The whole episode was very mysterious and I thought your role in particular was very pivotal towards the end when the truth really came out about what happened about the community. It must have felt really good to have that big moment.
"Briana: “Yes, it did. The fun part is anyone that auditioned for these roles, like both Nicole Barr (who played Kathy) and I, we all auditioned with the exact same role. We all auditioned with a version of what that big monologue was. It totally didn’t relate to the story, but it was kind of in the same vein of the emotion. When I finally got there and got to set I still didn’t’ really have any idea who I was playing. So when I showed up and I realized that I got to do that part, i was like ‘oh shit, oh okay, I’ve got to bring it!'”"
I was so relieved. I didn’t buy their original story exactly. It was really satisfying for the viewers.
"Briana: “I think that was [due to] Mikey [Mike Satrazemis] who directed the episode. He’s DP (Directory of Photography) normally on the episodes. We lucked out so hard having him as our director because he’s been on the set every single day, so he knows everyone. He made it such a welcoming environment. When we finally got to that scene, well, it was actually the first scene of the episode that I shot. When we got there, we were kind of both on the same page that this has to make people care. It has to matter. Otherwise, what’s the point?”"
It definitely did!
"Briana: “Good, I’m glad it worked, I’m glad it came off!”"
This is more of a hypothetical question. I don’t know if you know or can say, but I was curious. Would Tara staying really have been an option if she had chosen to do that?
"Briana: “Hmm, I would like to think that if we are as ruthless and as good at our jobs as we said we were, we probably would have kept her around for a little while, but then would have had to take her out. Because I do think the invitation was open, but the way I kind of perceived it was more of an invitation to stay just to cover our asses and then once she was there and comfortable, take her off guard.”"
Because you always be wondering it she was going to try to leave?
"Briana: “Oh, 100 percent, yeah. That’s the nature of the world , do or die , you’ve got to protect your own.”"
Obviously given the circumstances there is a lot of pain within these women and children. But your character in particular seemed sad to me. Is there something more you can tell us about that?
"Briana: “No, I mean, I just sort of approached that character from the respect of, you know, I don’t think she enjoys living this way. I don’t think she likes not having anything around. I don’t think she enjoys not being able to see new faces and not have a life that is a little more involved with the world. Or whatever is left of it. I think for her it’s just more of its you’re kind of living in that constant state of ‘well this is it’. You’re just sort of like ‘more of this tomorrow, nothing is going to change’. I honestly think Tara showing up was kind of the most exciting thing in the world and the sadness of her showing up reminded her what doesn’t exist anymore. And regardless of how Beatrice may feel about people coming in to their community and her responsibility to protect it, I think a lot of her is very much so like ‘shit, i don’t want to do this, I’ll do what I have to, but it’s not me.'” Alanna Masterson as Tara Chambler, Briana Venskus as Beatrice, Nicole Barre as Kathy – The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 6 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC"
Do you think or do you know if Beatrice has had to kill before?
"Briana: “You know, it’s not for certain and I would assume she has, I just don’t think she likes it . Otherwise, why else would you stop and monologue in the middle of the holding a gun to somebody’s head? If she was a cold-blooded killer she would have just killed her. I think the big thing is that we haven’t ever had to deal with someone coming into our world. I think that’s the hardest part. We’ve never actually had to look someone in the eyes and do it. We’ve probably had to protect the perimeter and be very cautious about that sort of stuff, but clearly [Tara] is the first one that has ever made it in. So, I think that there is this whole situation where your nerves are high. Is she going to run, do I have to kill her? What’s happening?”"
Tara is a pretty likable character, too. That must make it that much harder.
"Briana: “Totally, she’s totally lovable. She let me live.”"