‘Walking Dead’ Star Pollyanna McIntosh on Jadis’ Return & That Rick Grimes Reference

the walking dead world beyond season 2 episode 6 Jadis pollyanna mcintosh
Spoiler Alert

[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for AMC’s The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 2 Episode 6, “Who Are You?”]

She’s back!

After soaring away with a gravely injured Rick (Andrew Lincoln) on a helicopter to destinations unknown, two seasons later, Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) has returned to the TWD-verse in World Beyond — with a new position in CRM, a new friend, a new last name and a new haircut.

We chatted with McIntosh about how she brought her character to a new corner of the Walking Dead world, what’s up with that hairstyle, and — most importantly — whether that “very valuable” something she says she gave CRM was a certain Mr. Grimes.

the walking dead world beyond season 2 episode 6 Jadis pollyanna mcintosh


How, and when, did you find out Jadis was making a comeback on World Beyond?

Pollyanna McIntosh: That’s a good question! [Chief Content Officer] Scott [Gimple] and I were speaking, and it came up only about a week and a half before I headed down to Richmond. It was a pretty close thing because I was supposed to be in Ireland shooting Vikings: Valhalla and our schedule got delayed. Scott heard this and went, “Hang on a minute. Maybe we can make this work.” So, it was really great. Great timing.

That’s interesting because, with the way things are planned in this universe, I figured that had been baked in maybe even from the start of World Beyond. But it doesn’t sound that way.

Well, they definitely wanted to go into the CRM world that we’re exploring more and more. I think it was just one of those kismets, that it could happen in this place. What luck and joy for me!

the walking dead world beyond season 2 episode 6 Jadis pollyanna mcintosh


I have to ask about the haircut. When we saw Jadis last on The Walking Dead, she’d grown it out — now she has what fans refer to as the “bowl cut.” What made her cut it like this again?

Well, as she says, it’s been six years—goodness knows she may have had a few wonderfully awful haircuts during that time. But Jadis is very practical, and she is a really good manipulator. I think she often does things that let people know to be on the back foot, a little bit. To be just a little uncomfortable around her. I think sporting a look like that is one of the ways to do that, you know? I thought it would be fun for the fans [for Jadis] to make an entrance with those very short bangs; shaving the bottom half was a way to make it more extreme, and also to give a little nod to Joan of Arc, who Jadis might feel she was—not doing God’s work, but trying to save the world.

On The Walking Dead, Anne had precious few friends — was it nice to play her camaraderie with Huck (Annet Mahendru) in this episode?

Yeah! It was really fun. I loved playing connective scenes. They have this history, and that was great fun to work with. We really enjoyed finding those moments to connect that show we have this real history together. It’s the one time I get to take my gloves off, as well. [laughs] We have a little rum together. There was a lot of fun in there—they almost float around things, as old friends do. They pick up on each other’s jokes and vibes, and I like that a lot.

the walking dead world beyond season 2 episode 6 Jadis pollyanna mcintosh


To what extent was Jadis’ offer to Huck at the end of the episode genuine? Is she really trying to help her, or is she trying to dig up some dirt?

She’s always doing her job, you know? She’s genuinely thinking of herself. But she also genuinely loves Huck and wants her to be well. She knows her capacity and wants that to be used in the right way, for the right cause, and so that Huck can have a future as well. Jadis wants what’s best, and certainly, in her mind, Huck being on the right side is what’s best. But we also know her to be somebody who is a great manipulator, so she can flip on a dime as to what’s required.

That leads nicely into one of my other questions — Jadis says her purpose is to create a “new era” on the planet. What does that look like, in her head?

We remember Jadis as being an artist and going her own way while holding a position of leadership. Those things are the same for her now. But this is a time when the CRM really seems like the only hope, and the only light in the world, as she sees it—where we could actually get back to humanity with culture, with art, with the same freedoms we used to have. She has seen what they do, and she is very impressed by it. So that is the new era as she sees it; one in which we can have true civilization again.

The subject of names came up in that scene as well. I noticed that in the episode and the preview for it, Jadis introduces herself as Jadis “Stokes,” which is Gabriel’s (Seth Gilliam) last name. Why did she do that?

It was really fun when she and Gabriel were together on The Walking Dead but she was trying to find a way out, and she was trying to involve him and include him, and she just couldn’t get him to go with her. In the end, she could’ve really used him, but she didn’t. I always thought there was love and respect there. But I don’t think it’s done without a sense of irony, though. Jadis is not to be a “wifey,” you know? She also doesn’t want to reveal much of herself, so why not take somebody else’s name? Remember that brief, brief love. [laughs]

How would she feel about him and Rosita (Christan Serratos), then?

She’s all for people getting what they need, so I think she’d be down with it. But she’d probably have something witty to say about it.

andrew lincoln as rick grimes, pollyanna mcintosh as jadis, the walking dead

Gene Page/AMC

In this episode, the language Jadis and her people used comes up. That was always a bit polarizing to fans—some were okay with it, some weren’t. Were you happy it was explained?

That was always something I felt was the reason for her to create that language. For me, it was on three levels; to make others uncomfortable with her, so that she had the upper hand; but also to bond the community and give a sense of “the outsiders” and “us,”; and lastly for speed, because the Scavengers didn’t like to waste anything. Yeah, it was kind of cool for me. I made that stuff up myself, and it made sense—that’s what you do with a character, you try to make sense of everything so it all feels in the body—and then they wrote these wonderful lines. It was like, “Yeah, I thought so! Okay, cool.” I thought that was fun for the fans, too, because I do get asked that question a lot. They’re like, “How could they forget to speak after such a short time?” I’m like, “No, no, no, that’s not what we’re saying.”

Jadis says she had given CRM something “very valuable.” Was that a Rick reference?

I think we can assume it is, yes. It’s safe to assume so. It is difficult to talk about Rick, as Jadis, and not put a bit of heart in there. She did have a true connection and relationship with him. I quite liked that he was valuable, at least! She did at least say that. That was sort of hint number one; you’ll have to keep watching for more info!

The Walking Dead: World Beyond, Sundays, 10/9c, AMC