Fear the Walking Dead: Keith Carradine Discusses His Top Secret Role

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Keith Carradine is the latest addition to the cast of Fear the Walking Dead.

His character, John Dorie Sr., debuted on Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 13 and brought a lot of knowledge about The End is the Beginning group.

TV Fanatic got the chance to chat with Keith to break down the biggest moments.

Keith Carradine on Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 13

TV Fanatic: What attracted you to Fear the Walking Dead?

What attracted me is that it's a character-driven show. The backdrop is zombies, and it's this post-apocalyptic world, but what really caught my interest is the fact that this is really about these people and how they interact with one another and all of their individual stories.

It's a very human storytelling show, and anything that's character-driven appeals to me. And I think that's probably true of most of us actors.

There was a lot of secrecy surrounding your role. What was that like?

I love the idea of them wanting to reveal something to the audience so that people are genuinely surprised when they learn it, and If that stuff is guarded beforehand, it can take a lot of the fun out of it for the viewer.

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I was quite happy to be a part of that process. It's challenging because it's keeping this kind of information under wraps until people actually get a chance to see the show.

It can be very challenging, leaks abound, not only in politics but also in show business.

It was fun to be a part of that process, and I hope that we have been successful. It feels as though we have. I think that people are going to be genuinely surprised when the big reveal occurs.

John survived the attempt on his life. How do you think that will change his outlook on life going forward?

He's certainly been confronted with his own mortality, before definitely as a lawman. He's been in perilous situations and confrontations and such, and his lifelong pursuit of Teddy has certainly put him in perilous circumstances.

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But the fact that in this episode, he actually takes a bullet, I think it might serve to enhance his own sense of his own mortality.

Also, particularly when it's coming at a time in his life when he has happened upon the possibility of a kind of redemption of the soul, if you will, based on the fact that he has encountered June and has come to realize who she is and who he is to her.

Their connection via his son, I think that that's going to be particularly revealing to John Sr. about his own sense of self and his own sense of mortality and his own perhaps desire now to continue, you know, having a productive and meaningful life what's left of his life, particularly when, in terms of his pursuit of this villainous character, Teddy.

And thanks to John, we learned a lot more about Teddy. John really is a fountain of knowledge about this character. What was that like for you as an actor to play a character brings so much information about this villain?

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Well, it's interesting because I quite enjoy coming into the show carrying that kind of information that the audience is longing to hear.

And sometimes it can be very challenging for us actors if we have to do a lot of expositional dialogue, but I have to say, the writers on this show, certainly on this episode, they've managed to lace in all of that.

The expository stuff, all of that information that this character brings, they've managed to lace it into the conversation in a way that I think is really graceful.

It's not intrusive, and I think that the audience learns what they're curious and desirous of learning.

I think they're entertained at the same time that they're learning it because of the circumstances under which these conversations are taking place, where this information is being revealed. It was a lot of fun for me as an actor to be able to come in as a character who has that knowledge.

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Now, because of the wealth of knowledge about this guy, I'm going to be able to participate in a really meaningful way, in what becomes a group effort to try and track him down and put a stop to what he's up to.

John and June go to Morgan's, where they realize they all have a common goal, but do you think there are any skeptics of John?

Well, I think that once he gets there, because Morgan is there to meet him, and they have that initial conversation where Morgan realizes who he is and what he knows and what he can bring to their efforts.

I think that Morgan will obviously smooth the way for everyone to understand who John is and what a benefit he's going to be there for their efforts.

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Let's circle back to June a little bit. We had John Jrs funeral. Viewers finally got a proper send-off for the character. Can you talk a bit about that?

Frankly, it was one of the easiest things I've ever had to do as an actor because all I had to do was stand and listen to Jenna Elfman deliver that speech as she read that letter from her late husband, which she did so masterfully.

I think all of us who were in that scene with her felt it was a privilege to just stand there and listen and be affected by what she was reading and, and how she delivered it, and the emotion behind it.

She's a powerhouse of an actor, and I felt very fortunate to be able to start my journey in this story, working opposite Jenna Elfman for most of this first episode.

June is Ready - Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 13

Are you able to speak about any challenges that you encountered as an actor while playing John Dorie in comparison to some of your previous roles?

I can say that there were some physical challenges, obviously, because I had to get back into a sort of action mode. It's been a couple of years since I last engaged in a physical fight scene, and I had to do one of those here.

And in an upcoming episode, something I'm quite familiar with: Horseback riding.

I've done an awful lot of it in the course of my career, so I'm a decent horseman, and I was happy to be given the opportunity to get back on a horse in this upcoming episode.

Apart from that, just the usual challenges in terms of familiarizing myself self with the weaponry that they gave me to use.

John Dorie Takes Aim - Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 13

I'm using a sawed-off Winchester in a hip rig. That's reminiscent of the one that Steve McQueen wore in his old television series Wanted Dead or Alive. I was actually quite enchanted they thought of that for my sidearm. That echoes back to the history of westerns—the television Westerns, in particular.

That was a show that I actually watched as a kid. I enjoyed having that as a sidearm and then having to familiarize myself with how to take it out and use it gracefully and put it back in the rig that they gave me. Those are the sorts of usual challenges.

And then, obviously, the other challenges would be just the fact that we were shooting in Texas in January, and we had a blizzard.

That was certainly challenging. The physical challenges of shooting a show outdoors, and I love to be outdoors.

It's kind of my favorite place to be anyway, but there were certainly variations in the weather that presented some challenges.

June Goes on a Mission - Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 13

I know we had one day that we lost about half a day because we had a lightning storm for most of the morning. The rules are that when that's happening, you cannot be out there where anyone could get struck or equipment or attract a lightning bolt.

So everybody had to hunker down and shelter for a number of hours, you know,  the usual sorts of challenges that go along with shooting a show that is a great deal of which is shot on location outdoors.

Remember, you can watch Fear the Walking Dead online right here via TV Fanatic.

Catch new episodes Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Fear the Walking Dead Quotes

Enjoy the view, asshole.

Sherry

Nick: There was blood all over her mouth, and then she came at me.
Travis: What did she do?
Nick: She was eating them. She was eating them.