***This interview contains major spoilers for 7.04***
On the newest episode of Fear the Walking Dead
, Sarah, played by Mo Collins, wakes up at a decommissioned fort where she and the others were brought by the helicopter, and she immediately takes off to look for her brother, Wendell (Daryl “Chill” Mitchell). She ends up running into Josiah (Demetrius Grosse), who wants revenge on Morgan (Lennie James) for killing his twin brother. Sarah agrees to deliver Morgan to him, if he will help her find her own brother.
Collins, who recently spoke to Jamie Ruby of SciFi Vision in an exclusive interview, doesn’t believe that Sarah ever planned to let him kill Morgan. “Sarah is a very loyal person,” said that actress, “and [what] Sarah also knows and understands about this world is that things can change on a dime. So, in that moment, of course, it was the right choice to say that and do that, because it was about Wendell. That's the objective, and if that's what needs to happen to get to Wendell, that's what's going to happen, but I do believe in the back of her brain, she's going, ‘Shit could change.’”
The actress has a special bond with Mitchell outside of the show. “What you see in Sarah and Wendell is true of Chill and Mo. It just sort of landed that way, the second we met. We really, really do love each other, and we laugh our butts off. We'll cry together. We'll have deep, deep conversations. It's a pretty deep and wonderful relationship…He is my brother for life.”
The episode was a very emotional one for her character, and Collins, who has decades of experience in comedy, found many challenges. She was surprised, however, when she cried for real during every take. “I didn't know if I was even going to be able to [cry once]…And every damn take, I got there, and it was real. It was real crying. I was like, ‘What? What is this fresh Hell?’ I think it was just all my years of not crying pent up.”
One thing the actress does do a lot of on the series, however, is drive big vehicles, like a semi and the MRAP, and she revealed, it’s not just for show. “Sometimes I wish they’d do the shots different so you see the truck coming in, me parking it, and me jumping out. I think that would be a great thing. Like especially go back to in season six, that truck comes barreling in with the oil…I had to not only hit my mark with the semi, an 18 wheeler, I had to hit my mark, say my lines in the scene that was happening in the cab, and not hit the real walkers that are running alongside the truck!”
During the interview, the actress also talked about the inspiration for Sarah, what nickname the character might give to Strand (Colman Domingo) after the events in the recent episode, and more. Be sure to read the full transcript below and watch all-new episodes of Fear the Walking Dead
Sundays on AMC.
SCIFI VISION: Before we get into episode specific stuff, can you talk about how you originally got the role, and did you know what show it was from? Did you get fake sides, that kind of thing?
I was a fan of the show before I auditioned for the show. I got called the same day as the audition, which I almost didn't go to, because I had something else to do that day that was important, but I thought, “I want this casting director to see me do drama.”
So, I went, and it went really well. I was told by the end of the day that I booked it.
The next day, I was in the executive producer’s office, and they said to me, “You know, that character Gina from 40 Year Old Virgin
?” I said, “Yeah.” They go, “Her,” and I go, “All right, let's go stir up some beef.” They had me in mind. I didn't know that when I went in to audition.
But yes, they were fake sides. It was like sides of a Marine.
Well, I was going to ask you if you based her on anything, but you already answered that!
Yeah, you know, it's funny. That was not what I had done in the audition, but they are the ones that told casting to bring me in that day. I don't know; I guess they just weren't finding it or whatever. They just wanted somebody and thought “Oh my god, Gina from 40 Year Old Virgin
. Get her in.” So, I had a pattern laid out for me for Sarah. Hearing that it's like, “Okay, so I'm going to take Gina and put her into a drama, bring lightness to the dark with this.” So, I at least had a certain level of comfortability in being in that character.That makes me wonder, though, do you find it more challenging to do something that's pure comedy, or something that really has a lot of drama, because I know you've done a lot of comedy?
Well, this has been more challenging, just because, I mean, I have decades of comedy. So, this was just a new playground. That being said, however, it's like, comedy is drama. If you're doing good comedy, it means at the heart of it, at its base, there's probably some drama. So, I understand drama, and I even consider myself to be a rather serious person. I don't want to say dramatic, but I'm a serious person who has done comedy. Not to say I don't have my silly moments throughout my time, but it's what I wanted. I wanted to do this drama world, but it took some adjusting, because it's just an entirely different way of being in front of the camera.
Yeah, I was going to say even the filming I'm sure it's different.
It is…the world in front of the camera is a totally different feeling.
I get that. So, in the episode, when Sarah meets Josiah, she agrees to give him Morgan for finding Wendell, but I'm curious, just kind of your own thoughts on the character, but do you think she ever would have? I feel like in the back of her mind she was thinking, “I'm saying this, but this is never going to happen,” and you know, maybe she was trying to come up with a plan at the same time. How do you feel?
You nailed what was in my head. Sarah is a very loyal person, and [what] Sarah also knows and understands about this world is that things can change on a dime. So, in that moment, of course, it was the right choice to say that and do that, because it was about Wendell. That's the objective, and if that's what needs to happen to get to Wendell, that's what's going to happen, but I do believe in the back of her brain, she's going, “Shit could change.” [laughs]
Can you talk about working with with Daryl as Wendell, because you most of your scenes are usually with him? I mean, maybe not this season, but they have been.
Oh, Lord. What you see in Sarah and Wendell is true of Chill and Mo. It just sort of landed that way, the second we met. We really, really do love each other, and we laugh our butts off. We'll cry together. We'll have deep, deep conversations. It's a pretty deep and wonderful relationship. That love is real. So, of course, when we do work together, I mean, it's just like you just may as well just turn the camera on Chill and Mo and adapt it into Sarah and Wendell. [laughs]
He is my brother for life.
The other thing I want to ask and I'm assuming we are, but I'm just kind of curious if you can say anything, but are we supposed to take it at face value that Wendell is with Strand (Colman Domingo), because we don't actually see him, and he's lies so much. I just wondered if you could say anything. I don't know if that's something we're supposed to think for sure, or if you're supposed to kind of wonder.
Well, I guess what you think is up to you, but I'll tell you what Sarah thinks. She thinks he's there, and he's safe, and that's why she made that choice in that moment to leave him there, because it was the safest choice. I also think that once she turns around, and she has trouble breathing again, and Josiah helps her through that moment, and she realizes she is breathing on her own, that's the transition from realizing that. I think it really solidifies for her there that he is there, and she can breathe without him. She knows she's learned that at this point, but I think also she's able to breathe, because she knows that he's safe.
That he's alive, yeah.
Yeah, that's the biggest thing.
Obviously, you can't tell me what happens, but talking to her state of mind at that moment, do you think though, that if she feels safe again, that she has plans to go back? Or does she feels like she's cutting ties, I guess?
Oh, there there's no cutting ties for Sarah and Wendell. Whatever those ties look like, there's a forever tether for them…I mean, we see so many people come and go from each other's lives in this world. Why wouldn't Sara believe that she should see him again? I think she absolutely believes she'll see him again.
And somebody asked me this; it’s a good question from Twitter. They asked what would she call Strand now? What would be her nickname after that?
Oh, my God, I love how I always get asked this, and I'm not the writer. Let's see. Come up with something Mo! “What's up coattails?” [laughs]
He’s got quite the costume this season, that’s for sure.
Exactly. “What's up buttons?”
That'd be great.
So, I mean, you talked earlier about drama. This episode has a lot of really emotional moments. By the way, I was really upset about Rufus. I have to add that in there. I was not happy!
Yeah, we knew it. Well, look, I'm a big animal lover and advocate, and we all knew that was gonna be real hard for people.Yeah.
The good thing is, that was just TV.Yeah, I know, but what I was going to ask you is, aside from that, was there a specific thing that sticks out that you found extra challenging with this episode? Because, I mean, you got pretty much an episode to yourself; it was mostly you and Demetrius in this episode.
I know. I was in all scenes but one; it was challenging. There are a lot of challenging moments. I mean, even just the the moment in the car with the breathing, having difficulty breathing. That was hard to do over and over, and in an enclosed space, and hot and humid, and it was hard to do. And I ended up having [a dry throat] afterwards, but it's a hard thing to do. Who knows what people think, if it came across that she's having trouble breathing, but that was hard.
The walker kills are just fun. I mean, physically, you know, it takes a bit, but just my adrenaline runs so high when I get to do that. [laughs]
Yeah, that looks like it would be the fun part.
Oh, my God. Oh, here's a challenging thing that I learned about myself. In the end, when she does break down, you know, at the at the call center, when she does break down afterwards when they're about to leave, and she cries, every single take, I actually cried. That's something, like, I didn't know if I was even going to be able to do one. You know, like, “Oh my gosh, I've got a cry in this.” You get the script, and you’re like, “Oh my lord, I gotta cry.” I don't even know - I don't cry in my real life. It's like, “Oh my god, how am I going to do this?” and every damn take, I got there, and it was real. It was real crying. I was like, “What? What is this fresh Hell?” I think it was just all my years of not crying pent up. I'm like, “Wow, here's an opportunity to get some tears out.” Six hours of crying! [laughs]
Well, now you know you can do it again, right? So, you talk about killing the walkers; I did want to ask, is there anything ever from from doing that, that grossed you out? Or is it just more fun and funny? Being around all that?
Fun and funny. Yeah, and I just I love the walkers. They're such cool people. They're really, really cool, and they help out the moment so much and make me look better, that's for sure, as do the stunt people. Yeah, I don't really get grossed out. It's funny. Now that I think about it, I can't think of things that have grossed me out. I don't know what that says about me. [laughs]
That’s ok; people are different. It does look like fun though. Speaking of action type stuff, I think that a lot of times they usually pull things [on rigs] and you don't normally get to, but have you ever actually driven one of the trucks or anything for real? Have they let you drive?
I can't believe you don't know that already. Yeah, I drive that semi.
You drive it for real though?
Yeah, I learned how -
I did not realize that. See, that’s how much I know!
I know. Sometimes I wish they’d do the shots different so you see the truck coming in, me parking it, and me jumping out. I think that would be a great thing. Like especially go back to in season six, that truck comes barreling in with the oil. Let me just tell you, I was driving that MF’er with zero visibility, because of the oil. I had to not only hit my mark with the semi, an 18 wheeler, I had to hit my mark, say my lines in the scene that was happening in the cab, and not hit the real walkers that are running alongside the truck!
You got to learn a new skill. Very cool.
You’re damn right. I drive the MRAP. I drive the semi. What else have I done? I feel like if there's some driving being done -
It’s all you. Well that's good to know.
Yeah, they just don't let me out on the main roads.
Well, that's good, though. [laughs]
Yeah, I don't have a license. [laughs]
I also wanted ask, I know they have all these other different Walking Dead shows coming. If you were to cross over onto one of the other shows, who is somebody that you would like to get to work with on any of the other shows you haven't?
Everybody always says Carol (Melissa McBride), and my mind goes right there too, just because I love her so much, but I'm going to go say Daryl (Norman Reedus), just because he's gritty, and Sarah is gritty.
Yeah, think they would be fun together.
I wonder what happens when gritty meets gritty.
The other thing I wanted ask, and I don't know if you can tell me anything about it, but my understanding after looking at your Twitter feed, is your husband's going to be in next episode. Is that accurate?
That is accurate.
Is there anything that you can say about that?
Of course I can't.
I can barely say what I just said, but yeah, I've already seen stuff out online and the trailer and all of that, so, yeah.
Okay. Is there anything at all you are allowed to tease for the next episode without giving anything? It’s so hard with this show.
It is, and this season is really hard to give any teasers too. That in itself is sort of the teaser. It's too hard to give teasers to it. [laughs]
Fair enough. All right, well, thank you so much. I appreciate your time. I'm excited to see what else happens. They keep breaking it up between characters, though. It's going to be a while.
Yeah. Thanks for all the great questions.
And thanks for getting that big, big source of pride fact out there…I am so glad you asked. Get that word out there.
I’ll do that.
That is on my resume.