Living in the same universe as The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead is a gritty drama that explores the onset of the undead apocalypse through the lens of a fractured family. Set in a city where people come to escape, shield secrets, and bury their pasts, a mysterious outbreak threatens to disrupt what little stability high school guidance counselor Madison Clark and English teacher Travis Manawa have managed to assemble. The everyday pressure of blending two families while dealing with resentful, escapist, and strung out children takes a back seat when society begins to break down. A forced evolution, a necessary survival of the fittest takes hold, and our dysfunctional family must either reinvent themselves or embrace their darker histories.
Meet Alicia Clark, played by Alycia Debnam-Carey:ALICIA CLARK is a model student who overachieves with frustrating ease. She wants the hell out of Los Angeles, and she has her sights set on graduating and escaping to college where she will be free of her family’s drama. For years, she’s watched her older brother sink deeper into his addiction, and she is close to giving up on him when the apocalypse hits. Her ambition is in direct proportion to her brother’s screw ups. She loves her mother, empathizes, but it’s time to do for herself – time to escape.
Australian actress Alycia Debnam-Carey was recently named one of the “actors to watch” from the Australians in Film trade magazine, as well as one of “10 TV actors to watch” by Variety, and was runner-up in the 2012 Heath Ledger Scholarship, which celebrates Australia’s new young talent.
Debnam-Carey starred in the AMC pilot Galyntine and has held a recurring role on The CW’s The 100. She can also be seen in the New Line/Warner Bros. disaster film Into the Storm, and she played the lead in the independent film Where the Devil Hides for director Christian Christiansen and producer Mickey Lidell. She also is the lead of the upcoming WB Germany feature film Unfriend.
Who is Alicia?
Alicia Clark is really the stable one in the Clark family. Kim Dickens who plays Madison is essentially the rock of the family, but she’s dealing with her son who’s a heroin addict, and she’s lost a husband and going through her own stuff. So Alicia has really been kind of solitary and self-sufficient for a long time. She’s felt the need to compensate maybe for everyone else’s struggles. She’s a good kid, smart, ready to finish school and get out.
I think the interesting thing with Alicia in this circumstance is that she’s got a plan for her life. She knows where she wants to go; she knows she wants to move and start her own life and feel like her own person. A great deal of the spotlight has been taken from her and focused on Nick because of his addiction, so she wants to break out of that. And people will relate to her because she has a plan for her life that completely falls apart in the face of what begins to happen around her. That’s real life.
What is the family dynamic like for Alicia?
I think she feels very trapped in this city and this family dynamic that’s extreme in many ways. It’s a very modern day family. You don’t necessarily have what is considered a nuclear family anymore. It’s a single parent family with a missing father figure and a heroin-addicted brother who’s on the loose, so it’s a very broken household, really.
What is the show about?
Fear the Walking Dead is a show about family dynamics in the midst of pre-apocalyptic circumstances, and then what happens when society crumbles and the world falls apart and how people deal with it. I guess what’s different in this one from the original is that it is centered around what happened before, and how it even got to that stage of severity, and what happens when all those structures – electricity, transport, government, medicine and all other fundamentals – just dissipate. That’s a really interesting place to start for this show.
What’s different about Fear from The Walking Dead?
With The Walking Dead, there is a very provincial feel to it because it’s very rural. This one is set in one of the biggest cities in the U.S. – and that makes it scary. If the apocalypse were to happen, it would be unlikely that many people would be able to survive in such a massive city. LA is a great backdrop for this to happen; it’s very urban and relatable for people that way. This show is really all about humans and how they survive and what they do to each other to survive, and that to me is the most amazing psychological journey to witness. People will do whatever it takes to keep their kin safe and themselves safe, and that never gets old.
Describe Alicia’s relationship with her brother, Nick.
They’ve always had a brother/sister bond. Losing their father has sent Nick on a definite and extreme path of drug use, and it’s really broken them apart. I think for Alicia, having the loss of her father, and now losing her brother to drugs, it’s become hard for her to trust people and be open. But at the same time, Nick and Alicia share that loss and no one else knows what that feels like but them, so that also keeps them close in a way.
How does Alicia feel about her mother, Madison?
Temperamental. Relationships between a mother and teenage daughter is always a tumultuous one, but essentially it’s a good one. There is a very strong family unit between Nick, Madison and Alicia, but I think it’s just been so broken by circumstance. It’s hard because Madison has had to focus so much more attention on Nick and his addiction, and so she’s demanded a lot more of Alicia without necessarily knowing it. She’s been putting her own feelings and weight onto Alicia, and Alicia has had to bear the brunt of that a little more than anyone else, perhaps.
How do you think your character will deal with what’s coming?
Like with any character there’s a journey that has to happen. Probably because Alicia has started off being so strong, the decline for her is going to be a lot worse. What’s to come in future episodes is that feeling that nothing will be normal anymore. She can’t rely on anything anymore.