The Season 4 midseason premiere of Fear the Walking Dead found our survivors still struggling with how to continue on after the deaths of Madison (Kim Dickens) and Nick Clark (Frank Dillane) and dealing with a new threat in the form of a hurricane that arrived in the closing moments of the episode.
June (Jenna Elfman) -- previously known as "Laura" and "Naomi" -- is living in a school bus with John Dorie (Garret Dillahunt) and Charlie (Alexa Nisenson) in a sort of family unit. It's nice, but all is not well. Charlie is so traumatized by the things she's done and seen that she's barely speaking and almost allowed herself to get eaten by a walker, while June is grappling with who she is. John wants to go back to his cabin where he and "Laura" lived before she ran away, and June worries she won't be able to hack it and then John will find out what a quitter she really is.
"I'm not Laura," she tells Al (Maggie Grace). "I'm the woman who got scared and ran away. Not just from John, from everyone." But Al tells her that the person she is with John is the person she is now. Her past no longer has to dictate her future. And this new and improved June will be put to the test as she and Al weather the storm barricaded up in Al's SWAT van. The storm is forcing June to stay put and confront herself, which we'll see in Episode 412.
TV Guide spoke to Elfman about what it was like shooting the episode and what's up with Charlie.Jenna Elfman, Fear the Walking Dead" data-image-credit="Ryan Green/AMC" data-image-alt-text="Jenna Elfman, Fear the Walking Dead" data-image-credit-url="" data-image-target-url="" data-image-title="Jenna Elfman, Fear the Walking Dead" data-image-filename="180810-jenna-elfman.jpg" data-image-date-created="2018/08/10" data-image-crop="" data-image-crop-gravity="" data-image-aspect-ratio="" data-image-height="1380" data-image-width="2070" data-image-do-not-crop="" data-image-do-not-resize="" data-image-watermark="" data-lightbox="">
Was that a real fish that you gutted?
Elfman: Yes it was! Repeatedly! Take after take! And I feel like the take where they went, "Yes, that's the one! Print that take!" was the one where I said "Something's wrong. This fish is not well." The most disgusting, stinky -- all the fish were normal and smelled fresh, and that one had something wrong with it. Its innards were so disgusting and so stinky. It was awful.
Did you have prior fish-gutting experience?
Elfman: I learned how to gut a fish in Episode 405, "Laura," with Garret Dillahunt, that was where I had a fisherman give me an official lesson on how to gut a fish. So that was a nice little callback to that episode.
Can you tell me more about June's relationship with Charlie? Did they develop a closer relationship we didn't really see when they were with the Vultures, and that's why June has kind of adopted her?
Elfman: I think by default, June's a mother. She had a little girl. And I think once you're a parent, you're a parent. That's it. You're always a parent. And June's also a nurse, and I think caretaking is just in her DNA. And I think it's also healing. And there's a bit of a unit there with her and John, kind of, in its little exploratory stages. I think it's probably just by default. It kind of made sense for them to take Charlie in.
What's going on with her?
Elfman: Well, let's see; she's 11 and has lost both of her parents and has murdered somebody. I think that might cause a little girl to be traumatized, don't you?
Well, when you put it like that.
Elfman: I think sometimes when people are watching they're so used to the apocalypse at this point that they forget what the actual effects of being around that much violence and people being so mean to each other are. The character, and Alexa, when she was filming it, she's 11.
It's heavy stuff for even an actor that young to deal with.
Elfman: She's amazing, though. She's a very healthy soul, that one. She's quite an awesome lady.
In the last scene of the midseason premiere, how did they do the flying walkers? Where they just slingshotting stuntmen into the side of the truck? What was that like?
Elfman: That was crazy! I was sitting inside the SWAT van with Maggie watching these walkers fly past and slam into the SWAT van right in front of our faces, these stunt people going through this. They worked on that for a long time, figuring out how that was all gonna be. I actually have a fun little video that I'll post at the right time which was my point of view from inside the SWAT van with these stunt people hitting the window and smashing against the car. Literally flying by the window. It was so real and so creepy in a fun way.
So were they jumping off of trampolines? How was that happening?
Elfman: I think they had harnesses on and were being pulled.
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.
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