"It's so sad, it's been sad. Madison has been an incredible character to play," Dickens told Chris Hardwick on live after show Talking Dead.
"I felt like I worked my whole career to get to this point, to get to play her, and it's been such an honor. And I think she's just like — she's this special character that has pushed through perimeters of female leads in a genre piece and she's complex, she's flawed, she's good, she's bad, she's a mother, she's not in her twenties or thirties, it's unique. And I think it was such an honor to play it."
Dickens said the decision to kill Madison was handed down by newly minted season 4 showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg and a producer, likely former The Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple, who was elevated to chief content officer of the entire Walking Dead brand for AMC ahead of season 4.
"I found out - I spoke to the new showrunners and the producer before going into production this season, and they told me that's where they saw the story going this season, and I was heartbroken, I was devastated," Dickens said.
"From there I went into production and we all sort of knew and sort of gave it our best, gave it our heart."
Of Madison Clark, the longtime de facto leader of a pack that since season 1 included children Nick (Frank Dillane) and Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and ally Victor Strand (Colman Domingo), Dickens reiterated the strength of her character.
"For those reasons, I really feel strongly about that," she said.2comments
"I think when you start, when you inform your show from that place, from that lead, this is a complicated woman with a dark past who has a very strong, good instinct - she's a mother. I think when you start your story, you inform your story from there, it just turns things on their head a little bit. It spins you out with the stories you can tell. It's a bummer."
Fear The Walking Dead returns with the second half of season 4 later this summer on AMC.