‘The Walking Dead: World Beyond’ actors on parallels between zombie apocalypse and COVID-19


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‘The Walking Dead: World Beyond’ actors on parallels between zombie apocalypse and COVID-19

Parallels can be drawn between the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and a zombie apocalypse, say Aliyah Royale and Hal Cumpston, who star in horror series “The Walking Dead: World Beyond”, as the newcomers believe the current situation across the world is “frightening” and full of “confusion”.

“World Beyond”, the third series in the popular horror zombie franchise, hands over its reins to young blood and focuses on “the first generation to come-of-age in the apocalypse” in Nebraska.

Based on the popular comic series of the same name by Robert Kirkman, the AMC show also stars Annet Mahendru, Nico Tortorella, Alexa Mansour, and Nicolas Cantu.

Asked if comparisons can be drawn between the coronavirus pandemic and a zombie attack, Royale told PTI in a Zoom roundtable interview that the fear of the unknown could “really get into our psyche”.

“If you turn on the news or look at your phone notification, it’s there and it seems like the beast is just a part of your daily life all the time. Although that is the same for the fact that you could be killed… Things are scary and frightening but we’re gonna be okay,” the actor, who plays Iris on the show, said.

“Just live in that unknown space than never be in that space and never become who we’re actually supposed to be. I wish more people had that same hope that you see as portrayed on ‘World Beyond’. I wish that was replicated in our contemporary society today,” she added.

Cumpston said when he was shooting for the show in Los Angeles, he was looking forward to attending the premiere of the series like a “proper actor”.

Courtesy the p andemic, it was all in vain and he had to return home to Australia. It was funny that “World Beyond” was scheduled to start airing around the time the world continues to grapple with the deadly virus, he noted.

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“Now it’s a little bit more understandable because we have a bit of an idea of what happens with it but it is just crazy how confusing it is. The rules also change every two seconds…” Cumpston, who plays Silas, said.

Unlike the zombies, colloquially called ‘walkers’, Royale said, the teenagers in “World Beyond” are called ’empties’ because “there’s nothing left”.

“We have a different perspective of them, we don’t see them as completely dead and gone as we encounter them. Sometimes it pains us to have to take one out or when we know that we have to protect ourselves against one, because we still feel like there is something there.

“And at the same time we feel why even go on this journey and figure out who we are or what we want, if we’re ultimately just going to end up like that,” she added.

For Cumpston, the concept behind “World Beyond” is appealing as the series, even though amplified by zombies, is a recipe for an “interesting piece of young adult show”.

“You’re in the apocalypse and it’s a classic young dumb teen thing, like ‘I can do anything’. Then, they go out there and fully start experiencing it. They also go through all the normal things of being a teenager and becoming adults. They are starting to form an identity,” he said.

The 10-episode series is set to premiere on Amazon Prime Video from Friday in India.

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Sagar Biswas

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