INTERVIEW: Walking Dead actress Kylie Szymanski
Hamilton’s first annual Comic Con, the Hammer Town Comic Con, took place at Hamilton Convention Centre last Saturday. I must admit that I found myself in unfamiliar territory, this being my first Comic Con. Spidermen in every size, R2-D2s, zombies, stormtroopers, Iron Man just to name a few, were literally crawling out from every corner.
I came there to do an interview with Kylie Szymanski, a.k.a Penny Blake, the Governor’s daughter from the hit series The Walking Dead. Frank Darabont developed the series in 2010, inspired by the comic books of the same name, developed in 2003. At the end of season three, the season final had 12.4 million views in US alone, and it’s safe to say that The Walking Dead has become a pop-cultural phenomenon.
Here I was face to face with a sweet, brown-haired girl, who looked nothing like the zombie girl Penny (luckily). Her role in The Walking Dead was her debut, but you could not really see that, in the natural way she smiled and greeted her fans. I was of course very curious of how she felt about being a popular zombie girl, and asked her a few questions.
How did you prepare for being a part of The Walking Dead?
Is kind of hard to prepare, because you don't really know what you are getting into. Whenever I got to the set, I had no way of knowing what they wanted so I just had to try my best.
Do you think that Penny had any thoughts at all?
If she did have any thoughts, it might have been don’t kill me, I’m still a human. Something like that… I’m still human, don’t kill me – I love you. I don’t know, good question, I never thought about that.
How did you want to portray Penny?
Well, I tried to get into the character as much as I could. I didn’t try to be [me] but I tried to be that zombie girl, the Governor’s daughter and try and act as what might his daughter actually be if she was a zombie but still partially be herself.
At this time, a fan dressed in a military outfit interrupted us. He was completely overwhelmed with the sight of Kylie and barked; ‘you are the Governor’s daughter’. He had just finished all three seasons and needed to say how much he loved the show. Yet another guy came up and got her autograph and a picture. So naturally I needed to know how she felt about her fans.
I like it, its kind of interesting even to me. I get to see to see how cool they are and how much they love the show. It’s amazing.
Back to the interview again, I asked her, if she thought that Rick and everybody were going to survive?
Maybe. The Governor has gone pretty crazy now, so you never know what’s going to happen when he is going crazy. His is just a crazy guy after I died. He already lost his wife in a car accident and now he lost his daughter and now he has nothing left, so he is going crazy.
It doesn’t sound like nice things are coming for Rick, Glenn, Daryl and everybody in season four. Saying goodbye to Kylie, I asked her, what’s next?
I’m doing some acting classes and a couple of auditions. We don’t know what’s coming up next. Not yet. But it’s so amazing how much I like acting. It’s so cool.
The new season returns Sunday, Oct. 13 to AMC.