All Out War – Ross Marquand, Austin Amelio and Tom Payne (The VH Interview)

As tensions rise between communities in The Walking Dead, we sat down with stars Ross Marquand, Austin Amelio and Tom Payne to discuss life in post-apocalyptic wartime, and where the heck all these paths are leading…

Tom, the fight with you and Lennie (James) earlier this season was bloody brilliant. How was filming that for you?

Tom: Knackering! But it was fun. I really looked forward to that, first of all working with Lennie, and secondly it was a really nice dynamic that hadn’t really existed on the show; to have two people that kinda knew what they were doing have a fight. But Jesus is trying not to hurt him, and Morgan’s trying to kill him. But generally all the fights end up on the floor, and it was really scrappy, so it was really fun to show the work and the effort that we put in and have a fight with a different dynamic. It was very hot, and very tiring. We had our stunt doubles there, but we both did as much as we could, which was pretty much all of it! There were a couple of times where you were shooting the other person’s stuff, so we had one of the stunt doubles do some of the off-camera stuff, just so that we could have a rest. Lennie bashed his knee at one point and I started seeing stars. We did it. We really did the fight!

It’s been interesting watching this almost reversal of character between Morgan and Jesus, where Jesus was initially out for revenge and Morgan didn’t want to hurt anyone. Now it’s the other way around.

Tom: Well, Jesus has never really been “Kill everyone!”, he’s always been more thoughtful about stuff. He could’ve just killed Rick and Daryl when he first met them, but he didn’t ‘cause he knew that they weren’t gonna be dangerous. He’s very good at assessing situations. Having said that, when we’re leading all The Saviours back, me as Tom was like “wow, these are some pretty scary dudes!”. But it made sense to me. And I think Maggie, without the loss of Glenn, would be the same. I think that’s what Jesus sees in her; he totally understands that her husband was brutally murdered in front of her, and she is struggling with that the whole time. He sees that she doesn’t want to kill all of them. He understands the sense in having them all at The Hilltop. It’s a tough decision, but the choice to keep them alive… I keep being told that I’m gonna die soon because he’s the moral centre…

No, ‘cause you two have got to get together now that Eric’s out of the way!

Ross: (laughs) Out of the way?! We’ll see… That’s been teased for such a long time, I think it would almost be the easy choice…

Happens in the comics…

Tom: But waaaay down the line in the comics…

Ross: A lot of things happen in the comic that don’t happen in the show…

And vice-versa…

Tom: Carl’s alive in the comics…

Reeeeally??

Tom: Alive and kickin’

On the topic of comic changes, Ross, I have to ask, what’s so important about Oceanside? Or is Aaron simply trying to find somewhere to direct his grief at the moment?

Ross: Oh, no! I think Oceanside have already proven themselves to be very strong fighters. I think he also feels bad. That’s the way I’ve played the character. I wasn’t directed to play that way, but as myself reading the story, I thought it was messed up what we did to those women! Going into a compound of women who lost their men, lost all their boys, I thought it was insane going in there saying “Now we know about you, we’re taking your guns.” That was awful. So, for me, I tried to instil that into the character and say that he’s doing this, not only because he believes in them as fighters, but also because he needs to give back to them. He needs to give them an opportunity to get their guns back, and to give them something to fight for, to seek retribution on people that killed their loved ones. That’s a pretty damn good reason!

Austin, you’ve had quite a ride with Dwight over the last couple of seasons. What’s been the highlight for you?

Austin: One of my favourite moments was the one where I go to look for Sherry in the house. It was something different, going down the character’s rabbit hole, going back through his history. I enjoy when the show does that, kind of peeling off and going back into the character’s history. We don’t get to see that very often.

And will we find Sherry?

Austin: I hope so, man! I’m banking on it! That’s the whole premise of my character, so hopefully!

Are we gonna have a scene with all three of you guys together again any time soon? ‘Cause Austin, you’re back at The Sanctuary now, Ross, you’re picking up Enid’s pieces, and Tom, you’re… on a supply run…? It feels like you haven’t been on-screen together in forever!

Ross: We can shoot some right now if you want! I think there’s a distinct chance that you’ll see a merging of all these worlds by the end of this season.

Tom: Because there has to be…

Austin: That’s all we can really say, right?

Ross: Yeah. It’s the war. The war is coming, and the culmination of that is…

Tom: Everyone fighting each other!

Ross: Yeah. So there’s a good chance that’ll happen!

The Walking Dead, Mondays at 9pm, only on FOX