Fear the Walking Dead Q&A -- Colman Domingo (Victor Strand)
Colman Domingo, who plays Victor Strand on Fear the Walking Dead, talks about embracing Strand's ethos during the pandemic, sacrificing Sanjay, and what drink his character would most enjoy.
Q: When we see Strand for the first time in Season 6, he's literally cleaning up sh-t. Is this the lowest point for your character?
A: That's as low as you can go. I think that he's been on a mission to strike a deal with Virginia. The way that she's incorporated him and Alicia, is by being the conveyors of keeping this sh-t burning, literally. So that's their job, but I think that Strand's always strategizing. He's always trying to figure out and access Virginia's compound any way that he can, so right now he's just trying to do the work.
Q: Is it this state that prompts Strand to challenge the Ranger at the beginning of Episode 2?
A: I think he believes he's going to get in one way or the other. Strand is less emotional and more pragmatic, and I think he sees this as an opportunity and a challenge. This challenge can also get him in. If he's not going to be welcomed with open arms, he'll at least be dragged inside. What's important is that he gets inside.
Q: Strand is the consummate dealmaker. Was it tricky playing a version of him that's a bit more down on his luck?
A: No, because I think he's continuously scheming and plotting as well. Even when he gets inside, he's trying to also get the information. He's walking through the compound, assessing it all. Seeing how it's all operating, who's working, how it's working. He's really stacking it all up, you know? Even if it appears that he's down on his luck, I don't think that's what he necessarily believes. I think he's always been someone who works well when he's on the rebound.
Watch: Inside Episode 2:
Q: How does Strand feel about seeing his old nemesis Daniel acting so damaged?
A: I think he's conflicted about that. I think, in the beginning, he can't believe that this is actually the truth. He knows Daniel as such a cunning, intelligent man, and for this to have happened to him, I think he's very, very surprised. He thinks, "Oh, he must be scheming. He must be trying to play them by pretending that he doesn't understand, playing into the old man." But then he believes that it's a reality, and it's a crushing reality. Even though he and Daniel have had a strained relationship, it feels like a blow.
It's a loss to Strand at that moment, which is strange. Even though they've had such a flawed relationship, there's still some care there. They're almost like a very dysfunctional family, because he's known him so long.
Q: The killing of the molasses walkers looked disgusting. How did that compare to the other big set pieces and stunts that you've done on the show?
A: It was really cool actually! The idea that you're trying to kill something that is slippery and sticky -- we keep doubling down on things like that on our show -- complications with walkers. Okay, so you've dealt with oil-slicked walkers. Now, how do you deal with molasses-slicked walkers?
Q: Why did Strand think it would have been better to attack Virginia's Rangers instead of dealing with the molasses walkers?
A: Going on the attack and handling the Rangers is what he feels he must do. He also recognizes the message that it sends to Virginia as well. That's his plan, but he's trying to go with Alicia's plan, which is actually like, "Let's do the task and see if she will take care of us then." I think that approach is looking for a very positive way out. And the other one's looking at a more complicated way out -- that's Strand.
Q: Do you think Strand had second thoughts about sacrificing Sanjay, or is he reverting to his truest self?
A: No, he didn't have one second thought about that. When Sanjay ran and hid like a little baby outside the camper, he realized that there was no positive to having Sanjay. Sanjay would only compromise the group. So being the pragmatic spirit that Strand is, he realized that for Sanjay the best he could do is to be a help to his comrades—that's why we had to feed him to the walkers. That's the only way that he was going to be useful. Otherwise, he was just going to be chum and he was going to take us all with him. That's someone that you can't take along for the ride. He's got to be sacrificed. Again, I believe Strand is motivated by the greater good.
Watch: Strand Sacrifices Sanjay:
Q: Strand and Alicia have been through a lot together. Why do you think he pushes her away at the end of Episode 2?
A: Strand has evolved in the last few seasons. I think Alicia has a version of Strand in her mind: she knows his heart, she know he cares for her, and he's someone she could depend on. He's pushing her away because he has to do some things that she may not like, things that may challenge her understanding of him. Strand wants Alicia to remember that version of him, because that's important. He can't have her present because it's going to challenge the things that he needs to do. He has to make some really tough decisions in order to survive. He's doesn't want to soil her vision of him, so she has to go away so he can become the man he needs to be in order to save them all.
We've all been experiencing our own apocalypse and pandemic right now, and honestly I've had to rely on some of Strand's qualities. The idea of being a little less emotional and more pragmatic is actually very useful. Do not let emotion drive every decision that you're making, instead examine the facts, and then make a decision.
Q: When Strand and Alicia were wearing bandanas on their faces at the beginning of the episode, it looked like you were wearing masks, like we're all doing now.
A: When I remembered that we shot that, I thought how strange, odd, and brilliant, because it really does land you in the world of today. They're trying to keep their noses covered from smelling everyone's waste, but it is echoing that thing that's out there, the thing that we're all trying to protect ourselves from. It's pretty wild, right?
Q: You have your own show, Bottomless Brunch at Colman's, where you mix up cocktails. What would you serve Strand?
A: Strand loves anything with rye and scotch. I think he loves things that are full-bodied, that may be earthy, a little peaty, so I think that he relies on something as simple as Glenlivet or an Oban, something like that. He's a very classic drinker, you know, and he's someone who sips. He doesn't drink. He sips.
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