Getting killed off of a big show has to kind of suck. You’re all of a sudden cut off from the character you helped create, cut off from the work family you’ve spent countless hours and days with, and cut off from a regular paycheck.
But if it’s done right, that can lessen the sting, which is why Lorenzo James Henrie can at least take satisfaction with the way his character of Chris Manawa was offed on Sunday’s season finale of Fear the Walking Dead. Chris was a good kid turned bad by the zombie apocalypse, and his poor decisions ultimately doomed him. But the man playing him wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I’m actually really happy,” said Henrie about the way Chris was killed when he called into Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) Tuesday morning. “I develop TV and film myself when I’m not on Fear, so I like showing consequences to characters, and I think that’s the best type of storytelling and I think the consequence that fit Chris Manawa’s life was a death by the people that he chose to go with because he did something bad. He turned into sort of this bad kid and bad things happen to bad people. And I’m glad he got that consequence.”
Of course there is another way it could have gone down, one many viewers were no doubt expecting. “The other alternate conclusion would have been him redeeming himself,” says Henrie. “It could have been a really cool storyline, him redeeming himself and coming back to the hotel.” But in the end, “I’m happy with the Chris storyline,” says the actor.
We also spoke to Henrie about what it was like having to watch viewers turn on the character with every terrible decision he made leading up to his demise. “It was so worth it in the end,” says Henrie. “At first, as the person playing Chris, it was kind of eating my pride, but it was very humbling to see the reaction at the end. Because everyone on social media, everyone that I’ve talked to — they really showed me the light to see how this was a huge opportunity to play a character that is so complex and so hated. It’s just a huge opportunity to play a character like Chris and the fans at the end showed me so much love and put their two cents on what it could have been and [said], ‘Oh, Chris isn’t dead. No one actually saw it.’ So it’s really funny to see the fan reaction.”
You can hear Henrie discuss the demise of Chris in the SoundCloud clip below, and to listen to the entire interview — which also gets into Henrie’s new pivotal role as Gabe Reyes on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., check out the full interview on SiriusXM, on demand.