Fear the Walking Dead continued its streak of great episodes on Sunday night, this time focusing Episode 6x03 on Althea and Dwight's journey in Texas. The characters have their own friendship which has been fun to watch grow but the episode also came with some powerful moments outside of their bond. Not to mention, Dwight actor Austin Amelio and Al actress Maggie Grace would put through some intense sequences on the Fear the Walking Dead set to bring to life some claustrophobic, rat-filled scenes. Amelio caught up with ComicBook.com to take a deep dive into the episode.
Spoilers for Fear the Walking Dead Episode 6x03 follow. Major spoilers!
Al and Dwight's relationship carried Episode 6x03's emotional core through most of its runtime. The Colman Domingo-directed episode put the two in a difficult situation, learning to rely on and trust each other in tough situations and with important information. Dwight was faced with a choice of attempting to rescue himself or help Al on a mission he could not carry out with his own wife, ultimately showing a willingness to give his own life for someone else's greater good.
"At that point it's just like he had totally given up," Amelio says. "It was sort of the mission for all the characters, but it's just like do good for someone else. And so I think it was like this Diehard trying to follow through with that, whatever it took."
Then, the moment Dwight had been longing for: a reunion with his lost wife Sherry. "I think with any sequence that has emotional weight it all depends on sort of where you're at on the day," Amelio says. "There's so many influences that go into what's going to happen with you as a person emotionally and I had been looking for her for so long."
Check out the full, uncut interview with Amelio below!
Season 6 Changes
ComicBook.Com: Three episodes into Fear Season 6, it just feels like something fresh and new. What sort of things have changed this year? Is the cast having some collaborative input with the writers? Is anything different with the anthology format? What kind of changes have you experienced?
Austin Amelio: Well, I think that is what's different is the anthology format. And that's what I think feels more fresh because you get one or two characters per episode and you sort of really get to dive in to their history and it gives you time to sort of be in the relationship and be with the characters instead of hopping from one person to the next, to the next, to the next. So I think that's what the anthology series does, at least for me, that's the feeling I get.
CB: Yeah. It feels like we're just getting to know people instead of everybody fighting for screen time and it works really well.
AA: Yeah. It just feels like more character driven instead of like exposition, exposition, exposition, exposition.
CB: Do you get to interact with more people as the season goes on or do you kind of stay on your island outside the camp? What has it been like?
AA: I get to interact with more people, for sure. Yeah, I do. It's not as big as The Walking Dead. The show is not as big. So you definitely get to have some more mashups, I think, with our cast.prevnext
Al & Dwight's Adventure
CB: I love the relationship with Dwight and Al, it really felt like it hit a really cool stride in Episode 6x03. You and Maggie Grace seemed to be having a blast with that. Would you say that Al is Dwight's best friend these days?
AA: In that, yeah. The job that they're doing, it's sort of their mission that they're on is they've been clearing hundreds of these sort of pinpoints and locations and we wanted to make it feel like there was this brother/sister relationship and it felt like that to me. And that was also our first episode back over the hiatus and it's not like we've actually gone out and cleared areas together. So we really wanted to make it feel like something special and that they had a deep relationship.
CB: You guys climbed through a wall on pipes, burst through a wall, crawled with rats... Were there any kind of crazy sets to design for you guys to have to pull off those kinds of sequences?
AA: Yeah. When we're crawling through it, the rats and all that, that was all done in studio and having rat trainers there, whatever you want to call them, were letting 50 to 75 rats out in the tunnel that you had to crawl through it's just...
I don't care what you tell me about the rats, I don't want to do that. Oh, they're nice, black rats.
CB: Just when you thought you'd been through it all after spending months in the woods with ticks and bugs and on The Walking Dead and then you get the rats in the hallway on Fear.
AA: Yeah. The other thing is the people that do the set dressing and make all these towns and stuff that we go to, they do such a phenomenal job and it's real interesting to see what they use and what material they use for these sets. And when Al puts her hands through that wall that just sort of disintegrates, I don't know, it's real cool. I forgot what they used for that, but it was like some food. Oh, it was mashed potatoes. That's what it was.prevnext
CB: Speaking to the rats, we do see in the episode that Dwight had the bubonic plague from the rats. After that's revealed, he's still committed to the mission. It seemed like he was ready to die to help out, in the moment thinking Sherry was gone forever, because he just was at peace with where he ended up. Would you say that's accurate? Was Dwight ready to let go if that plague got the best of him?
AA: Yeah, I think so. At that point it's just like he had totally given up. It was sort of the mission for all the characters, but it's just like do good for someone else. And so I think it was like this Diehard trying to follow through with that, whatever it took.
CB : Dwight is a character who, when we first met him on Walking Dead, he was very closed off. Slowly, he's opened up and become a better version of himself.I don't know if losing Sherry or the thought of never having Sherry again might've contributed to that. When she comes back, what kind of version of Dwight now do you think we'll see now that he's got what he was looking for?
AA: Oh man, I don't even want to spoil it for you. I don't know. I don't know. You've got to keep watching because things start happening with him because of her, some things that are good, some things they're bad.
That's all I'll say.
CB: When did you find out that the Sherry reunion would be coming and that Christine would be coming back to Fear?
AA: I can't remember exactly when, but it was before we started filming that I found out and I was really excited because I obviously had been looking for her for a long time on the show, so I'm glad it paid off and she was able to come back because a lot of the times people are just are so busy and they're doing other things, you can't get the schedules right. And so it worked out nicely.prevnext
CB: The music that went into the Sherry/Dwight sequence, the way it was shot with the camera in front of you as you're running down the alley and then you guys meet, you embrace each other. I loved it. I thought it was really well done. Can you just talk about the experience of shooting that sequence with so much emotional weight that has to be delivered?
AA: Yeah. I think with any sequence that has emotional weight it all depends on sort of where you're at on the day. There's so many influences that go into what's going to happen with you as a person emotionally and I had been looking for her for so long. I just didn't want to put too much pressure on myself in regards to like, well, am I supposed to be crying or am I supposed to be...
I just wanted it to be what it is and I did see the episode and it f-cking made me cry and I think it was because Colman's directing and for me it's always the music. The music always is kind of a cherry on top. And I thought that Colman's choice for that was really great.prevnext
CB: I don't think you and I have talked since the issue of the comics published where Dwight was killed by Rick. I wanted to get your reaction if you've heard that death or read that book or anything, what did you think of Dwight's finale in the comics?
AA: I mean, it all happens so differently...I mean, we do follow the comics, but then things will happen, the story changes, but it sucks because one, you're out of a job, you know? But then it's also the act of putting in a ton of effort over all of these years, you want the deaths to pay off.
You want it to be sort of this epic thing just because it's like, well, I put six years of my life into the show, let's make it something that's not just looked over and easy to forget.
CB: Do you keep in touch with any of the folks from TWD? Have you been in touch with like Jeff or Norman or Andy, anybody who kind of welcomed you into the show, the franchise?
AA: Absolutely, man. All those dudes. I think I just talked to Norman yesterday. I talked to Jeffrey, Steven Ogg. Andy, he's out doing his own thing. I haven't talked to him, but yeah. Steven Yeun just came out for a little bit. I really love all those guys, so yeah, we try and keep in contact.
CB: This is all hypothetical, but do you guys ever think about whether there could be like the Infinity War of it all where everything comes together for one final story and everybody who is still here gets to reunite to kind of wrap up this saga that we've been following for so many years?
AA: I mean, yeah. There's, there's always speculation. All the actors are always trying to guess what's going to happen.
I have no idea how they'll wrap it up, but they are wrapping The Walking Dead up, so I imagine they're going to start trying to tie things together.
I don't know what that looks like or what that means, but something happens.prevnext
Comic Book Talk
CB: This is my last question, actually. We love superheroes at ComicBook.com and a lot of The Walking Dead universe cast members have taken roles in like Marvel, DC, other comic book titles. Are you a fan of that sort of stuff? Do you have a character who hasn't been played or just a franchise you think is really fun to follow that you've looked at it and been like, 'You know what, I think it'd be cool to join that story or play that character?'"
AA: Yeah. I mean, obviously there's dream roles that you're sort of like, f-ck, I wish I could play that, I could do that real bad. For me, that's the Joker.
But I don't know. Normally when you get a role or you get in a film or something like that, it sort of lines up with what's happening in your life. So I don't really try and take the wheel on any of that stuff.
Normally I'm just like, if it's meant to be, it's meant to be, if it's not, then it's not, and sort of go from there.prev