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“Fear the Walking Dead’s” Kim Dickens Says Madison Won’t Hesitate to Make Tough Decisions

by  in Movie News, TV News Comment
“Fear the Walking Dead’s” Kim Dickens Says Madison Won’t Hesitate to Make Tough Decisions

The way actor Kim Dickens tells it, viewers about to learn if “Fear the Walking Dead’s” former high school guidance counselor Madison Clark can keep her family afloat — literally — during the zombie apocalypse.

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As the April 10 second season premiere of the breakout series — the companion series to AMC’s smash hit “The Walking Dead” — nears, and a special, extras-laden edition of Season One arrives on Blu-ray, Dickens has to carefully weigh her every word when offering hints at the horrors the survivors will encounter next. But with the group last seen planning to set sail on a yacht to escape already Infected-overridden Los Angeles, she was able to slip in some teases when she spoke with CBR News about hitting the high seas, plus her thoughts on spoilers and her side-gig in Tim Burton’s latest imaginative venture.

CBR News: Was there any point where you had to rethink your character or kind of reevaluate her as you found out what was in store for her in Season Two?

Kim Dickens: Not really. We start Season Two within a few hours, I think, of the finale of Season One. We find her just as we found her in the pilot, really. She’s still struggling to take care of her kids, save her kids. She is strong, fearless. She’s quick to make a tough decision. And that’s where you find her.

I think she’s still all those things, but I think she’s also trying to get her bearings and trying to find coherence and see if we can get through this and if we’re going to get on the other side of it. I think she thinks, like everyone else would think, “This is going to get under control, right?”

Who does Madison get to play with a little bit more than last season? Is there anybody that was fun to develop a dynamic with this time around?

I think you’ll see me get to know Strand. I mean, I’m not saying what that means, but you’ll see me sort of navigating my way around him.

How did being at sea treat you? Did you actually spend a lot of time on the water?

We’re shooting in Baja, Mexico, where they have Baja Studios, which was built for the filming of “Titanic.” They also did “All Is Lost” there, and “Master and Commander,” but it has a huge, like a two-acre outdoor water tank that blends with the horizon of the ocean, and it is filled with ocean water. So you’re on the water, obviously, but it’s very contained.

We have a water crew, water safety crew, scuba divers, everybody that does all the moving of the boat, etc. Sometimes we’re in little channels or areas on smaller boats and things like that. So not exactly out on the vulnerable high seas, just because it’s so much more difficult to film there. But we are definitely in the elements.

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Tell me about the whole secrecy element and making sure that you keep things contained and don’t say the wrong thing to the wrong person about what’s happening on the show. Does that weigh heavily on you?

Yeah, I mean, it puts the fear factor in you, that’s for sure. More so first season when there was just so much attention on it. It’s like, you definitely feel a little paranoid at first to not slip up and say anything. I hate that because I don’t mean to be, for the sake of being aloof or anything. But the sad thing is there’s so many people that are looking to spoil, and I think the fans don’t really want spoilers. I mean, I don’t want spoilers in the things I’m watching!

Without getting into spoiler territory, did you feel just right in the challenge and opportunities you got as an actress in the second season?

Yeah, yeah. We get the scripts while we’re filming the episode before, so if I’m filming Episode Six, I’ll get the script for Seven. If I have too much to do that day and the next day, I won’t even get a chance to read it. Some of the other cast members will read it and will be like, “Oh my God. It’s crazy! You’re not going to believe it!”

It’s basically been that, each episode, one after the other, it kind of surprises me just as a reader, as I’m reading. It’s offered plenty of exciting, challenging things for all of us.

This is a franchise that has some pretty passionate fans. What kind of interactions, either in person or through social media, have you had with the show’s fans?

I definitely noticed an uptick in that awareness when I was out in the world. The fans for “The Walking Dead” and “Fear the Walking Dead” are really great. I mean, they’re so passionate. We were doing Comic-Con [International in San Diego] for the first time, and that’s where we first saw the trailer, when we were doing the panel. We saw the trailer for the first time with the audience, so we got a little taste of that then.

It’s kind of surprising to me how many people really love the show. It’s great to see. They will say things on the street, and that’s pretty exciting. On social media, of course, too. It’s been something. It’s nice to know people are watching the show and they like it.

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You have another really exciting project in theaters this summer, working with Tim Burton on “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.” What was that experience like?

It was was incredible to walk around in that world that he created. It was an honor to be invited to do that. I’d never met him or anything. My part is not a big role in the movie, but it was just so exciting to do it and be there. I shot some in Florida and some in England, and the sets and everything are just amazing.

Tim is just a delightful person. For all the odd, dark qualities of his movies and everything, he’s just a delightful, cheery, easy to laugh person, and it was just an honor to work with him.

“Fear the Walking Dead” Season Two premieres April 10 on AMC.

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