***This interview contains major spoilers for 2.06***
Recently, more crossover elements were added from the flagship series to The Walking Dead: World Beyond
, when the character of Jadis, played by Pollyanna McIntosh, was revealed to be working as an officer of the Civil Republic. Jadis, also known as Anne on The Walking Dead
, was the leader of the Scavengers that took a wounded Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) away on a CRM helicopter never to be seen again.
Still, not a lot is known about the character and her agenda. According to McIntosh, who talked to Jamie Ruby of SciFi Vision in an exclusive interview on Friday, she does believe in the cause “for the good of humanity,” but Jadis still does what is best for Jadis. “At the end of the day,” said the actress, “we've seen that before, but she does have feelings, and she does really, really want the best that civilization can have…She's seen the world much more than most people in this new universe of The Walking Dead: World Beyond
have seen it…She's now like, ‘This is my new purpose.’ This is what what she wants for the world. So, I do believe it's for the greater good, but are some people are going to have to suffer in the meantime? Sure. And is she going to try and make sure she suffers as little as possible? Sure.”
Fans were surprised that Jadis took the last name Stokes, which comes from the character of Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), a priest on The Walking Dead
that she had a romantic relationship with. The actress said that the idea of Jadis being Mrs. Stokes is a really funny nod to the fan base. “It's just fun for the fandom to go, ‘Oh, did you notice that that's her name?’…[T]he reasons why, people can make their own. I think there's just enough for people to go their own ways with things, and then they might find they were right, or they were wrong and there's something more exciting afoot. But I think that the nod to Gabriel really is such a genius thing. It's like, ‘I'm not going to give away my own name, and I'm going to remember my past and honor it, but I'm also going to remember that, that way madness lies.’ ”
The big question, of course, fans still have, is exactly what it means that Jadis labeled Rick a “B” when she turned him over to the CRM. While the actress wouldn’t give away any direct spoilers, she did reveal that “things might become a little clearer” if you keep watching the season.
The actress did during the interview, however, talk a bit about how the CRM originally found out about Jadis, how much of her character she feels is theatrics, and much more. Be sure to read the full transcript below and watch The Walking Dead: World Beyond
Sundays on AMC.SCIFI VISION: I was happy to see your your character crossover. I've been waiting for that. So, I have a lot of questions, although probably half of them you can't answer. [laughs] But before I get into the ones that are more specific to that, can you talk about how you originally got the role back when you were on the flagship show? Did you audition, and did you know what you were auditioning for?
Oh, that's a great question. Yeah, so I had not seen much of The Walking Dead
before, but I had friends who are huge fans. So, [when] this audition came in, I had this crazy hair, because I just played a biker gang leader in a movie called Revenge Ride
, and I thought, “Well, they're not going to want me with this hair, but maybe I'll stand out.” And, lo and behold, the script was this fascinating character, and it was going out to all genders, and I thought, “Well, that's interesting. That's cool. That means that this is about the character not about, you know, our version of the feminine or the masculine or whatever.” So, that was really intriguing.
And I just had such a good time in the room. I think one of the reasons that The Walking Dead
is such a great show is that the casting directors really care about actors and really know personalities well, and they're encouraging in the room. I think that's why it's such a nice bunch of people as well; it's like a No Asshole Rule. [laughs]
So, the next day, I was told it was looking likely. Within a week, I was down in Atlanta shooting as a guest, hoping to get to do more, but really just being so glad to get a few episodes of such a great show, which I've now watched episode after episode of, and loved. And on I went into [series] regular. So, it was just a delightful time, delightful.
She's such a strange character in many different ways, but is there anything other than what's in the script you based her on or, you know, maybe a character that inspired parts of her or anything?
Yeah, I think there's definitely the regal side to Jadis, and then there's the sort of bemused, absurdist life kind of side to her as well, where she tries to have as much fun as she can. I guess it's hard to tell once you've been playing somebody for a while, what's you and what's coming from the page, but I decided to go with this new haircut for her this time, to kind of give a nod to her military life of the last six years and also, the idea that she still wants people to be on the back foot. She still wants to look like she has a lot of edge, that you might not want to get cut on that edge. And lastly, I was feeling Joan of Arc vibes, this complete commitment to this cause that she believes is for the good of humanity.
Okay, well, that now you made me think of something else, though. So, you do believe then that she is for the greater good, that she doesn't have more of an I guess, agenda? That's just your own personal opinion of who she is, of course. Obviously, you can't tell me the script, but can you kind of talk a little bit about that?
I mean, Jadis will always do what's best for Jadis. So, at the end of the day, we've seen that before, but she does have feelings, and she does really, really want the best that civilization can have. But she's an old pro. She's seen the world. She's seen the world much more than most people in this new universe of The Walking Dead: World Beyond
have seen it. She's really lived out there, and she's really lost out there, as in lost her people, and having lost her purpose and having tried to fit in. She's now like, “This is my new purpose.” This is what what she wants for the world. So, I do believe it's for the greater good, but are some people are going to have to suffer in the meantime? Sure. And is she going to try and make sure she suffers as little as possible? Sure. So, we can all decide of our own moral code, whether that's a good or a bad person, but in my mind, and in her mind, she's doing what's right, and she always will be, for herself, and if she can do some good along the way, then great.
I was thinking about that scene with Huck (Annet Mahendru). I mean, obviously, we knew when Jadis [in the original series] was speaking the sort of her language and everything that a lot of that was put on, but she talks in the scene about the theatrics. But what I'm kind of curious about, is even her part with Rick's group and everything, can you kind of just talk about maybe how much of her that we saw in the original show was the real her versus theatrics? Can you talk about that?
I mean, I think if your purpose is to be a strong leader, and your purpose is to keep your people safe, then bonding them through a common language is no bad thing. It's manipulation, but it's a consensual manipulation. And I think that it worked on three levels, where it made them feel bonded; it made them feel that they weren't wasting anything, which was the whole ethos of the Scavengers. And it meant it was proactive, in such a large space to be as limited as possible with being able to send communication over such large spaces as what she she was running there in the heaps. But also, it makes people feel uncomfortable; it puts them on the back foot. It's kind of the same as her hair. [laughs]
It's like, “Oh, who am I dealing with here?” That always puts the person who's making the other one uncomfortable in the more powerful position. So yeah, I missed that language when she became Anne, and I think that was her really trying a different tact, but she was also in such grief. I don't think that tact worked for her. She was let down; there wasn't loyalty.
So, what's next? She's now in a place where she has purpose again, where she is a leader again, where she doesn't have to worry about what she will lose in [a] relationship either, because she's very much in charge. And those things have become a little more superfluous to her. So, it's all real; it's all her, and she is a sphinx and a cat that can change it spots. She's a rare thing, and she has fun with that.
I think that definitely helps where she's at, for sure.
Now, some of this, I don't know how much they've even told you of her backstory versus stuff that you have maybe made up for your own benefit to help you, but there's a couple things I kind of wondered if you know, and if you can tell me. The first is, are we going to find out why she chose her last name - I mean, I assume she got her last name from Gabriel.
Can you can you talk about that? Is there anything you're allowed to say?
I think one of the wonderful things about the writing on The Walking Dead
is that they’re so conscious of fan base and of how eagle-eyed the fan base is. So, any little tidbits from the original shows such as her taking Gabriel's last name, it's just fun for the fandom to go, “Oh, did you notice that that's her name?” “Oh, God, I didn't think of that.” Yeah, you know, share it with friends; share it with family, like the discussions, the reasons why, people can make their own. I think there's just enough for people to go their own ways with things, and then they might find they were right, or they were wrong and there's something more exciting afoot. But I think that the nod to Gabriel really is such a genius thing. It's like, “I'm not going to give away my own name, and I'm going to remember my past and honor it, but I'm also going to remember that, that way madness lies.” You know, don't get too attached. So, the idea of her being Mrs. Stokes is just really funny. The last thing I was gonna say was, she's also kind of put a bit of a fun spin on things.
Yeah, it's a strange one to pick. So, the other thing is, do you know how she found out about the CRM in the first place, how they knew to come to her for something?
Yeah, she [had] been trading with them for a long time, and the CRM, as we're beginning to see, know a lot more than perhaps anybody in this world, but they just have such such a reach. So, they would have been aware of this massive heap of metal in the middle of the landscape. And it's really a testament to her skills, that she managed to make a deal with them, rather than be in any kind of conflict with them. So, she and her people used to send out scouts, and the CRM work in a similar way. So, in my mind, they found her, and she said, “I could be useful to you.”
Do we have to worry about kind of the other people that she knew, then at this point? Or are they kind of such a small group that the CRM [didn’t worry about] them?
Well, they've all been killed now, all her people.
Sorry, I meant Rick's group.
Oh, I see; I see.
I just was curious.
You know, I don't want to put future storylines - you know, that's Gimple-land, for sure. But I do think we always worry about those people, don't we? I mean, there are good guys, so we should probably be worried about them all the time. [laughs]
Okay, now the question that I'm like, 99% sure you're going tell me you can't answer me, but I want to know, can you say anything or confirm anything about what the letters mean? I always thought that it was more about leaders versus followers, but now I've been reading on Reddit some people think it's more about “Oh, these people are just the ones experimented on.” Is there anything you can say at all?
Well, I can say that if you keep watching, things might become a little clearer, but I'm not going to spoil anything for anyone.
It's so funny. Sometimes fans come up to me, and they say, “What does A and B mean?” And I say, “All right, well, do you really want to know, because it's gonna ruin a lot of stuff coming up for you, but I can tell you,” and they're like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah!...Oh, no, no, no, actually, don't tell me!” So, I’m like, “I wasn't gonna tell you anyway.” [laughs]
Well, I had to at least ask. [laughs] Is there anything at all about the rest of the season that you're allowed to tease that's coming up?
I mean, I think it's really exciting that we can we can see the end coming, that we can know that this is a two season event. So, we can get a lot of satisfaction out of the end of season two. I think you'll be moved; you'll be shocked, and there's a lot of excitement along the way. Things really ramp up. And I think these young folk that we've been following really proved themselves, which is what we hope for, of course, but nobody's safe. It's The Walking Dead
, so there will always be breathless moments.
All right, this question I've been asking everybody. If there was a real zombie apocalypse, how do you think that you would fare? And if you could take anybody from any of the shows with you, and maybe it's your own character, I don't know, but if you could take one of those characters with you to help you, who would you take?
Oh, that's a good question. I would I would take Michonne (Danai Gurira), for sure. She's the bomb. I mean, when I first started watching the show, I was like, “Oh my God, she's so cool,” and I still think that. And I love Danai, so if we got to play in that world together, that would be awesome. But yeah, I think Michonne, because she's just such a survivor, and she has so many levels to her and her skills are are unmatched.
Okay, awesome. By the way, I talked to Anna Khaja who plays in Indira yesterday, and she said, Jadis, and I was like, “Well, that's interesting, now that I’m going to be talking to her!”
Lastly, I guess now you probably have filmed the whole season, but is there somebody that you would have liked to have maybe gotten more scenes with?
Oh, that's a good question. That's a good question, but I don't want to give anything away. I think I could always do more scenes with Julia Ormond. I think she's just amazing and so committed. The only issue, of course, is that she's got her English accent, and I have to make sure my British accent doesn't come through. [laughs]
It’s a little tricky. Yeah, Julia Ormond I have admired for many years and was really thrilled to get to work with her, but I could do a whole show with her, for sure.