Interview: Cast Members Scigliuzzi, Levi, Charrier, & Ebouaney on Joining The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon

The Walking Dead: Daryl DixonTonight, the newest spinoff of the The Walking Dead franchise, Daryl Dixon, hits AMC and AMC Plus. In the series, Daryl (Norman Reedus) washes ashore in France where he travels across the country hoping to make his way home. On the way, he meets a group of people who complicate that goal, including nun Isabelle (Clémence Poésy), from the Union de L’Espoir (Union of Hope), who thinks that Daryl is the one to escort Laurent (Louis Puech Scigliuzzi), who they believe to be humanity’s greatest hope, across the country to a place called The Nest. Causing further complications, is soldier Codron (Romain Levi), hell-bent on killing him, who works for the political group Pouvoir des Vivantes, and their leader, Genet (Anne Charrier).

Recently, Scigliuzzi, Levi, and Charrier, along with Eriq Ebouaney, who plays Fallou, spoke with the media about the new series. SciFi Vision was on hand to ask the group to talk about what it was like joining such a popular franchise.

The young Scigliuzzi admitted that he didn’t know much about the original series, but added that it does, however, mean a lot to him.

The adult performers, however, were more familiar with the franchise. “I was a fan,” Charrier told the site. “I'd seen all the seasons, so being a part of it was just amazing…I think fans like me would have never thought they could be a part of the show.”

Ebouaney, who had seen the first two seasons of the flagship series, said that he “was thrilled and honored to be part of the franchise” and said working with Norman and the cast and crew was “unbelievable.”

Levi was also excited to speak to his role. “I am a big, big fan of the show, the original show,” he told SciFi Vision. “For me, it's really a dream come true. It's really unbelievable. It's funny, because I remember it was like ten years ago, I used to work in a bakery, and I was tired doing this. And at the end of the day, I was so happy to go back home, to eat something and to watch three or four episodes in a row of The Walking Dead, so to be in it, it's really something huge.”

The actor continued that he wished he could talk to his former self. “[I’d] tell him, ‘Man, you’re happy to watch three or four episodes of The Walking Dead; you’re going to play in it! You’re going to play with Daryl Dixon.’ It's beyond my wildest dream.”

Read the full transcript below and be sure to catch the new series tonight on AMC and AMC Plus.

The Walking Dead: Daryl DixonQUESTION:  So far we have seen the zombie apocalypse in the United States and how that has affected the country. How differently is France doing in this zombie apocalypse? How are the conditions there right now?

ROMAIN LEVI:   So, actually, we won't be able to speak exactly about the kind of zombies are in France, but what we can tell you is that they are strong. And obviously, France is at war, we have to survive in this world, in this country, and it's not easy. We have to do different types of things in order to kill these difficult zombies.

SCIFI VISION:   For all of you, this is such a huge franchise and so popular across the world. How familiar were you with it, and what did it mean to you to join this franchise?

LOUIS PUECH SCIGLIUZZI:   I mean, I didn't really know about The Walking Dead. I mean, my dad spoke about it with my mom. But it does mean a big thing. It does.

ANNE CHARRIER:   I was a fan. You know, I'd seen all the seasons. So, being a part of it was just amazing…I think fans like me would have never thought they could be a part of the show. But I know that Romain was a big fan as well.

ROMAIN LEVI:   Yeah, I am a big, big fan of the show, the original show. And for me, it's really a dream come true. It's really unbelievable. And it's funny, because I remember it was like ten years ago, I used to work in a bakery, and I was tired doing this. And at the end of the day, I was so happy to go back home, to eat something and to watch three or four episodes in a row of The Walking Dead. So, to be in it, it's really something huge. I wish I could, in a way, speak to that guy…and to tell him, “Man, you’re happy to watch three or four episodes of The Walking Dead. Man, you’re going to play in it! You’re going to play with Daryl Dixon.” It's beyond my wildest dream.

SCIFI VISION:   What about you Eriq?

ERIQ EBOUANEY:   Yeah, I mean, I just saw the first two seasons because my kids and my wife are watching the franchise. I only saw the first two seasons. I was thrilled and honored to be part of the franchise. Especially the first time for the reading, when we met for the first run through, I mean, it was an unbelievable moment [audio cuts] feeling to be surrounded by Norman [and the] cast and everything.

QUESTION:   What would you say was your character's first reaction upon meeting Daryl Dixon?… What did your character think of him?

ANNE CHARRIER:   Well, my character is really looking forward to meeting him, you know, seeing him killed, would be the what you would expect first. You know, she's very upset with him.

ROMAIN LEVI:   Yeah, for me too. I'll not exactly say why, but definitely Daryl Dixon is Codron’s enemy. And actually, it was fun, because it was the first day of the shooting. We had this big fight, and I was very impressed to see Norman like that. But actually, he has been so kind with me. He was very gentle and was always asking me if my head was okay, if my neck was fine, because he punched me a lot. I have to say this. So, to feel this kindness the first day of the shooting, it was really perfect. I couldn't dream of a better way to start the show. But definitely Codron, he doesn't like Daryl so much.

LOUIS PUECH SCIGLIUZZI:   Yeah, so my character was really curious about Daryl, it could be a new father figure to him. Laurent hasn't seen many men in his life, and that's the second one he sees. It's kind of a big reveal for Laurent. Who is this man going to be for him?

QUESTION:   Can you each describe your characters and explain to us a little bit about how you connected with them personally?

ANNE CHARRIER:   Louis, would you start?

LOUIS PUECH SCIGLIUZZI:   Yeah, I would. Well, my character is very curious about everything. Just like me, if I see something new in my life, something that I've never tried, I'd like to try and understand it. That's one of [my] points in common with Laurent. He's a very smart guy, just like me. He's a very smart kid, and he feels people. He feels when they're sad, when they need some help. But he understands. He can understand animals. Not that he can speak with them, but he has a bond with people, which is exceptional.

ROMAIN LEVI:   Codron is a soldier for a movement called the Pouvoir des Vivantes. Our leader is Genet, as you know. And what [I] have in common with Codron, I think, is the fact that Codron doesn't give up [on] things. And he will do everything he can to get what he wants. Well, I don't know if I'm like that exactly, but I'm trying to be. When I want something, I'm trying to do everything I can to get what I want. I don't like regrets so much. I don't like the feeling that “Oh, I could have worked more. I could have invested more on this.” So, I like to do everything I can to get what I want. So, I think we have that in common.

ANNE CHARRIER:   My character is Marielle (?) Genet, and she's the head of a political movement called Pouvoir des Vivantes, and she believes that she can make the world a safer and better place, at least for her. And what do I have in common with her? I hope not much. But I'd say I know what I would love to have in common with her. I would love to have that kind of natural authority that makes you feel comfortable wherever you are. But I don't have it that much.

ROMAIN LEVI:   I think you have it [laughs]

ANNE CHARRIER:   [laughs] So, that's it…I do have something that she has, is that I'd love the world to be the fairest place, you know, to be fair, but that is so genuine. She's working on it in such a special way, that I'm not sure we're on the same path exactly.

QUESTION:   Romain…I want to just ask a bit more about Norman, because he was never supposed to be this legendary Walking Dead character. I think he was only kind of bought in as a side guy, and now we've got a spin off on him. How did it feel meeting him? Were you intimidated? Obviously, your character is very alpha. He's very alpha. Without giving too much away, what can viewers expect from these guys kind of coming head to head, face to face?

ROMAIN LEVI:   Well, yeah, I was intimidated, clearly, and I can be shy in my life. So, to see him like that, it's really something. You know, I’ve watched so many episodes, so suddenly I see him in real life. But again, he has been and is so kind, really, that this kindness gave me so much confidence. And actually, it's not just Norman, this team has been so kind all together. We are really all working together. And to feel that, it helped me to directly be focused on the character and the work and let go. But yeah, he deserves so much where he is right now. He's such a professional actor, such a brilliant actor. He’s amazing and a beautiful human being. So, yeah, it's totally deserved in my opinion.

LOUIS PUECH SCIGLIUZZI:   …So, you know, Norman Reedus is a world-famous person. He's a really kind person. The first time I met him, I was at the audition. I think it was the third time I went there to try out, and I saw Norman. I didn't really know who he was at the time…He was really kind to me. We spoke for a couple of hours. You know, Norman is intimidating. He's this badass guy. You wouldn't like to mess with him, but he's actually so kind. You can even describe him as a marshmallow. He's like, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, if you know what I mean.

ANNE CHARRIER:   I completely agree with what the guys just said. I was very impressed at first knowing that I was going to meet him, but then he walks in the room, and apart from that [charisma] that he has, is so easy going. The guy is just…makes you feel comfortable very easily, and you start to talk about things in life and whatever France, and [it’s] very easy.

QUESTION:   One of the things that I found to be really fascinating was the balance that you find between speaking English and French, and it's really natural, I felt like. Daryl finds a dictionary, so that helps. You know, like there're all these little ways of making it work out for an American audience, but also a global audience. Could you talk a little bit about striking that balance between playing characters that are speaking English and French, knowing that most of The Walking Dead audience probably doesn't speak French, but making it accessible through your performances, and what that's like?

ROMAIN LEVI:   For me, it was very fun to do. But in the first season, I don't speak so much. English a bit, a bit, not so much, but I loved it. It's very interesting, because as an actor, it's different. I mean, the words are different, and the way it's resonating inside, is different. So, you can play [it] subtly in a different way. I don't know if I'm very clear in my English right now. So, it was very cool to do. But sometimes, I wanted to be sure that I was understanding everything, because we could improvise sometimes, so I had in English to be a little more focused on the words, but it was very fun to do. I love it. And yeah, in a way, it gave me freedom in English. I felt a kind of freedom playing in English. Yeah.

ANNE CHARRIER:   I completely share that. There's something very thrilling in playing in a language that has been, as well, the language of the cinema. You've been watching [it]. So, it's very exciting, and we didn't have to work so much on it, as we didn't have to be speaking perfect English. We would come over with our accents [and] with mistakes and stuff. So, the pressure wasn't huge. But being able to swap like that from a French to English and to see how the acting would resonate, that was very exciting.

LOUIS PUECH SCIGLIUZZI:   Yeah, I agree with them. It was really exciting. It is my first experience in the cinema, but I feel like being in the show, and being able to switch to French and English has really helped me improve my languages, especially my English, because I spoke English quite a bit with my dad, but I didn't have a great accent. And it's starting to get better, everyday I'm on set. It is a nice thing to know that it's improving.

QUESTION:   There's a lot of good messages in [the show] about faith and hope. What's the message that you hope the audience takes away from this this first season?

ANNE CHARRIER:   Keep on going, because that's something that's all the characters, that Daryl emits on his way. They kept on going sometimes on the wrong path, but they kept on going. They wanted to leave. Whatever happened, you know, even though they were dealing with stuff, very harsh stuff, they kept on going. So, I'd say that's the message that I think is the main message of the season.

ROMAIN LEVI:   Yeah, no matter how dark a place can be, you can find light in a way. Sometimes it takes time, but you can find a light. Yeah, that's what I felt from the script directly.

LOUIS PUECH SCIGLIUZZI:   Yeah, I would say, because when you refer to all the characters, they have a dark life. They live hidden from the light, to protect themselves and their families. And I think it would be, no matter if you have problems in your life, if you [fall] down, you should still keep going and trying to push. I think that that's what I [felt] when I read the script.

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