Preparing to crossover from The Walking Dead to Fear the Walking Dead, Morgan Jones actor Lennie James isn't ready to make any comparisons between the two shows but admits there is one thing the sibling series is doing the original show never has.
Speaking to ComicBook.com in an exclusive interview, James discussed why, despite being asked on several occasions, comparing his work on Fear to his years on The Walking Dead as a whole would be a unfair at this point. "I'm very, very, very, very familiar with The Walking Dead," James said. "It isn't just the situation of me leaving one and joining the other. Fear in itself has been relocated. It was in Mexico, it's now in Austin. It's got a new group of writers. It's got new showrunners."
The show's behind-the-scenes overhaul, as well as a few new cast members joining the cast members whose characters are still alive, means Fear is in severely uncharted territory.
"The vast majority of the crew are new crew, so it's a transformation and a change," James said. "Not just for me but for virtually everybody involved, so comparisons at this point are something I'm actively trying to avoid so that I can, as much as is humanly possible, make myself and keep myself open to what this is rather than making comparisons and talking about what it's not."
As for the tones of the show, James admits there is a bit of difference. However, it may not be as drastic as the trailer for Fear the Walking Dead's fourth season let on, framing the show as a much lighter series with significant splashes of comedy.
"I wouldn't say it's a kind of levity because that makes it feel like the serious things aren't serious and that we are going in search of the joke," James said of Fear's fourth season. "I think one of the things that's happening over this season of Fear is we're exploring as wide a canvas of emotions and reactions for situations and inter-planing the characters as much as we possibly can. That includes when they laugh and what makes you laugh in this world and that's not necessarily something that we've explored enough either in Fear or in The Walking Dead and it's certainly something we're exploring over this particular season."
Morgan's journey, in particular, will offer an opportunity to explore his sense of humor -- something The Walking Dead has not taken any shots at.
"With Morgan one of the things I've enjoyed about playing with Morgan is trying to discover his sense of humor because we know what hurts him and we know what angers him," James said. "We know what softens him, we know what draws him in. We're not always sure what makes him laugh and that's one of the things that I'm certainly keen on exploring and I know the writers are, not just for Morgan but for the other characters as well. It's not necessarily that we're taking it lightly but it is that we are exploring all of the emotions including what makes people happy and what makes people laugh."
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on AMC. Fear the Walking Dead will debut its fourth season after The Walking Dead concludes its eighth, at 10 pm ET on April 15. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.