Star of The Walking Dead: World Beyond Nico Tortorella dishes on why this is darkest series of the franchise, the main role they auditioned for on Fear The Walking Dead, and how this series will be connected to the upcoming Walking Dead films featuring Rick Grimes
After being put on hold due to the Coronavirus pandemic, The Walking Dead: World Beyond will finally see the light of day next Sunday, October 4th.
I was able to watch the first two episodes of the series, and let’s just say the spin-off does not disappoint; it gives fans the same feeling as when they were first introduced to the series, while, at the same time, putting a completely different spin on the show.
The series follows Hope (Alexa Mansour) and Iris (Aliyah Royale); two sisters who leave the safety of their home with their friends to venture out into the unknown. They do this in the hope of finding out what happened to their faither.
The Walking Dead franchise has always been known for its diverse characters, and A New World follows the same format. Nico Tortorella plays Felix who, at a young age, was kicked out of his home for being gay. Felix serves as the guardian of Hope and Iris along with being a community service officer.
I was able to speak with Tortorella about their character, and how this spin-off will be connected to the upcoming Walking Dead films.
“I found out last minute about the show, I was the last person to get cast. The creators and I had a long conversation about the importance of the show coming back 10 years later, and what the next generation was going to look like…The only thing I knew about Felix was that he was gay, and I’ve been wanting to play a bad a** queer super hero type for years,” explained Tortorella on what drew them to the show and their character. “Scott Gimple said something to me that really stuck. He said the only binary that exists in our universe is dead and alive, and that was just really interesting to just imagine a world in which that was true.”
Before Nico got the role of Felix, they were already a fan Of The Walking Dead, and even auditioned for a main role on Fear The Walking Dead.
“The first season of the original was one of the greatest seasons of television ever made. I auditioned for Nick on Fear The Walking Dead, didn’t get the role, and didn’t watch the show. After booking this job I crawled back and watched bits and pieces of what I missed out on.” said Nico.
In the spin-off, the majority of the main characters are teenagers, something we haven’t quite seen in the Walking Dead Franchise. Don’t let that fool you though, because this is by no means a light hearted teen drama. The tone of the show is still as dark as it ever has been.
“I actually think this is the darkest of the Walking Dead series. It may not be the most violent from the get, but I think we’ve all been somewhat desensitized to the violence of the world because of the time that we’re living in. What we get that is different is a new perspective. I’m thinking about the kids that are living through life right now. They won’t necessarily remember life before this moment, and I think that perspective is what is in this show. There’s just this innocence, this sense of hunger for life that all young people have. That is what we get out of World Beyond that’s different, a world beyond just survival,” said Tortorella
Since this is the third installment to the franchise, many fans have been wondering how this series will be connected to the Walking Dead Universe. Nico explained this series will tie many things together.
“The first 2 series kind of deal with news on a local level. We’re dealing with smaller communities across the Americas and how they deal with each other; and right off the bat our show, while it does feel super intimate and small in terms of the cast, the backdrop is national news. We are going to start to have the opportunity to put the much larger pieces of the puzzle together, and clearly find out who’s in charge. The main theme of this series is the difference between good and evil, and what that means depending on what side you’re on,” said Nico
Nico does an incredible job portraying Felix, and I couldn’t help but get a sense of the legendary Rick Grimes coming from the actors performance. Nico says they wanted to pay tribute to the iconic character played by Andrew Lincoln.
“I think Rick really created that archetype of the masculine protector in The Walking Dead, and I would be doing a disservice to the franchise if I didn’t bring a piece of him into this character,” said Tortorella. “Rick is one of the greatest characters created on television. I hope I can bring a piece of him to this show for the fans. I’m not ever trying to be Rick, I just want to find Rick so we can team up and take over the world together.”
Speaking of Rick Grimes, what about those upcoming Walking Dead Films? Nico was tight lipped on the future projects, but did give us a little something.
“I don’t know much about what’s happening with the movies, I do know this series will give the fans a lot more information on who is where and what it means, and will lead us to a potential movie plot line,” explained Nico.
As for this season on The Walking Dead: World Beyond Nico wants you to get ready to be on the edge of your seats.
“This show just continues to get better and better, it’s not as fast paced as other series that are on television, it’s really like a character driven piece, and we get to know all of our characters in depth throughout the entire first season.”
Make sure you catch The Walking Dead: World Beyond when it premieres Sunday, October 4th at 10 p.m ET/PT, right after the delayed season 10 finale of The Walking Dead.