Daniel Sharman and Sam Underwood on "Fear The Walking Dead" Themes (Interview)

With any post-apocalyptic work of fiction, numerous large-scale themes such as existentialism and survivalism are bound to arise in the plot and dialogue. Actors Daniel Sharman and Sam Underwood are new additions to AMC's "Fear The Walking Dead" as brothers Troy Otto and Jake Otto, respectively. When visiting San Diego Comic Con to promote the return of the show for the second half of season three, we asked about these larger themes and what working on the show has made them learn on a personal level as a result of portraying and reflecting on such material.

"It's interesting because we obviously joined this cast on a well-established show," says Sharman. "People, actors as well, have gotten into a groove and way of working. It's quite interesting joining a cast when you're also playing a racist, white... very odd family. That's quite an odd way to introduce yourself. We shoot in a very remote location in Mexico so you feel like you've got to [form] a bond. I think it was really interesting, you form these really amazing attachments to people very quickly, and that happens in the show, which I'm really glad the writers put in there. Human beings, it doesn't matter how crazily different they are. You will always form these tendrils of attachment to people through it and that's what's so beautiful about some of the writing and it's got that - even though we are so different."

"I think that from a thematic standpoint, the basic idea that Troy represents, this is kind of what I take away from it," begins Underwood. "Troy represents the arm of society that again particularly right now is angry and is there for survival, there's fear of the Other, and there's this real animal need to protect ourselves. Our dad has set up this beautiful community for people which the majority is a really peaceful community. But they have to have this kind of border militia, mindset to keep us safe and that's why the racism and that kind of culture comes into it. So Troy represents in my mind that need for intense survival and aggression towards protecting yourself whereas Jake, being a constitutional lawyer, he is the exact opposite in a way. [He's] hoping to rebuild a crumbling or crumbled democracy cause now the lines are blurred between what's right morally and ethically and what is accepted and what do we need to do to survive? Jake thinks that civilization needs some form of democracy or some form of constitution in a way to keep everyone maintaining a sense of morals and ethics. I think that's the question that comes up a lot between us in this beautiful clash of ideals which continues throughout the season. It's really, really cool."

Fear The Walking Dead returns for season 3B on AMC on September 10.


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