“The Walking Dead” is back on the bug screens– bringing more twists and turns in its final season. Last season left a climax as Leah (Lynn Collins) wandered off into the woods with no explanation.
It was a tough one to swallow, as fans wondered how the first official love interest for Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) in ten seasons of the series would just disappear forever, effectively killing the romance between her and Daryl.
However, this new season immediately kicked off with a shocker in its first episode, as it saw Daryl and Leah’s reunion in a trial by fire. No one could possibly predict the big twist that Leah is a member of the bad guys, ‘The Reapers.’
In a chat with Decider, Collins explained that the villain role was a large part of why she signed onto the series among other things.
Get all the scoop of the interview below.
Her Disappearance Was For A Short While
The interview started when Collins was asked how much she knew about her return when she first signed on the show. Her response revealed that she was not really in the dark about the entire affair.
“I knew quite a bit. It was, I knew that I would come back in this group, The Reapers. But what happens after I did come back, I didn’t know. And I kind of still don’t know, they’re all deciding that the writers are still working all of that,” she quipped.
“I knew when I got this job, the contract was through the last season. That’s why I jumped, because I was like, this is such a cool opportunity, there’s so many twists and turns for this character, and Daryl and Leah’s relationship.”
“The Reapers really speak to this extremist point of view that I feel is totally parasitic, and in society in general. And I was like, I definitely would love to expose a little bit of that and bring that to the floor, and play with it and see if I can be part of that level of catharsis for some people who may have been raised that way, or experienced that kind of extremism.”
Fans Reactions To Daryl and Leah’s Romance
Collins really had a lot to say when quizzed about fans’ reactions to her romantic entanglement with Norman in the series.
“There are people who hate Leah. There are people who love Leah. There are people who want Daryl and Leah to be together… The passion is kind of unparalleled,” she started.
“I don’t know of any other show in history that has the kind of fans that are this emotionally involved. I think it’s exciting. [Norman Reedus] keeps saying in these interviews, “I am not the writer.
My job is to tell the story that I’ve been given, and I can’t control what happens. I can’t control where the character goes. It’s just my job, fill it as best I can.”
“At the end of the day I feel like the conflict between love and hate… all of these characters on some levels are gray and are making good decisions, bad decisions. I don’t know. We’ll see, let’s see what they keep writing,” Collins concluded.
Leah’s Character Change
Another talking point of the interview was Leah’s character change from season 10 to season 11. Collins let it spill about how she found the connective fiber between the two instances.
“When working on a character, especially somebody that hasn’t had the arc that this character does, what’s so important is the intention. What is her intention? What is she living for? When we find Leah and Daryl, and they’re in their cabin, it’s living for each other, right? She asked.
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Collins further revealed that Leah would be faced with a difficult choice as the season goes on.
“I mean, they have these families that are out there, and she doesn’t know where hers is. She doesn’t know if she’ll [find] them again, but they bond because they really have each other, they’ve shared their grief and then he leaves and she is found by this family[reapers], then it becomes all about protecting the family
“…What ends up happening is then Daryl comes into this situation, which is somebody she loves. Now she has to choose between him and the family she loves,” she explained.
How The Burning Scene Was Done
The burning scene at the end of the first episode of the new season was mind-blowing, luckily, Collins gave us the full scoop on how it all happened.
“The special effects… God bless Troy [Collins Jr.] and his team, especially as I’ve seen, [are] so amazing. We did it a lot of different ways. You do it without the fire.
…For instance, when we did the house burning, there was some fire in there, but most of it’s CGI, except the shot when you’re seeing the whole entire cabin burning down,” Collins commented.
“We actually did burn down the whole cabin, but we do it without the special effects as many times as we need to get the coverage of actors’ performances. Then we specifically go in with the dangerous elements and do it in a very specific contained, controlled way.”
“The actor did a couple of takes where he was with near fire, and then we pulled him. It’s illusion where the camera, there are certain angles where you can make it look like he’s in a fire, but he’s technically not.
…Then they actually put in a dummy that was actually burning. Then they go on in the post-production path and they accentuate all of that to make it look real,” Collins disclosed.