Warning: this story contains spoilers for Sunday's The Walking Dead: World Beyond, "Who Are You?" Pollyanna McIntosh's Jadis is touching back down on Walking Dead ahead of schedule. Moments after a Civic Republic Military helicopter airlifted Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) away from The Walking Dead, chief content officer Scott Gimple announced Rick's story would continue in a series of feature films. Jadis ended up a passenger aboard that fateful flight heading for movie theaters, but in a jolt to the Walking Dead Universe, McIntosh makes a surprise return as CRM Warrant Officer Stokes on spin-off The Walking Dead: World Beyond.
We went to McIntosh for intel on Jadis's return as a CR military cop, her half-season stopover on the final season of The Walking Dead: World Beyond, and to find out if the movies are like Rick's fate: up in the air. In the debrief below, the Walking Dead star speaks for the first time about crossing over into the two-season spin-off and landing on World Beyond before the Rick Grimes movies.
"Who Are You?"
ComicBook: The title of episode six asks, "Who Are You?" Who is Jadis six years later?
Pollyanna McIntosh: She has found her purpose once more. She has found her community, and she is a leader once again, and hoping to continue upwards with her leadership level. And she's someone who's very passionate about the world having the capability and possibilities it once has. And I think she's just as driven, and manipulative, and egotistical, and amused by the world, and fun essentially, I'd say too. I'd say yes, she has fun.prevnext
What Comes After "What Comes After"
PM: Yeah, I did miss her, but what's so cool about being part of this universe is that you get to interact with the fans. And as long as they remember her, she's still sort of around. So I have great conversations with people often about Jadis and about The Walking Dead. And so it doesn't feel like it was that long ago, but it's good to be back.prevnext
Landing World Beyond
CB: If you can talk about how Jadis landed on World Beyond before the movies — was that always in Scott Gimple's plans for you and your character?
PM: I know that Gimple had wanted to see Jadis continue in some form or another. And I think he just really found the right fit here along with [Walking Dead: World Beyond co-creator and showrunner] Matt [Negrete] as they're exploring this new world. So it worked great for me on the timing. I think we've been... We're all hoping that these movies happen as well and certainly they will, but who wants to wait for that? Let's get on with it. Let's go to World Beyond, and play with this awesome cast and crew, and give the fans some Rick hints and some old-school The Walking Dead world characters. So I was really thrilled with the way it worked out, and I hope that... I'm just excited to see what people think as we move forward because this is just the beginning.prevnext
Secrets and Spoilers
CB: Scott Gimple was secretive even with the writer's room about the helicopter and what it would mean for The Walking Dead. When you joined the show in Season 7, how much of Jadis's future was pitched out to you?
PM: Oh gosh, not at all. I mean, I joined as a recurring guest. So for that first season, it was... We were all, me, and [Tamiel actor] Sabrina [Gennarino], and [Brion actor] Tom [Francis Murphy], we were all looking at each other like, "Oh, are we going to get to do more? Are we going to get to do more? Look at this set. This set's amazing. They built this huge set. We could get to stay a bit longer." But you don't want to put that out there in your mind in this universe because anyone can go anytime. So I was just glad for every episode I could do, and then when I got asked to be a regular, I was thrilled.
PM: So yeah, I knew about five months before I left the show [in "What Comes After"] what was going to happen, and that was a big old secret to keep. And that there would be some continuation in some form for her. But that was all I had, I didn't know about the CRM, that's for sure. And I didn't know about helicopters until the fandom started going, "Isn't that a helicopter in the background, helipad in the background of [the junkyard]? The piece of footage of Rick at the junkyard, what's that about? Isn't that a helicopter in the sky?" It wasn't until then that I started going, "What are they up to?"prevnext
New World on World Beyond
CB: You've played three very different versions of your character. There's Jadis of the Scavengers, Anne of Alexandria, and now Warrant Officer Stokes of the CRM. She's an "ambitious survivor" with the swagger of a military cop. Is this the real Jadis, or more of what she calls "the theater that helps you survive?"
PM: I think Jadis is always a little theatrical. She's always fighting to survive. Not just as best she can, but with the most fun and in the most easy way. So it's a really good question, but I'd say this, Jadis is an amalgamation of the previous two Jadis. It's kind of both of those sides of her coming together, but definitely what Anne went through in Alexandria has really affected how she connects now. And she doesn't go for friends so much anymore. She has had heart, but she's not trying to fit in anywhere anymore. She tried that and it didn't work, so she's going to be herself, and she's going to move forward. And I think they've given some really fun stuff to play with in this new world of World Beyond for her. So without saying anything about what's to come, I had a lot of fun.
CB: Speaking of friends, Jadis says she gave the CRM something "very valuable" for her new life. What does this tell us about what happened to Jadis and Rick after that helicopter flight?
PM: Well, I think one of the wonderful things about the way The Walking Dead Universe works is that you get little pieces, you get to chew on them, you get to think about them, you get to imagine yourself. Often when I'm talking to fans, and they say, "What does this mean? What happened here?" I say, "Well, what do you think?" and some of their theories are even more interesting than the truth. So I think you can take it in your own way and imagine what you would want Rick to have gone through or done, or reacted or however, in this world that Jadis is talking about. But I like that they put in that line about him being very valuable because Jadis did care about Rick, and respected the hell out of him, and appreciated what he'd done for her. So, yeah, when she says "valuable," she doesn't just mean to the CRM.
The Untitled Walking Dead Movie
CB: Have you heard when you might shoot the Walking Dead Movie?
PM: I'm just excitedly waiting like the rest of the fans to see what the delivery's going to be and when we're going to get to see it. So it would be fun to be involved. And Mr. Gimple has said it would make sense for Jadis to be there, but the wonderful world of The Walking Dead is ever moving forward, so we'll see. But yeah, I don't have anything to report on, unfortunately, just general excitement. And I'm so pleased that the fans at least get this storyline now get to see her and get to hear about him, and that's... We definitely will want to see him eventually. We want to see him. So any signs of Rick are a good thing to the fandom, I think.prevnext
The Last Light of the World
CB: You've said you don't see Jadis as a villain but as a survivor and a leader. Now you're playing Warrant Officer Stokes and Jadis is serving her purpose with the CRM, who are villains. Has your stance changed at all on your character?
PM: No, I still feel the same way. One of the reasons I did that hilarious haircut on her is because I think she sees herself as Joan of Arc. Someone who sees the truth and wants what's best for humanity. And she may have to go through some stuff, and some others may have to go through some stuff to reach it, but that's her purpose and that's her intention is for a better world for everyone.
New Best Friends
CB: You're new to World Beyond, but your character has a history with Jennifer (Annet Mahendru) and Elizabeth (Julia Ormond). What was it like for you, as an actor, to cross over into another Walking Dead show where Jadis is already part of this mythology?
PM: It was so much fun. So much fun. And I loved the young cast, and it was just a great mix of people. And I was excited to work with Julia Ormond as well. I really respect her, she's a huge talent, and I've admired her work for years. So yeah, just to go and get a chance to catch up on the first season of The Walking Dead: World Beyond as well and see what they're doing differently over there. And I mean, it was very cool. It was also very cool to be in Richmond, Virginia, because I never spent a lot of time in Virginia before, and Richmond is such a cool city. And I actually met a lot of local people, and made good friends, and joined some organizations there that we're doing homeless relief, and it was really cool. So yeah, I feel like the luckiest lass around getting to enter this new universe in this wonderful place.
Warrant Officer Jadis Stokes
CB: Gabriel trusted Anne. He believed she changed and forgave her as she tried to feed him to a walker as her "price of admission" into the Civic Republic. So what does it mean that Jadis takes Gabriel's last name of Stokes?
PM: I think she's not going to give too much away about herself, so why not? Why not take a different name? And I believe she did love Gabriel, and I believe she respected him. But I also think there's a certain irony in it where she won't forget that she crossed him and that she did those things as part of her journey. And so I think it's a kind of nod for her to remember him, but also to remember how that went. I don't think she's wanting to find another boyfriend anytime soon. It's too complicated.
The End of The Walking Dead: World Beyond
CB: Episodes 6 and 7 put into motion a plot that could mean an explosive ending for World Beyond. What can you say about these remaining episodes and episode 10, the series finale?
PM: It just really ramps up. And I think I really enjoyed watching them. I think that people are going to have a really good time with it. I think it respects these characters we've grown to love on this show, and I get to have all sorts of fun. So yeah, a lot of excitement, a lot of ramping up, and more relationships, which is a delight to watch as well.
Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD and stay tuned to ComicBook's coverage all season long. New episodes of TWD: World Beyond Season 2 premiere Sundays on AMC and AMC+.prev