Walking Dead World Beyond: Robert Palmer Watkins interview

Robert Palmer Watkins as CRM Soldier Lt. Frank Newton - The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 2, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Steve Swisher/AMC
Robert Palmer Watkins as CRM Soldier Lt. Frank Newton - The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 2, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Steve Swisher/AMC /

The Walking Dead World Beyond was the limited spin-off series of The Walking Dead. The series was created with two seasons of storyline that will lead into The Walking Dead movies. This series introduced many new faces to the fandom, and many of these characters could be seen in the film as their stories could carry over. One newcomer to the series, Robert Palmer Watkins, portrayed a Civil Republic Military member Lt. Frank Newton.

Robert Palmer Watkins
Robert Palmer Watkins as Lt. Newton, Pollyanna McIntosh as Jadis – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 2, Episode 7 – Photo Credit: Steve Swisher/AMC /

Newton was a strict believer in the CRM cause and was loyal to the leaders of the military. He first appeared in the season one episode, “The Sky is a Graveyard.” He was seen with Lieutenant Colonel Kublek (Julia Ormond ) discussing her daughter, Huck (Annet Mahendru), and her undercover mission as a spy at the Campus Colony.  He would appear in much of season two, which included a fantastic fight scene with Felix (Nico Tortorella), which would end in Newton’s death.

Watkins took some time from his busy schedule to discuss his time on World Beyond, his many new projects, and his new music. It was a great time chatting with him, and it is always appreciated when the actors take time to visit with us.

Robert Palmer Watkins aka Palmer

First, let’s start with his new song, aptly titled “Walking Dead.” This song isn’t about zombies at all, but it is an excellent tie-in to his time in The Walking Dead universe. Check out the video below, and be sure to subscribe to his YouTube page for all his music updates.

"I go by Robert Palmer Watkins in the acting world but use Palmer in the music world. I feel I have my acting career in a good place, and it’s been a journey that’s taken a long time to build a name in that arena. I’ve always loved music and I’ve always wanted to release original music. I had done several covers while I was on General Hospital and started promoting my music on Instagram and social media but that was always a cover of other people’s work."

Acting into music 

"Now that I have had some success in my acting career I am now able to develop who I am as a musical artist. I have been working with a good buddy of mine Brendan Martin, my main producer and we just got into the studio and started writing."

Tell us about your first three music releases

"The first song we released was “Waiting,” the second was called “Clean Cut.” My new song is called “Walking Dead” and it’s my third release where I worked with Eric Zayne. He had the words “Walking Dead” up on his computer screen and said we could rif off of this title. Immediately my mind went to, we aren’t going to write a song about zombies, that would be weird."

So, what is the song “Walking Dead” about? 

"We started talking about my life and were I’m at with my relationship at the time and the title went hand in hand with how I was feeling about my life at the time. Thinking about life, the pandemic and just how we’ve all been walking dead and getting through the past few years. As we all struggled to find some type of structure and continue to live. We are living as shells of who we want to be. The song was originally about a relationship, where I felt we were just going thorugh the motions but after it was released I thought it has taken on a whole new meaning. It’s so much bigger and more about society and what we are going through."

Watkins got into acting and music in his early years during high school. They always needed men to be in musicals as many guys didn’t want to put themselves out there in that capacity. As a new student, he decided to just go for it. He joined the men’s acapella group, which helped develop his voice, which was great as he never thought of himself as a singer.

In addition to World Beyond, he has starred in many other action features, such as Last Three Days, a lead role where he plays an undercover cop. You can see this on Amazon and other streaming services. He was able to do his own stunts in this film which helped him prepare for his World Beyond role.

"You step into The Walking Dead world and it’s on a different level. The universe they’ve created is just so big, the stunts, the fighting, the makeup and special effects, they’ve really created something cool."

He shared that his time on the spin-off series was a lot of fun, and he felt he was stepping into a space of total professionalism. They shot the series during the pandemic, so it was a very different experience. Generally, there is a team feeling to production; it was difficult since only a few people were allowed on set at a time. There were many safety precautions in place to keep everyone safe. For example, normally, you would eat lunch with the other cast and have that type of interaction, but in the pandemic, you had to eat lunch in your trailer.

We talked about his character’s amazing fight with Felix during World Beyond’s final episode.

"I couldn’t have asked for a better send off. My character started as a small co-star role, then they brought me back for two episodes and another two after that.  They just kept building me and I ended up with a main fight with the main guy on the show."

It made sense that Newton and Felix would end up in that altercation as they were each the alpha of their group. Watkins stated that working with Tortorello was terrific as they are so professional and so kind and made him feel welcome on the set.

He shared that filming the fight scene was brutal. They were filming in June in Richmond, Virginia, and it was hot and humid. That was compounded with the masks they had to wear and the CRM uniform made from the same material as a wetsuit. The duo agreed that was the most challenging day on set they had. The crew had spray bottles and fans to cool them off as well as an air-conditioned bus they would keep them on between takes. He was proud of their work, and even though they are difficult to film, those scenes are so rewarding.

Next, Watkins will star in Trapped Inn and Six Feet, which should release sometime in 2022. Trapped Inn was shot in Malibu and focuses on a group of cyclists training in France when a virus starts spreading, and the team gets trapped inside a B&B. It is soon discovered it is much more than just a virus. Six Feet is a psychological thriller that finds the characters in somewhat of a lockdown situation. Both projects used the pandemic lockdown situation to create some new and interesting.

Another project near and dear to his heart is a pilot called Tub Life.  Watkins wrote this with his good friends and roommates. Shot the first episode and will be pitching to networks. This series will be a comedy that he describes as the opposite of Schitt’s Creek. A family living in the middle of nowhere heads to the city. The family is integrated into the woke culture of 2022. He was able to create, write and star in this project.

He shared a fun post on Instagram with a shout-out to those involved in the project with him.

Next. The Walking Dead’s Cailey Fleming cast in John Krasinski’s If. dark

It was fascinating to talk with Robert Palmer Watkins. He is a talented individual and shared so much great insight in the filming and music industries. Be sure to catch him on Beauty and the Beazts podcast on February 8 at 7 pm EST.