Q: What was it like coming into Season 10 of the show?
A: This has been the most fun season for me. My first season was a whirlwind. My second season, as series regular, I had to learn that new responsibility but this year I knew the game. It was time to just get to work and I knew my friends in Atlanta and who Siddiq was. Season 10 has been really fulfilling and coming back was very exciting. To be a part of a show that has made it to Season 10 is incredible. That does not happen very often – let alone for a show that does 16 packed episodes every year. I am very grateful. The team raises the bar every year.
Q: Siddiq is dealing with PTSD from Alpha’s attack last season. What did her horrific display of power do to him, mentally?
A: He’s dealing with a lot. There are a lot of layers to this. There’s the fact that he’s the only witness to what Alpha is really capable of, so he’s got a responsibility to share that knowledge with everyone else and help them prepare for the war that they’re now entering. He’s also got a lot of survivor’s guilt. He doesn’t know why she let him go and he feels he should have died there in the barn. The scary part about PTSD is that your memories can restart at anytime. At any given moment, he can hear something or smell something that takes him right back into the barn. There is also a lot of shame attached because he doesn’t want everyone to know that it’s affected him as it has. Siddiq is dealing with a lot. It’s really terrifying and it’s difficult for him.
Q: Is it hard for him to be a caregiver/medic while also needing some care himself? How does he balance that?
A: I think what it does is muddy the waters for him. That’s why he doesn’t want to let anyone know what he’s dealing with. I think he believes that if he can throw himself into his work and be of use to the community, maybe his demons will go away. He’s starting to find out that it’s not that simple. Alpha’s f—cked him up so badly that he might even be a danger to everyone else. There’s that moment in the episode where he’s not able to perform the surgery and he lets Dante take over in that moment, but it really bothers him.
Q: Where does fatherhood fit into it all?
A: We’ve gotten to a point where we’re not just surviving anymore. We’re thriving – and a baby is a perfect representation of that. We feel confident enough to bring in new life into this world. Coco is his future and Coco is not just his child – she’s also the child of that community. Judith is like his little sister. RJ is like his son. These communities raise these children together. They are the future, but when you add his mental state into that, Coco is also his nightmare. Somebody once told me that when you have a child, it’s the first time when your heart exists outside of yourself. You don’t just care about yourself anymore. He wants to be a great father to Coco, but he’s scared. What if he has a flashback while he’s with Coco? What if he harms his child? What if Alpha comes back?
Q: What’s the dynamic between Siddiq and Dante?
A: This would be amazing for him because he would have a compatriot, a brother in arms and a best friend in Dante. Siddiq hopes that he can get past all his PTSD to give Dante the chance that he deserves. He can’t quite let Dante in yet because he’s not ready to… let someone else help him carry the burden. I think he’s also a little bit reserved because he does remember Enid and fostering that relationship of two people in the trenches together, and look what happened. He doesn’t want to get too close to anyone right now.
Q: While the group is preparing for a battle that may be unavoidable, where is Siddiq on that front?
A: He’s really torn. He has a responsibility, alongside Dante, to be ready to take care of the wounded. He has a responsibility, alongside Rosita and Gabriel and Eugene, to take care of his child. And he also has a responsibility to himself, and to those that were killed in the ban, to put Alpha’s head on a stake. He’s torn between those three things. He’s happy to be out there in the trenches and killing those walkers and to not be the doctor, but he’s torn because that’s what he promised Rick and Carl. A doctor gives hope and mercy, but he wants to give wrath. He’s pulled in these directions all season long.
Read an interview with Ryan Hurst, who plays Alpha’s Second-in-Command, Beta.
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