Sunday’s “The Walking Dead” focused exclusively on Tara Chambler (Alanna Masterson), as viewers caught up with the snarky, plucky survivor since seeing her and Heath (Corey Hawkins, moving on to Fox’s upcoming “24: Legacy”) leave on a supply run last season. But while Tara missed the horrorshow that was Negan and the Saviors subjugating the Alexandria colony, that doesn’t mean she was walking down Easy Street. Masterson called up Variety to talk all things Tara.
Did they tell you before you got the script that this was going to be The Tara Hour?
Not really. I knew in the beginning of the season I wasn’t coming back until episode 6, and then I got the script and saw I was going to be jumping on cars. They gave everyone else training except for me, and I was just nursing a baby and having to do all my own stunts. I was like, “Most people that go shoot movies full of action have trainers for like five months, and eat kale and raw eggs for like five years, what are you doing to my life?” But it was amazing. I think that it worked.
You also had to do a fair amount of lying in water, too.
That was like 12 hours. They had to shoot it a bunch of different ways with a bunch of different cameras. I started at 6 a.m., and we didn’t stop until 4 p.m., so I was in the ocean for that long. That’s probably one of the coolest things I’ll ever do. I got to be even closer to the crew than I was before. It’s just a very cool moment in my life. The women I got to work with, playing the Oceansiders, were incredible.
Tara finally hears the news about Denise. Talk me through her decision to stay true to her word to not reveal the existence of the Oceansiders to Sonia.
That decision is her being true to who Tara is — reliable and honest. And that’s what Denise would have wanted. Denise was such a good and honest person. She really cared about and loved people, even if sometimes she didn’t know how to express it. But she would’ve said, “Protect the innocent people,” and that’s why Tara doesn’t tell Sonia about the women. “Is my life worth more than all of those women and children?” she asks herself. She’s not about to give up a bunch of innocent women and children. You’ll see how keeping the secret plays into the season.
Will we be seeing the Oceansiders again?
[Laughs] That’s not something I can talk about.
We also said goodbye to Heath.
It was really great of Corey to come back and shoot with us one more time — he was just starting to shoot “24” when we did this episode. He came back and did these scenes with me in one day. He’s such a force. He got in the RV camper and was like, “I gotta go be Jack Bauer.” [Laughs]