Home Entertainment Pollyanna McIntosh reacts to penultimate episode’s biggest bombshells

Pollyanna McIntosh reacts to penultimate episode’s biggest bombshells

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Pollyanna McIntosh on The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live.
Jadis tracks down Rick and Michonne. Pic credit: AMC

The penultimate episode of The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live was the most shocking episode of the series to date, culminating with Jadis’ (Pollyanna McIntosh) death.

It was a storyline that had been in the works for years, but Jadis lost her life after playing quite the cat-and-mouse game with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira).

Monsters and Critics was fortunate enough to chat with Pollyanna about her time on The Walking Dead, The Walking Dead: World Beyond, and The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live.

Check out the full interview below.

Monsters and Critics: I watched this episode multiple times. It’s just one of those episodes you don’t get very often. Not a single scene is wasted.



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Since you left the main series, fans have wanted a resolution for Jadis. We also saw you on World Beyond, but The Ones Who Live brought this arc full circle. What did it mean to be able to come back to do that?

Pollyanna McIntosh: It just means a hell of a lot to work with these people who are literally, well, not literally, because then we’d be genetically connected but feel very much like family, you know, and our found family, just as The Walking Dead characters have their found family, we all have each other, and it’s wicked.

It was so exciting to me to come back and work with Andy and Danai, Scott Gimple, Denise Huth, and Michael Satrazemis, and then meet all these great new people as well, not least Lesley-Ann Brandt and Matthew August Jeffers.

It just felt like the fans had been waiting excitedly to see what the hell happened to Rick, and I was so pleased to finally be there and make it happen for them.

It’s very exciting because I understand the fandom pretty well at this point, and I’m one of them, so I’m like, “Yes! Bring Rick back! What’s happened? Let’s see him!”

On a personal and wider level, it was very exciting to get to where we were, and now that people are seeing it, it seems that they’re enjoying it, so it’s satisfaction all around.

Monsters and Critics: It’s been such a good series. I know it was meant to be movies initially, but six episodes seems like a good time to tell this story. It feels like all the beats have been so perfectly planned out.

Pollyanna McIntosh: Yeah, I agree. I like a good limited series, and we get that wonderful preview of what will happen next week, which we love about Walking Dead.

Also, we know there will be a proper end, so we can get that beautiful beginning, middle, and end and all the beats in between, as you say. I think it’s worked out just as it should have done. And I’m so proud of Scott Gimple for what he’s created with this show.

I really am watching everybody’s work in it. I just delight in what they’re creating. Seeing episode four, which Danai wrote, was a thrill because I loved that script and thought it came off so great.

And again, boy, they didn’t do me any favors [laughs]. I was watching over that episode and was so delighted that it worked out for them.

And then here comes Jadis to mess it all up with her “Hello, lovebirds.”

Monsters and Critics: Seth Gilliam’s return as Gabriel was kept well under wraps, so I was pleasantly surprised about that.

Pollyanna McIntosh: I’m so glad to hear it was a nice surprise because I’ve been keeping that secret for a long time.

Monsters and Critics: The Jadis and Gabriel scenes felt like a real gift for you and the fans. What was it like filming those scenes with him?

Pollyanna McIntosh: It’s always a pleasure to see Seth. He can make me laugh with a single word or a single look. He’s so smart.

We work in similar ways, being very much in the moment, so it was a very enjoyable working experience together as well as a social one. And I love that we were back on the back on a log in the woods, you know, considering our first kiss happened on a log with the frog noises around us.

I thought it was really cool that Gimple had brought that in. And I love the kind of same time next year vibe about them having this secret rendezvous every year in the same situation.

Monsters and Critics: All those scenes were fantastic, and it was so good to get this sort of resolution for them.

Pollyanna McIntosh: Yeah, exactly. I think it’s interesting for the audience to see how he’s doing. He lost his beloved Rosita and many people’s beloved Rosita. It was cool to see how he’s surviving and finding him as complicated and strong as ever.

So, I thought the way that it panned out was exciting on many levels. And I loved that shot at the beginning when his legs come in with the knife and machete, and you’re like, “Is it him?” It’s very cool.

Monsters and Critics: Your final scene was sad because we know Jadis is about to die knowing Rick and Michonne are still these significant threats to the CRM, but she gives Rick the ring anyway to propose to Michonne.

Do you think that was more about sending a message to Gabriel than anything else?

Pollyanna McIntosh: I don’t think she believes in afterlife situations, but I think that she wanted to leave something for them and close the circle, as it were. She really respects them, and she believes that together, they can do anything.

I mean, that has been her whole problem with them, but it’s also recognition that she really admires it. She also knew that they were going to go home, and I think that she was hoping it would touch Gabriel deeply that she had honored his sense of what was truly important, who she was, and what her capacity was as Anne rather than Jadis.

Jadis has been an enigma throughout her time on screen, but in this final episode, we really got to the core of who she was and why she was so devoted to the CRM. What have you enjoyed most about playing her?

Pollyanna McIntosh: Well, that’s a really good question. Her grandness, certainly in the beginning. For somebody who’s quite naturally hyperactive, it’s really good for me and soothing for me to kind of step into a character that’s extremely grounded.

It’s odd to say that it’s soothing to play someone in an apocalypse, trying desperately to survive, but there’s always been a groundedness about her and a sense of enjoyment as well. She likes to keep it fun.

In the CRM world, Jadis Stokes has not had as much fun, but she’s kept her sense of humor and still tries to keep it fun. It’s a bit vague, but I think the thing I’ve enjoyed most about playing her is being part of this world that I know means so much to so many people.

So, to get to kind of enter into people’s worlds as an actor, what I want to do is to connect, whether it be in the scene with the other actor or with an audience at home.

I got to do that through this character, where I know that families will be talking about the storylines, people will be getting mad about it, people will be getting joyful about it, people will be laughing, and people will be moved.

All of those things—it’s a real honor to get to do on this scale with this fan base because I respect the s–t out of them, and I think the show’s great, too.

Monsters and Critics: I also liked that the episode tipped the hat to World Beyond. We saw what happened with Huck. At that point, it was such a pivotal moment for Jadis.

Was Huck the confidant Jadis was referring to when she told Rick and Michonne why she didn’t kill them in their sleep?

Pollyanna McIntosh: Yes. Scott did very well with the audience perhaps imagining it was Gabriel, and then they found quite a few beats later that, thankfully, she didn’t take him out.

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Lives airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC. Episodes premiere earlier that day on AMC+.



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