Will Hope Betray the CRM? ‘TWD: World Beyond’ Star Alexa Mansour on Hope’s Difficult Choices
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 2, Episode 2, “Foothold.”]
So far in Season 2 of AMC’s The Walking Dead: World Beyond, teenager Hope (Alexa Mansour) has been separated from her sister Iris (Aliyah Royale), endured a grueling test from the Civic Republic Military’s Lt. Col. Elizabeth Kublek (Julia Ormond), and is now…taking a walking tour of the CRM station?
In what felt more like a college visit than the gunned-up military base we were expecting, Hope got to finally see the place where her father, scientist Dr. Leo Bennett (Joe Holt), has been since before the ragtag group of young adults departed on their disastrous journey. And don’t get us wrong, there’s plenty of guards, and cameras — and Hope is taking note of all of them, literally.
Now that she’s behind the walls of the CRM, what kind of trouble will she stir up? Does she want to stay? And how much will the new characters in her orbit affect her decisions? We picked Mansour’s brain for some clues on where Hope’s adventure in Season 2 is headed.
First off, you had so much to do in the premiere episode — you were put through the wringer. How much of your own stunt work did you get to do for it?
Alexa Mansour: Yeah, it was so fun. I think that was one of my favorite episodes to shoot to date. [And] I wasn’t falling down the stairs, but I would say it was like 70/30.
Was anything a particular challenge in shooting that episode?
After falling down the stairs when Hope’s waking up — the blood was dripping down my head and we couldn’t get the blood to go the right way. It was either going in my eyes or going way back or not trickling down at all. I think we spent like 40 minutes just trying to perfect that shot.
After Episode 2, Hope is now fully in the CRM’s custody, she’s gotten the tour and knows the lay of the land… where is her head at? What’s she thinking?
She’s super torn. She doesn’t know if she should start befriending people and integrating herself into this new community or continuing with what she and her sister planned in taking down the CRM. I guess it feels comfortable, you know? She’s surrounded by normal people, there’s nothing to worry about, but she’s fighting this inner battle about what she should do next. She’s living in a fantasy right now, and she’s trying to get herself back into the harsh reality of what is going on outside the walls.
How much do you think she’s affected by the fact that her old home is no longer there anymore and this new home is really similar to the place where they came from?
Yeah, it’s really similar. I think that she was doing all this to get her dad and go back. And to realize that, ‘hold on, I’ve been sacrificing myself for something that’s not even there anymore, what’s the point of any of this?’ There’s almost a sense of hopelessness after finding out that her home has been destroyed, and anger, but it’s out of her control. There’s nothing she can do, and that’s probably one of the things that frustrate her the most.
Does she want to help her father at all, despite the fact that she doesn’t have much of a choice, as she points out in this episode?
Yeah, I don’t think she realizes her capabilities with it. I don’t think she really knows how smart she is. But there is a moment, later on in the season where Hope has a lightbulb moment and she’s like, ‘I’m actually kind of smart.’ And feeling like she’s a part of something greater is nice for her, to feel like she’s worth something and means something and is important and whatnot. But she has resentment towards the CRM and everybody there for everything they’ve done so far, so it’s like, ‘Why do I want to help you?’
There’s also her father’s new girlfriend, Dr. Lyla Belshaw (Natalie Gold). How does she feel about this woman who is reporting directly to the Lt. Col. and maybe doesn’t have the best set of scientific ethics?
Hope sees one side of her, but Hope’s the kind of person that, after what Huck did, I don’t think Hope’s taking any chances with anybody, so I’m sure deep down she knows that something isn’t right, but she’s going to play the game because she wants to get in deeper with everybody. Hope’s big thing is just faking it until she makes it.
Another new character we met in Episode 2 was Mason (Will Meyers). Are we going to see a romantic relationship building there?
I can’t tell you too much about their relationship, but Mason brings a lot more to the table than just a future [potential] love interest for Hope. There’s a lot more going on with that kid that Hope’s going to find out and use for her and the group’s advantage.
How much is she thinking about Iris and Felix (Nico Totorella)?
She wants to find them. That’s her main goal, but I think Hope deep down knows that Iris is going to be okay no matter what and that Iris is strong enough to survive on her own and get through things on her own. She’s not too worried about it, but I think the main thing is that she wants Iris to know that their dad is safe. She [also] wants to make sure that everything’s okay and that the group is still holding on.
Was it weird for you not to have scenes with Aliyah after working with her so closely last year?
Oh yeah, it was really, really strange. When I finally saw her on set it was… so nice. It was really great.
What can you tease about what’s ahead for Hope in Episode 3 and beyond?
A lot of hard decisions and having to grow up, fast. Hope is acting as another person when she’s behind those walls. She’s thinking about her family and trying to do what’s best for them, but also thinking about the effects of their actions on everybody else and the lives of hundreds of thousands of other people. There’s a lot of big decisions.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond, Sundays, 9/8c, AMC