Interview: Nadine Marissa Talks ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 9!

Nadine Marissa Walking Dead Season 9, AMC

(Courtesy of Nadine Marissa)

Villain Media has an exclusive interview with actress Nadine Marissa, who talks about her role as Nabila on Season 9 of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Check out what goes on behind-the-scenes of the popular horror drama as Marissa opens up about zombies, King Ezekiel, and Rick Grimes.

Eighteen months have passed since the defeat of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Now an alliance of communities has been spearheaded by Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). Will the communities stay united as they face many obstacles and dangers together?, Are any of the communities ready from the mysterious threat of the Whisperers?

Nabila (Marissa) made her first appearance on The Walking Dead in the seventh season in the episode, “Bury Me Here.” Since then, King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) found himself a confidant as he ruled The Kingdom. Frightened of the Saviors at first, Nabila demonstrated enormous strength and bravery when she participated in Rick’s war against Negan.

Before The Walking Dead returns the second half of Season 9 on Sunday February 10th, 2019 at 9pm, actress Nadine Marissa opens up about her role, being a part of The Kingdom, and saying thanks for Andrew Lincoln, who recently said good-bye to the AMC show.

Nadine Marissa Walking Dead Season 9, AMC
The Walking Dead Season 9 poster

Villain Media: Tell me what interests you about the character of Nabila.

Nadine Marissa: Her strength & faith. In the middle of an apocalypse she has managed to either find or keep her faith. The Walking Dead world can be hard. When you are losing people every day and still having the strength to believe in something is important.

VM: You were introduced memorably in the seventh season, in “Bury Me Here.” Tell me about working with Khary Payton, who does such a wonderful job as King Ezekiel.

NM: Khary is great! He is a very talented actor. It is so interesting to watch him work as King Ezekiel. To tell you the truth, he is truly a leader to us, even when the camera stops filming. He is also really funny and it is always a great time working with him! Well I can pretty much say that about everyone on set! We are a big family.

VM: When watching the show, The Walkers come across as scary, gross, and the makeup is so detailed. What’s that like working with the Walkers on set?

NM: [Laughs] They are scary! When I first saw one up close, I was a little taken back. I mean, the people who are Walkers are always great, but I do get nervous when they are around. Force of habit!

VM: In the teasers for Season 9, we see Nabila giving Jerry a hug and kiss. Tell me about working with Cooper Andrews.

NM: Cooper! The funny thing is he is like a brother to me. He will tell you, I always go to him for advice. He is really knowledgeable about a lot of things. I can honestly say, I have never seen him angry. He is always so happy, and making jokes.

VM: You are part of Andrew Lincoln’s final episodes. Do you have an anecdote about meeting him for the first time? What was that like?

NM: My character was mainly in The Kingdom, so it was some time before I met him. But it is hard to describe Andy because he is such a wonderful person to work with. When I first met him, he came right up to me and said ,“I don’t believe I met you yet; I’m Andy.” Now you have to realize there were over 100 people out filming that day, and he made it a point to meet each and every person. He is a true leader and will be missed, but he has helped create this wonderful story of survival. And he has left us in some pretty capable hands.

VM: You also played the Contract Counsel Administrator in Better Call Saul. What’s more of a challenge? Dealing with the legal world or being in the apocalypse?

NM: For sure, The Apocalypse! I had a blast with those guys over on Better Call Saul. We laughed a lot! The apocalypse really challenges you to dig deeper, fighting, learning movement and combat. So yeah, this is probably the most challenging.

VM: How did The Walking Dead change you as an artist?

NM: In so many ways!  As an actor, you learn it is about reacting, giving and talking with another actor. This show moves so fast and at such levels of emotion. This kind of work is what an actor begs for. This kind of job will always challenge you to do your very best, at all times. Too many others are depending on you.

VM: What are you working on now?

NM: I am currently researching my family’s history and always auditioning. This is always a job in itself.

Readers can find out more about Nadine Marissa here:

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5802417/

https://www.instagram.com/iam_nadinemarissa/

https://www.facebook.com/iamnadinemarissa/

https://twitter.com/nadinemarissa

[Writer’s Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Links are highlighted in bold.]

By Jorge Solis

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