

Earlier in the week, Domingo, Garcia, and Hollman took part in a junket with journalists to promote the return of the series where they teased about what’s to come in the back half of the season.

Domingo talked to SciFi Vision about problems that may arise between Strand and other characters now that Virginia has given him some power. “Strand has always been, I think, a Type A personality, who's sort of receded to B, because he was morally ambiguous. He didn't trust his instincts as much; he had them, but he was always challenged, so he sort of fell into being a B.

“And I think, suddenly, Virginia is like, ‘Fly your freak flag. You did the job; you're able to make the hard calls and make things happen.’ So, she made him the head of his own army, and I think he's got a taste of that power, and he is not going to go back. I think that he's like, ‘Now I'm going to go full out with the way I believe,’ and use these systems to create a vision that he truly believes in, without compromise.

“I think the thing is that Strand knows the people. He said it in many episodes in the past, ‘People either like me or they don't,’ but he's cool with it. Now he's fully cool with it. Before he could say it, but he still would feel a little hurt, but now he's like, ‘You know what? I'm not really interested in that hurt anymore, so I think we'll just put that back there.’ ”

Hollman added that you never know what you are going to get with Strand. “When we are on set and filming more of the group episodes, the ensemble episodes, [and] we have the group together, we do have moments that we film together. They may be small moments in the final cut of it, but we're filming these scenes where we're just interacting, bouncing off of each other, and Coleman, Strand, he comes with the heat. You never know what you're going to get from him. You will be talking to him and all of a sudden, it's like, ‘Where did that come from, man?’ If you put some power in his hands, you better beware.”

Garcia told the site that she enjoyed that side of him. “I just love the transformation, the layers that he always puts in. You become a fan of even your costars’ characters, because it's never the same.”

The actors also joked with SciFi Vision about how surreal it is to see the walkers walking around the set in face masks and social distancing from each other. According to Domingo, “You're like, ‘I don't think that's going to work, [laughs] because I think you are already infected!’ But yeah, seeing a walker with their mask on is one of the most surreal things in the world…You’re like, ‘You're still concerned about safety although you’re disintegrating.’”

Garcia added, “They now social distance from each other; it’s the weirdest thing.”

For more, please check out the full transcript below, and don’t forget to watch the mid-season premiere of Fear the Walking Dead, tomorrow on AMC.


Zoom Interview
Fear the Walking Dead
Colman Domingo, Danay Garcia, and Colby Hollman

April 5, 2021

Colman DomingoSCIFI VISION:   I do have to say, what a mid-season premiere! This question is more for Colman, but I want you guys to weigh in too. Obviously [Virginia] has given him a lot of power with the key and everything, so is that going to cause some struggles between people? Because, obviously, he a lot of times rubs people the wrong way, and I’m just curious how that’s going to play out.

COLMAN DOMINGO:
  
I don’t know why. [laughs]…Strand has always been, I think, a Type A personality, who's sort of receded to B, because he was morally ambiguous. He didn't trust his instincts as much; he had them, but he was always challenged, so he sort of fell into being a B.

And I think, suddenly, Virginia is like, “Fly your freak flag. You did the job; you're able to make the hard calls and make things happen.” So, she made him the head of his own army, and I think he's got a taste of that power, and he is not going to go back. I think that he's like, "Now I'm going to go full out with the way I believe," and use these systems to create a vision that he truly believes in, without compromise.

I think the thing is that Strand knows the people. He said it in many episodes in the past, “People either like me or they don't,” but he's cool with it. Now he's fully cool with it. Before he could say it, but he still would feel a little hurt, but now he's like, “You know what? I'm not really interested in that hurt anymore, so I think we'll just put that back there.” [laughs] I’m dead inside. No, I’m totally kidding. [laughs]

SCIFI VISION:   Can you two add anything about your interactions? Especially, Colby, we haven't really seen you much in these first two.

COLBY HOLLMAN:   Yeah, it's cool because when we are on set and filming more of the group episodes, the ensemble episodes, [and] we have the group together, we do have moments that we film together. They may be small moments in the final cut of it, but we're filming these scenes where we're just interacting, bouncing off of each other, and Coleman, Strand, he comes with the heat. You never know what you're going to get from him. You will be talking to him and all of a sudden it's like, "Where did that come from, man?" If you put some power in his hands, you better beware.

DANAY GARCIA:   I think I've grown to be a fan of Colman and Strand. Strand showed up with a hat. I looked at Colman like, “Colman, you look good in a hat!” And he was about to kill us all! [laughs] He was not in a cool mood, you know? I’m like, “You should keep the hat.” That is so not appropriate to tell an actor…Luciana would be like, “Ah, I love it; he’s too spicy.” [laughs]

COLMAN DOMINGO:   Strand’s got style, people. If anything, he knows he’s got style. He knows better. He’s gonna make lemons out of lemonade. [laughs] Lemonade out of lemons. I just woke up; I have no idea what I’m saying.

DANAY GARCIA:   I just love the transformation, the layers that he always puts in. You become a fan of even your costars’ characters, because it's never the same.

COLMAN DOMINGO:   As I am with you guys.

DANAY GARCIA:   But you see Strand on a horse looking like he's about to take over the world. You're like, “Oh my god! You might just shoot us all but hey, you look good!” [laughs]

QUESTION:  Colman, to start with you, I think I've asked you this question every season, and I'm always curious to know your answer. Is this the closest we've been to the most authentic Strand that we've seen since the apocalypse began? Is he in his element right now?

COLMAN DOMINGO:   Yes, absolutely. I think there has been a rebuilding and a rebranding of Strand from the inside out. I think we knew who Strand was in season one. He was very clear and committed to who he was.

Then, in the subsequent seasons, I think he's been challenged with his own instincts, because he realized people have a bit more heart. They were less pragmatic, and he was questioning that, so he was a little on the fence.

Then, I think by the time we got into season four and then definitely season five, he sort of fell in line with the group's ideology, which is absolutely completely the opposite of what his own instincts were.

So, I think now, as we build season six, we've now come upon Strand 6.0, which is truly the evolution. Now that you know all the things that make him up, you know his heart; you know what he cares about, who he cares about. You unpeeled this great big onion. You’ve got to the sweetness, and now he's going to cover that onion up with steel, I believe, because he's like, “Now you know who I am.” Now [he has] to take all of that in this whole apocalypse and now recreate this man that he knew, that they all knew, but he's like "Oh, it's a whole new version. You're not ready for it."

QUESTION:  Danay, I'm wondering how it feels to be back at the table now that you've been in the middle of this mess. I feel like they always put you in the messiest situations, and now you get to be clean this season. Is it exciting to shift out of that and be back with the rest of the group and back around everybody else?

DANAY GARCIA:   Yes, I feel like Luciana is always a loner. She realized for the first time that when she separates from the entire group, and in this case, I was with Wes, it's when she's the weakest. She understands that even though she's strong, the togetherness that powers this group is when she performs at her best.

Danay GarciaIt's interesting, because under the watch of Virginia, for me, the interesting part is that I'm getting to know Virginia now, because we were isolated in Tank Town. Wes and I…these two characters were taking care of even her people. We became their leaders. So, getting to know what Luciana has done to the rest of the group, it's something I take on really highly, because I was the one that gave myself to Virginia so they can really get that home. Realizing that it has caused a lot of damage, a lot of separation, and a lot of issues, it's a lot to take on, and it makes [her] realize, “Oh, my God, trying to resolve a problem, I really created so many issues,” [laughs] and I don't know if we can recover. She's going through all this and it's like, “Oh, wow, everybody's stronger together,” and that's a huge message for me this time.

QUESTION:  [Colby], as one of the newer members of the group, it's always interesting, because the newer members get dragged into these bigger situations. Wes was on his own, and he was doing pretty [well]. Now he's in the middle of this chaos, but he's bought into the group, and you can see that he's really devoted to that. I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about that, the dedication that Wes has to this group. He could walk away if he wanted to, but he hasn't, and he's with the group. I'm wondering if you could talk about his dedication to his new friends?

COLBY HOLLMAN:   Yes, that's a great question. As you said, Wes has been surviving on his own, and that seems to be what he preferred, his philosophy, “people are people,” as he would say. I mean, the first people in the group that I met were Alicia and Strand, and it was a big moment, because that's the first person he ever killed. So, obviously, he's going to have some kind of reaction, and the people that were there for that I think were very crucial to his development as a character, as a person. It speaks to the hope that I still had, that little glimmer of hope that I had within me, and mainly Alicia's way of cracking that hope and helping me see that there is another possibility and giving me another shot. So, I am devoted to this, because it's kind of like a last-ditch effort of hope in the apocalypse or post-living life for Wes. If he can hold on to anything, he will, and this is his time.

QUESTION:  We see this group during 6A; they're separating, everything is getting convoluted, and Strand is also gaining a little bit more power. Even with Virginia in the picture, where do you feel like the breaking point is for this group to really just break apart and just fall apart, and what is it going to take?

COLMAN DOMINGO:   I don't know. I think maybe I'll try to answer the question this way: by the time we get to Virginia's settlement and we see what it offers, everyone has different points on their way in, on the way to gain some agency in that scenario. Do we go away? I think there's all these different objectives from the group, the group that has come together for a couple seasons with one mission, and now it's just not possible with what Virginia has built. Everyone has to double down on something else and really separate out. I think that's why you'll see the people who are closest may go apart. It's that one thing [that] Virginia offers, which is very powerful, that really challenges the entire group and redefines the group. So, I don't know, I think, basically, there's an opportunity, and then how do we all make it and how to survive and thrive. It comes down to people being willing to let certain things go, whether it's about themselves, or whether it's about a relationship.

QUESTION:  I think one of the strengths, particularly of this season of Fear, is the blurring of the lines between right and wrong. I think the characters are morally disoriented. We as viewers are morally disoriented. There are a lot of blurred lines here. Can each of you describe how your respective characters are going to walk that blurred line going forward?

COLMAN DOMINGO:   I think Strand has always walked that moral line. His moral compass has always been a little bit askew, because, I think, it wasn't based in, I think, ethics [laughs] or having a moral quandary. I think he was just like, “Here's the situation.” I think it's all very pragmatic, like a businessman. “Here's the situation, what do you do? Okay, this will get this effect.”

What I love is that I think he's doubling down in that way, whereI think his moral compass is just haywire, and I think it's also going to be part of the fun, with all the characters.

DANAY GARCIA:   For me, for the course of Fear the Walking Dead, in the apocalypse, I feel like it's always a question of everything you do. You think, “Is this right, or is this wrong?” What's right and wrong anymore? What's right for me might not be really right. I think we all been through that, kind of, what is right for all of us? Then, that's when things start getting convoluted. You try to do the right thing, and it will be the wrong thing for the entire group. So, morally you're always challenged in this series, and especially, in season six, when the stakes are really high. When you try to do the right thing, and it's really the wrong thing, it's not like a halfway mistake; it's a really bad idea, and that's what you have to recover from.

The exciting part is to be in that position [as] an actor…How can you recover from that and still be organic, authentic, believable? You want the audience to relate to this dark side and dark problems, trying to do the right thing. So, I feel like it's a journey that we're gonna see a lot in season 6B, in the second half. You're gonna see a lot of trying to do the right thing, making the next level of the wrong thing for everybody. And how can we recover? That's what you're going to have to watch. It's really interesting.

COLBY HOLLMAN:   I think it's a very interesting thing, seeing all the characters, their moral lines or moral compasses kind of butting heads and what that does to them. You're definitely gonna see a lot of that in season six. That's what you want. Tune in; it's gonna be great.

Speaking specifically for Wes, going back to the question that was asked previously of me, you saw a quick switch from this guy that had really no hope in humanity left to somebody who has an extreme hope in this group that kind of saved him. I think, in that sense, he is still kind of re-establishing or finding what his moral compass is in that world, because he has lived in this one singular thing for so long. It's cool to see in this season how that pushes him forward and what things that he has to decide to get him through, to sustain him, because at the end of the day, that's what we're trying to do.

QUESTION:  What can you tell us about your storylines coming up in 6B?

DANAY GARCIA:   Oh, what can we tease?

COLMAN DOMINGO:   I can tease that the Strand that you think you knew, you're going to rethink Strand now. Every single step of the way, you're going to rethink Strand.

DANAY GARCIA:   It's true. And you know what? It's very interesting, because I have to be with Strand, but it feels like it's like a domino effect. Everything Strand does will affect everybody on a different level, and everybody's going to react in a different way. Same thing with Morgan, same thing with June, everybody, even Wes; it's conflict, inner conflict that we're going to have to deal with. It’s like how Luciana will react to that, because everybody's taking their own inner obstacles to the next level, and naturally, we all raise the bar, because we have no way back. It's like a point of no return at this point, really.

Colby HollmanCOLBY HOLLMAN:   Yeah, for Wes, you see him teeter-tottering between “Yeah, this is what I believed in my past, and I kind of just happened upon this group; now I'm in your mess.” That's how Wes came about. It was like, “You picked me up, and now I'm in it, so let's do it.” Somewhere in this season you will see him have to make that decision, finally make the decision between his past and his present and family.

SCIFI VISION:   This kind of a silly question, but you guys have been around the walkers for so long, has there ever been anything on the show that's grossed you out or freaked you out in the effects and the costumes?

COLMAN DOMINGO:   No. The thing that I love watching - I don’t know why it’s so odd - the reality of watching a walker sitting on the side with their masks on. You're like, “I don't think that's going to work, [laughs] because I think you are already infected!” But yeah, seeing a walker with their mask on is one of the most surreal things in the world. Am I right?

DANAY GARCIA:   Oh my God, yeah, especially when they're gooey, and then they're [wearing] a mask. The poor thing. You're like “You've been through hell and back. What are you covering?”

COLMAN DOMINGO:   You’re like, “You're still concerned about safety although you’re [laughs] disintegrating!”

DANAY GARCIA:   Social distancing too! Like, let me social distance from you. They now social distance from each other; it’s the weirdest thing. [laughs]

COLMAN DOMINGO:   It's really surreal. It's funny. Yeah, it's great.

DANAY GARCIA:   I was never expecting that. I didn't know that they needed masks, because they already have masks.

COLMAN DOMINGO:   Because they already have masks.

COLBY HOLLMAN:   They already have masks on.

DANAY GARCIA:   You should see how they put the mask on, because normally they don't have ears. [It’s tied] from the back; it's a mess, [laughs] not even an easy thing to put on.

COLMAN DOMINGO:   That's the same thing with Austin Amelio. It's a common thing. His mask is always hanging off a little bit; he's holding it. You're like, “What's up with that?” He's like “I don't have an ear.” [laughs] We're like, “Austin, please put your mask on properly.” He’s like, “I don’t have an ear.”

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