[SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched Sunday’s “The Calm Before” episode of The Walking Dead.]
JSS. That was Enid’s motto, to just stay safe even in the bleakest circumstances. And the circumstances were pretty damn bleak on Sunday’s “The Calm Before” episode of The Walking Dead.
Alpha and the Whisperers infiltrated the fair at the Kingdom, somehow luring or capturing people in retaliation for taking Lydia back with them. When all was done, 10 zombified heads — including that of Enid — ended up on pikes in one of the show’s most shocking moments ever. (Not only did she die a horrible death, but poor Enid didn’t even get to see her boyfriend Alden’s duet with Luke!)
We spoke to Katelyn Nacon all about Enid’s untimely demise. When and how did she find out about the death? What was her last day on set like? What was her favorite scene ever and what will she miss most about working on the show? We asked Nacon all that and more. Read on for the full scoop, and also make sure to read our interviews with Alanna Masterson, who plays Tara, and showrunner Angela Kang.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So tell me how you got the news about Enid’s death? Did you get a call or meet with showrunner Angela Kang? How did that all go down?
KATELYN NACON: I first met up with Angela at the very beginning of the season in May. We sat down and I had a general meeting with her, and she said there was a possibility that my character could leave in episode 915. Big episode. Carnival.
And so, I was like, “Oh, okay.” And she was like, “We don’t have all the details yet or all the logistics, but we’ll let you know by August.” And then — I think it was in November or so — they were filming 914 and I realized that the script for 915 was going to come out for us to read in, like, three days and I still didn’t whether my character was going to go or not. I knew it was a possibility. But, I wasn’t sure. So I emailed them and they called me the next day and were like, “Yeah, it is your character. You are going to be leaving.” So, I found out a week before 915 started shooting.
And what was your reaction when you found out?
I mean, I was upset, for sure. Especially because it was kind up spur of the moment. Even though I knew it was a possibility throughout the year, it’s always hard to hear that it actually is you. But I pushed through it. I got to move to California and knew that I had bigger possibilities. Only big things can come from this amazing show, so I wasn’t too worried.
How did it feel playing a zombie?
It was weird! I didn’t like it. Actually, I thought I looked pretty good, with all the makeup on.
I thought I could actually pull it off. But it was kinda weird. Even doing the sound effects and everything in ADR — that was strange. I’d never done anything like that before.
It’s never shown on screen, but how do you think Enid got caught and kidnapped because she could throw down if she needed to?
I think the majority of the people that were there just overpowered, because the thing is, there were more of them and there were less of us, so it turned into this situation of everyone who’s there knows how to fight and knows how to survive, or they wouldn’t be living as long as they did. So I think there were just way too many people and they couldn’t overpower all those people so they were eventually taken over and… decapitated!
What was your last day on set like knowing this was the end?
It was definitely a long day. We went in very early to get makeup done and everything so that we could kind of get a visual or video of our faces to kind of imprint on the head. And then we took that all off and got ready to spend our last moments fighting together. It was a lot of fun and we got to say our goodbyes and everything. Honestly, for a last day, I had a great time. It was a lot of fooling around and joking, like it is every day.
Did it feel weird knowing that this was going to be it for you?
Yeah, I’ve been on the show for almost five years, and to think that I wasn’t going to be coming back was a very strange feeling. I don’t think it really set in until a while afterwards.
What was it like this season getting to make that on-screen transition from kid to adult with the time-jump, because it was a different Enid we saw six years later?
It was interesting. It was honestly really cool. You kind of got to see the character at her beginning and then to really see her develop throughout her entire life is pretty crazy. And I’m glad I got to be a part of it and it’s interesting to take someone that was a teenager and try to understand how they would act or how they would change through their adulthood, depending on everything that’s happened off-screen as well, that the audience hasn’t seen. So it was pretty intriguing.
Do you have a favorite scene or episode that you did in your time playing Enid?
Oh yeah, I love all the work that I got to do with Steven. I love Glen and Enid’s characters together, and their whole dynamic. That was definitely my favorite part of being on this show. It was one of the most fun things to do and you also got to see more of Enid as well and how she thinks and why she acts the way she does.
Let’s just pretend that Enid isn’t one of the people that gets taken out there and has her head put on a pike. What do you think happens with Enid moving forward if she survives that attack? Where do you think she is in a week, a month, a year, or a decade?
I think she would continue being a doctor and then also start to take on leadership roles within Hilltop and we would really start to see her become a leader and an influencer with all these people and really help people. Because by the end, that’s all she wanted to do, because she had been in a really rough place and she just wanted to help the people that are in that place she was.
What will you miss most about playing this character and working on this show?
The people. I just loved all the people that I worked with and I learned so much from them and everything. It was really just working with the cast and the crew. That was my favorite thing about all this. And, of course, Enid as well, but I had five years with Enid. She was a lot of fun, but I got to see every inch of her and discover new things about her. But I will miss the people. That’s for sure.
Obviously no one wants to be killed off, but if you’re gonna go, you kind of want to go in epic fashion, and this was pretty epic, and definitely one of the biggest moments from the comic book.
It’s pretty freakin’ cool. I mean, I didn’t think I was going to make it past season 6, or anything. But then to die in one of the biggest turning points in the comic books, I think it’s pretty awesome, honestly, for little old Enid. It’s a good way to go.
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