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Exclusive: Danay Garcia Talks Fear the Walking Dead

Danay GarciaTomorrow, the second season of the hit AMC series, Fear the Walking Dead, comes out on blu-ray, DVD, and digital HD from Anchor Bay Entertainment.

The series, which takes place in the same universe of the original series it was spun off from, The Walking Dead, follows a blended family and some of those they have met along the way, as they try to find a place safe from the undead.

Season two introduced the character of Luciana, played by Danay Garcia, a survivor and a member of La Colonia, a community in Tijuana that Nick (Frank Dillane) makes his way to.

In anticipation of the release, Garcia recently talked to SciFi Vision in an exclusive interview about her work on season two, as well as what she is looking forward to in season three.

SCIFI VISION: Can you talk about what it was like joining such a popular franchise, and were you a fan before you were on the show?

Danay GarciaDANAY GARCIA: I was a fan of the show, but I was a fan, because a friend of mine, Sarah Wayne Callies, played the wife (Lori Grimes) on the original series of The Walking Dead.

And I remember thinking, 'Oh my gosh, she's out there in the dirt, in the sun. Oh my God, I can't imagine what it's like to shoot that,' because you think, 'how would I see myself in it,' right? Because it's your job. So I'm like, 'Wow that's incredible.'

And then here I am, years later, thinking, 'Look at me; right now, it's just like how I thought it would be.' It's exactly the same: in the sun, in the heat, in the dirt, full of blood.

And I actually became a fan of the show even more as I was in it, because then I started living, really, the apocalypse, you know, and it happens so quickly. I didn't prepare for it like a month in advance; it was just the job. It was like, "I'll see you in two days, and then you're going to be shooting on the third day," and that was it. I was shooting; I was there, so I just went with it. I just went with it like an apocalypse comes. It's here; you have to go, [laughs] and that's kind of like how I did it.

It was that fun, that crazy, that scary, that everything, that bloody. You know, you can name it; it was that kind of experience. I cannot think of when only one thing happened. Everything happened, [laughs] but that's the fun of it.

Can you talk about working with the practical effects? Not just the zombies, but even about being covered in blood. It looks sticky and uncomfortable.

That was an adjustment, because usually in everything I've done in the past - not just me, pretty much everybody - I mean, the only show out there that you cover yourself in blood, is just The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead that I can be calling out. But even that's an adjustment, because an actor usually goes to the makeup chair to either get a scratch put on, or a punch on your face. On a bad day your character gets punched, you know, or anything. Or girls usually get makeup; you look cute and pretty, or just natural, but in this one, my makeup chair was covered in blood. [laughs] It was not a normal makeup day. It's never a normal makeup day on this series, or like, you know, 'Luciana just took a shower.'

Danay GarciaBut it was that kind of a commitment, you just have to look at it as a mask, which is really a mask to cover you to walk around the infected. And I just embraced it, but it was definitely an adjustment. It was an adjustment to spent my whole entire day covered in blood. It was sticky.

You know, you feel it, and then you get used to it. And then you scratch your forehead, and your hands are full of blood. [laughs] But you forget. I mean, you know, it's not a normal feeling, but eventually you kind of go for it.

And you get the usual "don't touch your face" - "Oh, I'm sorry; I just scratched my eye. Something was in my eye and I messed up the whole thing." "Let's stop; let's just fix it and put on more blood and continue." It's that kind of a thing, but there's also freedom in that too. There's a raw feeling in that.

It's obviously not a clean or fancy costume show, but I'm sure that helps you get into character.

Completely. It's a freedom, yeah. You don't have to worry about your eyelashes or your [makeup]. It's just like no, it's there, and you go and don't [worry about it] until you go to get more blood put on. [laughs] So it's definitely a freedom where you have nothing to worry about, at least for girls, you know.

So obviously there's some discomfort, but you also get to do things I'm sure are really fun on the show; you get to do a lot of action and that. Can you talk just about stunts and any weapon training?

You might think I'm crazy, but I didn't train for anything. I mean, my background is dance, so I really have never fought...All I've done is danced my whole life, and the day that I trained to learn the choreography, the day before the actual shooting day, that's the first thing I told the guys: "Look, I've never done anything martial arts; I just danced my whole life." He's like, "Oh, it's the same thing!" I'm like, "No it's not! What do you mean it's the same thing?" And it really is; it's similar.

Danay GarciaIt's the choreography. The choreography's obviously faster, so the movements are faster, and that's what makes it aggressive. And that's what makes it stronger, because you have this power, this adrenaline, but at the end of the day, you memorize the choreography, and that's what dance is about. You memorize the choreography and tell a story with your body. Martial arts is another art that you have to convey in a different way, and if you don't look at it as a scary, dangerous thing, it really is like dance; it's crazy.

Well you can't tell you didn't have any experience or training.

[laughs] Well the first time I did my choreography, they were like, "You're ruthless; you're so dangerous." I was like, "Really?" Because in my mind, I don't feel that. [laughs] I was like, "I was just trying to figure this out." And they were like, "No, you look really scary."

Can you talk about how over the season Luciana changed emotionally? Because she went from thinking one thing, to finding out Alejandro (Paul Calderon) was lying about the bite, to now being in this completely different place, where she doesn't even have a home now. Can you just talk about her journey in that respect?

I think it's amazing. Actually, that's what I'm looking forward to confronting as Luciana, in the character, that she goes from one extreme to another. She goes from being controlled to being set and settled and working for that, to an unknown place with unknown people who are completely in control of her. She's hurt; she was shot at, and they killed the people that she cares about. And it's massive loss; it's huge.

How is she going to confront that with these people who are not even Mexican people? They're foreigners. I mean, I am a foreigner in this land, before they used to be the foreigners in Mexico, but now it's the other way around. How is she going to operate? How is she going to get out of this mess? And how is she going to mourn these people?

Danay GarciaAnd there were people that followed her, because she promised a better place out there and everything went upside-down.

And how will her relationship with Nick will turn out? How will he take responsibility? How will the relationship survive? Those are the questions that I'm so excited to explore as the scripts come in.

I'm so excited to really go deeper into that dynamic of betrayal, and faith being taken away from me, and everything being revealed.

And the betrayal, you know. How can she really overcome this to survive? Because that's the goal, to survive. How can you do this now with what you have in front of you? And that's interesting.

Have you started filming season three yet?

No, not yet. I don't even have the scripts yet, but I'll have them soon, but no we haven't started yet.

What was your favorite scene of season two to film?

You know, it was really empowering towards the end, when I'm walking with La Colonia, Nick, and the little girl on my side, and they closed the whole street of Mexico - Tijuana - Benito Juarez Street, and it was beautiful. I mean, they made it apocalyptic, and you know, bloody everywhere, but it was really nice to be out with my crew, you know, and just be there, hanging out with the actors, the background artists, and just talking to them, because this was the first time we were really out before. I'm the one who usually comes out, but they're always inside.

But it was really nice to change environments. It was difficult; it was long. It was everything, but it really was awesome, to just be out with them, and walk and feel that we're in this together. It was great - before the mess happened, obviously. [laughs]

Can you describe Luciana in three words?

Strong, passionate, and determined.

Danay GarciaIs there anything else you want to promote?

I just want to promote this beautiful season. I'm really looking forward to the fans out there, together, [and to get their] feedback. I'm very grateful and lucky to have the love and support of each one of them, because there are a lot of people there, and their love is very strong. [laughs] It's really fun to feel it.

They really want to be heard, and they love Luciana and they love the show.

...I'm just really grateful and happy that it will be out for anybody to watch at any time, and we can share this experience together again.

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