This week on The Walking Dead, we got a glimpse on what happened at the barn where Siddiq was forced to watch Alpha slay the pike victims. We also got to see a huge plot twist as it was revealed that Dante is a Whisperer the entire time he has been at Alexandria. Although there are many questions to how he got there, what is more important is that Siddiq has been killed. Avi Nash breaks down the shocking plot twist of that episode along with more topics on this exclusive interview!
How did you react when you seen the script of your death scene? And also, were there any hints that gave away that Dante was a Whisperer?
AN: “I knew from the top of the season because Angela Kang is an extremely gracious leader and she let me know prior to starting season 10 that this would Siddiq’s swan song. But I was actually very excited about it because we got into all the complexities of what he was going to go through with PTSD and survivor’s guilt and having a new child. And I was really excited because I’ve played a character who’s been instrumental to the storytelling and the arc of the season as a whole. So for me, the chance to serve that story in such a significant way was very exciting. And it gave me a lot of work to look forward to the day that I finally got the script for the episode. If anything it was just like ‘oh shit, I’m in a lot of scenes I’ve got to get to work’. And yes, There are hints that was right in everyone’s faces on the earlier episodes of the season. I think Siddiq was slowly piecing it together and that is sort of a dual-tragedy for him in this because, I think on one hand, it was the first person he’s sort of able to open back up to about what he’s going through because he’s a brother in arms of a fellow medical professional that has been through PTSD himself and reached out to Siddiq. And I think truthfully, they’re were forming a friendship now from Dante’s point of view. Maybe that’s all fake or maybe based on some of the language that he uses, he had romantic feelings for Siddiq. I’m not sure what the tragedy being that Siddiq is starting to open up to this guy, while meanwhile in his subconscious, something about this guy is off to him. And you see that starts to affect him you know whether it’s in the first episode when he focuses on his mouth or in the later episode when they’re performing surgery on Carol and Dante sort of makes that verbal tick-tick sound and Siddiq then has a bit of a flashback. He’s not quite able to realize that he is causing those flashbacks, But it’s definitely happening and it’s only at that final moment when Dante is in the same physical space behind Siddiq, he put it all together because that’s also a great layer of the tragedy for Siddiq which is that he’s carrying around the guilt that after they all fought back a little, but it was not enough. Alpha lined them up and started to decapitate them and he was actually unable to move when in fact because of Dante holding him down as a whisperer. He was trying to move and scream and shout and get up and fight back again. But they were all held down by Whisperers and his eyes were forced to open by Dante to see how these other people he cares about decapitated. And so all those pieces of memory coming together I think are there in the season but he is only able to put it together too late.”
Will we see an explaniation on how Dante came into Alexandria?
AM: “Angela and her team of writers are great and they know how to craft good storytelling without sort of sacrificing character development and without sacrificing suspense, terror, and the comedy and all these things that make us fall in love with The Walking Dead and that have kept us tuned in for ten years. So I can’t tell you exactly what you may or may not see, but I can tell you that you will hopefully be satisfied when it does get revealed.”
What was it like to work with Samantha Morton on those PTSD scenes of the barn flashbacks?
AN: “You know, that woman should get nominated for an Emmy or Oscar. She is an incredible actress. When she gets into character and comes on the set, all the air is sucked out because she goes from being a lovely bubbly Sam to being cold and deadlyy Alpha for us. I remember in particular there was a night that we shot majority of those flashbacks where Siddiq in his mind, he thinks he’s sitting there on his own and it’s frozen. But in actuality, it’s Dante behind him holding him down and turning his head and ripping his eyes open the watch. And we shot both versions of me on my knees, on my own struggling just sort of with my mind not able to move and then a version where Dante was behind me literally ripping me forward and holding me down and stopping me from moving and screaming and shoving his hands all in my face. And during all of that, Samantha was on the other side scaring the shit out of me. And we were there probably four or five hours one evening and she is the most gracious actress. She might not be in every one of those shots, but she’s there giving a thousand percent. And I hope I tried to return the favor. There were takes were I wasn’t in the shot because I was just on her coverage and she was like ‘You know darling, you don’t need to do this. Like you’ve just you’ve just been through so much’ because I’m over there crying in my snot. And I was like ‘Samantha snot aside, I got to be there for you because that’s you how I was trained. You know, this is British theater and this is frankly a generous act’. You’re there for your partner. And so, we got to share a really nice moment together giving each other fear and terror and ultimately though compassion.”
If Carl Grimes was still alive, what do you think he would say to Siddiq?
AN: “I think if he was alive, he would have definitely been somebody that Siddiq would have tried to open up to. I feel like there was the beginning of a very beautiful friendship that would have kept developing. He was sort of adopted into that Grimes family and so, I think those two would have been brothers. Hopefully Saddiq has been a character with enough of a legacy and enough love on the show and enough powerful storytelling that he can stand along with Carl, Glenn, and Abraham shoulder to shoulder and look down on the rest of The Walking Dead survivors.”