Zombie lovers, it’s the night you’ve all been waiting for. Fear the Walking Dead premieres worldwide tonight at 9/8c on AMC, and it’s everything that you could ask for in a pre-apocalyptic show. Starring Kim Dickens, Cliff Curtis, and Mercedes Mason, The Walking Dead’s prequel captures the early days of Los Angeles’s zombie outbreak, aka everything that went down before the original cult-hit TV show picks up.
Mercedes Mason plays Ofelia Salazar, whose family comes under zombie attack in the show. She recently stopped by InStyle’s New York City offices and told us what to expect from the newest crew of walkers. “It’s going to be crazy,” Mason told InStyle. “The zombies are really catalysts for human nature and what happens if infrastructure gets taken away, so it’s sort of this Lord of the Flies concept of ‘eat or be eaten.’”
And, of course, that means no one is safe. “Traditionally, we think that we should take care of each other and help each other out—but in our show, you’ll see that those are the types of people that die,” said Mason. “The people who are kind and help others get killed off, so the only ones left are those who are strong and willing to do anything to survive.”
Before you tune in to tonight’s series premiere, here are seven things that Mason revealed about season one of Fear the Walking Dead.
1. The show starts out as just any other normal day.
“In the pilot episode, you see sprinklers going off and people walking their dogs. It’s a normal day—and then the little things start changing. All of a sudden something happens, and we don’t quite know what caused it initially. But you start questioning everything. Then the world starts falling apart.”
2. Her character’s storyline starts in episode two—just as all hell breaks loose.
“My family comes in towards the end of episode two, so we aren’t in the pilot episode. Initially, we think that it’s a flu epidemic or something, so nobody is taking it seriously. And then the s— hits the fan, and we’re running away from zombies.”
3. It’ll be harder to tell the zombies from the humans this time around.
“They look a lot more human than they do in The Walking Dead, because in the original they’re already decrepit and rotting. For us, it becomes more like a psychological play because they look human and ‘fresh,’ if you will.”
4. The human characters also go through physical transformations.
“When the show starts, everyone had just come home from work. So we go from wearing normal clothes and makeup to survival mode, and everything is stripped down. My character is very young and naïve, and she has on a little baby doll dress with a pink cardigan. And then as thing start progressing, she becomes stronger and you see the clothes start changing to jeans and some things that are a bit more apocalypse-friendly. “
5. There won’t be too many wardrobe changes.
“We traditionally end up wearing the same stuff, because we’re always running and having to change doesn’t really work. But we’re hoping that we’ll pick clothes up along the way, because otherwise you get so bored.”
6. Mason doesn’t play a zombie—at least not yet.
“I’m not a zombie. If I get killed off the show they might make me a zombie—but, so far, no!”
7. Don't expect to find out any spoilers.
“For the first episode, they’re showing it at the same time worldwide so that there are no spoilers, which is huge. Even when we’re filming, we have to wear 'Skywalker' hoods to go from our makeup trailers to the set, because there are people in bushes with long-lens cameras who are trying to figure out what we’re wearing.”
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC. Watch the trailer for the series below.