In Fear the Walking Dead, Kim Dickens plays Madison, a high school guidance counselor who is having trouble relating to her own teenage children. While her daughter is going through the typical teen girl dramas, it’s really Madison’s son who is creating the greatest strife with his drug addictions and the problems that it creates. Adding a live-in boyfriend into the mix, played by Cliff Curtis, who has a son of his own, and one can see how Fear the Walking Dead is already creating a volatile mix.
Dickens, speaking of her Fear the Walking Dead character, says many will be able to relate to her from the very beginning.
“Well, she’s very relatable, you know, I think very warm. Single mother, hard-working, practical, loving, tough, and then turns out she’s a fierce warrior.”
Fear the Walking Dead‘s Robert Kirkman once said that teachers and guidance counselors are best equipped for a zombie apocalypse and that’s something Ms. Dickens feels is accurate.
“I think it’s pretty clever. You’re navigating a lot of stuff, especially with teenagers, you know what I mean? And on a daily basis you’re trying to help people and you’re thinking quickly and you’re not a sucker for anything. We started filming in the schools,” said Kim. “Those were our first scenes to shoot and I thought that was really helpful for all of us to sort of ground us in who the characters really were before the apocalypse.”
Dickens says that Fear the Walking Dead isn’t just about zombies. Kim says that there’s also a theme of being forced to deal with our fears and anxieties, beyond dealing with the undead.
“It’s about survival. It’s about our fears and anxieties, and it’s about who we become. I remember, there’s a line from Deadwood actually that David Milch had written, and I can’t quote it exactly, but it was something about how each day takes learning all over how to be,” Fear the Walking Dead‘s Dickens said. “I think that’s the truth for all of us, and especially when you get to explore that in an apocalyptic show.”
Even so, there is action in Fear the Walking Dead, and Dickens reveals what it has been like to get into it with the show’s zombies.
“Oh, I’m enjoying the action part. That’s so fun. It’s just a new kind of challenge, and you know. But we’ve been able to do most of our stunts because they play so real. We get trained a little bit in the moments through the choreography of it and then we’re thrown in to do it and it becomes sort of real. But I was pretty unscathed yesterday. We get a little padding. I think I have a bruise from yesterday, that’s it. You know, so it’s pretty good.”
Fear the Walking Dead premieres on Sunday, August 23, on AMC.
[Featured image: Kim Dickens courtesy of AMC/Fear the Walking Dead]