Credit Huffington Post
*** WARNING: Some spoilers! ***
Anyone else notice in last Sunday’s episode of “The Walking Dead,” “Crossed,” how the camera focused on the “Buckle Up” sign three times? After four fairly subdued episodes in a row (albeit with some of the series’ nastiest, most disgusting scenes thrown in), it’s about time to end the first half of Season 5 with a bang.
HuffPost Canada TV spoke with Tyler James Williams over the phone and got some answers (but not all, like does Noah have ties to Morgan?). Williams revealed whether or not Noah could be trusted, how his character mans up, and how Sunday’s showdown sets up a whole new dynamic for “The Walking Dead” come February.
HuffPost Canada TV: So, last I saw you was a “Lab Rats” rerun with your younger brother.
Tyler James Williams: Oh, wow. That was a while ago.
Just a smidge different from “The Walking Dead.” How did you land the role of Noah?
I was in New York at the time, I’ve been a fan of the show. They were looking to cast somebody and the ethnicity was a bit open. They asked if I’d like to read. I didn’t expect it to go anywhere because it’s such a huge show and there were a lot of people reading for it. Then all of sudden they just called me one day and were like, “All right, you’re leaving Sunday, have fun.”
What was it like, those days when it was just you and Emily [Kinney, Beth], then Norman [Reedus, Daryl] and Melissa [McBride, Carol], up to now, working with some of the original group?
It was good to start off small. That first episode was a lot like a pilot. There was nothing but new characters, except Emily. It was good to ease my way in, into their style rather than jumping right in with Andy Lincoln (Rick) and Norman and getting right in the heat of it. So it was a nice build for me, to get me used to their style of working.
Does Noah have any idea how close Carol and Beth are to Daryl, or does he just know that these women are part of this group that has kinda-sorta taken him in?
He has no clue what they mean to him. He just knows them as lost group members and they’re trying to get them back. He doesn’t really grasp the understanding to Daryl, specifically, that he will, come hell or high water, move the earth to get these two.
That’s the one thing Daryl and Noah have in common — saving Beth. They seem to be the only people interested in finding her. I mean, her sister, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) who Noah hasn’t met … yet, went down a different path. So at least there’s that.
While the original group doesn’t have any idea who the people are at the hospital, Noah does. From a viewer’s point of view, we want them dead. I want them dead. What’s in Noah’s mind? Are they good people?
Noah knows who he’s dealing with. He’s not really sure how or what the group has had up until this point but he makes it very clear that we have to go in and kill everybody. We have to. That’s the only way we can actually pull this off. And he’s very much aware that yeah, probably some decent people will die, in the same way he thinks Bob the cop is a decent guy. Come to find out he’s not what he thought but he does know, we have to go and kill everyone to pull this off.
Noah said that Bob (Maximiliano Hernández) is “one of the good ones.” Did Noah really believe that? It kind of made me not trust Noah. I wasn’t sure if he was setting the group up or if he truly believes it.
I believe Noah’s experience with Bob was good. With Dawn (Christine Woods), she’s just getting, as we saw in the past episodes, very slap-happy, where she would just slap people for no reason [Laughs]. I believe that Noah’s experience with Bob was not that. So of everyone in the entire hospital, Bob seemed to treat him the best, and Bob seemed to be the one who had issues with Dawn. He did underestimate the fact that Bob’s going to want to just go back there.
We’re presuming Bob’s going back there, so I think it’s safe to say the group at the hospital now have the advantage, which puts the group in danger, and Beth and Carol in even more danger. Is a trade no longer possible at this point?
A trade is still possible. We would just have to get him back. It’s closing that gap from the time between, you know, eventually recovering Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), hearing what happened and then trying to get him back. It can still happen. I think the one thing that keeps on echoing in everyone’s minds, well, at least from the moral fibres of Daryl and Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman), is nobody has to die. They’re trying to maintain that as much as possible, though Noah doesn’t necessarily believe that.
We’ve seen just how bad Noah is with weapons. Is he at all torn going into the midseason finale or does he go on the offensive?
I think for the first time Noah has some heat behind him. He has people that will back him up. Even though he doesn’t know these people, they still want the same thing. The first moments we’re going to see him really develop this offensive move. Although he’s 17, he hasn’t really messed around with weapons a lot, this is the first time he’s on the outside by himself. He knows that Daryl and Carol and Rick, even Sasha and Tyreese, these people have been out here for a while and they’re willing to go to the wire to get their people, so I should feel secure in that.
Noah was clearly willing to do anything to get out of that hospital, even ditching Beth. Was it just to get away from those people or is it more about him wanting to find his loved ones?
He’s ultimately trying to get to Richmond. He said he has family in Richmond, Virginia, and they had walls. They were protected. He just left to go find his uncle who was supposedly in Atlanta so he’s trying to go home. The only thing stopping him from going home is that he can’t live with himself knowing that he left a man behind. His goal is not necessarily to join the group or anything like that. He wants to go home.
What’s it like playing a character who isn’t in the comics? Were you given any back story or do you come up with something to flesh Noah out for yourself?
I did have to come up with some stuff for myself until the mastermind [showrunner] Scott Gimple decided to reveal stuff to me and I realized I was completely wrong [Laughs]. I think for those who are in the comics, you have a rough idea of where the character’s going, what they want and what their intentions are. For those of us who aren’t, we’re clinging to these little bits of information that we’re running with until we get more pieces of information. So that’s where it’s a little difficult. But there’s a lot of communication with Scott, that’s the only real way to pull it off.
Where some people follow a bit of a guideline as to the direction their character’s going, or maybe when they’re about to die, you don’t know.
Yeah, that comes down by the week, by the episode. I know that definitely happened wth me with this episode coming up Sunday, of reading it, then there’s a specific line that Noah has, I was like, “What does that mean? What is he saying? He’s never mentioned anything like this before.” And talking with Scott, it’s like, “Oh! OK, got it. This is what that’s connected to.” Where if it was any other show, you would get that arc ahead of time or at least something that connects those things.
Sunday’s episode, we’re obviously in for a major confrontation. How deadly is it going to get?
Dawn refuses to seem weak in front of her group. Our group refuses to leave without Beth and Carol. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that this probably isn’t going to go well [Laughs]. Noah says that there’s no way we’re going to come out of this without at least killing Dawn. And I think it’s Rick who says, “We gotta take out that woman.” So it’s not the best situation [Laughs]. This is not the way you want this to go down, and anybody feels like this in these hostage situations. How can we manage to get what we want safely? Very rarely is that possible, especially considering these times that they’re in right now. It’s gonna be an interesting one, I’ll put it that way.
As a fan of the show, is this how you would like to see this end going into a two-month hiatus?
As a fan, this is what the show does well, going into a cliffhanger. Because i know what happens, it’s going to be a long two months [Laughs]. It’s going to be a very, very long two months. But that’s what the fun is with watching this show. So absolutely. February’s not going to be able to come around fast enough. It’s just not. Because this conversation sets up a whole new dynamic for the second half of the season. It just leaves you again with, “How are they going to react to that? What’s coming now?” And that’s what’s great about this show, with this major character development, and these things that happen that propel characters into completely different storylines, you can only sit there and speculate what this means for everyone now.
“The Walking Dead” midseason finale airs Sunday, Nov. 30 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.