The Walking Dead: Alanna Masterson teases a tougher Tara in season 8
'At this point, Tara is angry,' the actress says. 'She’s not afraid anymore'
It’s been an interesting journey for the character of Tara lately on The Walking Dead. First she found love with Denise. Then Denise was killed by the Saviors. Then Tara was almost killed in Oceanside, but escaped thanks to a promise she made to never tell anyone about the hidden community and their stash of guns. Then she broke that promise to come back and steal the guns, flipping off a little girl in the process.
So what now? How is that broken promise sitting with Tara? How much is vengeance still on her mind after losing her girlfriend? And what can we expect to see coming up in season 8 (which premieres Oct. 22 on AMC)? We spoke to Alanna Masterson to get some intel on what’s in store for Tara moving forward.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why don’t we just start by talking about where Tara’s head is at as we move into season 8 and all-out war. What can we expect for her coming up?
ALANNA MASTERSON: At this point, Tara is angry. She’s gone through a lot. She’s lost a lot. She wants this war to end and just wants it to be done with. So I feel like everything that she’s done that’s led up to this point has made her tough. She never got to tell her girlfriend that she loved her because she was afraid, and she’s not afraid anymore. She wants to end this and she wants to take him out and she would probably do whatever she can to further that goal and get rid of Negan.
Tara made a huge decision last season, going back on her word when it came to keeping Oceanside a secret and bringing Rick and others there to take their guns. How is that decision sitting with her?
It definitely weighs on her, but she also knows that that’s what had to be done to fight this war. I mean, they needed those guns and if they don’t defeat Negan, Negan’s going to defeat them as well as Oceanside, so it’s only a matter of time. I think that she realizes the threat and that they have to handle it and she can’t feel bad. It’s just this is the world they live in. She can’t feel bad.
There seemed to be a spark between Tara and Cyndie. Is that a relationship worth keeping an eye on should they meet again?
Yeah, definitely. It’s more like [an] older sister/little sister relationship for sure, but I think she sees a lot of her niece in Cyndie and I think she sees a lot of herself in Cyndie — a younger version. Hopefully that relationship will come back around.
Everything comes back around on this show, Alanna.
Tara is one of the few characters that we’ve seen be a bit goofy and fun, but we don’t always get to see it because things can get pretty dark. Are we going to get to see that lighter side in season 8?
I don’t know. What I think is so wonderful about Tara’s character is she does bring a lightness to these very serious situations. There will still be some comedy to it, but I think it’s just going to be hardened, maybe a little darker.
How would you say that season 8 is going to be different from season 7?
Oh, season 8 is completely different from season 7. It’s just an all-out thing from episode 1. It takes off and kind of doesn’t stop. There’s tons of action and it’s a war. There’s no skirting around the issue or letting Negan tell us what’s going on. Episode 1, we start out with a bang and it’s awesome. The action is very constant for sure, which is exciting. Like, sometimes there’ll be action and then there will be more of a story episode and then action. This is just, from the moment we start, so far it’s just been back-to-back fighting and action, which I love.
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