Samantha Morton talks about bringing Alpha to life on The Walking Dead

Samantha Morton as Alpha - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 10 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Samantha Morton as Alpha - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 10 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

In her first The Walking Dead interview, Samantha Morton talks about a different side of the fearsome leader of the Whisperers.

Fans of The Walking Dead have been awaiting the arrival of Alpha for a long time. And the actress playing her, Samantha Morton, has been described as “terrifying” in the role. Her interpretation of Alpha had Nadia Hilker comparing the character to Hannibal Lecter.

But in her first interview about The Walking Dead with Entertainment Weekly, Samantha Morton talks about Alpha’s transformation from survivor and mother to the brutal leader of the Whisperers with compassion and respect for Alpha’s ability to survive in the brutal apocalypse world.

The interview is extensive and you should read it all because it gives a great sense of who she is as an actress and what she’s bringing to The Walking Dead. She talks about being a big fan of the horror genre and of George Romero so she was excited to take on this role. She also had this to say about Alpha and her journey:

"To me, I don’t see that I’m playing a villain at all. I’m playing somebody with absolute determination and conviction in her beliefs, and in a way, almost kind of evangelical with it. And I think her opinions and her beliefs about how society should be — to her, they’re no-brainer. It doesn’t make any sense to go back to the way things were. It doesn’t make any sense, you know? The future that we have should be the way she sees it, and so I see her as an incredibly powerful, awe-inspiring woman, with so much courage and strength and love, weirdly. But it’s how she shows that love is not as we would expect anyone to.But I’m not playing in my mind that she’s a villain. She doesn’t think she’s a villain. Just don’t mess with her. You know? You look at lots of politicians all over the world right now, and war, and how things happen, and how things can escalate, and I think she’s just incredibly strong minded. I haven’t played any scenes whereby it’s about pleasure, and I think that when you look at psychopaths, they get pleasure from their actions, whereas Alpha, it is just what this is about. She is leading an army, and she’s clever, and if somebody crosses her, then it’s different."

In the previews for this week’s new episode of The Walking Dead titled “Omega”, it looks like some of Lydia and Alpha’s backstory will be revealed so fans will get to see a little of the journey that brought Lydia and Alpha to this point.

Challenging The Existing World Order

It’s interesting that Samantha Morton sees a more human side to Alpha, because to the survivors in the communities the Whisperers, and particularly Alpha, are about as far from human as they can get and still be actual humans.

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But the Whisperers survival philosophy is so unique that it’s going to push the survivors out of their comfort zone, and audiences too. From the very beginning, those who survived on The Walking Dead were searching for walls and community and what the security of the community and a sense of normalcy. The Whisperers have totally abandoned any of the humanism or sense of the society that came before and their point of view may be just as disturbing to the survivors as the lengths they will go to in order to protect what they see as their territory.