Making an exit from Fear the Walking Dead was no easy feat for the show's star.
Spoilers for Fear the Walking Dead Episode 4x08 follow. Major spoilers!
Madison Clark had been a staple of Fear the Walking Dead since its first episode. When Travis Manawa was killed in the Season Three premiere, it was clearly her show, with Kim Dickens being number one on the call sheet. However, as the Mid-Season Four finale would reveal, Dickens' days were numbered with the series as Madison went down in flames. Dickens revealed her reaction to the heartbreaking news in an exclusive interview with ComicBook.com.
"I went in for a meeting with the producer and the showrunners, about a month before we went into production of Season Four and they sort of break the season for you," Dickens said. "That's what happens before you go into production. They sort of lay it out for you and they told me that the story they plotted out involved Madison's demise in the Mid-Season finale. That's the first I had heard of it and I was definitely surprised by that and disappointed."
Of course, an accomplished actress, Kim Dickens knows how these stories go. "It's ultimately up to the producers and the writers and certainly AMC signs on with it," Dickens said. "The stories are pitched to AMC and they sort of pride themselves on giving over to their creative vision and that was the story that they wanted to tell. It's a story that is definitely bold and it's a story that will certainly propel the other characters during the story off into the stratosphere really, that's what these deaths serve is to propel the lives of the other characters as well."
Still, it was a bitter pill to swallow." It's a no one's safe environment," Dickens points out. "That said, that moment when I heard I was terribly disappointed, you know I really hung my hat on this character, I loved her so much and I was so proud and honored to be this fierce leader and this amazing Walking Dead universe."
The last scene Dickens would shoot on Fear the Walking Dead was actually the first scene of her final episode.
"The last thing I shot was the opening sequence with Maggie [Grace] when we were out in the woods and I shoot her cup of noodles, that was the last sequence we shot," Dickens said. "It wasn't intended to be that way but we had to shut down production when there was very high wind, that opening sequence got pushed in the end of the schedule but it worked out though for some reason it was this really fun to shoot that last. I had such a great time working with Maggie and that's the only time I got to work with her in the season. That was fun, it was interesting to shooting the very first thing, last but it was fun. I loved that sequence it was really. I felt like I got Madison back, you know her unhinged wild side and was really creatively simulating to get to play all those different aspects to Madison especially in the last day."
While Nick Clark had died in a previous episode, the character portrayed by Frank Dillane was still appearing on Fear the Walking Dead in its "BEFORE" timeline. With the "BEFORE" scenarios expiring in the Mid-Season Four finale, it meant Episode 4x08 was also Dillane's last.
"We're obviously a very close cast and I knew some of Frank's desires," Dickens said. "I knew some of Frank's desires and how that was going to work out and they were going to make that work I didn't know how that was going to happen. So we were all sort of in that first half of the season we were all sort of dealing with the fact we would be two of us from the original gang would be moving on."
The Walking Dead will return for its ninth season in the fall. Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on AMC. It will return for the second half of its fourth season in August. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.