The Walking Dead: World Beyond Q&A – Annet Mahendru Sheds Light on Huck’s Past

Annet Mahendru, who plays Huck on The Walking Dead: World Beyond, talks about how cool her character is, the privilege of being directed by Michael Cudlitz and how the night the sky fell changed Huck.

Q: Why did you want to be part of this show?

A: When this opportunity came my way, all I knew was the character... so it was just Huck and I. This chick was so extraordinarily cool in this wrecked world that I immediately became her. I had to! What's cooler than cool? Huck Cool. I obsessed trying to figure out how she acquired this slick attitude. I figured even if I didn't get this gig maybe one day it'll come [in] handy. Let me tell ya, it really helped this year.

Q: What was it like having Nico Tortorella as your partner in crime?

A: Having Nico as my partner in World Beyond is like looking in the mirror. People always tell me I'm an enigma, and Nico's quite an unusual cat too. Strolling around in the apocalypse with Nico has been really helpful because, every time our eyes meet, it's like a mirror check. We often say: "Man, we could be twins!" We've got these kindred curious, playful, hardworking spirits. And we're both clumsy, which is extra hilarious considering how tough these characters are supposed to be.

Watch: Felix and Huck:

Q: In Episode 5, Huck tells Hope that she got her name because she was found floating down the Missouri River on a raft. Is this the story she tells people when she doesn't want to reveal her true identity?

A: Well, she did float down the river on a raft. But yeah, it is more complicated than that.

It’s pointless to reveal anything to anybody unless they are ready to hear it. Otherwise you’re a song someone will never play again. Huck’s got a story to tell but there are way more heavy-handed priorities at stake. The girls have got to get to their dad and there are two more kids with them, Silas and Elton, who have never been outside the safety zone.

Q: Given his history in The Walking Dead universe, what was Michael Cudlitz like as a director?

A: Michael Cudlitz is a true MC. Master of the TWD Universe. He’s super grounded which is super beneficial given the special circumstances of "Abraham" directing World Beyond. Michael really brought things together for us actors on set. It was huge shoes to walk in and they were big for us and we knew that. He came in and told us, "Y'all are so good. Forget about everything else."

He’s the type of person you stay in touch with forever. We actually just also did... Manifest West. So if you’re looking for more crossovers, that’s a hell of one!

Q: Huck has some very harrowing flashbacks in Episode 7. How have the traumatic events from the night the sky fell turned Huck into the person she is now?

A: Huck's literally a soldier of life. When she was an active Marine, she was as loyal as one can be. But no one had an answer for the sky falling and so she was forced to be part of people pulling the trigger every which way they thought was right in the moment. It was the most challenging time per se and thankfully it has made her an independent thinker. She is a conscious and aware woman with lots of love and direction to share. The strive has always got to be for something greater otherwise you might as well be dead.

Q: Why does Huck advise Hope not to tell Iris and Elton that Hope killed Elton's mother?

A: Because they are not sitting in the safety of their living room. They are out in the woods with limited food and water so there isn't always a place for drama and emotions, unfortunately. A lot of people have a tendency to be subdued by drama instead of using honesty to better their current miserable situation. Let’s never forget that the ultimate goal is to come together, not apart. Elton is hopeful and that hope is fragile. News like that could momentarily stunt his forward-moving spirit and spiral him into a destructive mode of existence.

Q: Huck and Hope seem to have a real bond. Does Huck see some of herself in Hope?

A: Young people get affected all the time, on every level, too much really. They are in a continuous sensory overload and, unless that is managed so that they can channel it proactively, they can find themselves in a heck lot of trouble. They can develop destructive patterns early on that will exhibit themselves through the rest of their lives. The earlier you catch it the better, so to say. We are so darn lucky for the [people] that come along and notice us for who we are. Otherwise we self-sabotage our chance at greatness. So yeah, Huck wants Hope to turn her sh-- around quickly. Stop making wine... there’s a whole world to be saved! It is the duty of any well-aware adult to enable true growth.

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