***The following interview contains spoilers for 7.05***
On tonight’s episode of Fear the Walking Dead
, “Till Death,” Sherry (Christine Evangelista) and Dwight (Austin Amelio) are the latest survivors to visit Strand (Colman Domingo)’s tower. Like others before them, the couple are skeptical of Victor’s leadership. In an exclusive interview, SciFi Vision talked about the episode with Christine Evangelista, the actress who has played Sherry in the TWD
franchise since 2015.
“I think Sherry comes into this highly sensitive and alert,” Evangelista explained, “given what happened to her in the past and how deeply affected she was by it…I think it's just this very visceral gut reaction to say that this is not right. This is not the person that we thought that we knew, and something's happening here and we have our guard up. Yes, it is this safe haven for these people, when the outside world is so deadly, but so was the Sanctuary.”
Strand wants Sherry and Dwight to track someone down, but when they catch up with Mickey (guest star Aisha Tyler), the Dark Horses have a change of heart.
“This is Sherry's first friend,” Evangelista pointed out, “a female friend, and the two of them have so much in common and find real comfort in each other. I think it was a really beautiful, very special relationship.”
Much of the episode was about Sherry “leaning into her vulnerability,” she said, “and really embracing her feminine side, dare I say, thinking about future and family and love and just being vulnerable again and admitting that she didn’t know what she was doing.
“…Mickey is looking for her husband and we know how long Sherry did that also. So, there were a lot of very meaningful but identifiable parts of this relationship for Sherry that really helped her. I think it was very special.”
Evangelista also talked about the Western elements of the episode, the promise of Padre, shooting the walker bloodbath in the wrestling ring, and more. Read the entire interview below and watch Fear the Walking Dead
Sunday nights on AMC.
SCIFI VISION: For a couple of weeks now, fans have been wondering if Victor is turning into another Governor or another Negan, and Sherry and Dwight put it right out there, but Sherry seems a little more pragmatic about Victor. I wonder if you could talk about where her mind is at, where she stands on the past trauma of the Sanctuary and possibly joining with Victor.
I think Sherry comes into this highly sensitive and alert, given what happened to her in the past and how deeply affected she was by it. So, instinctually, she walks around and she sees that something is not right about this, something about his behavior, the behavior of the people that she sees within the tower. I think it's just this very visceral gut reaction to say that this is not right. This is not the person that we thought that we knew, and something's happening here, and we have our guard up. Yes, it is this safe haven for these people, when the outside world is so deadly, but so was the Sanctuary. So, I think they know that everything comes at a price, and I think that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and I think Sherry sees that for sure with Strand.There's a point where Dwight and Sherry suggest that Mickey might be better off with Strand. Then, of course, when push comes to shove, Sherry's about to call Strand for help when it looks like they can't beat the walkers. So, I feel like maybe she's a little more pragmatic than Dwight. I don't know how you see them as a couple.
Yeah, I think that Dwight was on his way to go to Strand, and Sherry didn't want to do that. I think when she was literally, physically cornered and put in no other position, she thought, “Who else could I call?” And it was then that Dwight came back and said, “You were right; there is something wrong here. This is not the right place to go.” And thankfully, in that moment, Dwight came to their aid. There's a constant tug of war with these characters; can we venture out on our own? We don't know who's survived the bombing. We don't know where to go; we don't know where it's safe to even breathe. So, there's this constant plight of, do we go back to this one thing that we know of, but we would be sacrificing our integrity but even potentially our safety in that also. So, I think this is a constant struggle between all these characters, between somewhere safe and somewhere evil.
This is all set against the backdrop of the Dark Horses, of Dwight and Sherry becoming the Dark Horses. There's such an element of Fear the Walking Dead that's really a Western, and Dwight and Sherry have become vigilantes, and they have this code. Sherry's such a different person in some ways than when she was reintroduced with the mask and with a vendetta against Ginny (Colby Minifie). Does Dwight do that for her? Or does she do that for Dwight?
I love that you noted that it was a Western. That was so much of the tone of the episode. Upon [being] given the script, we saw this as a spaghetti western. Watching Sergio Leone movies like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
, so much of that was in our conversation before we even started filming it. And we were so lucky to have Lennie [James] directing the episode, because he knows it so well. But we were able to have fun with it and have these very, again, spaghetti western-style tonalities but also the physicalities. I don't know if you noticed the dismount that Sherry and Dwight would have with their horses; everything was very stylized and very rehearsed, literally. We would go out on the horses and find this very cool way to physically dismount off of the horses just to give them this identity, this whole new identity the two of them have. So, the music, everything about this was so much leaning into that, and I really loved it. It helped so much with this whole new mission that they have, these characters that they're playing. And so creating a whole new identity for these characters was very exciting.Did you ride before Fear?
No, definitely. I did not before Fear
. Maybe a couple of times in my life I've ridden, on vacation or something. So, there was a lot of riding in prep for this episode - for the whole season, really, because they're so dependent on these horses as the Dark Horses. And I have to say, I've ridden a bit last season, but this season with these particular horses, and as much as we've done with them, I am so close to my horse. I'm such a horse person now. The horse that I ride on the show, his name's Bob. He's twenty years old, and he has been just my best friend throughout the season. This horse hits his mark more than most people hit their mark. In fact, today, I go to set today, and I'm on the horse quite a lot. So, that's been really leaning into this whole western style. It's been very exciting for me, as an actress, to do this, because I've never done something like this before.This is probably the first-ever Western that has a professional wrestling scene. It's one of the most amazing zombie scenes, I think, in the series. What was that like to shoot? Was it as fun to shoot as it was to watch?
Yes. I remember when we first saw the set. We were there for a long time. There were a few days shooting in and out of that real gym that actually exists, and it was so much fun, that fight scene. In fact, it was so fun that they literally added another day of shooting, where we were just doing stunts all day. And for me, I consider myself athletic,,, and I've never had the chance to do as much stunt work as I have on this episode. They would give us a note like, “Okay, I'm gonna jump through the ropes on the side; I'm going to land and do a three-kill zombie thing.” And at some point, we were taking requests. People would be like, “Okay, do this with the chair!” Or like, “We really want this to happen.” And the writers were like, "Okay, how about this?" It was just an entire additional day that was not on the schedule, just the stunt work, because it was so much fun. Yeah, we were really creative. You could do an entire episode, I think, of just fight scenes. I haven't seen it yet, so I don't even know what they used.Aisha Tyler plays Mickey, the professional wrestler. I've seen her so many times on The Talking Dead; she's a super fan and has also directed. How was it working together?
Well, she directed us last season. The writers called us up and they were like, “What do you think of working with Aisha?” And I'm like this is the perfect fit. She's so invested in the world and brings so much to the character for me and for Sherry. This is Sherry's first friend, a female friend, and the two of them really have so much in common and find real comfort in each other. I think it was a really beautiful, very special relationship, and I absolutely loved working with her. We laughed constantly throughout the episode. It was just so much fun. The whole episode was fun. I felt like I had to do so much, but she was perfect for it and very well deserved. She deserved that part.It's interesting you brought that up. I hadn't thought of it before, that we've never seen Sherry really have a friend, other than Dwight. He's a friend, also her husband. I don't know if we just haven't seen that part of her, or do you think she's a bit of a loner?
I think she's a bit of a loner. Sherry does move with a tribe of people, as we saw through last season, but there was so much about Sherry really leaning into her vulnerability throughout the course of last season, and really embracing her feminine side, dare I say, thinking about future and family and love and just being vulnerable again and admitting that she didn't know what she was doing. [She] was leading with so much anger. Then once she really leaned into that, I think having this really meaningful female relationship [was] a means to help to support and to give advice too, because Mickey is looking for her husband, and we know how long Sherry did that also. So, there were a lot of very meaningful but identifiable parts of this relationship for Sherry that really helped her. I think it was very special.So, last question. You're all so tight lipped in this cast, it's impossible to get a spoiler out of any of you, but it looks like Dwight and Sherry might be taking a step closer to finding Padre. Is there anything you can tease a little bit about what's ahead for Sherry?
I think Padre is this almost mythical place that all the characters think is this safe haven. I think they're just so desperate for somewhere safe, breathable air, all of that, and nobody knows if it exists or not. Nobody knows what lies there either, if it does exist, and I think it serves as a catalyst throughout the season. I think we'll see if this place is real and what lies over there, but it's certainly just this idea for a lot of the people. Everyone needs a mission and something to live for and something to fight for and someplace to go, especially now, and this seems to be it. But as we know, throughout the world of The Walking Dead, nothing is what it appears to be. We'll see throughout the season how this develops for everybody.Hearing you describe it, even if it's not real, it could maybe be good. The journey could be good, maybe, for the characters.
Yeah, this pilgrimage that puts them all together and has a unified mission. There's another way to look at that but yeah, I think you're right.