Fear the Walking Dead: Exclusive interview with Lincoln A. Castellanos aka Tobias

Lincoln Castellanos. Tobias Fear the Walking Dead.
Lincoln Castellanos. Tobias Fear the Walking Dead. /
Tobias. Fear the Walking Dead, AMC. /

In the world of the Walking Dead, we can get very attached to characters very quickly. Consider Morgan and even Merle and the huge impact they made in only one episode in season 1 of the series. We’ve only seen one episode of Fear the Walking Dead and already we’re making connections with the characters. Tobias is a character that has made a huge impression on me.

The character of Tobias is a smart but somewhat troubled teen whom Madison, the school guidance counselor, has taken to helping. But Madison isn’t prepared for Tobias’ latest worries about a mysterious illness that’s affecting people all over the United States and has Tobias frightened enough to think he needs to find safety in numbers and bring a knife to school for protection.

The character has made an impression on me and the kind actor has as well. Lincoln A. Castellanos has been on social media thanking people for their support of the show and encouraging people to join #TeamTobias! He seems genuinely happy and grateful for all that is happening to him and to be really enjoying the experience of Fear the Walking Dead and joining #TWDfamily.

Tobias - fear-the-walking-dead
Tobias. Fear the Walking Dead. AMC /

He was kind enough to answer some questions for me to allow us to get to know him a little better. I knew he’d have to be careful about spoilers so I tried to ask questions that would be spoiler-free.

Here’s what Lincoln had to say:

I’ve read that you were a fan of The Walking Dead from the comics, even before the show. Have you watched the original show from the beginning? Are you a multiple watcher like many of us? Do you have any favorite characters? Moments? Quotes?

Yes! I’m a huge fan of the original show…I love it! I like catching the marathons when they play on AMC.  And I’m so excited for Season 6! – I was with the show when it started back in 2010. But I was actually a fan of Robert’s comics first! I was reading his comic series since 2008. So when I heard AMC was bringing it to the small screen, I knew it was going to be a hit. Kirkman’s world is so unique, brutal, and honest in its portrayal of broken characters, simply trying to hold on to their humanity, in a world that’s lost. TWD has always been an excellent character drama. And FTWD is too!

I’m a huge Michael Cudlitz fan, ever since his work in SOUTHLAND! His take on Abraham is awesome. Sonequa’s “Sasha” is brilliant, too. Her character’s journey has been one of the most riveting to watch unfold on the show.

I watch a ton of shows! As an actor it’s my job to be well versed in the shows that are out, and see what I would be right for. So yes, I watch many shows at once! Mr. Robot, Game of Thrones, Ray Donovan, Big Bang Theory, The Last Ship, (now) Public Morals, True Detective, Modern Family….all shows I love and would love to be in!

Are there cast members of The Walking Dead that you’ve met or would like to meet? Did you attend San Diego Comic-Con? Do you think you’ll like the comic-con experience? How is the social media experience so far? Once you’re on a Walking Dead show, even for a few minutes, you’re part of the family forever!

Morgan! I had the pleasure of meeting actor Lennie James once at a VIP party I was working at years ago – I congratulated him on his pilot appearance on TWD (it was only that at the time) and I knew (based on the comics) he was going to be in for a fun ride in the future of the show….looks like I was right! He was very nice and gracious, and I am sure we would have fun chatting again!

I’d love to meet everyone from TWD! Most especially Andrew Lincoln – Two Lincolns together in a room? Or at COMIC CON?! hahaha! I wasn’t at comic con this year. But I had friends texting me pics from the floor, of me on the screens from the trailer premiere : ) So I guess, technically, I can say “I was (in some form) at Comic Con!”  I know I’d love Comic Con! And the social media experience has been amazing. To interact with fans of FTWD, TWD, AND of Tobias….it’s all surreal. It’s very humbling – I’m just happy people around the world have had the chance to see the show, and connect with my character. I’d jump at the opportunity to meet and thank the fans!

I hope your character stays for a long time and evolves, like Carol or Glenn or at least comes back like Merle or Morgan, if he disappears somehow. I know you can’t say, but do you look at your scripts to see if you’re alive at the end as many Walking Dead cast members have joked?

haha! I stay focused on what my character is doing in the story. My goal is to stay true to Tobias and honor what Dave Erickson, Robert Kirkman, and all the amazing writers have created on the page.

Things could get a little scary for me (and Madison) in this next episode.

Do you have any thoughts about how you’d like your character to evolve or how you’d like him to die or not to die? Laurie Holden said she didn’t want to be a walker. Would you care if you were a walker?

I have my ideas of where Tobias could go (from after the pilot). Certainly, there is great potential for him to evolve, both psychologically and physically, and many other ways. But perhaps I should hold off on answering that in more detail….things could get a little scary for me (and Madison) in this next episode.

Your character, Tobias, is a high school student who connects with his counselor. Have you had any teachers or coaches that you connected with in your life?

High School was a fun time! And I had great mentors and teachers help me in my academic successes. I thought about those interactions when I was working with Kim in our scenes; recalling those memories of teachers offering their help to me – Madison is clearly trying to help Tobias. That is in her nature: to help, to mother, to take care of others. Whether she’s talking with her children Nick and Alicia, or with Tobias (who’s clearly got problems back home and in school with bullies). Her goal is to ultimately help others in any way she can. In that moment with Tobias (in the pilot), she feels the best thing she can do to help him is to put her trust in the “authorities”, in regards to his paranoid observations about the virus/outbreak. The point is, she really tries. And that’s what teachers/mentors do. They make the effort; but this is a two-way street. Tobias has got to either accept her answers or stick with his gut on what’s occurring. And I think we all know what he’s choosing.

I know you can’t tell us what they are, but do the survivors start using new and different nicknames for the walkers that you know of yet?

I believe Mr. Erickson said in an interview once before that the names will change as the season progresses. So it sounds like they won’t just be called “walkers”, which makes sense, since these first episodes are covering the beginning of civilization crumbling! If anything, it takes a while for decomposition to take place to a body, for it to even be considered a “walker”. Would I say they’re, at first, “infected”? I would go with that. Personally, at least.

I am so proud of FTWD, and I am truly blessed AMC and Dave and the whole team have welcomed me into this incredible world…I am grateful that I can be a part this story, as a fanboy of TWD, and as an actor.

What can you tell us about the fantastic Robert Kirkman,  Gale Anne Hurd, and/or Greg Nicotero? Or any of the producers directors and actors that are new to us?

Robert was so funny the first time we met! It was on the first day of shooting the pilot. He and Greg were sitting chatting, and they both welcomed me to the family. Gale is the best! She’s been so sweet to me and knows how much of a fan I am of the shows and comics –  And Adam Davidson, the show’s fearless director for the first few episodes, was amazing to work with – he understands actors, and how to pull the most honest performances from us. I’d be honored to work with him again!

Dave actually came up to me, before I could go search for him on set (because I hadn’t met him yet!) and he shook my hand, and he thanked me for being along for the ride. It’s a moment that has stuck with me all year. Dave is a true artist, and he has poured his heart and soul into this show, and it clearly shows, through the love the whole crew had filming season 1, through the excitement Gale and the other producers have had for FTWD’s deviation from the original show and the comics, and it shows most through the fans and their reaction to the premiere! Over 10 million people tuned in and saw Fear The Walking Dead! Wow! It’s certainly a wonderful reward for everyone who’s worked so hard to make this a great show!

I am so proud of FTWD, and I am truly blessed AMC and Dave and the whole team have welcomed me into this incredible world…I am grateful that I can be a part this story, as a fanboy of TWD, and as an actor.

I love the walkers. Have you worked with any yet or seen them at work? Watch out for them! The ones I’ve talked to on Twitter from The Walking Dead are blood thirsty! They want to take out main characters! I want Tobias to stay bite-free!

haha! Well then, I won’t spoil anything here! Tune in Sunday, and hope I don’t run into anything scary!

Ruben Blades said if he could take 5 things with him at the end of the world, he would take 5 cans of Pork and Beans. What 5 things would you take?

Ah! What a tough question! I don’t know…when you say the End of the World, it implies there is NOTHING I can do to get out of the situation. So with that mentality going in…I think the only thing I would take is: a photo album of my family. That’s all I need, if it is truly the end. But if they are still with me? Then I don’t need a single thing.

Wow. Ruben must really love pork and beans! haha

Finally, what do you like to do when you’re not acting?

When I am not acting, I am watching films and shows, seeing plays or going to my theater company (all acting homework!). And I am also staying busy writing, in my pursuit of a MFA in Screenwriting online! It’s been a busy year, but I’m blessed to be busy and I wouldn’t have it any other way! And I am thankful I have my loving family, always supporting me, believing in me, and encouraging me to stay focused and keep pushing myself to do great things!

IF they were to make an action figure of Tobias, you better believe my mother is going to get her hands on one! And I will too. Just to see if he’s got the blue jacket and the backpack!

Extra question! I have some action figures and I take pictures with them in everyday situations. Tiny Abe!  Has the thought crossed your mind that there may be a Tiny Tobias!?!

YES! The thought has crossed my mind…and it blows my mind just thinking about it! hahaha! I am just grateful and blessed for the opportunity to act and stay busy. But to act in a show that has such an immense and supportive following…it’s a huge honor! And I’m excited for everyone to see what’s in store for all of the rich, diverse characters on FTWD…including Tobias!

…Now, IF they were to make an action figure of Tobias, you better believe my mother is going to get her hands on one! And I will too. Just to see if he’s got the blue jacket and the backpack! haha

Well, I will be the first in line after Lincoln and his mom to get a Tiny Tobias action figure when they hit the shelves. And Tiny Tobias will get to pose in pictures with one of Lincoln’s Walking Dead favorites-Tiny Abraham!

I’m thrilled to be able to share Lincoln’s answers with you so we can all learn more about him and about Tobias and the new show, Fear the Walking Dead!

Be sure to check out Lincoln on Facebook and Twitter!

I hope to be writing about Tobias for seasons to come!

Next: The Walking Dead: A Timeline from Morgan to Morgan

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