Jenna Elfman's entry to Fear the Walking Dead was harder work than the Dharma and Greg alum had first imagined.
The actress, who already boasts an impressive resume, joined the AMC zombie show in its fourth season as a mysterious new character. As she noted in an exclusive interview with ComicBook.com, Elfman was eager to tell deep story about a complex character but never imagined the truly challenging on-set conditions she would battle in doing so. None have proved to be more difficult than Episode 4x04, which called for her character to journey with Alycia Debnam-Carey's Alicia Clark through an abandoned water park in what was really a very cold day.
"Alicia's super fun to work with," Elfman said. "It was really cold. Walking through the water on that first walker kill scene and then climbing the slide and we're all wet. Once you walk through the water, now you're wet, and the wardrobe department has to keep spraying you down and keeping you wet. It was like 30 degrees outside. It was an exceptionally cold season, too. We were outside sixteen hours a day just [shivering]."
Comicbook.com visited the set of Fear the Walking Dead just about two weeks after the filming of Episode 4x04, for this Sunday's episode 4x06, and the temperature just outside of Austin, Texas never reached above 55 degrees while the sun was shining. Two weeks earlier, in colder conditions, stunt personnel had to pile into a small pool covered in zombie make up.
"Those stunt people were in that water freezing for hours," Elfman said. "I thought it was heated up for them. It apparently was warm for just the first hour and then, after that, it was not. They were such pros. They weren't complaining. We were taking bottles like this, filling it up with water, and then handing it to them and they were holding it to warm up their hands!"
The walkers on both Walking Dead shows, however, are always good sports. "And then they're at lunch, we're at catering, and some of them have their faces half falling off and they're trying to get their food through their teeth," Elfman joked.
As for Elfman's character, as the curtain was peeled back in Episode 4x05, seeing her with Garret Dillahunt's John in a remarkable taleo f two post-apocalyptic survivors coming together and splitting apart, the actress promise "a lot more is coming." Fans will get a thorough understanding of the character in Sunday's "Just in Case" episode.0comments
Elfman also went back to the day she decided to join Fear the Walking Dead. "I had actually been wanting a change," Elfman said. "As an artist I wanted to work on something where I could dig into the human condition and as a performer stay in those scenes, stay in those moments, tell those stories. I just put it out there and then they called and said 'Scott Gimple wants to... They want to offer you this role and he wants to talk to you and tell you what the plan is. They're sort of reinventing the show.' I was out of town so Scott and I did a Skype call and he just sort of walked me through my character, her backstory, and where the show's going and why they're bringing Morgan over and the whole thing."
The Walking Dead will return for its ninth season in the fall. Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on AMC. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.