(Ed. Note – This interview was conducted before the mid-season finale, which aired on December 1, 2013.)
I was fortunate enough to interview one of the new, yet short-lived cast members on The Walking Dead – Juliana Harkavy, AKA ‘Alisha’.
Dina: How familiar were you with the show before you were cast? What about the comic?
Juliana: I was familiar enough to know the main characters and what kind of energy I wanted to bring to the show. I started reading the comics on set and thought they were incredible. Part of me wished I’d read them all before we started filming, but on the other hand, not knowing what was going to happen gave me more artistic freedom.
Dina: If you were an existing fan, how easy/hard was it for you to separate what you already knew about certain characters – the governor, for example – and play it as you were meeting them for the first time?
Juliana: My character is introduced at a time when both the plot and the pre-existing characters are going through a lot of changes. This made it easier for me to look at them with fresh eyes and detach myself from what I already knew of them.
Dina: On the flip-side, if you weren’t already a fan of the show, did you read up on it/binge-watch to catch up?
Juliana: I definitely spent a full day watching previous episodes before we started shooting. But it was more to get into the proper mind frame than to catch up on the show.
Dina: Talk about where you see your character in the storyline – is she someone we should keep an eye on?
Juliana: It’s the zombie apocalypse! You should keep your eye on all people at all times.
Dina: I know you can’t give away spoilers, but is it safe to get attached to the Alisha/Tara relationship? I like them together.
Juliana: I like them together too. I already have a whole board on Pinterest dedicated to matching camouflage wedding dresses and tree bark engagement rings. A+T forever.
Dina: TWD isn’t your first stint in Hollywood – Have you had any memorable experiences with fans yet?
Juliana: I’ve had a few really touching experiences with fans. Whenever someone tells me they’ve been impacted by my work, it means a lot to me. As an actor you’re essentially a story teller, and the “fans” are your listeners. When my story affects the way a person thinks, or feels, or sees the world, I feel a deep sense of appreciation and responsibility.
Dina: Your rank on IMDB went up 12,359 points this week. How do you even react to that?
Juliana: Wow, I didn’t even know that. I was fine before but now I have anxiety.
Dina: If the zombie apocalypse was imminent, what three items would you take from your home to the safe camp?
Juliana: Well, I have 3 dogs and there’s no way I’m leaving them behind, so… I guess we’ll just have to get lucky and sniff out food and weapons.