‘The Walking Dead: World Beyond’ Aliyah Royale Interview
We got to speak with the wonderful Aliyah Royale, who plays Iris in AMC’s new series, The Walking Dead: World Beyond. We discuss how she feels about the walkers, or empties as they call them, on and off camera and how it has been for her to join The Walking Dead universe! So keep reading below for how Aliyah relates to Iris and more!
Joining The Walking Dead Universe
CC: Thank you for agreeing to talk with us so close to the premiere of The Walking Dead: World Beyond!
Aliyah: “Oh my gosh, no thank you! As much awareness as I can bring to World Beyond, I want to. To be able to speak on it, I’m so happy to do that.
CC: What was it like for you to get into and become a part of The Walking Dead universe?
Aliyah: I always talk about the first welcome. It was New York Comic Con in 2019. I’m standing in the wings of the stage, watching The Walking Dead panel and they walked out to this roar of a welcome. I’m just like oh damn why did they have to go first? They’re like the greatest show of all time. How are we going to go on after that? And I cannot tell you the nerves I had walking to my chair on stage. But the moment the lights came up, the fans were engaged immediately and that was just love. Pure, unconditional love. They were invested in the storylines and invested in my character. Just to be a part of a fanbase like that means the world to me.
World Beyond Empties and Action
CC: So we’ve heard zombies aren’t your idea of fun. What’s it like being on set with all these empties around you?
Aliyah: Oh god. Oh god. That’s what it’s like. During the day, it’s fine because you’ll see them, but they’re not fully made up yet. They’ll have some makeup but not the prosthetic parts that are decayed. But at night, when you’re shooting and delirious because its three am and you walk out of your trailer and they’re right there? It’s a different beast. I’m still not used to it. I could be on set, and I know I’m on The Walking Dead, but if I turn a corner and one is there, I still jump. But that’s how you know the work is good. We have an incredible special effects team. It’s hard to believe what else can be done or how much cooler they can make the walkers look. But our special effects team does it. We have really outstanding walkers. I’m excited for everyone to see them.
CC: You’re on a show where there are certainly going to be plenty of fighting and action scenes. What has it been like for you to shoot those types of scenes?
Aliyah: Oh, baby girl loves cheeseburgers and pasta. So, I knew of The Walking Dead and I’ve watched my fair share. But I never could’ve prepared for the physicality of the role. Especially wearing that heavy leather jacket and backpack. And my weapon is the largest and heaviest. So you combine all that with the Virginia weather and humidity and it’s next level. I had to eat salads, stay hydrated, take vitamins and minerals. It was definitely different. I’m happy to be back home with my cheeseburgers and pasta. But I can’t wait to go back again.
All About Iris
CC: Iris and Hope are very different, are we going to see their relationship evolve over the first season?
Aliyah: Iris and Hope definitely evolve. As sisters and as partners. It’s Iris’s idea to leave and go on this adventure. But Hope agrees, so as sisters they’re agreeing to take care of each other. Then Elton and Silas decide they’re coming too. Now Hope and Iris feel like they have this duty to keep them safe, too. It’s easy to say you’re going to put yourselves in danger to save someone you love. But when other people want to come along and they’re trusting you, it’s a different level of stress. It puts pressure on the sisters to make the right choices for themselves and the group as a whole. But sisters fight. Sisters get close and pull apart and that journey is definitely shown on The Walking Dead: World Beyond.
CC: Iris takes care of everyone else around her and puts others first. Is that something that continues as the group leaves the community?
Aliyah: Absolutely! Iris is still in her mode of taking care of everyone. She says “I’m doing this for me but I’m still going to make sure everyone else is having a great time.”. That’s still Iris. And it’s hard because sometimes you have plans and tactics to get around the walkers. But you have to ask who’s going to risk their life so the others can do do it. Iris is always willing to put herself up as bait before anyone else. That’s a lot of pressure, to feel like you have all of your friends’ lives and your sister’s life in your hands. But it was Iris’ idea. So she feels responsible if anything happens to them. That’s a heavy weight to bear.
All About Aliyah
CC: Do you feel that there are a lot of qualities that you share with Iris?
Aliyah: Absolutely. I’m definitely fiercely loyal, loving, and genuine. I’m always ready to pick up the slack. Any way that anyone needs me to help out, I’ll do it. Almost to a fault because sometimes I forget to take care of myself just like Iris does. Sometimes I’ll hold myself accountable for other people and their choices and things they say or do. So Iris has taught me to put myself first and to believe that if I don’t see the answer to the problem, maybe I am the answer to the problem. And that’s why I love playing her.
Are you as excited for The Walking Dead: World Beyond as we are! Be sure to catch Aliyah Royale in the role of Iris along with the rest of the amazing cast! You can find and follow us on Twitter @capeandcastle to discuss all things The Walking Dead! Be sure to also check out our site for more articles on all things Disney and beyond!