Fear the Walking Dead star Kim Dickens explains why she returned to the show after four years. The zombie-horror series originally premiered in 2015 as a spin-off of the long-running The Walking Dead. The show focused on a family as they struggled to survive a world-ending zombie outbreak and its immediate aftermath. However, the original show crossed over with the spin-off in season 4 when Morgan Jones (Lennie James) joined the cast after leaving The Walking Dead. It was during this season that the leader of the group, Madison, was killed off.
Madison was the matriarch of a blended family with her fiancé Travis (Cliff Curtis). She led her two children, Nick (Frank Dillane) and Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), and Travis’ son Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie) as they navigated the chaos of the zombie outbreak. She fought to keep her family together but ended up watching both Travis and Chris die. In an effort to keep the remaining children alive, she was forced to lead a horde of zombies into an empty stadium and burn them, seemingly killing herself in the noble task. Multiple recent trailers and promotional materials have revealed Madison’s season 7 return after a four-year hiatus. The latest trailer for this season’s finale teases a fortuitous meeting between Madison and Morgan.
EW recently sat down with Dickens, who explained the long process of making her surprise return to Fear the Walking Dead season 7. According to the actor, her friend and co-star Colman Domingo — who plays fellow survivor Victor Strand — was instrumental in bringing her back to the show. Dickens explained that “He was sort of the liaison for them, because I think they kind of asked him to gauge my temperature.” She admitted that Domingo coaxed her into a meeting with the showrunner and writers just to hear what they had in mind for her return. The actor added, “I just showed up on the Zoom [with producers] and I said, ‘I’m here to listen.’ And they pitched me what I thought were really fun, kind of brilliant ideas.” Read more of what Dickens detailed below.
“At this point, the talks started about a year-and-a-half ago. Because it was literally a year before I filmed it that we had started talking, and once we finally agreed to do it and worked it all out, I had to keep the secret for practically a year. It started in the pandemic, and it caught me by complete surprise.”
“The timing was right for me. It was the pandemic, I was in between things, and I could really commit to it. They felt like they were really going to write the Madison I knew. I felt like I had faith in them. It just seemed kind of good to go back. I always felt Madison had more stories in her.”
Dickens was reportedly displeased with her season 4 departure from the show but accepted her fate as part of the nature of working in television. However, there was a noticeable backlash from fervent Fear the Walking Dead fans who found her sacrifice unsatisfactory. The actor appears confident that the writers conceived a realistic way for her character’s return that was believable and true to the Madison that audiences were familiar with. Very few details have been revealed about why Madison has yet to reappear in the main story in the years following her sacrifice, however, an early teaser hinted that she may have been held against her will by a mysterious group.
Dickens’ return has been the fruit of a loyal friendship with co-star Domingo and the passion of a spirited fanbase. Regardless of the circumstances, the actor’s return will be a welcome one among the ardent community. Madison will finally cross paths with Morgan, Baby Mo, and hopefully her one remaining child, Alicia, when the Fear the Walking Dead season 7 finale airs on June 5.