The actor behind Allison Barnes talks Robert Kirkman, big revelations and the challenges facing her character.

Did you read any of the comics before shooting?

I first read the comics when I was on set shooting the pilot, and it was awesome to suddenly have all of this information from the source. The comics, in some ways, function as storyboards. You see the visual tone and also that there’s so much humor in the comic.

As we were shooting the show, I would avoid reading the comics until we were done shooting the episode that would correspond to it because I wanted to find it on my own. But then we would all ravenously consume the comics once we were done shooting.

Since you read the comics after shooting the episodes, did you have any great discoveries that you imbued into Allison?

One of the reasons why I tried not to read the comics beforehand is because as an actor, you can kind of fall into this trap of playing things that have not yet happened to the character. So, I tried to avoid doing that as best I could. I got a lot of the dynamic between Kyle and Allison from the comic and where their chemistry lies.

What most intrigued you about this storyline and this project?

I thought the writing in the pilot was really great and all of the characters were richly observed. Each of them had a life of their own; none of them existed truly at the service of some plot line. I’m also a huge fan of Patrick Fugit’s, so I was excited about that. And Robert Kirkman, obviously. It was a no-brainer, there were so many amazing components.  

What do you think about the moment Allison remembers the truth about what happened with Kyle?

It was such a big moment. It was a weighty thing figuring out how to play because it changes everything for her. It’s what she’s been struggling with the entire season.

What challenges are you faced with when playing Allison Barnes?

When we find Allison, she’s at a very low point where she’s in the process of trying to heal from something very traumatizing that happened to her—something that tore her family apart. Finding the light in the scenes was something that I tried to keep in mind.