Fear the Walking Dead Star Addresses LGBTQ Romance

Fear the Walking Dead star Maggie Grace says there's something "really beautiful" about the surprise romance between Althea and newcomer Isabelle (Sydney Lemmon), a hostile-turned-ally who formed a fast but strong bond with Al that culminated in a goodbye kiss.

"I loved the character that the storyline was with, and how tentatively it was earned," Grace told TV Insider.

"Given the recent experience of these characters since the fall of society and before, it's not so easy to trust, right? So it was interesting finding those moments where they see each other in spite of themselves. I loved that it wasn't too overwritten. They felt their way through."

The episode, which uncovered new details behind the CRM outfit later responsible for the disappearance of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), saw an initially stoic Isabelle admit to Al over fireside beers, "I would have much rather met you before all of this. Or maybe whatever it's gonna be after."

"There were a couple different drafts, and I'm glad they went with that one. It felt right," Grace said.

"That moment was really special to me, because it feels like they're both acknowledging the lives they could've had. They mention it, briefly, by the campfire — there's the people they've become, and the people they could've been, together. The moment when she finally tells her her name and that she's from Indiana, that was really beautiful to me."

Al follows Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) as Fear's second prominent LGBTQ character, and Grace is glad her character's sexuality is not a "big deal."

"Because we're dealing with a post-society world, I personally think it becomes a different conversation," she said. "I don't see social convention or labels mattering much to these people, in these circumstance. [Laughs] Does that make sense?"

Her encounter with Isabelle taught Al to be more open: ironically, the journalist curious about the stories of everyone she meets shares little of her own.

"I think there's something really beautiful about that, that I think to Al, it's something of a miracle to meet anyone in this world that you can come to recognize that deeply, and trust that quickly, and identify with so strongly in such a short time," Grace said.

"That it happens to be a woman is not the big deal. The big deal is meeting someone at all, in this world. I don't think people are that worried about labels or social conventions around whom they care about."

New episodes of Fear the Walking Dead Season 5 premiere Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.