Kelly Blatz, who plays Brandon on AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, talks about what Chris sees in Brandon, whether he’d trust his own character and how freeing the apocalypse can be.
Q: What kind of person did Brandon strike you as?
A: I was very excited to play a character that was very different from myself… For me, Brandon is somebody who maybe didn’t have the best life and when the apocalypse happened, he realized it was a perfect place for him to thrive as a human being. There are no cops, no oppression, no money… none of those rules. He felt like someone who could take the lead and he’s very egotistical. It’s all about himself, and he’s definitely an anarchist. I started reading a lot about Max Stirner and anarchy, and I found that that was who Brandon is. He’s a guy who’s taking advantage of a situation that was placed right in front of him.
Q: What was your introduction to the show like? Do you have to adjust to a set like this or do you just jump in and get dirty?
A: Mexico has such an interesting landscape that you actually feel like you’re living in this world. It feels almost like a Western. When I got down there and did my first scene in the back of a truck, we were driving on some remote highway as Brandon was telling Travis how much I love the apocalypse. It was extremely surreal – especially when we first saw the Infected. Talk about being immersed in your environment. [Laughs]
A: Brandon’s really trying to gather more people for his gang. When he comes across Chris and sees his skills in killing the Infected and saving his life, he wants him. He’s really trying to show Chris how great they’re doing and how their tactics are working. They have beer, they have food, they have supplies — and Travis’s tactics aren’t working. Chris looks up to Brandon and feels at home because he’s been very lost. The act of killing the farmer was sort of like an initiation in a way and to show he could be a part of the gang. That’s how I saw it.
Q: Travis mentions he kills out of necessity. Why do you think Brandon kills?
A: I think there’s a certain adolescent enjoyment that happens with killing the dead. It’s almost like a video game for them in real life.
Q: Do you think it’s wise to be more trusting in the apocalyptic world or less so? Would you trust Brandon?
A: I personally would not trust Brandon based on his overall demeanor. [Laughs] I think it helps to be less trusting in the apocalypse because there’s so much room for deceit. When a piece of bread is the difference between you dying or me dying, that makes trusting people – even your own — a lot more difficult. In the end, we all have instinctual survival mechanisms. Brandon has selfish motives, though he’s not an inherently evil guy, and you have to be weary of that. Most of the time, those people are very charming.
Q: He even says the end times have made him a god. What was your reaction to that line in the script?
A: That, to me, explains his whole character. All of a sudden, all of the stuff that dictates the world – who was wealthy, who was in control, who could oppress – that was all erased. It puts all the power in your hands and I felt Brandon was somebody who really wanted to create his own little kingdom. He has an objective of being king and this is the way the world works now. There’s no room for weakness or holding onto archaic morals that no longer apply.
Read an interview with Danay Garcia, who plays Luciana.
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