Colman Domingo, who plays Victor Strand on AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, talks about his character’s secret past and what he would name his own yacht.
Q: How would you describe Strand in one sentence?
A: A man of mystery, a man of deep complexities and a man of intense power and charisma.
Q: In Episode 4, we finally see some of Strand’s backstory. What did you learn about him?
A: Now that we know Victor Strand, he still has to stay one step ahead in some way and he can change on a dime. We talked about how to reveal who Abigail is, but it’s a much more complex relationship than one would imagine. It’s not just about two people who are in love and have a plan together. You start to examine whether this is a relationship built on love or opportunity. Strand is way more than meets the eye and just as you feel you’re getting to know him, he goes to a whole other level.
Q: What was more fun to film: the action scenes on the boat or being back on land and exploring Strand’s past?
A: For me, it’s always the character work that I find even more compelling. Navigating the boat and doing stunts is cool, but there’s something about the simple storytelling of character and relationships that brings me the most joy.
Q: What was it like filming on the water and in Mexico?
A: We have an outstanding crew and there are many things that come into play when you’re shooting in the water, but we have people who just make the work happen. It’s exciting, it’s thrilling and you feel like your muscles are being stretched.
Q: It seems like everyone’s heading towards the ocean during the apocalypse, but can it really be safe if that’s everyone’s plan?
A: [Laughs] It seems like a good idea, but the water is symbolic of something you really can’t understand or control. The water has depth and darkness, and you have this layer of humankind in the apocalypse which is another complication.
A: I think we have characters who can either become each other’s best ally or they can become each other’s worst foe. They’re all very strong when it comes to their principles, ideals and beliefs. They wrestle with each other. Madison and Strand are very much both survivors. They’re fighters, but they also both have very different moral compasses in terms of what they believe is the right thing to do. As they wrestle with that, I believe they see something in each other that is useful. It’s almost like they’re different sides of one coin. With Daniel Salazar and Strand, I think they immediately size each other up and they’re both built to read people very quickly. I think Daniel can see what’s under Strand’s suit and language and Strand can see through this seemingly older man who’s just concerned about taking care of his daughter.
Q: Does Strand hold power over the group since it’s his boat, or does he need the extra help of these people?
A: As powerful and as strong as he is, I think that he does – whether he will admit to it or not – need them. Initially, he enlists Nick and did not intend on Nick coming with a pack. He enlisted someone who was a bit of an outsider and whose skill set was very valuable in this new world. With these other people, Strand lays down the law and you can’t compromise the crew. You must have something to offer.
Q: If you were on the boat, would you trust Strand?
A: [Laughs] I personally would. I would trust him because he seems to be a man who says what he means. So far, what we know about Strand is that he said he’d take this group to his home and give them safe passage on the boat… everything that he’s said is absolutely true. An addendum to that, though, is that people respond like animals. If we don’t get a smile, we don’t trust, but Strand doesn’t value smiles. He values what a person does.
Q: What would you name your yacht?
A: Oh, that’s very easy. I would name my own yacht Edith after my mother. She and I were very close and she’s watching and guiding everything I do.
Read an interview with Kim Dickens, who plays Madison Clark.
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