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The actress describes the sisterly bond she formed with Emma Bell (Amy), the similarities between herself and Andrea and how Michael Jackson helps her relieve stress after a long day of shooting.
Q: I understand that you and Emma Bell, who played your sister, became very close on-set. Did that make Amy's death easier or harder to portray?
A: From the moment we met, we got along like a house on fire. I always wanted a little sister and she always wanted a big sister so we kind of adopted each other. And we did everything off set together. We were inseparable. People were like, "Oh my God, you two."
Q: Did they think you were just being method actors?
A: They were thinking we were being all method-y, but we just cared for each other. And, yes, it made the work a thousand times easier because all I had to do was look in her eyes, see this beautiful girl with this kind heart, and just imagine her being taken from the world and I lost it.
Q: In what ways are you and your character alike?
A: Prior to the apocalypse, Andrea was a human rights lawyer and right now I'm pursuing my masters in human rights at Columbia University. The very fact that what she's passionate about is exactly what I'm passionate about is quite special. Also [in the comic book]..., Andrea ends up being quite the sharpshooter, and it's a skill set that I have.
Q: How good of a shot are you?
A: I don't know. It's been a while since I've been on the shooting range. I do know I have a really good eye and I feel really comfortable with a gun. I think once I get back to the shooting range and practice, yeah, I'm pretty good. One of my best friends is a bounty hunter so I've shot a few guns with her. Not at people, of course. It's a fun thing to do: Go to a shooting range with a buddy, knock off a few rounds, release stress.
Q: What was the scariest scene for you so far this season?
A: It was in Episode 2 when we jumped into the truck and the walkers were coming and we were trying to pull the gate down. It was very hard to pull it down and we were naturally sliding out of the truck. These hands and bodies were reaching at us and it just it was really genuinely terrifying.
Q: Are you a horror fan?
A: Not so much. I don't like that sort of pornographic, gratuitous violence. I don't feel like we're doing that here. I feel like this is a very character-driven story that's very rich. Very Lord of the Flies. I like storytelling. I love ghost stories but I can't really watch them, especially not by myself because then I can't sleep.
Q: Any lingering nightmares about walkers?
A: I've had a quite a few nightmares about being chased by walkers. I think it was so violent and emotionally upheaving doing that scene with Emma that I had a lot of disturbing dreams about that whole incident. It's hard for it not to stay with you. There is a scientific fact that if you believe it to be true and you build it enough in your imagination your body doesn't know the difference.
Q: What did the cast do to let off steam?
A: Oh where do I begin? I mean, we're a wacky bunch. We would put on Michael Jackson's Thriller and the whole cast would be doing the moonwalk and all those little fancy moves. It was hilarious because all of us would be singing Thriller and dancing like that video.
Q: What scene was the most fun for you?
A: The most fun was the washing scene with the women because it was blistering hot, our feet were barefoot in the water, and it just was so magical for us to just be women bonding, finally able to laugh. But my favorite scene is when Amy dies in my arms. We shot that scene at like 3 AM after a full day, and there was no time. I think we were given two takes and there was just massive amounts of people and machinery all around us and we just stayed together and would lie there covered in blood, holding hands, and just connecting. It sounds bizarre, but we created this bubble around us where nothing else existed or mattered. As dark and heartbreaking and awful as it was, it was a pretty special moment.