Gene Page/AMC
Dalton Ross
September 30, 2015 AT 03:28 PM EDT

Well, this could get awkward. Rick Grimes seemed smitten with Alexandrian Jessie last season on The Walking Dead. But now that he just shot her husband in the face, how exactly does that first date conversation go? And will there even be a first date? We chatted with the woman who plays Jessie, Alexandra Breckenridge, to find out where her character stands in matters of grief, love, and a possible civil war.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How does it feel to not be the newbie anymore?

ALEXANDRA BRECKENRIDGE: A veteran! You know what, everybody was so nice and I became instant friends with everyone last year that I didn’t feel like I was the new kid at school for very long, which was great. Because usually with guest-starring and recurring parts everybody knows that you’re there sort of fleetingly. And they’re like, “Oh, hi. Yeah, nice to meet you,” but they don’t get super close or anything. I guess everybody sort of assumed that I’d be back next season, but they’re all so just lovely and nice in general.

The whole Jessie and Rick relationship is fascinating. On one hand she clearly seems to like the cut of his jib, so to speak. But on the other hand, he just did shoot her husband in the face. So that’s an odd way to begin a potential relationship. What does that mean going forward?

You know, she’s definitely struggling with the death of her husband. I mean, that was just in and of itself — regardless of her relationship with Rick — extremely complicated. She’d been with this person for a very long time. He was abusive, and as with most women that are abused, I think she was in denial about that for a long time. And so, he sort of woke her back up and it’s like, “No, this isn’t okay,” and she’s like, “Oh my gosh, no this isn’t okay.”

It’s sad but it’s true. It happens to a lot of people. So, when he dies, she feels immense guilt because she feels relieved, but she also is mourning his death. It’s so complicated for her that any interest that she had for Rick in that moment, it’s not her main focus. You know what I mean? She’s just sort of in the place where she knows she’s needs to become stronger to protect her family.

If we thought Rick’s big speech at the end was going to bring everyone together, it appears that is definitely not going to be the case. Where we are in terms of Alexandria still being a town divided?

I think most of the people in Alexandria at this point just see Rick as a crazy person. I mean, every instance that they’ve been around in a group witnessing him, he’s been covered in blood, trying to kill somebody or killing someone, and screaming about how they’re weak and they need to become stronger or they’re going to die. Most of them are terrified. They’ve been in this bubble for so long they don’t really understand the intensity of the outside world. They’re just very naïve and that’s what will be interesting. I’m sure we’ll see who will be able to survive in this world that they’ve now had their eyes opened to, and who won’t be able to survive.

And where does Jessie fall in that? She’s friends with people that are probably questioning Rick. And Rick just shot her husband dead. But there’s also obviously an attraction and a connection there. So, how does this whole situation, even beyond just her and him, sort of impact her thinking?

That’s a big question. I have hope for Jessie because I think that Jessie is an innately strong, intelligent woman and I think that she can get her s— together. I don’t know about her kids. Ron seems a little angry. And that can be very dangerous. And Sam seems to just be very scared and weak, and that can also be dangerous. So, I hope for her sake she can figure out how to help her children become stronger.

Anything else you’re looking forward to in season 6?

I want to do more action stuff. So, if I can get Scott to write me anything having to do with killing zombies or anything like that, because that’s a lot of fun. Doing stunt work is really fun and there’s a lot of that on the show, so I’m hoping to get my hands dirty. Or bloody, so to speak.

For more Walking Dead intel, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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