Eleanor Matsuura opens up about THAT picture of her in the guard uniform, while Khary Payton pokes fun at Ezekiel’s “roller coaster”.
The beginning of the end is here.
Next month, “The Walking Dead” will start Part 1 of its last season, but before that, the first true The trailer will be released this weekend at Comic-Con @ Home.
So far, eagle-eyed fans have only seen brief flashes of footage and new photos from the new episodes in a series of tantalizing teasers shared by the show’s social media pages. And speculation about what they contain has already skyrocketed online in recent weeks.
Ahead of this weekend’s Comic-Con trailer and panel launch, TooFab caught up with stars Khary Payton (Ezekiel) and Eleanor Matsuura (Yumiko), who spoke about going back to work during the pandemic, meaty arcs of his characters in season 11 and how (or if) they are preparing for the end of the show. While the two were careful to try not to reveal too much, they still teased what to expect from Saturday’s event and brought up some fan speculation about the fate of their characters as the show begins exploring the Commonwealth community starting in. the comics.
What kind of reveals should Comic-Con @ Home fans promote themselves this year, and how do you think they will respond to what’s released this weekend?
Khary: Oh, I think you’re going to love it. They always come out with a little shed for Comic-Con weekend and this weekend will be no different … I think everyone will be very excited, I was excited about what they have shown me so far. Hopefully what they showed me is what they’ll show you. We still keep it close to the vest. We’ve been working through a pandemic trying to continue to tell this story and in the right way and I definitely don’t want to spoil the fun of it unfolding. Trust me, this is going to be a great party. It’s not just a banana party, it’s not just an apple party. We are going to have fruits of all kinds in this.
Khary: Some kind of party with fruit salad.
Eleanor: I think, just in terms of the trailer that everyone will see tomorrow, I know that everyone is so good with that pause button, so they will get all the takes! Not only are we going through a pandemic, we’re only about halfway through now. So everything you’re looking at in this, and there’s so much packed in there, I think people will be surprised how many stories, how many characters, how many different dramas and things are being accomplished, and we’re just in order. of a third or half of the way. Also, that we managed to do that in a pandemic, I think it’s going to blow people away.
After filming the additional episodes for season 10, how different was it to come back for season 11? The groups are still separated on the show, but on set, you were able to start seeing more co-stars again and what was that like for you two?
Eleanor: In terms of direct comparisons to the COVID episode, I couldn’t even go back to Georgia to film my Covid episode because we were so deep in lockdown at the time. So for me, getting here to finally start filming the final season was very emotional. I was so scared that that wasn’t going to happen so it made me even more grateful to be able to be there with the people in person and everyone being so respectful and confident doing all the right things to make sure we can make the show happen. . I’ll be honest, when are we coming back, January? – there are still some people I have not seen in person. Stupid Rona, still keeping us apart, that’s weird.
Khary: This pandemic just won’t go away entirely. And we continue to maintain our protocols. The good thing is that our production took it very seriously from the beginning and we have not had the closures that other productions have had. It’s been hard to see your friends on the other side of base camp and you can’t really get to them and there are some faces that I haven’t seen yet. These are people that I’ve been working with in production for years and I haven’t seen them for years and I haven’t seen their faces in all of this yet. It has been tough and it has been difficult and we are still working to achieve that normality. Fortunately, we are doing a very long season and will be filming well into 2022, so I hope that means that we will eventually return to normal and I will be able to get uncomfortably close to everyone again.
The show has thrown in some teasing for the new season and, as Eleanor mentioned, fans are quick on that pause button. In one of the promotions, we see Yumiko in a Commonwealth guard uniform. Can you talk a bit about putting on the armor and possibly joking about what’s going on there?
Eleanor: I’m so glad you asked because I really need to tell you how uncomfortable that armor is. I feel that it is my duty as a citizen and a human being. We have all had a difficult 2020, we have come out of it and now is? It is a complete situation where everything is torn to pieces, that you have joined as LEGOS. You have this kind of black sock underneath, and then you glue all these different plastic compartments and the helmet together, it’s a complete situation and it’s very difficult to sit down. It is also very difficult to see. I remember we were filming a scene and it was very cold, the glasses fogged up and I hit the wall completely.
Khary: And despite all that, he did it with such grace. Sometimes it pisses you off. I wouldn’t be surprised if just Eleanor putting on her uniform, there wasn’t some kind of Charlie’s Angels montage of her, like getting into this thing and walking the hallways, you know, like she’s walking the runway. I am so tired of it.
Eleanor: You’re being nice, but no one wants to see me wear that armor. There were a lot of expletives that came out of my mouth trying to put the armor on the thing.
He’s doing it in the quick flashes we’ve seen.
Khary: Taking it off is exactly what I was excited to do!
In that same glimpse of Miko, it seems like he’s looking at the Wall of the Lost, something that sets a pivotal arc for another character in the comments. We’ll keep things vague here, but do you feel like you got a little more meat this season as Miko because of what may or may not happen?
Eleanor: I love how you put it. The short answer to that is yes, absolutely. I am very, very excited and a little humbled by the journey that Miko is on this season, it is so unexpected … because although people make certain guesses, it is still not all that is going to be done as … as it usually happens, the show takes pieces from the comics and turns them into its own. So you know there may be some similarities and some differences, but I definitely have a very big type of journey, like a real change from where I was to where I am now. All characters go through their ups and downs, of course they do, but this is a very sharp 180 I would say and we see a kind of transformation for Miko that is super surprising, very cool, but very, very rare.
With each new community that is featured in this program, we are confident that Commonwealth has its own pros and cons. For Ezekiel, who continues to fight cancer, there could be a possibility of treatment. But in this world, nothing is free. What could you joke about in terms of his trip?
Khary: Nothing, nothing! You sound like you know quite a bit. I feel like you’ve done all the necessary research. Tune in on Sundays at nine to see what happens!
Ezekiel is, like you said, there is nothing like the Commonwealth and we are going to see that there is something lovely about the Commonwealth, there is something very clean about it, but we all know that dirt has to be washed away, it is leaking somewhere. It does not disappear. There’s a lot of shit out there, you just have to follow that smell. I’m sure we’ll look back, I think about those old westerns that have shop windows, there are those facades and then there is what is really happening on the other side. We’re going to explore that situation and it will definitely be a roller coaster for Ezekiel. It is going to be a journey that I am excited to take and continue to do.
You mentioned that you’re only halfway through the season right now, but how are you mentally preparing for those final episodes? And, knowing there are these spinoff shows and movies on the way, if your characters survive, would you be willing to? come back on any of those too?
Khary: Oh God, I don’t want to think of the ending like that. I have always prepared so that nothing is promised, especially on this show. You can receive that call at any time. So the thought that it is really coming to an end is somewhat comforting, since at least you know that you are already close to the finish line. There have been years in my life where I was like, “Any minute now, that call is coming around the corner and you can go.” Now you know that even if the call comes, you think, “I almost made it to the end and that’s an incredible thing.” In this industry, having worked on a show for so long, I’ve done it and I’ve only been on it half the time it’s been around …
Eleanor: I’ve only been here for a third of that time! I feel so honored to have made it to this last season, and in a way, I feel like I just got here and just started. I can only imagine what Khary must be feeling. I can only imagine what Melissa and Norman must be feeling. It’s really been a huge chunk of people’s lives, year after year doing it. I’m already so committed, my whole family, we live in Georgia and this is what I do. So with the ending, I’m definitely in tune with the kind of sadness and how moving there is in each moment. It will be emotional for many people and I also think a lot about the team, because the team works so Hard and they are so excellent in their work and some of them have been there from the beginning. This really is a family. That word gets around a lot, but it is and I’m thinking about them a lot. I think I can understand Khary, what you’re saying, that’s where we are right now. We have to finish this so it’s hard to talk beyond that, spin-offs and movies because this right now still feels huge.
Khary: Yes, we have a long way to go just to finish is story I don’t have … maybe when we get in next year, I’ll start to look a little more at the end, but that will be a lot of excitement. We were having a conversation, Jeffrey and I, and I think Christian started crying talking about the ending, and we thought, “We can’t do this for a year.” I think emotionally I’m putting it in a box to open at a later date. It’s going to be a lot by the time that box actually opens. Pandora is going to beat me up!
Eleanor: What I really hope is that we wrap up Season 11, and just say, “Hey, it’s not goodbye, we’ll see you later.” And that later is our entire cast at Comic-Con in person next year. That is truly my dream.
While we expect that to happen in 2022, The Walking Dead panel for Comic-Con @ Home 2021 begins Saturday, July 24 at 3pm PT.