Singer-actor Ruben Blades, who will appear on AMC's "Fear the Walking Dead" this summer, discussed his love of "The Walking Dead" comics, why his character is better equipped to face the collapse of order than the others, the tough questions the series poses and more during an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
"I'm playing Daniel Salazar, a person who immigrated to the U.S. from Central America, and is a barber, and has a past that is exposed because of what happens in the context of this, I don't know what to call it, this 'situation,'" Blades explained. "Salazar has a lot of previous knowledge of chaos and mayhem and destruction collapse of order. The others don't have that because they have been pretty much a product of the United States under a certain level of order, and Salazar comes from a situation where he has seen it happen under different circumstances -- political, but nevertheless bloody and violent. So he's a product of that, and he moves in a different way, and he understands these things clearer, faster than the others. So he has a certain advantage in that, but not that much."
"[The series] also poses very serious questions as to what would happen if everything that we take for granted that is a structure that supports our freedoms and our everyday routines would collapse? How would people react when not forced by law and by consequences to behave a certain way? What would we do? And that is a very important question. In this country, it doesn't have the urgency that it has right now in Syria, for instance, or Darfur, or anywhere in the world where people's lives have changed dramatically because of sudden change -- in this case political change," he continued.
"I don't know how much I can spoil or talk about certain things, but for people who pay attention, there are a lot of firsts here," he revealed. "I wish I could tell you some of the firsts. The thing is also, we don't understand what's happening. So we just are reacting to a situation that we don't understand completely. We don't know what's going on, really. We don't know whether this is just going on temporary or whether this is something that can be reversed. So it's very difficult to act when the total collapse does not occur. The collapse of authority has occurred, but not the apparent morality paradigms. You still have a problem shooting somebody who looks like you, but they look weird. You see these weird people following you -- do you shoot them? Maybe they're just acting weird. You should defend yourself, but how far should you go?"
As to the Image Comics series "The Walking Dead" that the show spins out of, Blades shared, "I was very familiar with it. I collect comic books so I have the books. Now the books are different than the show itself. I like the books. I found the comics to be more in tune with what the author envisioned." Of the show, he added that he'd seen "a couple of seasons. But I'm up to date on the comics."
When asked to name his favorite character from the comics, Blades said, "Rick Grimes, because of his vulnerability obviously, Carl, because he's really ballsy, then Michonne. I really like her. You sort of discover things about each one. And this guy Jesus -- I think of him as a samurai. Everybody has something ... well, except for some of the people who are not nice. Even this guy Negan is an interesting guy, kind of difficult to categorize. He's done horrible things, but then again there are no rules, and then he didn't hurt others when he could've, like Carl. You don't know which way he's gonna go, and I don't believe anything he says. It's really interesting because you follow the group and then some of them are gone, as in real life people are gone."
Premiering August 23, "Fear the Walking Dead" was co-created by Robert Kirkman and Dave Erickson. The series stars Blades, Kim Dickens, Cliff Curtis, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Mercedes Mason and more.