INTERVIEW: Fear The Walking Dead’s Danay García talks leaving the ranch and girl power
Season three of Fear The Walking Dead has been turbulent for all its characters, but perhaps none more so than Luciana Galvez.
Uprooted from her home, her family gone, her decision to leave the ranch and Nick behind has had huge ramifications for the series. Where will Luciana go next? Could she make a comeback? Is this the end for her relationship with Nick?
We sat down with Danay García, who portrays Luciana, ahead of Monday’s midseason premiere to talk all things Fear The Walking Dead, including her character’s journey, relationship with Nick [Frank Dillane] and the powerful women at the core of the series.
The fan response to Fear The Walking Dead has really blown up this season. How has that felt?
Amazing. We’ve been in Mexico since December, we’ve been shooting and no response. It’s been really challenging but all that challenge and all that adrenaline that we’ve put in it definitely shows. We’re not really acting being exhausted. We are really living the sun, the dust, the dirt and I think people respond to that.
Luciana left the ranch in the first half of the season. Why?
She left the ranch because her morals aren’t synchronised with the rules at the ranch and that’s enough for her to leave on her own. She’s leaving the only person she has left because she cannot handle this because of her morals. It comes with a price but it saves her because she has her soul. Even though she almost died, she knows she’d rather die in a battle than live here with these people who killed her family. It comes with a price, but that’s what keeps her sane, and I admire that.
If you were to leave the show, how would you like Luciana to go out?
I would like to leave gloriously. I think she deserves that. I wouldn’t like to just be slammed by a car. If she’s gonna go, I would like her to go in a battle – fighting for whatever she believes in.
What can you tell us about Luciana and Nick’s relationship and where it’s at now?
Working on that split up was very hard for me because we have such a great time. I will miss working with [Frank Dillane, who portrays Nick], but as characters it was difficult to see them go apart. He survived because of her and she survived because of him – they owe that to each other. To separate right now because of the morals and the values is really hard. I am at a place where I’m rooting for them to be together, because they fell in love in times of apocalypse. If you are able to open your heart in that space, it’s because it’s worth pursuing. I’m hoping they will come back together.
Did you meet Frank to work on your chemistry before filming?
Not at all. I’ll tell you a funny story. I was in the minivan driving to the hotel, and in the back there was a guy. [I ask] the guy in the back ‘what do you do?’ [and he says] ‘I’m a stunt’. There are so many zombies, anyone can be a stunt.
So I’m on set, I’m sitting there and I see a guy walking, covered in blood that kind of looks like Frank. I go up to him and say ‘Hi, I’m Danay, I play Luciana’ and he’s like ‘I’m the stunt that you saw in the car’. He was dressed as Frank covered in blood.
So I went back to my chair and then Frank comes in but I think he’s the stunt! I’m like ‘hey what happened?’. He’s like ‘Hi, I don’t know you’ [and] I was like ‘Oh my god, you’re real Frank!’ Covered in blood with the same clothes… That’s how we met. That broke the ice.
How do you feel about Fear the Walking Dead being more female-oriented than The Walking Dead?
It’s just looking at [The Walking Dead] with a different filter. It’s like how a woman will take care of her family in this time of apocalypse and it’s been really fun! We’re smart creatures and [this is] how we use our psychology to overcome obstacles. Let’s make it more unique and dark and scary and twisted. It has everything.
Were you a fan of The Walking Dead when you started on the series?
I’m really afraid of horror films. Like terrified. It was not for me, but when Walking Dead started, one of my friends [Sarah Wayne Callies, who Danay worked with in Prison Break] was in it. It didn’t scare me because it captured this new world that is not horror. I loved it from the start. I went to the premiere of The Walking Dead. I did the entire thing supporting her and watching the whole thing. The funny thing is that when Sarah got the part I remember I was thinking to myself ‘oh poor thing, she’s gonna be in the middle of nowhere covered in blood’. Five years later, I’m in Mexico, covered in blood…