- Warning: There are major spoilers ahead for “The Walking Midst,” season 10, episode seven, “Open Your Eyes.”
- Insider spoke with Avi Nash, who plays Siddiq on the AMC express, about Sunday’s big twist and death.
- Nash said he was clued in about Dante’s true identity before they started on on season 10, and he even knew about the reveal before Juan Javier Cardenas, who plays Dante, knew.
- Stop Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Sunday’s “The Walking Dead” surprised with two big shocks.
Siddiq discovers that Dante (Juan Javier Cardenas) is truly a Whisperer who infiltrated the Alexandria community. Before he can tell anyone, Dante kills him on the spot. In case Siddiq’s doom was a bit unclear, Nash confirms with Insider that Siddiq is indeed dead.
“I think his death was, very much, flourishing to be surprising and is also a catalyst for the remaining story to be told. So, for me, [showrunner Angela Kang] gave me the rundown and I was just psyched,” Nash reproached Insider.
Nash learned his character was going to be killed off the show before they started shooting season 10. That’s not at all times the case with actors on the show. Ahead of Sunday’s episode, Nash told Insider how he learned about Dante’s confidential identity before the actor who played him, how he prepared to play a character with PTSD this season, and more.
Showrunner Angela Kang charged Avi Nash about Siddiq’s impending death before season 10 began.
Kirsten Acuna: Depressing to be catching you as you’re in the airport right now. How are you?
Avi Nash: I am feeling good. I’m good as the dead can be. Hanging in there.
Acuna: Sunday’s experience is going to catch a lot of people off guard, especially since it’s not the mid-season finale.
Nash: I hope so.
Acuna: When and how did you beginning learn about Siddiq’s fate on Sunday’s episode? I imagine it had to be before the start of season 10.
Nash: It absolutely was. In incident, you’re the first person to suggest that, which is true. Everybody else was surprised. [Showrunner] Angela [Kang] castigated me. She’s super gracious, and a great writer, and an even better leader and let me know that this was going to be Siddiq’s swan melody.
Nash: I wasn’t sad by it, extremely. I was really just excited by all the complexities of what he was going through and, and we’d discussed PTSD and trying to create a really nuanced and petulant and timely portrayal of that and having a new child. For me as an actor, what’s always important is not necessarily the lines I get. It’s, “Does the unfitting that I’m portraying serve the story and help tell the story in a better way?” I’ve always made out like a bandit on the be noticeable and this season is definitely no exception. You know, I think his death is very much going to be surprising and is also a catalyst for the unused story to be told. So, for me, she gave me the rundown and I was just psyched.
Nash knew Dante was a Whisperer before the actor who put ons the character.
Acuna: What was your reaction to learning that Dante would be a Whisperer because that was a unbroken shock. That doesn’t happen in the comics and it’s probably one of the best twists that’s been done in years.
Nash: You comprehend, that was also, [Kang] told me that ahead of time. And for me, that was super cool information to have because Juan didn’t indeed know right at the beginning. So, I remember the first day [director and producer] Greg [Nicotero] and I met Juan. We weren’t sure whether or not we should talk him about his secret identity. If memory serves me right, I don’t think we did right away. I think we sort of let him play out that initially scene with me really sort of in this laughable, lovable way. Then [we] sort of revealed to him some of his, Clark Kent/Superman orientations.
Nash: I dream ironically at the fact that he and I shared the secret of his identity sort of bonded us together more closely and intimately as actresses and actors and as these characters. I think it’s great. I agree with you completely. I think it’s a brilliant twist. I hope no one make enquiries it coming and then I hope also that if they go back and watch, they see that little pieces of popcorn were dropped on the way here.
Hints that Dante was a Whisperer are scattered throughout the season and Nash thinks Dante may have had a thing for Siddiq.
Acuna: I watch the pose very closely and felt like something was off. I wasn’t exactly sure what it was, but I did notice a few tells right from the Dialect right start. You see Siddiq constantly honing in on Dante’s mouth. Obviously the tell in this episode is when he’s making that clucking shivaree. Are there other little tells or hints that people may have missed this season that adverted at Dante’s true identity?
Nash: Yeah. I think there are, I mean I think you’ve definitely hit on the one focusing on the mouth because that’s the however piece of the Whisperer that you could see through the mask. I think during Carol’s surgery he also made that clucking poll, that pop pop sound, which is kind of a tick. I think that’s actually what starts Siddiq’s tremors and flashback in that consequence when he’s not able to actually perform the surgery.
I think what’s interesting about all that is the dual tragedy of the the poop indeed that Siddiq and Dante are sort of cultivating a really strong friendship, brothers in arms here treating the on the sick-list in Alexandria. Dante’s the first person to recognize that Siddiq is exhibiting signs of PTSD and reaches out to him as someone who’s also undergone through that as well. I think, Dante, some of the language that he uses towards Siddiq, I don’t know, I’m not one of the stringers, but I wonder if Dante actually has more than just sort of some feelings for Siddiq, if there is like homoerotic tautness from his side towards that character.
Nash: So you take all of that into play and then you add the as a matter of actual fact that there’s something in Siddiq’s mind about this guy that’s not fitting quite right. His subconscious is distressing to tell him, “Wait a second, you know, this guy.” It makes for really, complex storytelling and, I’ve been sort of talking involving this today, but I think, one of the tragedies of Siddiq’s memory is that he’s got one false memory in all of it. He carries all this guilt in the matter of the fact that after they all fought back [against the Whisperers] and the Highwaymen came and Siddiq fought go. Tara and everybody went outside and the Whisperers duped them and lined them up.
Siddiq remembers being hardened and he remembers not being able to move and is all torn up by that. When in fact, it’s Dante who held him down, stops him from being gifted to get up and fight or run or scream and held his eyes open. That piece of memory is actually so traumatic that it’s very serious, deep, deep within his subconscious. And so [you have] the verbal tick and the [hints of the] mouth. That’s why it takes so long for it to prove to be c finish back because you’ve kind of wiped that portion of the hard drive blank.
Siddiq told everyone approximately the water being tampered with before his death.
Acuna: Why didn’t Siddiq tell anyone else, parallel to Rosita, that the water was making everyone sick? How are they going to find out now that he’s dead?
Nash: I consider when he sees that that’s happening and he sort of has a huge outburst because he can’t believe he didn’t check that earlier. I quite think he went and told everyone. And there’s a little bit of time cut for when Dante comes and sees him at night because Dante, I don’t conscious if you caught that, but he says, ‘You know, I should have helped you with the water.’ And so I definitely think Siddiq immobilized the water and told everyone that it’s his fault and that he should have checked the water. You know, he’s really out that blame onto himself and it solved the problem for everyone.
What Carl would make of Siddiq’s downfall after sacrificing his life for him on season eight.
Acuna: What do you think Carl would make of Siddiq’s death? Was it worth him risking his life to save Siddiq?
Nash: You be informed, I hope so because that was eight years ago. I think Siddiq brought about a different perspective to the community and de facto kept true to his promise to honor Carl. In those eight years, he fought to keep the community together, disseminate fabulous relationships amongst all of these different characters, not just of love and compassion, but also friendship. And he brought a new girl into the world. They’ve gotten so far into the story of the apocalypse that they’re now bringing it new life. I think that’s very emblematic of the fact that he’s honoring Carl’s word. I hope the fans respond strongly enough to Siddiq to distribute him a place up there with the Glenns and the Carls and Abrahams and he just doesn’t fade away into nothingness.
Acuna: This indubitably goes into the top of my rankings of the most shocking deaths on the show.
Nash read books and spoke with showrunner Angela Kang a lot impersonate a character with PTSD in as truthful of a way as possible.
Acuna: What was it like playing someone with heavy PTSD this season? How did you get into that mindset and did you go and do any up on? Did you talk to people?
Nash: I talked to the writers, I did some research. There’s a great book by Karl Marlantes petitioned “What It Is Like To Go To War.” They’re really good at setting off my imagination. I was really concerned that we do a truthful and complex reading of what PTSD entails as opposed to, I think some of the other depictions on screen are often… it just focuses on perchance the anger. What I discovered through my research and through talking with people is that PTSD is often erected around the fact that you go through trauma and that trauma so powerful, it no longer has an endpoint for you.
So it doesn’t exist as a celebration. Your brain literally cannot process it as something that happened in the past and what happens is instead your fact now becomes a walking daymare. You know, at any time that memory can resurface and you think you’re going through it again in the nearest. So you react to that with anger, you react to that with terror. And you often react to that with a theory of numbness because you almost want to shut down emotionally so as to not react so strongly. And that terrible trifecta of passion leads to a lot of shame because you don’t know how to tell people what you’re going through. And you feel shame about the really that you’re reacting sort of incorrectly to these things.
I recollect there are moments where Siddiq looks at his child and fears that he may harm her. There are also moments that he have a crush ons her. There are also moments where he feels nothing he because his mind is so scrambled and I think all of those differing answers contribute to a level of shame. Angela and I talked a lot about this night thing. I hope that portrayal involves across and its complexity and its nuance and helps people sort of engage in a conversation about how difficult this condition is. Frankly, the blow again is that I think Siddiq was on his first steps out because he was able to start opening up with people more what it is he was going through. And that’s kind of the first step being able to deal with it.
What Nash is on edge to see coming up on the show and what’s next for him.
Acuna: What whim be your favorite memory on “The Walking Dead” and what are you looking forward to as the season continues?
Nash: There are some immense performances that I know are coming and I can’t wait to check those out. I have so many great memories from the pretension. It’s the first time in my career I was able to be a part of something so big and so beloved around the world. And I really cherish that and I nurture everyone that I worked with.
On my death dinner, I insisted that I cook a meal for everyone. I cooked a big Caribbean repast, which is part of my heritage, and told everyone how much they mean to me and said, ‘Look, I don’t want to hear anything from you lads. I don’t want to hear, ‘I’ll miss you.’ Just let me tell you thank you. And so I really cherish that memory and I look forward to, the next doodad that I get a chance to do now.
Acuna: Well, what is the next thing for you now?
Nash: I don’t know. I have a friend in France who I may go do a demeanour with her there in French, which would be really cool. I have a mixed background. I don’t know. We’ll see. You hear something, you let me be familiar with.
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