Colman Domingo's Victor Strand has blossomed into a full-fledged villain on Fear the Walking Dead Season 7.
Viewers have been introduced to a hardened iteration of the character, and Domingo is enjoying every single beat of playing this nuanced person.
"I've enjoyed playing every note that Strand has to play," Domingo explained to TV Fanatic.
"I think he's always been a character with a skewed moral compass," the star added, revealing that it's been nice to play his kindness, his more cunning side, and more recently, his darker side.
"The way I've understood Strand for seven seasons is he is a self-made man," he shared.
"And with that self-made man that we saw in season one, you know, the Ralph Lauren suits, the cuff links, you name it, it's all put on. It's made. And so that means he can make and recreate himself again."
Domingo views each season as a different journey, and the process of rethinking Strand every season is exciting.
"Sometimes I have facial hair, sometimes I don't, and there's always a story reason why that happens. And so this season, as we're going to this quote, unquote darker side of Strand, I think it's because he hadn't lived under his own rules."
"I think that he's always been a person that has sort of fallen back to a B, because another leader who he may have thought had higher ideals was in place, whether that's a Virginia or Morgan or Madison, but I think this season, he has decided to set up his own civilization and his own rules."
Colman said that Strand has realized he can make a good leader and allows himself to be driven by the darkness.
Fear the Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 7 found Strand realizing his seemingly invincible tower was not so invincible.
We had exploding walkers sent to the building by the Stalkers, revealing a huge flaw in the defenses of such a menacing building.
Colman shared that he and the creative forces wanted to show that Strand was compartmentalizing his feelings and moments.
"He's truly living moment to moment, having a sincere scene in which he's truly being sincere, and then in the next moment, it can completely change."
"Now, that might be a bit sociopathic, but I think that's fun to play," the actor said with a laugh.
"You see that he still has a heart, which is what I'm very conscious of."
"Always whenever I play a dark character, I still want to challenge the audience to believe that there's some good there."
"I think in Strand's mind, he's trying to do good with every action that he's taking," Colman continued.
"He also has a healthy dose of ego. He's trying to prove to everyone that he was not wrong. I think that because there's so many extremes that he's playing. I don't think he's a good therapist for himself. He's not as conscious of how he's feeling or what he needs. He's working moment to moment."
The episode also kicked off with Strand having a very different view of how the world should see him when he asked an artist to paint a portrait of him.
Colman believes Strand doesn't think he was as polished as the artist's interpretation of him, believing the character to be much more complicated.
"I think he sees himself as beautiful yet ugly," the actor shared.
Strand also shed light on his relationship with his father before revealing he wanted to raise baby Mo after Morgan tried to poison him.
Colman cautioned that we need to examine the reason why Strand decided he wanted to take on a child.
"I don't know if he's completely aware. I think he knows that there's something about this child and the opportunity that this child presents, which is unconditional love. And so we'll see what that does to Strand. We'll see if it makes them a bit more ruthless, or does it make them kinder and softer?" Colman added, saying that the child could change Strand, but we'll need to tune in to find out.
The episode concluded with Alicia's highly-anticipated return, and I asked Colman whether he thinks Alicia could be Strand's weakness.
"I think it could be one of two things. I think there's a reason why he either wants to know that she's out there and alive, whether that benefits him or not, or it can mean he wants her to stay away from him in some way, so he can build the tower that he needs to build."
"So I think it's very complicated because his one Achilles heel is Alicia, and I think that he just needs to know where she is so he can control that."
"He doesn't want to be compromised, and he doesn't want to be influenced," Colman concluded, saying that Strand wants a simple answer about her whereabouts.
Colman could not delve into what will happen on the midseason finale, aside from the following:
It's going to knock your socks off.
Remember, you can watch Fear the Walking Dead online right here via TV Fanatic.
Fear the Walking Dead concludes its fall run on AMC on Sunday, December 5. The episode is already available on AMC+.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.