With the release of season 1 of Fear of the Walking Dead, the incredible brand new record-breaking companion series to the TV franchise phenomenon – The Walking Dead, on Blu-ray and DVD on the 7th of December we sat down with star of the show Kim Dickens for a chat.
Kim, whose career spans over 20 years, has starred in some of the biggest America TV series such as House of Cards, Sons of Anarchy and Deadwood as well as Gone Girl alongside Ben Affleck. This new role she’s her playing the lead Madison Clark, a strong independent women whose spirit never seems to break. We sat down with her to talk about the show, the role of women in film and more.
You play Madison Clark, A High School Guidance Counsellor in Fear of the Walking Dead, what made you want to get involved with this spin off to The Walking Dead?
I read the script and I thought the script was incredible. The character was even better. I just thought the character was such a bad ass! Very exciting, it seemed like it would be a very exciting show to work on and I was right. I feel very fortunate that they picked me.
Was the success of The Walking Dead enticing for you?
Yeah you know it was but I honestly didn’t initialling think I would be right for the show. I knew how huge The Walking Dead was, so that wasn’t the only reason that made me want to do it. Once I read the script I felt like ‘oh OK I could play that character’ I wanted to play that character. It was exciting to think about how the stakes were so high with it because you knew The Walking Dead had such an incredible fanbase and that they were going to be looking our way. You just want to do it justice and do it the best you can. I embraced that challenge
Did you have to audition for your part?
I sure did. I first auditioned with Dave Erikson the show runner and Adam Davidson the Director and the casting people. Then I screen tested with Cliff, he flew into Los Angeles from New Zealand. We camera tested and then he flew back to New Zealand.
Madison is quite a strong and independent woman, widowed and raising two kids on her own, she seems to thrive on the fight for survival! Where did you find the inspiration to play the role?
Honestly, I felt like it was just on the page. She was just such a well-drawn woman; she’s tremendous, it was just right there on the page. I had a lot of discussions with Dave and Adam about what we could do with her back story and where she was coming from.
We are seeing more and more of these types of roles for woman, do you think the industry is finally succumbing to female empowerment?
Yeah, I do, it’s shifting hopefully that’s going to stick with a lot more wonderful female characters and female lead casts. It’s drops in the bucket, but the fight isn’t over yet.The fight for that equal representation. Any stereotypes people fight to be depicted realistically and it’s been that way for female’s altogether. They have been very limited to being the Mother, the whore or something that wasn’t scary for the audience, but now women can be scary.
Zombie related films and TV always seem to be popular, Why do you think audiences have a fascination with Zombie’s
I don’t know. Storytelling in film and art is catharsis; I think we like to push the envelope for ourselves and terrify ourselves. Those are the real emotional capacities we have and it’s a safer way to experience it through television and then you can go back to your normal life. I think it’s the thrill. I think it’s also the deeper, there are so many metaphors that the Zombie genre can satisfy. I feel like Zombies basically are our own anxieties whatever they are. There fears of if the Government are going to betray us, The fears we are going to be invaded by terrorists, the fears that we may succumb to an epidemic. They are very legitimate fears we all walk around with. What if society collapses around us!
The show has made it to a second season, what can we expect from season 2?
I wish I knew. I don’t have my script yet! The writers always surprise me, they turn in such amazing scripts each episode so I don’t know. I’m excited to see, I have no idea. The first episode we should have in a few weeks, usually two-three weeks before filming. Then they start coming out while you’re filming one episode. You’ll get it a few days before the next episode starts.
You seem to have a love of drama’s staring in some notable shows and films such as Gone Girl, Sons of Anarchy etc what is it about a drama that sucks you in?
Well, I love comedies; they are mostly my favourite things to watch. I think I just get cast in the dramas. Gone Girl was definitely a satire with comic moments and even Deadwood had comic moments. My very first job was a sit-com, so I don’t know. I imagine I will be in a comedy again at some point. I did another series on HBO that never aired, we did a series with Lily Tomlin which was a comedy. We did about six episodes and then they pulled the plug on us during the writers’ strike. It was really funny though.
You’ve also starred alongside some big Hollywood names, who has been the most inspiring actor to work with?
Wow, what a good question! I really have worked with some great actors. I don’t want to pick one over the other considering I have worked with so many great actors from Ian McShane to Powers Boothe. Working with Lily Tomlin was actually amazing, that was an amazing experience. I’m sorry it didn’t come out. I play a Christian Evangelical who was working on her sex life with her husband. It was really fun. Working with Lily in that show… she was a trailblazer.
What has been your favourite show/film to work on to date?
I really, really had a great time on Gone Girl, I loved the character, I loved Gillian Flynn’s writing. She wrote the screenplay and the novel. I loved working with David Fincher, I loved working with Ben Affleck. I just loved that character so much I got to play it on every one of my breaks. I wish the detectives had their own show or something. I also really loved Deadwood, I have a soft spot in my heart for Deadwood. It was just an incredible experience, the writing and execution of it was just other worldly.
What would you like to work on next in your career?
People ask that a lot and I never know. I just know when it’s the right thing. I would love to have another experience like Gone Girl but I’ll just show up and she what’s the right next thing. Maybe it might be a comedy.
Fear The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season is available on Blu-ray and DVD on 7th December, courtesy of eOne.