The Walking Dead season 9 (opens in new tab) has a lot of fresh blood coursing through its rotten, rubbery veins right now, with some exciting additions to the post-apocalyptic politicking around Alexandria and some horrifying new threats as well.
Our sister publication SFX magazine (opens in new tab) got a chance to talk with Nadia Hilker, the actress who portrays new group leader Magna, about some of her fellow newcomers to the cast. Naturally, the conversation started with Alpha, AKA the leader of those freaky Walker-skin wearing Whisperers.
"I think that Alpha is going to be one of the scariest characters on television," Hilker said. "In real life Samantha [Morton]'s just the sweetest woman, but the second she gets into character you're like... okay. I'm super-excited for the world to see her. It's definitely going to change the show and bring in a new dynamic."
Subscribe to SFX today! (opens in new tab)
Judging from the little bit we've seen of Alpha so far, that seems… realistic, actually. It takes a special kind of someone to skin a zombie, wear its decayed flesh, then spend their days killing both zombies and humans to take their stuff. The stringy zombie hair is a nice touch, too.
As for Magna herself, Hilker said she's still getting to know the character, but is enjoying her time as a truckstop waitress turned felon turned post-apocalyptic leader (mid-life career changes have become even more prevalent since the end of the world).
"I'm very intrigued by her and scared of her - I would definitely not want to mess with her in real life," Hilker explained. "I think she's a loner and has trouble functioning in relationships, especially in this world where you need them to survive but at the same time, anything that makes you vulnerable is scary to her. She's not too keen to be part of a community - she doesn't like the fact that she needs people. Being on the road is what she knows best. "
You can find out more about The Walking Dead and more great TV shows and movies in the latest issue of SFX magazine (opens in new tab). And don't forget to subscribe (opens in new tab) ASAP so you can get all the issues as soon as they arrive, in digital or physical form.