Lennie James Describes Transition To 'Fear The Walking Dead'

(Photo: Richard Foreman Jr.)

Jumping from The Walking Dead to its Fear the Walking Dead sibling series is a journey unlike any other which Lennie James has been burdened with accomplishing.

The actor who has played Morgan Jones on AMC's flagship zombie drama jumps from one show to the other following The Walking Dead's Season Eight finale, ideally bringing a new audience to Fear the Walking Dead but also continuing and dramatic and interesting narrative. ComicBook.com visited the set of AMC's Fear the Walking Dead to hear from James about the jump.

"I had a week between the end of seven months in Atlanta and the beginning of seven months in Austin so it's a little bit of a blur and this is usually the time when I'm recovering from seven grueling months and I'm not," James said. "So, it's a little strange but I'm kind of enjoying it, it's exciting. All the reasons I said 'yes' to doing it are kind of here and being manifested, it's exciting, it's a new group of people, it's a different aspect of Morgan and who he's been and what the potential is of who he's gonna- what could happen to him. It's a very weird situation to be in, associated with a character as long as I've been associated with a character and then have that character reborn, in a way."

As welcoming as the cast and crew of Fear the Walking Dead have been, leaving his The Walking Dead family behind was no easy feat. "It was as you'd expect, really," James said. "I mean some of it is stuff I'm obviously not going to tell you and other stuff was... it's a difficult one. That's a hard set to leave because it genuinely is a good bunch of people and it was a place that I enjoyed working, that's why I hung around there for so long. As it's been said over and over again, it's not an easy shoot but it's a fun shoot and most of the reason why it is a fun shoot is that fantastic cast, that fantastic group."

Accepting the challenge was no split-second decision, either. "When the whole thing was suggested, I tried to think of another character in television history who's about to do the journey that my character is being offered and I can't think of one," James said. "If you can it'd be really helpful cause I'd like to find that person and figure out how it all kind of went. But I couldn't think of anybody else, and that in itself what kind of exciting."

What it came down to was the continuation of Morgan's story doing his journey justice. "I mean, it's the only reason I said 'yes' was the expiration of the character," James said. "It wasn't really for any other reason other than what would be the possibilities of bringing Morgan into the heart of a different collection of people, where he had a different set of history and different connections and see who he can end up being. For an actor, having already been associated with a character for eight years, that's a hell of a gift. It's literally very rare. So that was what was exciting."

That story will be quite different by comparison to the one witnessed on The Walking Dead in recent years. As The Walking Dead remains firmly planted in Senoia, Georgia set posing as Alexandria, Virginia, Fear the Walking Dead moves around constantly.


"I think one of the main things that's different here on Fear than on The Walking Dead is this one is much more nomadic," James said. "There's not necessarily, at the moment, there's not really a set. There's not Alexandria. There's no Kingdom. On The Walking Dead particularly at the stage that they're at now it's all about the groups and the groups coming together and the preparation for war. This one is much more sparse. In this part of the Apocalypse people have not banded into groups in the same way and those groups don't have a home. It's much more out on the road."

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.