While season 2 of Fear The Walking Dead featured the return of the surviving members from Madison's group, it also introduced viewers to intriguing new characters like actress Danay Garcia's Luciana, a skilled, tough-minded survivor from a community known as the Colonia. [Spoiler warning for those who haven't watched the entire second season of Fear The Walking Dead.]
With Anchor Bay Entertainment releasing Fear The Walking Dead Season 2 on Blu-ray and DVD on December 13th, Daily Dead had the chance to speak with Garcia about bringing Luciana to life in season 2, her character's romance with Nick (Frank Dillane), her real-life friendship with The Walking Dead’s Sarah Wayne Callies, and her excitement for season 3.
Congratulations on your role as Luciana in season 2 of Fear The Walking Dead. She's exactly the kind of character that the show needed and it was so awesome to see you bring her to life. When you auditioned for the show, did you know that it was Luciana that you were auditioning for, or was that kept a secret?
Danay Garcia: Her name was always Luciana on the call sheet. Sometimes they change it on the side. I had an idea that she would speak like she's somebody that is not a mama's boy or girl. She is somebody that is used to just being out there and surviving. I didn't have the nuances of the character, and the Colonia, and this idea she had of the dead—that was something that I had to add, layers and layers and layers of that belief, and with the teamwork of the writers and the actors, we were able to pull it off. In the beginning, it was just this badass girl that tells this guy to "follow me and don't ask me any questions."
From there on it was just buckle up, because it was quite a ride for Nick and the audience, too. Were you a fan of The Walking Dead before joining the show, or was it a whole new experience for you?
Danay Garcia: I have a friend, her name is Sarah [Wayne] Callies, and she was [in] the beginning of The Walking Dead. She played the wife [Lori] of the main character, [Rick], and I worked with her on Prison Break. When I watched her doing this seven years ago, I was like, "Oh my gosh, Sarah! Look at her, she is in the middle of nowhere, in the sun, full of blood. Oh my gosh, she must be exhausted."
I watched a couple of episodes and I just kept thinking of Sarah as a person, and I'm like, "Oh my god, how is it going?" If you're in a studio, you're in the shade, you have a chair, but the apocalyptic world is a different mindset. So here I am, after years, and now I see myself in the middle of nowhere, in the sun, covered in blood, killing people. Drinking, obviously, a lot of water. I'm like, "Oh, Sarah."
Now you have something to relate to.
Danay Garcia: I was familiar with the show, but I was more looking at it from an artist standpoint, like "Wow, these actors are incredible!" Now that I'm part of the show, obviously I love the apocalyptic world, the mindset. The fans—they're funny, they're great. They're big fans. The energy they have, this apocalyptic energy of "Yes! I really love you!" It's like, "Wow, it's so beautiful." It's a world. It's a complete new world that was created. Obviously, with the comics and the books and now the shows. I'm a big fan. I can't wait to start, I can't wait to see what's next, I'm looking forward to it. That's my journey of being a fan of it.
That's awesome. Another great element of the show, is that you and Frank [Dillane] have such great chemistry. Why do you think that Luciana and Nick make such a great couple? It's been such a joy to see them come together in season 2.
Danay Garcia: These two people are like orphans of the apocalypse. He's an orphan by choice. He left his family and he decided to go on his own to figure things out. I'm an orphan, not by choice, but certainly we share the same pain and the same commonality of pain and the same needs to be loved and cared for, despite the fact that everybody's dying. We are used to losing people, we are used to people dying, and the really scary part is when you get to a point that you don't know whether you really want to commit or whether love really exists.
The surprise that comes to these two people is that when they meet, they feel this thing that they try to avoid, but they really need love. This is what moves us and makes us fight harder and that faith was gone for them until they met each other. First, in order to open up, you have to earn it, so through our tests and the loyalty of the Colonia that Nick developed, all that stuff wins her heart. For him, the girl nurturing, the fact that he's being supported and cared for, how could you say no?
Absolutely. You mentioned the Colonia, and now that Alejandro has met his fate and he's no longer with them, do you think that Luciana and Nick see themselves as being strong together as leaders of the Colonia?
Danay Garcia: Now we've just been taken, by people that we don't now, but yeah, I think that both of them really support each other—it was proven in this season. They are like team players, and that is what makes them stronger. Together they're really stronger. They really are. That's another thing—they fall in love, they realize that together that they can do this. There's a way. There's a way to make it better and easier than it's been when they are by themselves.
Luciana's such a strong character. We saw that intense border-crossing scene at the end of season 2, where she gets shot, but knowing Luciana, that's probably not the last that we've seen of her, as she is one who overcomes her struggles. What are you excited the most for fans to experience from your character in season 3?
Danay Garcia: I am excited about how she's going to get out of this. I am excited to see how she's going to negotiate with these complete strangers that took over and killed my people and completely just took over my life. These people are not infected. They think and they're very smart and they're equipped. They're not fighting with a little stick. They have guns and they are prepared to kill me if I'm not smart. This is not a challenge that requires physical [action], it's more mental. How can you really get out of this situation alive? How can you really be so in tune with them and this new world, because it's America now. These people are not Mexicans, they are Americans. How she can adapt to this in order to negotiate and to get out of the situation?
That's what I'm interested about, and I'm interested in seeing how the two of them [Luciana and Nick] can become team players or not. I don't know what's going to happen. All I know is that I'm really looking forward to seeing how they're going to do this together. They [the members of the Colonia] followed him [Nick]. To some extent he feels responsible for this, I'm assuming, because he was part of it. It will be interesting to see how they are going to become team players and overcome this.