Danny Ramirez has had a wild yr. From starring as Fanboy in Top Gun: Maverick, to Netflix’s Look Both Ways with Lili Reinhart, to the information that he’ll be becoming a member of the solid of the upcoming Marvel flick Captain America: New World Order, the 30 yr previous actor has by no means been extra in demand. And in between all of these tasks, he managed to sneak in a stint on a stand-out episode of AMC’s Tales of the Walking Dead, titled “La Doña”.

“It began out with two folks in the home,” Ramirez advised Decider on why he selected the position. “I believe exploring that and having the ability to play that’s actually what acquired me to wish to do it. I had additionally simply shot Claire Denis’ Stars at Noon perhaps a month earlier than that. And so I used to be simply genuinely hungry to throw down, and being Latino there’s a special accountability that I really feel like I’ve regarding the totally different genres and the totally different areas that I’m about to play in.”

In the episode, Ramirez stars as Eric, a post-apocalypse survivor ravenous and freezing together with his girlfriend Idalia, performed by Cowboy Bebop‘s Daniella Pineda. On the brink of loss of life, they head in the direction of a home lived in by La Doña Alma (Julie Carmen), a woman they claim to know, but clearly do not. She has operating water, plentiful meals and principally all the things Eric and Idalia would wish to outlive the cruel winter. Spoilers previous this level, however by way of a collection of occasions, Eric basically kills La Doña. But because the couple occupies her home, it looks like maybe she might have died, however her spirit caught round.

It’s a stunning twist to throw a ghost story within the zombie crammed universe of The Walking Dead (it’s as much as the viewer to determine whether or not the ghosts are actual, or Eric and Idalia are simply dropping their minds), however that’s the whole point of Tales: to shake up all the things about TWD. To discover out extra about making the episode, why the illustration in entrance of and behind the digicam was so necessary to Ramirez, and which of his performing buddies he’d take into the zombie apocalypse, learn on.

Decider: You’ve had such a busy yr with Top Gun, Look Both Ways, you’ve acquired Captain America 4 developing… Why Walking Dead within the center right here?

Danny Ramirez: It began out with two folks in the home. I believe exploring that and having the ability to play that’s actually what acquired me to wish to do it. I had additionally simply shot Claire Denis’ Stars at Noon perhaps a month earlier than that. And so I used to be simply genuinely hungry to throw down, and being Latino there’s a special accountability that I really feel like I’ve regarding the totally different genres and the totally different areas that I’m about to play in. I maintain it, that accountability, fairly excessive up… No matter what it’s, if I’m capable of train the performing muscle and work on it and experiment with it – it’s one thing that I ought to completely do. And then, simply, it’s actually thrilling to have an episode with all Latinx folks from La Doña, to Idalia, Eric, Lindsey [Villarreal] the author. And so, it simply felt like an enormous alternative for illustration, and in addition simply, to throw down a two character gauntlet of an episode.

As you’re saying, aside from the hen, it’s just about a two hander between you and Daniella Pineda. What was it like creating this more and more fraught relationship along with her over the course of the episode?

It was attention-grabbing. We principally shot in eleven days. Daniella and I met on set day of capturing. And so, figuring out that was the circumstance, it’s form of enjoying into, particularly as we begin warming up to one another, actually what the truth was. It’s like, nicely, there’s distance right here as a result of we don’t know one another. And then, having the ability to play with distance very early on, trigger that may be a actual texture that’s inside us, leaning into that as we get to know one another helped bounce into the pool. And as soon as we had been there and we had been like, “Oh okay, day two,” we then began bringing the totally different layers, looking for the place we had been at as our relationship began unraveling.

I believed it was a very fascinating and poisonous relationship to be aside of, even the phrases that Lindsey utilized in her writing as to how whether or not or not whose aspect was true — the actual, grounded like hyper-rational Eric aspect, the target actuality aspect that he thinks is occurring is the right one. He nonetheless wasn’t holding his associate by any semblance of creativeness in a means that he ought to’ve. … It was fascinating to be like, “Okay, they get the factor that they wished probably the most in such a very long time which is the security of dwelling,” and that security really being what permits for the connection to essentially come out.

Daniella Pineda as Idalia, Danny Ramirez as Eric - Tales of the Walking Dead _ Season 1, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Curtis Bonds Baker/AMC
Photo: Curtis Bonds Baker/AMC
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I’d love to listen to you speak about working with Julie Carmen, although she’s briefly an element of that episode.

Working with Julie Carmen was simply… The greatest takeaway I’ve is how her profession is unreal. She gave the actual actual on what it’s like on this trade when she got here up into it, to what it’s now. And the totally different battles that she needed to undergo with regard to persevering with her affiliation to the work was simply totally different, and it was actually inspiring to see what an enormous success this was. She was like, “This might be one of the primary instances I’ve been on a set the place everyone seems to be Latino or Latinx,” and so, being such an enormous proportion in an enormous universe was like we acquired handed the keys to a very nice automotive. It was simply enjoyable to see her gentle up and be like, “This is an enormous step.” To me that was one of probably the most perspective shifting issues, that Julie was principally capable of hand us how necessary it was.

Particularly within the last act it retains switching backwards and forwards between Eric having visions, and Idalia having visions, with every insisting that the opposite goes loopy. Do you’ve a definitive tackle what you suppose is occurring, or does it in the end not matter, and it’s as much as regardless of the viewer takes away from it?

No, I don’t. I performed the ending with each issues being true in numerous takes. American Psycho, there’s that scene and it’s Christian Bale having dinner, and the 3 ways I believe that had been performed was reverse of Christian was Willem Dafoe. So Willem’s character in it, he basically is in a single take he’s suspicious, in a single he’s really genuinely on his aspect, and people are interwoven in how the dialog goes down. That offers it a special stress of like, “Wait what?” And so, I wished to play with that… Eric’s ending is… It will get to that very same place because the viewers is like, “What?” Because I believe that’s the concept of relationships, [they do] warp each realities into this factor that’s like, “What is occurring?”

Here’s my principle simply to throw it at you: fuel leak. I believe there was a fuel leak in the home and so they’re each going just a little loopy as a result of of the fuel. You suppose that’s doable?

Oh attention-grabbing, that’s cool. I didn’t even take into consideration that, yeah. Well then, La Doña, she’s been figuring out about this fuel leak or …?

I imply, it doesn’t work, my principle. But your complete time I used to be attempting to determine it out since you’re bringing ghosts right into a zombie world, in order a fan of the franchise, it’s attention-grabbing to consider it.

There are ghosts on this world proper now, in our world, proper? We have the idea of ghosts, and many individuals appear to seen them or not. What to me is fascinating was, after years of survival and on the street and the psychological toll that takes, while you lastly have just a little piece of some peace, how does that trauma and the PTSD you simply skilled, how does that manifest the primary time that you just’re in a spot of tranquility? Because in the event you’re persevering with on the street and nonetheless combating in your life, there’s much less place for what you’ve performed to settle in. When you lastly take a break and pause, all of the ghosts do come up. All the folks you’ve killed or the belongings you’ve seen come as much as the floor. Whereas, you’re nonetheless on the street and strolling, the motion of shifting ahead, it does assist suppress your actions.

Last one for you, as a result of I’ve to allow you to go in a second. If you can choose one post-apocalypse buddy to outlive zombies with, would you select Tom Cruise, Anthony Mackie, or Lili Reinhart?

Wow. I believe… No, that’s attention-grabbing. Post-apocalyptic?

Yeah, such as you’re on the earth of the Walking Dead and you may select one individual to journey with and kill zombies with.

So on the earth of the Walking Dead, there’s many individuals nonetheless form of on this hustle proper?

Yeah, I’m not saying essentially that, you select Tom Cruise, and Anthony Mackie and Lili Reinhart are lifeless. It’s simply you selected one to say, “This is the individual I’m going to exit and kill zombies with.”

Well, if we’re going to kill zombies I believe I’d select Tom Cruise, while you body it that means. I’d choose Tom as a result of he does it. He does it dwell. He shoots all the things virtually. And so, I believe he’s skilled having the excessive octane, issues he’s performed, so he’s capable of stay calm in that, with the intention to execute at such a excessive degree. So I believe if it’s us towards 150 zombies, he would hit a state of move that I’d like to see. So, even when he’s the one killing all of the zombies, he would put all of the instruments that he’s picked up by way of his occupation, by way of his profession, and it will be unreal the best way that he’s capable of kill some zombies.

That’s the plot of Top Gun 3, is you guys simply going out and killing zombies.

[Laughs] Yeah, we crash land into a spot the place the zombie apocalypse began.

This interview has been edited for readability and size.

Tales of the Walking Dead is now streaming on AMC+.

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