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Fear the Walking Dead Q&A – Lorenzo James Henrie (Christopher Manawa)

Lorenzo James Henrie, who plays Christopher Manawa on AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, talks about his character’s biggest challenge and shares his thoughts on Travis shooting Liza in the Season Finale.

Q: We spoke to Alycia Debnam-Carey about portraying the teenage perspective throughout the apocalypse. What’s your take on that? 

A: I think the biggest challenge for Christopher is that he’s a 16-year-old who is trying to become his own person and his own man. He’s trying to find who he is in life, so throw that in the mix with an apocalypse – it forces him to grow up.

Q: How would you describe Christopher’s relationship with his father? How about his mother?

A: I would say in the first few episodes you see a kid who resents his father. His parents are divorced and he looked up to his father and now he resents him, but [later on] he learns from his father that they can become partners again and rekindle the love that was once there. With Liza, he can never blame her for anything. He absolutely adores her.

Q: Were you shocked when Liza was shot in the Season 1 finale? 

A: Everything gets ripped from Christopher then – his childhood, his memories and everything good. The fear of the unknown is exciting, but also scary to me as an actor. [Laughs] I think it was the right thing for Travis to do. It’s beautiful because in the moment of her death, true things come out. Travis loved her, he really did. You can see that love.

Q: What was the most shocking moment for you in Season 1?

A: I would say the most shocking moment was Daniel Salazar’s story and character arc. I was the most surprised. It’s funny because all of the cast members were always trying to guess where their story was going and we were all just like, “Wow. This guy is bad-ass!”

Q: Cliff Curtis told us none of the cast members ever really know what will happen to them. Did you ever think you would be a goner before Season 1 ended? 

A: It is kind of scary to know that we don’t know what’s going to happen with our characters. It definitely adds pressure, but I’m at peace with it… I want what’s best for the story and for the show.

Q: Did you find anything to be particularly relatable while telling this story?

A: I do think the story is relatable to reality. People hope for the best, but don’t prepare for the worst. There’s the “ignorance is bliss” thing in life where you think it’s all going to work out, but sometimes things don’t work out. We don’t have control. It’s also about staying true to who you are as a person when you’re tested by something in life, even though it might not be an apocalypse.

Q: Have you watched The Walking Dead or read the comic books? What did you learn? Did you apply anything while working on Fear?

A: Before I got the job, I did my research with The Walking Dead, but as an actor, I didn’t really want to know that world. I wanted to have that realness… and I wanted to figure it out like it would be in real life.

Q: Having made it through a full season, what’s your number one tip for surviving the apocalypse so far?

A: [Laughs] A few tips would be to stock up on weapons – that’s a good one – but also think two steps ahead so you can protect your family. You wouldn’t know what happens next. It’s like a chess game. You also have to always look over your shoulder because you don’t know who’s with you or against you.

Read an interview with Elizabeth Rodriguez, who plays Liza Ortiz.

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