The Walking Dead: World Beyond star Nico Tortorella says they’ve waited a long time to play someone like Felix so when the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the premiere they were mildly annoyed.
Show runner Matt Negrete rang Tortorella just before the planned launch of The Walking Dead: World Beyond in April to tell them it was being postponed.
They told EW: “I mean, when Contagion was the No. 1 movie on iTunes, and then I get the call from Matt being, ‘I don’t think the world’s ready for World Beyond’. And I was like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. I think this is the perfect time!’
“All that being said, I think this show is coming at the perfect time. I don’t think that there are any coincidences in this life, and World Beyond is absolutely art imitating life, in ways that none of us expected when we were creating it. There’s some real medicine in these characters, in this story. And I’m just excited for the show to come out as maybe a tool that we all can use to heal, even just a little bit.”
The Walking Dead: World Beyond is the two-season spin-off of The Walking Dead and chronicles the post-apocalyptic landscape 10 years after the Zombie invasion, from the perspective of four young protagonists.
Tortorella plays Felix, a security man from the Campus Colony who is taken in by the Bennett family after he’s kicked out of home when he reveals he’s gay. It’s a character with a lot of relevance to them.
They said: “I’m so excited to bring this character, specifically a queer character, to life in a way that isn’t solely realised by the violence that he experiences because of who he is. He’s a full-blown queer superhero, and I’m here to play this role.”
Negrete has compared the series to the classic coming-of-age movie Stand By Men as opposed to a full-on Zombie fest.
Tortorella felt it was somewhere between the two. “I mean, I think even in the Stand By Me moments, Felix is still on the watch or ready to throw it down at any given moment. I am not one of the kids, but I am watching this story unfold through their eyes with the viewers, and it’s so beautiful. I mean, there’s an innocence, right?”
The kids in The Walking Dead: World Beyond exhibit that “naivety” that exists in youth, but which unfortunately, as we get older, some of us, not all of us, lose, they said.
“This story is being told through that perspective. It really leads to the question of not just what does it mean to survive, but what does it mean to live? How can we hold on to life? And if that’s not art imitating life currently, I don’t know what is.”
The Walking Dead: World Beyond is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video in the UK and across Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Africa and select countries in Europe.