Sarah Wayne Callies is best known for her recent role as Lori Grimes on The Walking Dead. But now, the spotlight is on the actress’ forthcoming part as Katie Bowman on USA’s drama Colony, which follows married couple Katie and Will Bowman (Josh Holloway) in their attempts to track down their son, whom they were separated from, in an occupied Los Angeles.
“One of the things that drew me to Katie [Bowman] is that she’s a woman who embraces her femininity and recognizes that femininity can actually be a tool of war,” she told EW at its Comic-Con Bash on Saturday. “If you’re in a cute dress, and you’re smiling, and you’re really sweet and polite, people are less likely to search you when you go through LAX and are less likely to hassle you.”
While the actress sees similarities between the two roles, Katie is still a departure from her former zombie slayer. “I think Lori embodied a kind of femininity and feminine strength that was very boots and jeans and guns—and there’s a lot to be said for that,” Callies said. “But I was really excited to branch out into something that was softer and maybe a little more underground.”
Beyond being a departure from Lori, Callies also believes Katie to be pretty different from female characters more generally. “I’ve never read a female character like her,” Callies continued. “When you get down to it, there isn’t always a ton of variety in the kind of characters that women get to play. This is something very new. The evolution of her over our 10 episodes is pretty cool.”
Callies also previewed some of the issues that the show, from Carlton Cuse (Lost, The Strain) and Ryan Condal, will address. “We’re using a world that’s unfamiliar to explore very modern questions: What’s the nature of insurgency? How are insurgencies generated? What’s the nature of a counter-insurgency? Who are the good guys? Who are the bad guys? When does a terrorist become a freedom fighter? When do you get behind these guys and go, ‘Yes! Fight the power?’ And when do you stand aside and say, ‘You guys have crossed a line?’”
Colony is scheduled to start shooting this week, and will air on USA this fall.