The Walking Dead: Alanna Masterson goes inside Tara’s big episode – Entertainment Weekly

 In Entertainment
SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have watched Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead, “Swear.”

Where the hell are Tara and Heath? That’s been the question on the minds of every Walking Dead fan ever since we saw the duo drive off from the Saviors’ satellite station outpost last season for a supply run (which also conveniently allowed actors Alanna Masterson and Corey Hawkins time off to have a baby and film a new 24 reboot, respectively).

Well, we finally got our answer: After two weeks of unsuccessful scavenging, the pair got separated on a bridge, with Tara washing up ashore by the new hidden community of Oceanside. The women there tried to kill her, then tried to get her to join them, then tried to kill her again. But she made a friend/ally in Cindy, who helped her escape. That was the good news for Tara. The bad news was waiting for her back in Alexandria, where she learned of the deaths that had taken place in her absence, including the loss of her girlfriend, Denise. We spoke to Alanna Masterson to get her take on Tara’s big episode. (Click through both pages to read the entire interview.)

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Before we get into last night’s episode, we haven’t seen Tara for a while because you were off doing important things like, you know, having a baby, so you missed the big cliffhanger finale from last season as well as the premiere. What was it like experiencing that as part of the cast, but also being off when it all went down?
ALANNA MASTERSON: I knew what was happening in the script, and I was pretty bummed to not be a part of it. But just the timing of it and having my daughter, I had to miss the finale. But I didn’t know, obviously, how the first six episodes of the season were going to go, so when I found out that I wasn’t going to be in any of them, I was like, “Oh, where are Tara and Heath? Like, where did they go?” So I knew I was safe from Negan, but also to have to see two of my closest friends go was pretty rough.

So did you say your goodbyes to Steven and Michael when you left last year?
No, because I was in Georgia when they shot episode 1, and I went every night. After I put my kid to bed, I went every night and just stayed with them and was there while they were filming everything to show support for everyone and to be there for them. So I got to see them up until their last scenes, which was really nice.

What was it like coming back to the show, yet kind of coming back to a completely different show with completely different people at this new Oceanside community?
For me, it felt awesome and a really cool thing for Tara to experience, because when she came in, she came in without the group. She came in with just the Governor, and so it’s nice that this was on the flip side for her, and she’s introducing the audience to this new world of Oceanside.

This script is written by David Leslie Johnson, who isn’t one of our staff writers. He’s a freelancer, and he understood Tara so well and understood her humor, and her joy, and also her sincerity. So it was actually nice because it was a person that I was like, oh, how are they going to be able to write this script about Tara in Oceanside? And I thought they did a really good job. And Corey is such an incredible actor, and all of the new women were so wonderful to work with.

According to the crew, it was one of the hardest episodes they’ve shot in all seven seasons, because we were on that bridge for three days, and it was like the hottest it had been in Georgia, and there was no cover. There was no shade, and there was a lot of physical activity, and stunts, and everything those days. So the new people really stepped up and really did a great job.

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