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Q&A – Emma Bell (Amy)

The Walking Dead actress describes the terror of being eaten by a walker, the joy of mermaids and Renaissance Fairs and the danger of talking to fanboys on three hours of sleep.

Q: In 2010’s Frozen you were the only character to survive. Here you were the first lead character to die. How did those experiences compare?

A: In Frozen, my character has to watch the other two people that she’s with die — but there was this desire to keep moving and keep going. With Amy, the reverse happened. I’m on the ground looking up at the stars, and Laurie Holden, who plays my sister, is crying her eyes out over me. But after that sadness came a relief, almost. It just became, “Oh I feel so bad for everyone else.”

Q: What did you have to do to make it look like you were being eaten by a walker?

A: I have to say, a large part of what makes that scene work is Greg Nicotero [Special FX Make-Up Designer]. He’s [also] the walker that bites into me. It’s a prosthetic they put on my neck that they then color over to make it look like its my skin. Underneath it’s a pouch of blood and some, I guess, hose they ripped up so it looked like it was tendons. When he would bite into my neck, it would explode the bag of blood and he would rip into the hose…tendons so it looked just perfect. I wish I could take credit for that.

Q: But you had to sell your reaction, right?

A: When he was taking a bite, I could feel it. Obviously, my skin was protected but you could feel the pressure of him and you could feel this river of blood come dripping down my side and that was enough to make me have a conniption, really. It was very believable. All I had to do was look down and my arm looked like it had a huge bite in it. You could trace your finger on my skin and it would drop down into the bloody part and then it would go back up on the other side. You know what I mean? Like, literally, a chunk had been taken out of my arm. It was terrifying.

Q: I’ve been told that you and Laurie Holden developed a special bond. How did that come about?

A: It starts back around January of last year, to be honest. She had a friend who emailed her saying, “You need to check out my friend’s daughter. She’s in a film going to Sundance and I think you need to check it out.” Then, when she finds out I’m cast as her sister, she’s like, “Emma Bell, that sounds so familiar.” So she goes back in her emails and sure enough that email is talking about me. She called me and then while we were on the phone we found out we have the exact same birthday.

Q: Sounds like it was meant to be.

A: It was! And we really just love each other. We talk all the time and she’s very special to me. I’m more than lucky to have had her be my sister on the show.

Q: Do you like mermaids?

A: I do. I know, it’s really funny. When I read that script I was like, “Oh my gosh, it’s totally me.” I love anything mystical: mermaids, fairies, unicorns. I have little, blown glass figurines of fairies that I hang in my windows. I go the Renaissance Fair every year. My boyfriend makes fun of me but it’s fine. Whatever, he doesn’t have to believe.

Q: What was the best part of being in The Walking Dead?

A: One of the best moments I had was walking onto the survivor camp set. Everything was there. The campgrounds, the tents. We had fires, the RV, everything. I’m a huge fan of Lost, and one of the things I loved about it was that you felt like you were on this island with these people. Obviously the shows are very different, but there are certain elements that parallel each other.

Q: What would you miss the most if there really was a zombie apocalypse?

A: Chocolate, for one. I would just be in withdrawal. I literally eat chocolate every day, several times a day.

Q: Was Comic Con your first exposure to the fanboy audience?

A: Yes, for sure. I had no idea there were that many fans out there. We actually shot my death scene until like 5:30 in the morning and we got on a plane to go to San Diego at 8 that same morning. Even so, I was beyond myself with excitement. I was just jumping up and down and Laurie just looks at me and she’s like, “Just wait, Emma. Just wait.” About half way through the day I crashed. I was like, “Wow, that is a lot of people who want to see our show.” And they are so on top of it too. Of course, they’d ask, “Do you get bitten?” So I had to come up with funny, witty responses that didn’t give anything away, and let me tell ya: When you’re on three hours of sleep that doesn’t always work.

Q: Will fans get to see Amy come back as a walker?

A: Can I answer that?

Click here to read an interview with the man who bit Amy, Greg Nicotero (Special FX Make-Up Designer)

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