‘The Walking Dead’: Katelyn Nacon on Enid’s Need to Just Survive Somehow
She’s fought off humans, zombies and has even taken a few bites out of a turtle. Now, as AMC’s The Walking Dead hurtles towards its November 29 midseason finale, young Alexandria resident Enid (Katelyn Nacon) is poised to face a new set of challenges outside of the Safe Zone’s walls.
At first glance, Enid appeared to be just another angsty teenager living within the plush confines of the community. But thanks to a flashback earlier this season, viewers learned that Enid lost both of her parents and managed to survive in the wild on her own before arriving at the gates of Alexandria. Her hardened demeanor has kept her detached from the rest of the kids, but she has found a connection with Carl (Chandler Riggs). Last we saw Enid, she was leaving Alexandria for good following the Wolves’ surprise attack.
We spoke with 16-year-old Nacon, who also appeared in last year’s viral video sensation Too Many Cooks, about what’s next for Enid’s journey, filming that talked-about turtle scene and a popular fan theory about Enid’s true identity.
As a young actor, what was it like to land a role on the biggest show on television?
It was crazy! When I found out I got the part, I started crying for an hour because I was so excited. And for it to be one of my first big things to ever work on is amazing. I couldn’t be happier.
Did you connect to certain characteristics of Enid?
When I first read the audition script, I instantly fell in love with her character. I think there are parts of her that I can connect to, but I’m not sure exactly which. But whenever I play a character, I usually put myself in their situation, so in a way, it’s kind of like I’m Enid in a different light.
When we first met Enid and her friends in Alexandria, they were “normal” kids. Do you think it’s possible for any kid to sustain that sense of normalcy in this world?
They are definitely not going to be able to be normal kids, and Enid already understands that because unlike them, she didn’t survive in the shelter the whole time. She actually knows what goes on out there. So she’s not exactly thrilled about having a normal teenager life. You always have to stay strong in order to survive.
What did Enid’s back-story highlight to you about who she really is?
It was really important to show what happened in her past is what made her who she is today. If it wasn’t for the death of her parents, she may not have been as closed off as she is now, or as in touch with her survival instincts. It helps reveal the reasoning of why Enid is the way she is. I think people were kind of confused as to why she was closed off and being bratty or stuck up. She wasn’t doing that on purpose. It was just a defense mechanism.
What was it like to chow down on that turtle?
It was pretty cool. Apparently I grossed out a lot of crew members as we were filming it. I was pretty proud of myself in that moment. It was chicken wings soaked in this fake blood, so I couldn’t eat chicken for weeks afterwards.
Why did Enid make the decision to leave Alexandria after the Wolves attacked?
She always knew that Alexandria wasn’t going to last and was eventually going to go up in smoke. Once the Wolves came in, that was the last straw. She had to leave just to survive. And she was also getting closer to Carl, which I think was scaring her a bit. One of her main defense mechanisms is to not get close to anyone for the fear of losing them, so that may also have had a factor in her leaving.
How would you describe Enid and Carl’s relationship?
There’s just a mutual understand of who each person is. They both understand that they’ve seen stuff and have gone through stuff. They view things the same way in the world.
Do you see a romantic future between them?
It’s kind of like a wait and see thing because Enid is so closed off. It’s very hard for her to open up to people. So you’ve got to just wait it out!
Now that the walker herd has surrounded the town, do you think she has what it takes to survive outside the walls?
She has the techniques in order for her to survive. She spends most of her time in the woods, and she also had the time where she was on her own after her parents’ death. But it still is very different when you’re with people for so long and then having to go back out on your own. I think she’ll be able to handle herself, though. She’s a really tough cookie.
There’s a theory floating around the Internet that Enid is a member of the Wolves. What do you think about that?
I love it because it just adds onto the mystery! It’s a yes or no question, so I’ll just say I don’t know.
What can we expect in Enid’s journey over the rest of the season?
She starts to understand herself a bit better. She starts to really figure out that the way that she’s coping with things may not be the exact right way to go. It’s her finding herself and how to fix what has been broken in her life a little bit better than how she tried to fix it before.
Last week, it was announced that Jeffrey Dean Morgan is joining the cast as Negan. What do you think he’ll bring to the role?
I haven’t met him in person, but I think he’s going to bring a lot to the show. It’s such a great and intense character that I know it’s going to make everything crazy. He is the worst villain out of them all, so it’s exciting that they’ve brought in this character. I’m excited to see what happens.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.