Michael Greyeyes, who plays Qaletaqa Walker on AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, talks about his love for the apocalyptic world, losing Ofelia and filming that eerie Christmas scene in the Season 3 Finale.
Q: You’ve mentioned being a fan of the show before coming on to play Walker. What interests you most about the apocalyptic world?
A: I’ve always been a fan of science fiction and fantasy. I grew up reading comic books, so my imagination and the fantasy life that I got through books and comics were an important part of my childhood. As I grew older, I saw the early zombie films like Night of the Living Dead, but it’s when I saw 28 Days Later that I became incredibly fascinated with this body of work. Society collapsing, people forming these groups, fighting it out and surviving all the while being chased by these supernatural and unstoppable killers – for me, it’s a perfect metaphor for all the things that scare me. [Laughs]
Q: How has Walker and Madison’s dynamic evolved over the course of the season considering they were once on opposing sides?
A: The writers created a beautiful arc for Walker and Madison. They’re adversaries when my character first appears and the Nation is introduced, but what I think is quite brilliant is that, after teasing the audience that the Nation and Walker might be the new “villains” this season, they turned it on its ear when they revealed who Otto and his son Troy really were. In a way, the audience is taken on this journey of discovery. Personally, working with Kim [Dickens] has been an incredible pleasure. There’s a richness to their relationship. It’s not an easy one. Walker distrusts Madison until the very end [Laughs], but he respects her. She understands how to operate in this world. Walker’s a lawyer. He’s smart. He really sees her strength. I think that’s been the most interesting thing to play between the two of us.
Q: Why do you think Walker came back to help the Clarks?
A: Walker and Crazy Dog have always had an arm’s length relationship with the Clarks, specifically because they were allied with the Ranchers so deeply. I think Walker and Crazy Dog quickly realize that wherever the Clarks went, chaos was sure to follow. That’s their superpower. [Laughs] They survive, but create havoc on the way. What the Clarks bring is exciting and makes for an exciting show. I think that’s the reason we return. We’re ready to go and find the rest of our community. Knowing Madison and how the Clarks operate, it’s like I say, “Maybe we should just go have a look and see what’s going on” because that chaos can mushroom and affect us. In a way, Walker was concerned for his own safety. Of course, he makes a very dramatic return and we were really delighted with that.
Q: Was it eerie filming those Christmas scenes in the Season 3 Finale? Was it a welcome change to be in a clean suit on set for once?
A: [Laughs] Fortunately, I didn’t get too bloody, but it was lovely to be in this beautifully tailored suit. I loved that sequence and that episode and the surprises. For them to have this dream sequence – or this nightmare sequence – right in the middle of the Season Finale with gun fights and explosions is a beautiful surprise. It was super creepy to film it! I’m so excited to see what the fans have to say.
Q: Madison seems to be haunted by Otto’s death. How do you think Walker is handling it differently?
A: I think after Madison and Nick kill Otto, that was it for Walker. Another evil man down. Walker was able to lay that whole history to rest for himself and I don’t think he ever looked back.
Q: What about Ofelia? How does her death affect him going forward?
A: This was the worst part of the whole season for me. I didn’t see it coming and Mercedes [Mason] didn’t tell me. So, when I read the script, I was just stunned. I reached out to her and said, “I’m really not happy!” It was catastrophic for him to lose her. There was tremendous love between these two. He believed in her and trusted her and it was reciprocal. That was the beginning of an incredible relationship and for her to be taken from him was really a blow. With Ofelia’s loss, there’s no place in the world of the Clarks and the dam that remains of the Ranchers and the Nation for him to hold onto. I think she was the key. With her death, he’s free to continue his journey elsewhere.
Q: What has this story-line this season meant to you, personally?
A: In my opinion, there’s very few three-dimensional representations of Native people on television and in film. I’ve always been concerned as an artist and a scholar with how our communities are represented on the screen. In the latter half of the season, scene after scene – especially with myself and Crazy Dog as leading characters – they really opened up the story-line to include us in a really full and authentic way. It was extraordinary to be a part of this season and I’m so proud of the work and what we can share with the audience. It’s an absolute delight.
Read a Q&A with Ray McKinnon, who plays Proctor John.
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