The family drama at the center of “Fear the Walking Dead” got some external threats to really amp up the tension in recent days, as Jack, the mysterious voice Alicia connected with in the Season 2 premiere episode, finally made his appearance.
After his ominous “See you soon” sign-off, the passengers of the Abigail probably shouldn’t have been surprised that they were immediately held at gunpoint once Jack (Daniel Zovatto) brought his crew, including the sadistic Reed (Jesse McCartney), aboard.
But according to the actor playing Jack, the character is just doing what needs to do to survive, like everyone else on the show. “He’s not a bad guy, he’s not exactly Jesus Christ but he’s a guy who needs to survive,” Zovatto told TheWrap.
Zovatto also discussed how he handled playing the mysterious voice on the radio, whether Jack and Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) are still playing each other, and whether we could see Jack abandon his crew and join up with the Abigail group.
Jack was introduced in a very unusual fashion. How did you approach playing him as just a voice?
I thought it was pretty cool, it was my first time doing something like that. It was a good exercise, because they shot the episode first, obviously. Alycia had to act by herself. So when I saw the footage, it kinda gave me a mapping ground of what the scene entailed and what needed to happen. It was the first for me, as well.
In the zombie apocalypse, how do you rate Jack’s chances for survival? What are his strengths and his weaknesses?
For him, it’s all very new, like for every other character. He has a capacity of holding his own, that’s a quality that Connor respects, that’s why Connor saved him and kinda kept him in his ranks. I feel like he’s trustworthy, people allow him to take charge and make decisions.
One of his weaknesses could be believing Alicia. When they meet, for him, it’s a shock. When you meet over the radio, you don’t have a visual of who that person is. When it comes down and he sees her for the first time, he’s like, fuck! There’s a certain amount of attraction if anything. For him it was a shock. His weakness could be that he’s a little green, a little naive. He’s a kid. All this just happened and he couldn’t really do much about it.
Maybe when we’re young we just do what we’re told and we don’t really have the capacity of knowing better, so that’s just something he has to get used to.
Where does Jack sit in the hierarchy within his group and also where is he on the scale of good guy to bad guy?
For me, you have to like the person you’re playing. When you don’t, it’s kinda hard. He’s a well-intentioned guy, he goes to make sure everything happens in the right way. Reed is a completely different character to Jack. If you compare Reed and Jack, Jack’s a fucking splendid guy! He’s not a douchebag and he’s not trying to hurt anyone.
We go in there and we take what we need, and what we needed was Alicia and Travis, and the boat of course, it’s a valuable possession. Then shit hits the fan and Reed’s doing his own thing. Jack’s not going to be the guy to stand up and be like, “What the fuck are you doing?” He’s just going to wait and hopefully knows that when Connor comes, it’s a whole different story.
He’s not a bad guy. He’s not exactly Jesus Christ, but he’s a guy who needs to survive.
Alicia and Jack, are they just playing with each other, what’s happening in that relationship now?
That’s the interesting part. You don’t know what’s going through Alicia’s mind. She’s a smart girl and she has her own ideas, but at the same time he has his own ideas. But like I said, I think he’s well-intentioned. He goes to the boat to make sure that everything is fine, that Alicia will be taken care of, she’s not going to go through what Reed could potentially do. I don’t think Jack is the type of guy who goes on all these missions all the time, he’s just in charge of finding them. But because this was such a specific thing, and such a specific person and connection, that’s why he goes.
What can you tease about what Jack is up to in this week’s episode?
This next episode, it gives you a better idea of who this guy is. You see him in his environment, the home base where he works the radio. A glimpse of who he is without the chaos of kidnapping people and taking. People will also have a better idea of whether they want to kill him more than they did already or be like, oh this guy is actually a pretty good guy.
What are the chances that Jack could choose to leave his family behind and join up with the Abigail crew?
There’s no real family there. Jack lost some people, it’s much more of a thing where… In the first episode, there’s a line he says that’s like, “When someone saves your life, you owe them,” and that’s where he’s at right now. He was saved and he feels like he needs to do the work that Connor asks of him. He’s still just reacting on being saved.
For him, seeing that other people are alive out there, it’s definitely something that intrigues him. When it comes down to it, he’s not going to a guy who’s going to be like, “Oh no, I’ll stay here, this is alright.” He’ll fight to get what he wants.
“Fear the Walking Dead” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.