They’re herrrrrrrrre! After Rick Grimes’ dramatic send-off on Sunday’s The Walking Dead, we were introduced to a new group of survivors. They are not new to comic book fans, however, making their graphic novel appearance in dramatic fashion after a time-jump. And although the TV show started off this season by skipping ahead about 18 months (and also featured a series of time-bending visions last season), we met our newest group after a six-year jump as they were saved by — GASP! — a 10-year-old Judith. (More on that from showrunner Angela Kang here.)
But who exactly are these five strangers? Kang already gave us some intel of the fearsome fivesome, but now, for the first time, we get to hear from the cast members themselves. Meet Magna! Yumiko! Luke! Connie! And Kelly! And get introductions to the actors playing them. Read through all five pages to meet each of the new cast-members and get exclusive photos on all their characters.
A tough as nails survivor who has been living on the road, Magna’s weapon of choice is the knife. Played by Nadia Hilker (The 100).
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First off, what was the audition process like for you to land this part?
NADIA HILKER: I met with casting once and received the phone call the week after. Landing a role on one of the biggest shows in television feels like winning the lottery! But nevertheless I had to kiss a couple of frogs in order to meet my princess Magna.
Tell me about Magna in your words. Who is this woman and how does she fit into this new group we are meeting?
I would want Magna to like me and probably try to impress her with no success. She’s an unpredictable animal — dangerous but also caring. No one should ever feel too comfortable around her, nor believe they figured her out. She loves her people and would, without a doubt, do anything for her group. Yumiko brings more a motherly type of energy to the group and Magna more fatherly.
Did you familiarize yourself with the comic book version of Magna after you landed the role or did you want to keep your portrayal separate?
I did read a bit about Magna in the comics but didn’t necessarily try to portray what I could grasp in the comics or online. I didn’t wanna limit myself before talking to the writers and Angela Kang and getting a sense of her myself, and to this day I am asking myself in character who I am exactly, but even Nadia does that on a weekly basis… at least. So I am growing into her more and more every day and with each script.
What were you first few days like on set like as you acclimated to this new experience with new people?
The first days on the show were pretty incredible. And they STILL are. Cast, crew, team, production made it very easy for us. They welcomed us like family members. It took me a minute to get used to the heat, but at the same time, it helped with diving into the world of the show. It is not all glamour. All the hard work brings everyone even closer together. I will probably never complain on a film set ever again.
How would Nadia Hilker do in a real zombie apocalypse?
I’ve been asking myself how I would react if I were living in a world like the one on TWD. It really depends. I think being surrounded by loved ones makes it easier, but also way more scary because of the constant fear of losing them. I really don’t know. I only know I can’t stand being unhappy so I would eventually find reasons to live for and hope for the best. (Continues on next page.)