Interview: Cast and Creatives of Walker: Independence, Premiering Tonight

Walker IndependenceTonight The CW premieres their new series Walker Independence, which is set in the late 1800s and is an origin story of the series Walker, which currently airs on the network. In Independence, Abby Walker (Katherine McNamara)’s husband is murdered in front of her before they can journey out West where he was set to be the new sheriff of Independence, Texas. After Abby is rescued by Apache tracker Calian (Justin Johnson Cortez), she makes her way to Independence to find that Tom Davidson (Greg Hovanessian), who she has reasons to believe is not a good man, has taken over the job her husband would have had. While in the town, Abby runs into thief and con artist Hoyt Rawlins (Matt Barr), who she decides to align with, to help her seek justice and uncover her husband’s murderer.

Taking place in the late 1800s, the series boasts elaborate costumes, which help to inform their characters. “We have the most amazing wardrobe department,” star McNamara told SciFi Vision during a recent panel with the cast and creatives of the series. “Marian Toy is our brilliant costume designer, and she has taken such care to make sure everything is as historically accurate as possible.” The actress also talked about how wearing such a costume, including a corset, does really change the way you walk and “exist in space.”

Hovanessian added that they get so used to wearing the costumes that it feels odd to rehearse and block in street clothes.

The prequel came, according to co-creator Seamus Fahey, because he and his co-creator Anna Fricke regretted killing off the character of Hoyt Rawlins. “It kind of started with just a text to Anna saying like, ‘Well, what if we went back to the first-generation Walkers, and Hoyt Rawlins was part of the ride?’” he told the site. “A couple texts later, and all of a sudden, Jared [Padalecki]'s on the hook, and the studio’s excited, and it kind of just went from there, and we just built momentum and developed the pitch.

“But we wanted it to kind of stand on its own and be its own thing,” he added, “be the first generation and figure out what [expectations] people might have and [subvert] them…[We] kind of just kept building with that in mind and that approach.”

For more, read the full transcript below and tune in to Walker Independence tonight and every Thursday on The CW

Walker Independence
Executive Producers: Seamus Fahey, Anna Fricke, Jared Padalecki,
Cast: Katherine McNamara, Lawrence Kao, Greg Hovanessian, Philemon Chambers, Gabriela Quezada, Katie Findlay, Matt Barr, Justin Johnson Cortez

September 22, 2022

Walker IndependenceSCIFI VISION:
  Hi, thanks so much for talking to us this morning. This is for the cast. Can you talk about sort of how these costumes inform your character and maybe some of the difficulties you've had with them?

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  Well, I'll, I'll speak.

PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  You start, you start. Yeah, yeah, yeah.


MATT BARR:  Yeah. Ladies have fun with this one.

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  Ladies first, and it is the 1870s. You know, we have the most amazing wardrobe department. Marian Toy is our brilliant costume designer, and she has taken such care to make sure everything is as historically accurate as possible, and that comes down to us wearing corset. A lot of these dresses, this one in particular, that is actually vintage from some year. I don't think it's from 1870, but it is as historically accurate as possible.

It really does change how you move, and how you walk and how you just exist in space. And we have such an amazing cast of characters that has such a diverse wardrobe. But I will say that women's shoes in the 1870s were not made for function.


KATIE FINDLAY:  No, everything in the 1870s was built to keep women from running and carrying things. Not good.

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  Keep us in our place. And getting on horses.

KATIE FINDLAY:  And getting on horses…with any goods of any kind.

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  Although, they do give us pockets.

KATIE FINDLAY:  They give you pockets.

PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  They give you pockets.

KATIE FINDLAY:  But the reason here, the reason I don't have pockets is because, so like, Kat was saying, Marion Toy is maybe one of the smartest people I've ever met in my life. A lot of my stuff, because Kate's a bit of a fashion plate, is borrowed from vintage collections as opposed to made. So, I don't get pockets, but then I'm also wearing things that are so beautiful, I'm terrified to sit down, because if I rip [it] - like they're so old, and if I have one tiny rip, I feel like I've let history down. So... Hey, does anybody else want to talk about [it]?

GREG HOVANESSIAN:  The corset stance too, to make it more comfortable.

KATIE FINDLAY:  So, you prop yourself up on your own bones a lot when you get tired.

GREG HOVANESSIAN:  The squat move.


Send you guys a photo. I'll send you...

JARED PADALECKI:  I'll post it.

JUSTIN JOHNSON CORTEZ:  Yeah, please do Jared; Jared has it.

KATIE FINDLAY:  You’re so charming.

JUSTIN JOHNSON CORTEZ: Yeah, I wore it for about seven minutes and uh, it wasn't fun at all.

GABRIELA QUEZADA:  I think all the men on set should wear corsets.


SEAMUS FAHEY:  I thought we talked about no spoilers, but we'll embrace them.

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  Already, first question, spoilers.

KATIE FINDLAY:  Justin, you have interesting costume stuff though.

JUSTIN JOHNSON CORTEZ:  I do. I do, I mean, I love my costume.

MATT BARR: It's a little breezy in there.

Show us the back, Justin.

GABRIELA QUEZADA:  We need to see your thigh.

Yeah, I want to see the back. 

Do you have a runway?

JUSTIN JOHNSON CORTEZ:  But, I asked for legit leggings. That way I could have some breathing...

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  It’s up to your imagination.

PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  We will not go further into that.

GREG HOVANESSIAN:  But every once in a while, I'll go to set for a rehearsal, and I'll be in my street clothes, and we do the blocking, and it's weird. It's so weird, because you're not in costume, and the costume is just everything. When you put that gun belt on, with the weight of the revolver and the bullets and the badge, it changes everything.

KATIE FINDLAY:  Greg's got a cool hat too.

PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  I’ve been meaning to talk to you about this gun belt now. Okay, look, when you’re running in a gun belt, it [doesn’t] work.

It bounces around.

PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  It bounces around.


KATIE FINDLAY:  I have so many videos of Philly trying to run in a gun belt. I say that like it's a joke, maybe five or six, honestly.

Ten-pound pound thing around your waist.


JUSTIN JOHNSON CORTEZ:  Nobody answered that in a good way.

MATT BARR:  Here's a red light. I was like, is that good or bad?

SCIFI VISION:  Well, okay. How about this? I will ask a follow up then. Can you guys talk about sort of how, the seed of the idea to go from the other show to this as being the prequel, sort of how that came about?

SEAMUS FAHEY:  Sure. Anna and I were working on Walker, and basically there was a beloved character named Hoyt Rawlins that we decided to kill off, and we kind of regretted it, to be honest. So, we started to think about, what did we do wrong with our lives, but also with that creative choice. So, it kind of started with just a text to Anna saying like, “Well, what if we went back to the first-generation Walkers and, and Hoyt Rawlins was part of the ride?” A couple texts later, and all of a sudden, Jared's on the hook and the studio’s excited, and it kind of just went from there, and we just built momentum and developed the pitch. So, there're a lot of Easter eggs with Walker that we’re going to do more and more. But we wanted it to kind of stand on its own and be its own thing, be the first generation and figure out like, what are all the expectations people might have, and how do we subvert them? How do we kind of have a fresh approach, a new take to the proceedings? [We] kind of just kept building with that in mind and that approach.

MATT BARR:  I remember when Seamus was like, “Hey, you know what, what if we went back in time?” And I'm like, “What, like two years before?” He's like, “Maybe like 150.” Love it.

KATIE FINDLAY:  So, really what you're saying is that Matt Barr just caused an existential crisis for you, like he does for the rest of us.

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  It makes perfect sense.

KATIE FINDLAY:   I don't know what waking up every morning looking like that is like; I can't relate.


QUESTION:  Katherine, two-part question. First off, following up on that previous question, how do you see Abby as sort of setting the bar or for the legacy of Walker to follow her? And secondly, you seem to be always attracted to roles that aren't set in just a modern-day person. I mean, they're costume roles, they're different times, [that] sort of thing. Is that something you're attracted to or, or are casting people just see you in those roles?

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  You know, it's interesting you say that because for years when they ask an actor the question, you know, what's your dream role? I would always say, a period piece, you know, put me in a corset and a hoop skirt and I'm a, I'm a happy girl. And I guess manifestation works cause here I am. But no, it really is an honor to kind of do something entirely different. And some, I love that somewhere in the CW verse, I'm Stephen Amell’s daughter 20 years in the future, but also Jared Padalecki’s great, great, great, great grandmother. Works for me. [LAUGHS] But somebody out that timeline and I'm, I'm very, very much can't wait to hear.

But no, when it came to this character and this role in particular, it's not necessarily something I look for, it just sort of happened to be what fell into my lap. You know, I'm always attracted to characters that are challenging and that have interesting stories to tell. And this was that. You know, we read the pilot and Seamus had created such a wonderful world of characters that still felt as though it was akin to the world of Walker, but something new and something fresh in a genre that held so much nostalgia and so much familiarity for so many people.

So it's a new opportunity kind of give a new look at a part of history that a lot of people feel they know. Also, I do have big boots to fill with the Walker legacy that our lovely Mr. Padalecki has set out for us.

JARED PADALECKI:  She just meant literally bigger; I have big feet. That’s all she meant by it.

QUESTION:  Hi everyone. Thank you so much for doing this. I wanted to ask a little bit more about Hoyt, because obviously we saw a version Hoyt on the original Walker series. So can you talk about how this Hoyt differs or compares to that Hoyt. And Matt, how did that kind of inform your performance?

MATT BARR:  Yeah, I always thought of the modern-day Hoyt as like a golden retriever with an unloaded gun, and 1800’s Hoyt is maybe like a German shepherd, you know, he's nice until you cross him, and then he's going to bite. 1800’s Hoyt’s more dangerous. I think in the wild west you kind of had to be to survive. So, I wanted to see that sort of DNA in him. But I also liked the idea that you can't really outrun your fate. And so, there was that consistent kind of recklessness in the Rawlins’ DNA that just, you know, as we meet Hoyt 150 years later, they're still, you know, still trying to figure things out and get in his own way. Um, and they're equally charming, aren't they? I mean, they have to be right?

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:   It's true. It's hard to compare. There's no comparison. That Rawlins’ charm is genetic, that's for sure.


MATT BARR:  Yeah. I wanted to, I want to differentiate them, but also, you know, feel very much that same kind of core bloodline there.

QUESTION:  I want to know about cowboy camp, and did the producers go and participate as well?

PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  They were there in spirit.

KATIE FINDLAY:  I'm the only one now.

PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  Cowboy camp was fun.

GREG HOVANESSIAN:  I'm waiting to do it with Katie Finley, and she hasn't kind of responded back.

KATIE FINDLAY:  You and I have a, have a talk to have.  I, so just, just to put this out in the open, I told Seamus that if I didn't ride a horse by Episode 5, I was walking off the show. I am now the only person who was not ridden a horse. And I think I'm going to trade it for a pony, because I didn't know we had ponies until a week ago and I love them.

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  They are adorable. But they’re twins, aren’t they?

KATIE FINDLAY:  Talk to a real person. Don't talk to me.

QUESTION:  So how was, how was cowboy camp? Who excelled?

PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  Uh, we all did.

LAWRENCE KAO:  I was going to walk off the show yesterday, but then I decided not to, because they finally allowed me to go to cowboy camp.

They finally did.

KATIE FINDLAY:  I lost my only ally.

You were my only person.

LAWRENCE KAO:  We’ll go, we'll go riding next week.

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  I also did enjoy cowboy camp with Justin.

MATT BARR:  I think our first day at cowboy camp, we're all like saddling up. And then everyone's like, where's Justin and he's like hauling ass, you know, just loping with this horse [OVERLAPPING].

He's already on top of a mountain.

MATT BARR:  In your element.

JUSTIN JOHNSON CORTEZ:  This is when the hair grew. It just grew.

MATT BARR:  That's right. That's right.

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  No, cowboy camp was a lot of fun. You know, we all had, I had a very different experience than most the other guys. I had to learn how to ride with Justin, with Matt, backwards on a horse with Matt, for the pilot. And then now, Abby has her own horse. And that whole arc has been a really interesting relationship getting to watch all of these guys do such amazing things and then joining the team myself.

MATT BARR:  It's kind of bonding for us too. You know, we all, we all were getting to know each other, you know, as we're starting this journey together, hopefully for many years. And getting out there, riding together just was pretty special.

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  And there's nothing like it. I mean the office that we have, being our town is just the most beautiful place in the world.


PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  And there are some beautiful shots on those horses. And I gotta give a shout out to Rainman. Thank you so much. [OVERLAPPING]

MAN:  And T for being a butthead for trying to buck me off all the time.

KATIE FINDLAY:  I would too. Any of us would.

MATT BARR:  You know, Philly... Nicholas... Philly, Nicholas Cage said Rainman tried to kill him in one movie.


MATT BARR: You, you love him, so...

Oh, Rainman loves [OVERLAPPING]

GREG HOVANESSIAN:  That's A true story.

PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  Nicholas, if you are listening, Rainman is great.

MATT BARR:  He is good.

PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  Okay? Thank you.


KATIE FINDLAY:  My horse is also great.



QUESTION:  There's a lot of like, I guess, conversation about method acting or just different methods actors take to, I guess, prepare for their certain roles.  How different was it for each of you to just prepare, and also what steps did you take in advance?

JUSTIN JOHNSON CORTEZ:  As you can see, I'm in my wardrobe. [OVERLAPPING]

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  Jokes aside, for us as a group, at least, what I've felt is such a comradery. You know, we really have built this community together personally and among our characters. And I, I think you see that on screen. You know, all of us genuinely enjoy working together and genuinely enjoy finding these character relationships and bringing them to life and seeing how they grow and change. And that's been the most fun for me is, you know, diving into a time that's so foreign to all of us.

MATT BARR:  I think sometimes you work from the inside out. I think with our show too, like we were talking about earlier, the wardrobe, you walk onto our set, which is like this Western town in New Mexico. It's beautiful and there’re horses and there’re goats and there're all these beautiful background actors. )t's like, you've time-traveled back in time. So, it's very easy to just walk right into that character, or maybe it's a crutch. I don't know.

PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  No, I found the wardrobe and the setting...

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  Special group of people.

JUSTIN JOHNSON CORTEZ:  Yeah. The wardrobe and the setting definitely informs, I think, how we're working in this show in particular. Like Greg said earlier, and Matt just said. It's like, if we're doing it in our daily clothes, it's just not really going to work. It's kind of hard to get in the head space. But for me personally, what I've loved about this cast is, if I come to them and want to talk about our relationships in the show, or whatever it is, everyone's extremely open. You don't always get that. Some people are very closed off, or maybe they don't make time. But everyone's been amazing when it comes to meeting up. “Let's talk about, you know, where are we coming from? How do you feel about this?” And, and it's extremely valuable and I appreciate it.

PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  Agreed, agreed. I mean, you know, I count it as a joy really to just work off of all of you, because it is so nice, and everybody's just so good at their job, you know? I mean, no words, no words.

KATIE FINDLAY:  I think that we also, I don't know if anybody's deep enough into the internet to know what a head canon is. It, our head cannons for each other on this show, are we could write a whole extra show about how excited we all are to hang out. When we realized before Justin and I had ever met on the show, we were taking one prom photo per official photo shoot, until we met on the show. Like, we're all so excited to be here together. And we write little storylines for each other, with each other constantly, and poor Seamus is like, “All right, guys, come on, like I'm writing an actual television program, can you calm down.”

MATT BARR:  You know, for years I've been trying to find excuses, not to shower as much. So...

PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  That is, that is very true. No, that is very true.

MATT BARR:  I'm a method actor now.

PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  Yeah, you are, yeah you are.

Can we go back to the fact that... I don’t know if anyone noticed...

GREG HOVANESSIAN: The bond that we all had from day one is a very special relationship that we've all developed. And it just creates this, this really safe space where there's a lot of trust where we can all be really vulnerable and kind of experiment and go the distance. And just this support of all of it really allows for a, you know, very experimental-type safe space, which helps a lot. Especially, you know, playing evil where I, I kind of have to turn it on and off.  Here comes the hand...

PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  I was going to say, I’m going to cover your mouth.

KATIE FINDLAY:  Greg's evil in real life. So it helps.

GREG HOVANESSIAN:  I'm nothing like the character, so there has to be, completely the opposite. I'm like a boy, like a four-year-old goofy...

KATIE FINDLAY:  Greg's a Great Dane puppy.

PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  Me and Katie can actually, you know, prove that Greg is nothing like his character.

KATIE FINDLAY:  Yeah. I have, I have a bunch of blackmail materials.

GREG HOVANESSIAN:  So that, that you know, safe space to be able to turn on and off like that and, and completely go outta my skin around all these beautiful people is, is very special. Yeah. It's just so... Way too much love here.

KATIE FINDLAY:  Everybody touch Greg. Everybody touched Greg.

GREG HOVANESSIAN:  It's such a joy, it’s, it’s such a joy to be working with everyone here.

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  No, but it's true. The world of the west is not always the most happy place to be, for lack of a better word. And to have this group of people just sort of carry each other through emotionally on those days where we have several emotional scenes stacked together and, and these things that we, we feed off of each other's energy and, and the commitment to the character and the commitment to the story. And it's really a beautiful, wonderful place to work.

KATIE FINDLAY:  It is, she's right.

LAWRENCE KAO:  I also think like character-wise for all of our characters, we're all going through like the same kind of thing. Like everyone's trying to find themselves in this town, like, we're all trying to find our identity. We're all like starting off, like on a fresh start, like having new beginnings, like every single character. And I think that's what, like brings us together too.

PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  Agreed, community.

GREG HOVANESSIAN:  It's evolving. It's evolving.


QUESTION:  I'd like to ask Seamus and then Jared, there is a Renaissance of westerns. Where do you think that started and why?

SEAMUS FAHEY:  You want to go first Texan? Or do you want, you want the...

JARED PADALECKI:  Uh, I'll defer to the boss and then I'll chime in.

SEAMUS FAHEY:  Yeah, I mean, I don't know. I grew up, my dad loved westerns, so I watched westerns with him, and it was more interesting of like, which ones did my mom like? And just like, come at it more than like just the ones that dad liked. So, I always had like a little bit of like, instead of just Butch Cassidy, what's like McCabe and Mrs. Miller. What's the little Western that's a little off? So, I always loved them, the, the, the popular ones and the, you know, the obscure ones, One-Eyed Jacks, I think is one of the best westerns ever made, not many people talk about. So, I think it always stayed with me, and I think it stayed with a lot of, a lot of folks, like creators and just people who, you know, rewatched ones. And I don't know why it went dormant. Obviously there's Deadwood and gentleman by the name Taylor Sheridan, who kind of helped the revival. But, at the time, I think there wasn't a fresh take.

It's kind of what we were talking about earlier. I think part of the reason was we'd seen a lot of the same things like over and over again. So, I think the revival kind of started. I mean, it, it was funny cause when Anna and I were talking about it and we looped in Jared, it was, there was a little bit of like, they're never going to bite. No one's going to do a Western. Then, a couple shows came out and just changed the landscape. You know, The Harder They Fall came out and, and kind of just was a big splash. So, I think, to me, I think it went dormant because no one had figured out, how do we come at it from a different way? And that's why we say remix. It's not a remix of history at all. We're shining a light at history with, that was there, voices that are there. Margins of history that just wasn't told.

It's a remix of how it's told - the filmmaking, the storytelling, how, how we cast the show. So, I think that's, that's what kind of helped the resurgence for this show. And I think that's what's helping the resurgence of, not just TV, but film, is like everyone's coming at like, what haven't we seen before? What are different voices we haven't highlighted, and storylines, we, we kind of, haven't seen before? And maybe starting with the expectation, the tropes, and then like, I was talking about earlier, figuring out ways to subvert it or twist it, or go for the unexpected, or go for something that's a little uncomfortable and being patient with the storytelling to get someplace that we haven't, haven't seen. I think fundamentally that, that was the biggest thing.

JARED PADALECKI:  Yeah. I think yeah, I, too kind of echo and, and go off on a bit of a tangent possibly. Well, first and foremost, I want to say [OVERLAPPING]

SEAMUS FAHEY:   Jared, a tangent?

JARED PADALECKI:  Seamus, I also love One-Eyed Jacks. I know you you're upset that people don't talk about it. We can talk about it. But I think you know, Seamus obviously, Seamus and Anna had the Western idea. Seamus really spearheaded that. And I think, not just westerns, but I think genre stories in general. You know, I came from a show for 15 years that was a sci-fi genre. I think there's a bit more freedom in telling a genre show. You see this resurgence of superhero shows and thrillers and sci-fi, and now westerns, and I think there's some freedom that the actors and the writers are afforded, because if you were to write some scenes like we have in Wendy that take place in 2022, people would be like, “Nah, this is BS,” and change the channel.

So, I think another part of it and kind of touch on what Kat was talking about earlier, Katherine, you know, the Old West wasn't necessarily comfortable. And I guess I would say, a version of that is it, it wasn't conducive to comfort. So, there's something about seeing characters in, in an unfamiliar situation, persevere and work to keep finding who they are, like Lawrence is talking about, and I think a lot of the cast has talked about. And I think that was something that really struck me during the casting process. You know, the, the writers, not only do they create the road trip, [do] they say, “Hey, you need to go from point A to point B,” but they create the roadmap that it's on in the first place.

So, you get some actors and actresses that come in and they get from point A to point B. You may see somebody else come in and they go in a direction that you weren't really expecting and get to point B faster, or more efficiently or better, or more emotionally. So, I think to a person, our cast, they came in and they were the character. And I think it was, I've never heard of a show that got every number-one pick. Always somebody has a conflict or, you know, they're still tied into another show, they're guest-starring on or something. But each and every single person, once we were watching all the videos, were like, “Oh, that person is already that person.” I didn't even see that.

I think Seamus and Anna and the rest of the gang felt the same. But going back kind of closing the loop. Genre shows, specifically have a broader palette with which to play from. So, the Western, you know, it is making a resurgence, and I think that's wonderful.

QUESTION:  This is for the minority actors. What kind of responsibility do you feel in giving a new kind of performance, or a new kind of portrayal of minorities in the Old West? And how do you deal with that? It must be very difficult.

PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  Okay.  It is a heavy responsibility, because not all the time have our characters been showcased properly in westerns, and nine times out of ten, we do get the shorter end of the stick. And it's unfortunate, but with Seamus and Jared, our writers, everybody's doing a great job at showcasing us fully. And I'll tell a little story and then I'll let you go. [There] was a young black kid on set; he was one of the extras for the day, and his name was Elijah. He was just so excited to be there. He was just like, “I watched Walker and I, I watched Walker, Texas Ranger, and I'm a big [fan] of westerns.” And I just saw the excitement in his eyes. And that's the reason why I do it. Because I want a little boy to see themselves and say, “I can be that.” Because when I was growing up, I didn't see that in westerns. I didn't see that in a lot of media. So, for me it is a very rewarding feeling to be here and to do this with these amazing people. That's it.

LAWRENCE KAO:  Yeah. And the fact that we can even just flesh out these kinds of characters, like back in the 1870s, like in a Western, we never had the opportunity to do that, just showing that we exist is already something in itself. I just feel like people normally would see a character that looks like me in a Western and, and you know, you would, it's just, it's just natural to look down upon a character like that. You know, we were never perceived, I guess, in a cool light. And so just to, to exist in a way. Like even for Kai to be like, you know what, I'm going to embrace this accent. I'm going to make this accent cool. Like I'm going to make this like character like soulful. You know, it's just a cool opportunity, and it's a huge responsibility, but it's so much fun, and I’m just so excited to be here.

PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  Wow, don’t cry.


JUSTIN JOHNSON CORTEZ:  No, I could echo a lot of what they just said. Native people obviously have always kind of been around the Western genre, and I think, I think people have come to expect them in that genre. And I, and I, I think they need, they deserve to have a place in there. So, for me, it's, it's that I just want to make sure we're doing it in a way that is respectful, authentic, that makes this character feel like a complex human that people could relate to, and not just there to serve plot or serve another character. And a big part of the responsibility for me is to treat the Apache language and the Apache culture, with the respect it deserves. It’s, it's one of the few times we've seen this language on screen.

So, the responsibility to do that right is, is heavy. And you know, I'm always doing my best, and I'm always nervous that people will kind of just not see the weight of that. So, I hope people see how important it is that we're hearing this, this language and people are going to hear it all across the country, and maybe across the world and be incredible. It's a blessing. So, I'm just thankful, and I'm thankful to everyone behind it and everyone that's supportive here, and it's exciting. It's exciting. So, I'll rise to it, hopefully, and I’ll do my best.

PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  Oh, not hopefully. You're doing, you're doing it.

LAWRENCE KAO:  A quick one for Matt.


GABRIELA QUEZADA:  I just want to add that, the US, at the end of the day, is made up of different cultures. That's what we are. And the fact that there's so many stories that have never really been told is interesting. So, I think that's what's so exciting about the show, is that we're able to show so many different cultures that existed during that time, and everyone's stories, and you know, that's what makes the US the US. So why, why not show it?

SEAMUS FAHEY: I want to hear what Katie has to say, if, she was about to say something too. But I wanted to give a shout out to Larry Teng really quick. You know, when we pitched it and you know, you go through the process, and when the pilot goes, you're obviously looking for a director. I had worked with Larry before, and back of my brain, I knew he was kind of a perfect match, not just because he's a great filmmaker, he's, he's just a solid human being, and he's a logistical genius, which we needed to pull off. But, you know, it, it was, it was a tough thing again, at that time, like when we were pitching in getting into the pilot, it was very tough to kind of sell a Western. And Larry was onboard right away, and he was very excited when we met and talked about it.

And I hope he doesn't kill me if he ever hears this or whatever, but he got the vision and he just knew how to sharpen the vision and expand the vision. Uh, but I remember asking him, I was like, when we were out there in New Mexico and filming, I was like, “I never asked, like, why, why did you really want to do it?” And, and it was tough for him to even answer, based on everything that like Philly and Lawrence is saying, just like, “I haven't seen a Western like this and I've been waiting.” And, and he couldn't even finish his sentence. And it just meant a lot. And, and kind of like, you know, Justin's saying, just that, almost burden of responsibility of, we know we're not going to get everything right, but we're going to try; we're going to fucking try.

And we're going to leave it all on the field and do our best. But that was kind of like, that moment was like a little bit of a rallying call. And it just kind of spread between like how we talked to crew, how we were putting together the crew, how, how we talked to cast, we were putting, to how we approach the story, everything. But it was a huge moment in realizing like what, what we we're about to embark upon, no doubt.

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  We were so lucky to have Larry, because whenever you're starting a series, you have to have that person who has the vision and who can be there to connect what's on the page to what we're all doing emotionally to what's visually happening with the camera. And that was Larry, from the music to the camera, I mean, he had paintings on his vision board. He had all of these things that brought all of the elements of what the West is, all that nostalgia, but also added color and depth and interest and intrigue and all of this complexity, both in the way it was shot, to the way it was designed, to the way we played all of the moments. And it really added so much to make the pilot special. And that has kind of spurred us on, for lack of a better word, to continue on that. Thank you. I love puns. To continue on that, on that journey and on the trail with all these lovely folks.

GREG HOVANESSIAN:  Also, his leadership as well, was what really set the tone and set the bar. And yeah, Larry left us with something to, to carry on forward. Um, and we miss him. We miss him a lot.

SEAMUS FAHEY:  He’ll be back.

GREG HOVANESSIAN:  What, what he, what he started, he catalyzed something that was...

MATT BARR:  Justin just goes, “he's not dead, you guys.”


GREG HOVANESSIAN:  He touched all of us. So, you know, and we all miss him. We all miss him. Thank you for that question, that was a great question.

LAWRENCE KAO:  Who's Larry?

KATIE FINDLAY:  You’re the worst person I've ever met in my life, and I want you to know that in front of all these people.

GREG HOVANESSIAN:  Come on, Lawrence.

QUESTION:  Matt, is there something that a viewer should look for that they would see that would connect the two characters?

MATT BARR:  Oh my gosh. I mean, like I said, I think they're 90% of the... [JUSTIN POINTS TO BEARD]

KATIE FINDLAY:  Have you seen this? Have you seen this? (The beard)

GREG HOVANESSIAN:  You woke up like that.

QUESTION:  There's not a gesture or anything that you would say, oh yeah, that's something he would do?

MATT BARR:  Yeah. There's a wink. I think Hoyt has this sort of, he's so amused by [OVERLAPPING]


Make him do it.


Perfectly executed.

GREG HOVANESSIAN:  It got hot in here.

MATT BARR:  I think there's a, I think there's this little, there's a little swagger, the way that Hoyt walks [OVERLAPPING]

KATIE FINDLAY:  It’s a walk that I can't do because --

PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  You'll see it on behind the scenes stuff.

JARED PADALECKI:  There are also some pretty great Easter eggs as part of the dialogue that Seamus threw in there that we can't wait for the audience to see as they air, especially our crossover audience. Um, so yeah, I think, I think Matt is doing a great job of gingerly dancing around it, but there's certainly a not to the OG Hoyt. Or the, I guess it would be the new gangster. The old gangster.

MATT BARR:  Who’s the OG, Jared?

JARED PADALECKI:  I guess you're the OG now.

MATT BARR:  That's right. That's right.

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  Matt Barr is the OG. That's, that’s, end of story.

QUESTION:  This question is for Katherine.  Abby could have shot Sheriff Davidson but didn't. Can you talk about what her sense of justice is? And in what ways is she redefining it as things are thrown at her?

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  You know, with Abby, I think she's a woman who's a bit out of her time. You know, she is very well educated, very intelligent, but still somehow finds her in a world where she knows nothing. She has to completely start over her entire life, literally, you know, is gone in the first 15 minutes of our show, and stumbles into this town that is also finding itself. And it's, it's such an interesting opportunity to see a woman in this time period have such agency, and to be able to start over on a life that is for her, and to create her own destiny, while also trying to take revenge for the death of the love of her life. And try and find some sense of justice in a world where justice is always a shade of gray.

 But that is one thing I love about all of these characters is that I think everyone has their own sense of justice, and their own drive, and their own way of moving through the world that they think is right, and something that they're striving for, and something that they're hiding. So, you know, as the series unfolds, we get to see the different kinds of justice that happen in the West and the different ways in which these characters can go about accomplishing that.

QUESTION:  This question goes out to the executive producers. Obviously, watching the pilot episode of Walker Independence and, as Katherine said earlier, The CW verse at this point, obviously there are actors in this show that have been in other shows. Are we in surprise for other actors, referring to Mark Shepherd, that have been in other shows that we're gonna see as the show goes on? Either regular Walker or Walker Independence?


JARED PADALECKI:  If they say yes, then I can say yes. So yes.

QUESTION:  So those will be surprise guest stars.

SEAMUS FAHEY:  Yeah. Come on. You don't want me to give away, right?


JARED PADALECKI:  There are some people that there, there are some people from shows that also were on CW or WB back in the day, that are just perfect for certain roles. And I know that with Seamus and Anna's knowledge of kind of the CW/WB lexicon, they probably have a few different actors in mind, they're writing a few different things, and we’ll be sure to, to try and reach out to them, continue to reach out to them if, if the opportunity arises.

QUESTION:  My question is for Anna and Katherine…We don't often see westerns that are told from a female perspective. I was wondering if you could talk to that a little bit.

ANNA FRICKE:  I think just, just to jump in, I think first and foremost, when Seamus and I were talking about this, it's as, as Seamus was saying, like watching the westerns with his dad and, and paying attention to what his mom also liked, I think is a big part of it. It's like, we know we had this great world in Walker, and wanting to move forward and telling, you know, a remix with this spin on it. And what's, what's another point of view. And Walker is such a legacy story, obviously this is as well. And so, you know, we wanted to, to go back and tell it from that, from that origin essentially.

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  I’ll follow up on that. You know, my, my favorite thing about my job is that I get to be a storyteller. And I think, you know, there are a few story tropes that are told over and over again. But what makes stories interesting is when you find a new perspective, and a part of that story, or her perspective on that story that has not yet been told. Or has not yet been told in a certain way. And that's what we get to do with, with Walker Independence. It starts with Abby. It starts with this woman who has to rebuild her life from the ashes of her expectations.

And then it brings in all of these other characters in this town that's building itself up as well. And it allows for us to show what we hope is a more historically accurate version of the west than perhaps we've been able to see before on screen.

QUESTION:  I don’t know who wants to answer this question, but what are you guys most excited for fans to see this season?


PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  This right here.

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  All of this, all of these characters, all of the relationships, there's so much, and so many layers that I think there's, as Katie said, there's so many head canons and things that we all want to explore even more, so hopefully we'll be able to do so for the next several years.

MATT BARR:  I think, I think a lot of the, the magic in the show is the interactions between these characters and how, I mean, story in general is about change and how people, you know, how characters reinvent themselves. And so, it's fun to see how we ping-pong off each other. And, and the, the chemistry is so different between each of our, you know, our, our cocktails, I guess if you will.

PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  Yeah. And finish each other sandwiches.

KATIE FINDLAY: I’m sorry. I’ll give you space.

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  But sometimes we do finishes other’s (sandwiches) sandwiches.

MATT BARR:  So, westerns are just badass. There're horses, horse chases, bank robberies, gunfights, romance.

PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  Oh, why'd you say romance like that?

MATT BARR:  I love romance.

KATIE FINDLAY:  Let, it be known today, there is romance, that’s true.

MATT BARR:  I'm a lover, not a fighter. You know?

KATIE FINDLAY:  That's the first thing I tell people about you.


KATIE FINDLAY:  So, tell people to stop asking me about you.

GREG HOVANESSIAN: We’re all, we’re all learning it as we go along too. So...


GREG HOVANESSIAN:  But, but every, every time we get these scripts for each episode, it's like, we're so blown away about how all the plot points shift. And we, we, you know, we've discussed the, the direction of each... What are you guys doing? Get out of here. The direction of each character and, and we've, you know, want to get some insight on it, to try and hone it all out. And then there's shifts in the way it's presented by the writers. I think we need a shout-out to the writers and how incredible they present all of these plot twists and these, you know, evolution of each character.

So if I, I mean, if I'm blown away every time I read the script, I can't imagine what viewers are going to think. Cause it's like Christmas morning every time you get a script, a new episode.

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  And I think too, we're also proud of this community that we've built, both on camera and behind the lens. Every single person on this set is so passionate about telling the story and about the detail and every element of bringing this show to life. And I'm looking at a photo of our town right now, and thinking about the costumes, to the sets, to the props, to every single element. It really brings it together and creates this sort of visceral magic for all of us.

JARED PADALECKI:  Yeah. I think the interplay, what I'm excited about, the interplay between the cast, for sure. The storylines are incredible. And as a lot of the journalists and a lot of the cast and other producers that are here know already, TV is a giant machine. Making a TV episode is hundreds of people over weeks and/or months, long days and long nights to bring you 42 minutes every week, if we can. And so, sometimes you have to just have somebody there to get the job done. You know, somebody who might go, “they went that way.”

Here on this show, every single character could have their own show. No, one's there just to progress the storyline. They're all exciting and intriguing and kind of touch on what Matt touched on. Their interplay with each other is different. They're not just this person every single time. If they're talking to this character from the town, they have this relationship. And then it's very obvious what the relationship is with that person, and so on and so forth. Um, and so I've, I've really enjoyed, you know, I see the scripts obviously before they get filmed, but getting to watch some dailies and, some of the earlier cuts of the episodes. I've been like, I didn't even, I didn't think of that. Like how did they figure that out? So I'm just, you know, bravo all around from top to bottom.

HOST:  I also wanted to find out what Gabriela thinks about women in westerns. I mean, she plays this really unique character also and would love to hear her thoughts on that.

GABRIELA QUEZADA:  Yeah. I mean, as Kat said, I feel like you never get to see the perspective of women. And I think what's interesting is that all three of our characters seem to be very modern-day women in, in a western. My character Lucia is, I think trying to find herself, and she comes from a very traditional Mexican family. And gender roles in Hispanic families, there's the machismo and there's the marianismo. And women are often taught to self-deny, and it's family, it's family first, which I love, I love family. But I think that there's a cool journey of her trying to find herself and her independence and where she fits in this world. And that's different than what you, I think would normally see in a Western. And it's also very modern. It's a cool, modern twist on, I guess what would be traditional.

PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  Well said, I love Gabby too.

QUESTION:  I want to know, what is a historical event or moment, or even something that you've seen in westerns before that you loved, [that you’d] love to see explored in Independence?

PHILEMON CHAMBERS:  Heavy question. Okay, put me on the spot. For me, I really loved The Harder They Fall, and I'm glad that Seamus brought that up. Like everybody can tell you, I watch it probably six times a day. But I just loved that. They brought characters to life that didn't have light, that were played by different races, and now they're being more authentic. So, I love that, and I would love for that to continue. But I have to go, because I have to go to set, and I have to film.

JARED PADALECKI:  Love you, Philly!

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  Mine is a bit of a lighter version. I grew up in the Midwest. I've always loved, you know, I grew up playing the Oregon Trail computer game. I've always loved this idea of putting your entire life on a wagon and going out west. But there's such a romanticized idea of it. In the pilot, we actually had a historically accurate-sized covered wagon for part of it, and put in, you know, a piano, and a bunch of stuff that would've been their life: a bed, a bunch of clothing, books. It was tiny.

[If] you put myself and one other actor in there, you couldn't even fit the camera inside. We had to find creative ways to go from the outside. And it really just puts perspective to what people went through in that time, just to even get around.

KATIE FINDLAY:  I have one. I haven't, I haven't done a very good job. I've just been sitting here cracking wise. And I feel like everybody's been waiting for me to do this. The west was queer. It was queer. It was all kinds of people, all kinds of gender presentation, all kinds of... And, and I think that's something we see so rarely. Cowboys lived together in domestic marriages that were sometimes romantic and weren't. People ran away to the frontiers so that queer women could marry their wives and masquerade as men, because women couldn't own property. So, they bound and bought a damn ranch.

And I, I am so looking forward to the opportunity to explore it, both through my own queerness and, and the queerness of others, which sounds like a hilarious thing to say. But I think that, yeah, it's something that's not often touched on, sort of the, the wildness of frontier self-discovery and the kind of refuge that was available for people. I mean, not only of different sexualities and genders, but of, of cultures. To find peace or adventure or acceptance or escape or respite from the societal norm of the time.

And obviously in westerns that are a bunch of old, straight, white guys, you're, you're not going to see that. So, I'm really delighted to have been given the opportunity to, to get in there and wiggle around a little bit. I'm using weird verbs this morning, and I'm not sorry about it at all.

JUSTIN JOHNSON CORTEZ:   Wiggle, wiggle.

KATIE FINDLAY:  Everybody hates me.

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  I can't wiggle in the corset, I'm sorry.

KATIE FINDLAY:  You can wiggle like a paper doll. Justin, go.

JUSTIN JOHNSON CORTEZ:  Keep wiggling. I think for, for me, the historical part of it, that would be really interesting to see, is the reservation system at this time in history for native people, a lot of land is getting taken away and they were getting forced into, either smaller parts of their own land or getting moved to completely new places that they know nothing about. They know nothing about the, the land, what grows there, what food's there, and they were expected to thrive. Um, so that could be a really interesting to get thing to get into Seamus.


JUSTIN JOHNSON CORTEZ:  And, you know, I, I think, I think Calian’s character and his relationship with the town right now is, is a really cool thing that we're exploring, because the landscape was changing so much at this time. And, and native people did interact as people came west. So, it's, it's been really fun to find these relationships and find truth in them, and it's stuff we haven't really seen in the past. So, you know, a lot of times what we, what we write, we have really clear examples of. And so I, I almost feel like we're on a new frontier right now with this show, and exploring these relationships that I've never seen shown in TV and film. And I'm sure they're out there somewhere, but I never had the opportunity to see that. So that's been a really interesting part of this journey for me.

MATT BARR:  Just really quick, when, as the railroad moved west and these little towns sort of popped up, because the railroad started to splinter, I always loved the idea of what they represented. Which was that American dream of like, you, you can make what you want in this world. You know, you can build your own life. And it is, it is what you make it. And people fought and died for it. And yet they still kept coming west, still came because of what that meant to people, to have the freedom, to define your own life. And so that sounds romantic and…we're still doing it today, I guess, you know?

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  Well, that's exactly it. To follow onto what you were saying, you know, this story is such a, a classic story of a western, of people who are building their own lives and choosing their own independence. But it's such an allegory for today. We're at this point in the world where we have a chance to, in some ways, start over and in some ways reset. And I think getting to see a town go through that on such a small scale, on a network like The CW can be an example and an interesting allegory for our world today.

KATIE FINDLAY:  Well, because it also is the intersection of other people's freedoms, right? Because you can hold a personal freedom, like sure, we're going west. I want my own life. You get there, and suddenly your freedom is intersecting with the freedom of everybody who was already there. And there is, there is potential for, for damage and for harm, and watching how humans try, fail, try again to live peacefully with one another under various systems that sometimes, let's be real, really don't work, and sometimes do. Like there's a lot of tension, and often tenderness involved in those interactions.

And I think that's one of the, thematically, what a gigantic idea to then fold up in, you know, this little town full of people in the absolute middle of nowhere, who are all, like, many of them are experiencing each other, people like each other for, like literally the first time in their lives. There's no YouTube, you know, you're walking out in the middle of the desert all by yourself. So I think that, yeah, I, I agree with Kat that it is, it is sort of a, a microcosm of, of quite a, quite a, a contentious and broad thing about the world that we live in.

LAWRENCE KAO:  I think another fun thing to explore, history-wise would be the Chinese exclusion act. And you know, at that time, like they just stopped allowing Chinese people to come to America and, and, you know, not even own any businesses. So like to, to experience that, to actually explore that, if we get there would be pretty awesome.

SEAMUS FAHEY:  Yeah, just to piggyback off of everybody. I mean, we're all saying the word change a lot, and we're all saying the word identity. And, and, and I think, from day zero, day one onward, the idea of taking moments from history, you know, the railroad's coming, we know, you know, Chinese Exclusion Act, different Native American tribes being forced into reservations. All these historical events are happening. And I always thought it was interesting to be like, what were the very small conversations in a town in the middle of nowhere that were happening before these huge events that we just read about in history books. And just kind of reducing it down to characters, and like focusing on like the emotional impact of that, and moments that we don't necessarily think about when we're in a history class.

Because it’s called Independence for a reason, too. So, it's like, everyone's trying to figure out like, who they are on their own while these massive events are happening and there's this huge turning point of what the country was, what Texas was, what this town could be, and who these people are and how they're going to adapt. I think it's just combining that, the historical backdrop of that, while being excited about building the characters in a way where they're heading toward a certain direction, and then you, you flip it. You flip the script, you, you know, pull the rug out from under people and, and have some unexpected turn.

In the marriage of character and history, I always think that's another thing, going back to what Jared was saying earlier. I think westerns can do that better than any other genre, you know, for all the obvious reasons. But I think the potential of that, we haven't even tapped into yet.

JARED PADALECKI:  And blame Katie.

QUESTION:  …Seamus talked about watching classic westerns with his dad. I want to tap into a few other people, Justin and, and Matt and anyone else who wants to chime in. Can you relate Walker Independence with any of the classic westerns, whether, and you can combine them like, Dodge City with a touch of Lone Ranger, or High Noon with a touch of Maverick. Is there any classic old Western that just has a wink and a nod that you see there in Independence?

MATT BARR:  I see it more, I see it more with characters, you know? What was kind of cool about when Wyatt Earp and, and his brothers went to Tombstone, you know, what, what was cool was that these were like, they were kind of anti-law. If you remember, they were like gunslingers that became lawmen. And I think we have some of that DNA in our show. Um, I can't talk too much about that maybe, but we will, we will see about how, you know, these, these towns were... What's funny is that these sheriffs and these lawmen were actually, you know, outlaws at one point in time. Um, and we see that in a lot of those classical westerns, like, you know, Tombstone, to mention one.

JUSTIN JOHNSON CORTEZ:  I just love Chavez from Young Guns.  That's the one Western I watch. I was like, yeah, him. The rest of them, it's like, you want to be, you want to be the guys from Tombstone, because they're taking care of business. But for me, you know, I, I think we're doing something different. Again, like I've said, I don't think I would relate to doing this character, or even agree to, if I thought there was something out there that I'd already seen before, and I think that's why we're doing it.

MATT BARR: I do see a, I see a lot of Matt Dillon in, in Augustus’ character that, that nobility, you know, his moral compass is right on target.

KATHERINE MCNAMARA:  I mean, I would hazard to say, no. I think that's our whole goal here, is to make something new. And to take a genre that yes, there's elements of it. There're characters, there's the warm nostalgia of seeing, you know, a horse walking down a western street and women in these grand dresses, and a cow in Congress in the middle of town for no reason. Spoiler alert. But that's what our goal is here, is to create a new perspective on this genre, and to create something that you haven't seen before, and to shed light on things that are very uncommon in this genre. And, and, you know, yes, we will have homages to things throughout, but hopefully we can accomplish that.

KATIE FINDLAY:  I'm going to say that Kate's Blazing Saddles all by themselves. But other than that, yeah, that's something I do find refreshing is that, you know, you can look back into a lot of classic westerns, but there are going to be people who are misrepresented, insulted, left out completely. Um, so, you know, you can say that the, the spirit of High Noon walks around in everyone handling their problems without giving it away, holding the weight of the world on their shoulders, without, you know, joining in community, refusing to join in community until it's a desperate situation.

But I, I see us as a Western about community, rather than separation or isolation or violence, per se. Even though, you know, lots of people ride horses through barns and do cool stuff, I'm not allowed to swear. Um, but, but yeah, I think, I think there is sort of a... a unique communal support and an emotional side to Walker Independence that that just sort of shifts it slightly away from most, most of the classic westerns that I've seen, which is a reasonable amount, I think. Don't look at me like that.

JUSTIN JOHNSON CORTEZ:  Love you so much.

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