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Lesley-Ann Brandt Interview: Thorne, Rick Grimes, Michonne



Lesley-Ann Brandt as Thorne - The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live _ Season 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Interview: The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live actress Lesley-Ann Brandt (Thorne) spoke to The Natural Aristocrat® about her character’s Shane Walsh-like rifle scope moment.

This TWD: The Ones Who Live cast interview was part of a press roundtable discussion.

THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT (NIR REGEV): Lesley, there’s a Shane-like scene where Thorne can choose to take a life in her rifle scope. Viewers witness Thorne’s thought process in real time by showing her scope’s crosshairs on camera. What are your thoughts on the ease of this moment as an actress?

LESLEY-ANN BRANDT Well, for Thorne, I think coming from a Navy military type background, I think she’s obviously been in action. For me, getting into the skin of this character is made very easy by the costume actually, particularly the costume.

I found myself walking differently. Our costume designer Eulyn (Colette Hufkie) did such a wonderful job, I felt as if we were all designed by like Rick Owens or something. Like a fancy designer! It just looked very cool and badass.

But stepping into the skin of Thorn was easy for me as an actress. I think because I knew what made her tick and the ease of being able to take someone out.

I think it’s like a metaphor… We’ve all had those moments in life where we’ve been at a crossroads and you either turn left or right, or you make a good decision or you don’t.

And so perhaps what makes it easier for me to make the right decision at that moment or not. If it is right! (laughs) I don’t know…

On not wanting a love triangle / heat from fans:

Danai Gurira as Michonne - The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live _ Season 1, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Danai Gurira as Michonne – The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live _ Season 1, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

LESLEY-ANN BRANDT Firstly, I love that they (the writers) didn’t set it up as a love kind of triangle, Rick and her together or not. That was a big thing for me, mainly because I didn’t want the heat from the fans! (laughs)

But I also appreciated that they found a way to tell a story in a similar sort of Carol and Daryl way. Like a platonic friendship in the beginning where maybe they butt heads, but there’s genuine care for each other. Even if their paths go in different ways, I mean, she’s definitely looking out for him.

She’s committed to the idea that Okafor has presented to them about this new world and about what he feels needs to change within the CRM. So I did love that.

Obviously, I love the fact that Thorne was South African and not like a wallflower type character. She’s not just a one note character. There’s real vulnerability that comes with her strength, although she chooses to not always show it… Or doesn’t always show it.

I think that’s maybe what makes her and Michonne kind of similar. Outside of this world, they probably would’ve been friends, you know, strong women who care madly and deeply about the ones that they love.

On Thorne’s general tension with Rick Grimes:

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live _ Season 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes – The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live _ Season 1 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

LESLEY-ANN BRANDT I think they start off on a rough sort of footing. Thorne recognizes that while she’s made a decision to be committed to the CRM and it’s her world now, Rick is struggling.

And I think because of Thorne’s own personal struggles trying to get back to Cape Town, trying to get back to someone she loved, she sort of befriends Rick. Even though they butt heads, Thorne is like, ‘Let me help this guy climatize to this world.’

And they build a really great friendship. But I do think Thorne recognizes something uniquely different about Rick compared to any of the other individuals that they’re with.

On arrival to The Walking Dead franchise:

LESLEY-ANN BRANDT For me, having come from Lucifer (TV Series) with a big fan following and knowing what a show can mean to a viewer, it’s still at times sort of realizing, “Oh, this is like a much bigger universe, you know?”

And fans are so incredibly smart. I mean, I see them dissecting the trailers and they’re very, very good. I had the meeting set up with Andy, I had just watched Danai (Gurira) in Black Panther then like two days later I was meeting with them.

So it was really wonderful and and incredibly special for me that both of them were such advocates of bringing my South African heritage into the show for the first time.

It’s an accent that you don’t hear outside of South Africa. It’s very specific to Cape Town, very specific to my community.

So I do credit both Danai and Andy for championing that. It’s pretty special. I think what I’m really excited for is for the fans who’ve been waiting so long for these two. It’s finally here!

On supernatural and other worldly elements in a TV series:

LESLEY-ANN BRANDT I think any show that has any kind of supernatural or other worldly element to it… The gift of those shows or films is that you get to tell human stories that aren’t as confronting as if you were just to put it in a normal setting.

You get to touch on certain themes and ideas. I think even speaking to what Matthew Jeffers said yesterday, having a character who has dwarfism, there’s not a big meal made about it. He’s just a person who exists in the world as it should be.

Matthew Jeffers as Nat - The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live _ Season 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Matthew Jeffers as Nat – The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live _ Season 1 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

I do think the ultimate goal in these kinds of shows is just telling the truth. While the situation might be something we’re not familiar with, like I’m not typically stabbing people in the face who are dead and coming towards you trying to eat your face or something (laughs).

The friendship is universal, love is universal, betrayal and loyalty. Those are all universal themes. Survival is a universal theme. And this big idea of we’re 12 years down the line and the walkers have become something sort of in the background now.

And now the focus is on the humans. And who is the biggest threat? It’s us, it’s ourselves, it’s Major Beal and his ideas! It’s Terry (O’Quinn), blame it all on Terry! (laughs)

Terry O'Quinn as Major General Beale - The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live _ Season 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Terry O’Quinn as Major General Beale – The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live _ Season 1 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

More TWD: The Ones Who Live News:

Be sure to read:

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live Non-Spoiler Review: First 4 Episodes

First Photos: ‘The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live’ Cast Members

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