'WD: World Beyond's Annet Mahendru on Huck, CRM, & Where the Season Could Be Going
There are plenty of big reveals in The Walking Dead: World Beyond’s first season. There's the Civic Republic Militia’s destruction of the Campus Colony, and the fact that Hope (Alexa Mansour) is the asset the three-ring group has been looking for. There's the whole “CRM is probably trying to cure the virus by experimenting on walkers” thing. But the most jaw-dropping moments are when we learn not only that Huck (Annet Mahendru) isn’t really part of the core group — her loyalties lie with CRM and Lt. Col Kublek (Julia Ormond) — but that Kublek is her mom.
As for Huck's loyalties lying elsewhere, “I knew from the very beginning,” Mahendru tells TV Insider, explaining that showrunner Matt Negrete told her about that double-agent aspect of her character early on.
The news that Ormond would be playing her on-screen mom came later.
“I was like, 'What?!'” Mahendru says. She says she remembers shooting the scene for the pilot where she pretends to meet Col. Kublek for the first time — although of course, that certainly wasn’t the first time mother and daughter had ever come face to face. “That was the trippiest thing I’ve ever had to do,” Mahendru says with a laugh. “It was mind-blowing.”
Viewers might have picked up on a disconnect between Huck and her mom: the accents. Mahendru says that was an acting choice on her part that ended up being, as she put it, serendipitous.
"[Huck] was a Marine, and just walking with the boys and surviving as a chick. I think it was her way of [developing] a new identity,” she says. “That was what I ended up doing with her, and then Julia came in and decided. 'I’m going to keep my British.' It was a cool twist — we were so far apart on the spectrum, from the way we talked. That worked in our favor. You couldn’t have connected us at all."
As for that brutal fight scene between Huck and Felix (Nico Totorella) in the finale, she says she and her co-star, with the exception of the “really gnarly stuff” — which went to the stunt team — were on-camera the whole brawl. “Nico and I trained so hard for it,” she says. “[During the scene], it’s hot, it’s impossible to breathe, you’ve only got maybe 10 minutes to do it — you only get a couple times to do it.”
She also explains that during her initial sit-down with Negrete, he said her friendship with Felix was real. The betrayal of that bond, along with her killing of Tony (Scott Adsit) and her injuring Percy (Ted Sutherland) has left Huck feeling “awful” Mahendru says, and Huck knows “she’ll pay for what she’s done for the rest of her life.”
But she might not be as loyal to CRM as some think.
“She doesn’t have all her stakes in CRM, because she knows what organizations are like,” Mahendru adds. "And a lot of times, the innocent [take the fall] for the missions these places have in mind. She’s on her own mission for greater good.”
The Walking Dead: World Beyond, Returns 2021, AMC