English actress Julia Ormond admits there was a “bumpy” time when she found out her new series, The Walking Dead: World Beyond, would only run for two seasons, but teases that producers could always change their minds: “it’s television” after all.
Ormond plays Lt-Colonel Elizabeth Kublek in The Walking Dead spin-off series, who is commander of the Civic Republic Military and a woman not to be missed with.
The actress wasn’t familiar with The Walking Dead when she was approached about the role, but caught up quickly!
She told EW: “So I binge-watched it and sure enough, three episodes in, I was completely hooked to the point where I binge-watched it all the way through. It’s a quite gripping and often quite brutal binge-watch, but I just really loved it. I loved the characters that they create. I think they pull it off. I think they’ve created a universe that is very specific, and that’s always really helpful as an actor.”
Ormond admitted to tension with AMC after she found out it would only last two seasons after she got the role.
“Yeah, it was a little bumpy the way that it got rolled out, but they are our boss, the studio. That’s how they roll. I think, I don’t know. It’s a double-edged sword. I would also say that whatever the announcements are — it’s television, they could always change their mind. But I do think it’s an opportunity for them to write in a different way. I think it holds them to a different type of storytelling that I think could be good for it. Well, let’s hope that it’s good for it and not bad for it.”
She believed they had “successfully shaped” Fear the Walking Dead and Walking Dead: World Beyond as their own entities, which could find a new and different audience to The Walking Dead.
“As I said before, that creative dance of being able to honour this is the universe, these are the rules, and at the same time have these three different tracks is quite tricky, and I think they do a really good job of it.”
Kublek seemed curiously interested in Hope and Iris in the first episode; what could Ormond say about that?
“Obviously, when it comes to Iris and Hope, Elizabeth has an agenda,” she said. “She has an agenda that she has to fulfil that’s around a philosophy, and I think it’s the episodes to come that will unpack for us to what degree is she transgressing what she’s meant to do. Is she doing it for her own volition? Why is she doing it? All those things, I think, are story points to come.”
Kublek is a forceful figure. How would Ormond relate to her character in real life?
“You mean if she landed with her helicopter and her guards and her tridents and swiftly took some zombies out? I think I wouldn’t really want to be friends with her. I’ve got to be honest. I would want to stay off her radar. Maybe that’s too much of a giveaway, but I think I’d probably hide.”
The Walking Dead: World Beyond season one is available on Amazon Prime Video in the UK.