WARNING: This post contains SPOILERS about the most recent episode of "Fear the Walking Dead."
Fans of AMC spinoff series "Fear the Walking Dead" were shocked on Sunday night when the show's main character, Madison Clark, was killed off. And it turns out that the actress who played Madison also had no idea that her onscreen alter ego's death was coming.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, actress Kim Dickens addressed the departure of Madison, who had headlined the series since its inception in 2015. According to Dickens, she was approached by co-showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg before production on season four started, and informed that Madison would not make it out of the midseason finale alive.
Here's how Dickens explained the situation to THR:
It was pretty much decided. They had gone through all of their channels and breaking the season. I wasn't asked early on: "How would you feel if this is the way it would go?" Basically, it was decided. You don't really have a choice. It's ultimately up to the writers and the producers. They saw my disappointment. They saw what I disagreed with about it. But it was always a respectful conversation. There were a few conversations, and they were always respectful, but they were heartfelt. I definitely spoke my mind.
Madison's death comes on the heels of the demise of her onscreen son, played by Frank Dillane, who was killed off earlier this season. But unlike Dillane, Dickens did not ask for -- nor was she expecting -- such a fate for her character, and told THR that she had envisioned multiple future storylines for Madison.
I saw so many stories to tell with Madison, and so many places to go. She could have even become the villain. I love the range that this character could go in and venture into. I was excited to continue playing that, because I'd been playing that. But that's all. You move on. It's part of this job. It's part of the genre. No one is safe. Each season is about reinventing the show in some way. I'm just being honest with my sadness to see the character go, because I want to honor the fans and the story and the character.
For their part, Chambliss and Goldberg defended their choice, telling THR in a separate interview that Madison's death was meant to spark development in the surviving characters.
" ... [W]e understand it's very hard to lose a character who you've grown to love over three and a half seasons," Chambliss said. "But Madison's sacrifice and what she stood for will very much be part of the fabric of the show."