Tara got knocked out cold on the last episode of The Walking Dead. But we need answers! So we woke her up! Alanna Masterson called into Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) to talk about recent developments on the show, whether she fell asleep during her coma scenes, if she is worried about her character’s long-term safety, and more. Here’s some of the interview for your reading pleasure.
EW: Talk about what it was like filming that crazy warehouse scene in the last episode.
ALANNA MASTERSON: We had a lot of energy and there was a lot of ad-libbing with checking in with each other like “Hey, how’s that aisle? “Clear!” And the flare that Nicholas shoots, that was actually the most fun. That was at the end of the day and it basically had to have a giant string with a flare to catch it to be able to see the flare go off and explode into the box with all the walkers. That was just a super, super exciting day and obviously I’m in a coma and lying in a gigantic pool of blood, which I don’t really think they show.
You were in a coma for a lot of the episode and even the most simple scene is shot multiple times from multiple different angles so you just have to lie there for a long time. Ever fall asleep?
It’s funny, we had to do some other scenes when we were in the barn where we were actually sleeping for the scenes. There are definitely some people that fell asleep—just because you’re lying there for hours. You’re like, “Well, I guess I could take a nap.” I actually find it harder to do those scenes because I want to laugh. I don’t know what it is, but it is really hard to close your eyes and concentrate and not say anything. And then if someone says something funny, you want to laugh but you have to be asleep and you can’t look like you’re shaking, so those scenes are pretty hard. And especially when we were doing that scene [last week] with Josh where the walkers are coming towards me and he is basically having a panic attack and he doesn’t know if he can pull the trigger. He’s shaking and I can hear him breathing heavily and I just want to start laughing because he’s my friend and it’s funny, but you have to keep it together.
What was it like to have to say goodbye to Tyler James Williams?
That day when Tyler was in the revolving door, we were all crying. Even if you work together for six episodes or two years or five years or whatever it is, you develop such a strong bond with these people and they’re your friends. So we always joke, like, “Are you gonna cry when I die?” So we joke around about it, but it’s hard. It’s why we accept everyone right as they come because you really don’t know how long they’re gong to be there for.
How concerned are you in general for your own safety in terms of being killed off? Are you worried about showrunner Scott Gimple giving you that dreaded call?
I have him text me before he calls just because if the phone rings and it says his name I’m like, “Uh-oh.” So he texts me. But that’s the nature of the show. It’s interesting because if you look at Emily or Chad or Tyler and people that have gone this season—it’s done nothing but be great for them. People have become so attached and it’s all they can think of and all they can remember so I eventually know I’m going to go on the show. I think eventually everyone is gong to go on the show. So I just try to enjoy every episode. But, yeah, it’s kind of nerve-wracking.
With such a big cast there is only so much time to check in on everyone and there are going to be stretches where we don’t see you much. How do you handle that?
You take the back half of the season and for a good three episodes I didn’t say anything. It wasn’t because Scott Gimple is like “Okay, great. We don’t like Alanna anymore. Let’s not give her any lines.” There’s literally a call sheet some mornings with 16 of us. It’s just sort of the nature of the show and the best part of that idea is if you are showing up and doing just as good work even if you’re not saying anything, but in good spirits—that shows you’re a team player. Take Melissa McBride who plays Carol. There were seasons where she didn’t have a lot of lines. Or Emily, who plays Beth. There are episodes where she didn’t have a lot of lines. And sometimes Norman only says one thing. You have to know that even sometimes the stars of the show don’t have a lot in the episode, so me being the new kid, you can’t be like “Hey, where’s all my dialogue?” Because you got to pay your dues a little bit.
There has been a distinct lack of fist-bumping lately. What’s up with that? That was, like, Tara’s go-to move for a while there.
Oh, thank goodness. I could do without the fist-bumping. I think it’s funny. I think it’s Tara’s thing. I always try to switch it to a handshake—it never works. She’s probably fist-bumping behind people’s backs. Maybe the audience just doesn’t see it and she’s fist-bumped every single person in Alexandria.
For more ‘Walking Dead’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.