Credit: Gene Page/AMC

All the characters on The Walking Dead have been forced to adapt and evolve to survive in the zombie apocalypse, but no character has adapted and evolved more than Carol Peletier. We spoke to actress Melissa McBride about Carol’s journey over the first five seasons and what to expect coming up when season 6 debuts on Oct. 11.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So how is this community of Alexandria holding up in season 6?

MELISSA McBRIDE: The conflicts that suddenly arose there at the end of the finale in season 5, we’re going to find out how people are relating to their different points of view, and seeing how the loss of Reg affected Deanna and her point of view, and the threat of the walkers. So I think really everyone’s point of view is challenged and we’re going to see how that all pans out.

So it’s not yet one big happy family.

No, it’s not. It’s been difficult because the Alexandrians have been so safe behind their walls, they really don’t get the scope of the threat. Our group is trying to protect itself and provide a safe haven without their world turning upside down. So we’re having to play it safe and Carol is playing two faces. Hopefully get everybody in the community to live together and survive together by implementing the same survival tactics. But I don’t know.

So what kind of Carol are we going to see in season 6?

When we left off in season 5 the Alexandrians were still unaware of her little undercurrents. So I think when we get back there’s going to be the Alexandrian Carol and then she’s still got work to do. So we’ll see her other side.

Has it been fun for you to play that Alexandrian Carol side with that PTA, Junior League, current to her?

It’s been a lot of fun to play both sides of Carol. And I feel like approaching the role is becoming more entertaining for me. Whereas I was just so close to her story from when we first met her in season 1, you know, and she’s moved beyond that and now she’s someone I feel like is a really good friend of mine. She’s super, super close to me, and she’s moving on — maybe faster than I am moving on with her.

In real life, when I have things that I need to talk about with friends or things that happened and I share with a friend — I process all the stuff on my own. But I have friends that keep bringing it up: “Are you okay, five years later after whatever happened? Are you okay?” I’m like, “If you quit talking about it I will be.” That’s how I am with Carol. I’m like, “Are you okay?” She’s like, “Will you shut up? I’m moving on. Stop bringing it up.” Okay. But yeah, she’s processing in her own way and it’s weird to talk of her as someone who’s real, but she’s very real to me. I get that part of her that is processing on her own. She doesn’t talk about what happened with the girls, the things she’s had to see and do. She’s processing that on her own, and when she’s ready to talk about it, it will happen. Otherwise, it’s not like it’s just gone away as if it never happened. She’s carrying all of that with her and it’s saving her along the way. All the more reason to do what she has to do to avoid that sort of thing.

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To watch that character evolve and grow, it must be absolutely thrilling for you.

Well, it’s certainly been a phenomenal opportunity for me to start out where I did on the show and for her to start out where she did on the show, and to end up where we are now, looking back, and following along on the journey. I think that’s why a lot of people are so into it, because it’s just so completely turned around from where we started. And getting to roll around in that character has been so much fun for me. So much fun for me. And I know this is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of character to play, and to be on the show as long as she has, and to have evolved the character like that over six seasons. It must be super fun for the viewers to see all of these characters evolve through this.

Watch McBride talk more about season 6 in the video below. And for more ‘Walking Dead’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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The Walking Dead

AMC's zombie thriller, based on the classic comic book serial created by Robert Kirkman.

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