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Fan Fest Exclusive Interview: ‘Fear The Walking Dead’s’ Maggie Grace

Maggie Grace as Althea - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Richard Foreman, Jr/AMC

Fear The Walking Dead season 4 premieres on April 15th on AMC, and there is a lot to look forward to.

One of the things I’m most excited about is the fact that we have two brand new characters who are going to be really important in the scheme of how The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead meld together.

One of the characters is called Althea, and she is played by the lovely Maggie Grace, with whom we got the chance to speak with recently.

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Shannon: We are super excited for Fear The Walking Dead’s fourth season, it’s just around the corner. We’re waiting to see how everything ties together with the brand new cast members and the time jumps in relation to The Walking Dead, and we know that you play a woman named Althea. We’ve gotten a couple glimpses at her in official production images and the extended trailer, in which the only thing we hear her say is “New People. I like new people.” What can you share about Althea-her personality, her background and how we meet her?

Maggie Grace: Well there’s a lot I’m not allowed to say. I think the season in general is certainly heats up really quickly and I think hopefully the audience will never ever know what to expect. I would say the character’s really iconic to me, and in really specific and interesting ways, quite strong. As opposed to the generic “badass”, I think who she was before the apocalypse has really prepared her to land on both feet and not only survive, but thrive, in this environment. And I think, in signing on, that was a big part of the appeal was just how unusually capable yet emotionally deep she is.

Somehow everything she’s been through before society was lost, and she went through a lot, and she really becomes the best version of herself. And to see also, a female character with a true agenda. She has a transactional side, and she makes mistakes. Just to see a female character who has needs and desires of her own and takes action stemming from those desires over the course of the story. And does more than cause problems for a dude protagonist, or that she’s not erotic or ornamental. She’s a character with a lot of hard will and freedom. So I think in this world, post apocalypse, her agenda is really the thing that’s saving her life. She has something to live for.

And she’s got a really cool truck. (laughs).

Shannon: I love that.

Maggie: It’s an MRAP, which is pretty crazy that we managed to make a few of those.

Shannon: That’s so cool. Well, I personally am a fan of multidimensional, bad ass female characters so I’m really excited to see what Althea brings to that. Can you tell us a little bit about your audition process for Fear The Walking Dead? Did you know what you were up against going in to the audition?

Maggie: I didn’t know that much when I read for it. It wasn’t the real script. So it was a lot of guessing. I mean it clearly wasn’t the real script. It was set in a different world than this one. When we met afterward, we had some phone calls, and then they were able to reveal more. I had a really short time to decide between that and a couple other offers, and I was just really blown away by their plans for who she is. And as you said so well, a multidimensional strong female character. It’s not just that she’s tough or tired. Sometimes I think we default to  “Oh we have to make this woman strong, so let’s default to you know, tough.” I think she’ a real person regardless of gender and obviously this world doesn’t really socialize gender in the same way. It’s really just the quickest way for me to survive-what’s most effective?

Maggie Grace as Althea, Lennie James as Morgan Jones – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Richard Foreman, Jr/AMC

Shannon: You played Shannon Rutherford on LOST, and that was a huge show too. Are there any characteristics from your prior characters like Shannon or Kim in Taken, that we might also see in Althea?

Maggie: No. Both of them are really emotional young women who are really ill-prepared for the situations they’re thrust into.It’s nice to have characters that have a full spectrum of possibility. And also that you can be allowed to grow up a bit. I don’t think either of those characters would be alive right now unfortunately.

Shannon: Speaking of LOST having such a huge fan base, Fear The Walking Dead also has a pretty established one. How has it been to jump into it?

Maggie: It does feel similar in a way. In the sense of that it’s a large ensemble cast, and has a really passionate fanbase. In this sense, it’s a bit different because the fans know more about this stuff than I could possibly catch up to. On LOST we were making it up as we went along, and this there’s a whole world here. But the cast feels kind of cozy and great. There are some really special people on it that I’m really happy to work with.

Shannon: Are you familiar with The Walking Dead‘s arc and where it’s at right now?

Maggie: This is a separate show and they tie together a lot. I will say they’re creating a more cohesive Walking Dead universe. But I think it’s been my approach to really pay more attention to the characters and arcs on Fear.

Shannon: Do you think if Althea crossed Rick’s group, if she would be friend or foe to him?

Maggie: Friend. I think they could provide her with a lot of what she’s after.

Lennie James as Morgan Jones, Garret Dillahunt as John, Maggie Grace as Althea – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 3 – Photo Credit: Richard Foreman, Jr/AMC

Shannon: What can fans expect from season 4 of Fear The Walking Dead?

Maggie: I think in the tradition of the show, it wraps its arms around the ethical compromises people make, and the larger theme this season is a theme we approached a bit in LOST. Is it better to go it alone or to band together? And there are trade offs with both. But certainly my character, and if I may speak for others, anybody that’s alive at his point in the apocalypse has been through quite a lot of trauma and lost quite a lot.

What can we hold onto when the structures and beliefs that we’ve built our lives around flounder beneath us? I think the answer to that is each other. We hold onto each other.

Shannon: If you could use one word to describe season 4 of Fear what would it be?

Maggie: Unpredictable.

We also asked Maggie where Althea stands out of the following three options:

Does not play well with others,
the more the merrier,
or proceed with caution.

Maggie says Althea would proceed with caution. It will be very interesting to see her character come to life on the show, and we think she will easily become a new fan favorite.

Be sure to tune into Fear The Walking Dead on April 15th on AMC!

 

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Shannon Toohey is Editor-In-Chief of FanFest.com. She graduated from Hofstra University in 2015 with a B.A. in Journalism from the Lawrence Herbert School of Communications. Shannon has been a proud member of the Fan Fest team since 2013. Tweet her in your prettiest bird voice: @shannontoo