Tales of the Walking Dead’s Jessie T. Usher, Embeth Davidtz, and Loan Chabanol Unpack Franchise’s Most Terrifying Hour Yet


Tales of the Walking Dead has prided itself in showing the apocalypse through a very different lens.

Tales of the Walking Dead Season 1 Episode 5 shifted the action to Maine as we picked up with a man named Davon (played by Jessie T. Usher), who finds himself caught up in a mystery in a cult-like community.

It was a fun episode that dialed up the horror to tell a different story as viewers had to pick who they thought was telling the truth.

The cast had different levels of familiarity with the franchise before signing up.

Usher recalls one of his best friends watching the series and getting him interested in it while The Walking Dead Season 2 was airing.

“I fell in love with a lot of the characters, and it hurt my heart to see a lot of them get killed off,” Jessie shared with TV Fanatic. 

“I stayed involved for a very long time, and I would say I’m pretty familiar with The Walking Dead universe.”

Embeth Davidtz, who played Amanda, came to the universe much later, “maybe three years behind the wave behind everyone else.”

“I have a husband who’s so brave in every other way of life, but he’s terrified of zombies. I had to watch it on my own,” the star shared, adding that she would watch seasons at a time.

Davidtz believes that watching the show helped to enter that universe because she understood the rules of the zombies.

However, she was excited at the prospect of telling a different tale in the universe and likened this episode to a period piece.

“I mean in a magical way,” she adds.

Loan Chabanol, who played Nora, started her The Walking Dead journey by watching Fear the Walking Dead first and watched the original series when she returned home from filming.

“We watched the whole Walking Dead. It was 11 years,” Loan tells TV Fanatic, revealing that she and her partner had a great time getting to grips with the universe.

“I didn’t start where you should be starting, but I love the genre, and I love to be scared. I’m the one who will yell the longest when something is scary,” Chabanol adds.

Embeth’s character Amanda was alive for a part of the episode and a member of the undead for the rest of it.

The actress says it was “so fun” because the shooting schedule allowed for a lot of fun throughout.

The star says that it was fun to play a zombie, but “that hissing sound was really hard to do.”

“It actually really hurts your voice,” she recalled.

“All the voiceover stuff that we did later is much harder. I take my hat off to the zombies that have done it for years and years because it’s really hard.”

“I nerded out on that stuff because it was actually really fun.”

Davon’s journey was unpredictable because viewers were thrown with him into a scenario in which we didn’t know whether he was a hero or a villain.

“I’ve never played a character who could not recollect his memories and did not know the scenario he was in,” Usher shared.

“Playing around with that uncertainty was a bit of a challenge.”

The star liked that they introduced Davon’s subconscious through Amanda.

He looks back on it as a great experience because he felt like he was putting things together as the episode was filmed.

He especially liked that the audience never really understood what was happening until it was revealed.

Ultimately, viewers learn that Davon had not been killing the kids he was accused of killing, with Arnaud killing them because he doesn’t think they will be able to cope in the zombie-infested world.

Nora was romantically linked with Davon, but the accusation destroyed their relationship.

“It was a very visceral role for me to play on so many levels,” Loan shared, adding that Nora had a family and was embarking on this relationship, and it was all taken from her.

“I was so drawn to that character because of that choice she will have to make and what it will mean to her, to Davon, and to her community.”

Viewers learned that Amanda was helping cover up her son’s crimes in the process, but it was difficult not to suspect she was the killer.

Embeth felt that Amanda wanted to protect her son at all costs.

“I understand the idea of a mother, not necessarily thinking it’s the right thing to do, but having almost lost him, being willing to do anything to make sure that he’s okay,” the star said.

“It was a surprise, a nice surprise, but I think I could always justify the life and death thing, the highest stakes of it, like Loan said, because it’s her kid.”

Tales of the Walking Dead continues Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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