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Ann Mahoney Interview - The Walking Dead , Fanfare and more

Shortly after Ann Mahoney was born in Rochester, NY her family moved to New Orleans. After dedicating herself to the craft of acting at the tender age of 9, she went on to get her BA in Acting from Greensboro College, and her MFA in Acting from UCONN, studying Japanese theatre master Tadashi Suzuki's Suzuki Method of Actor Training.
Many people now know her as Olivia from AMC´s The Walking Dead

- Thank you Ann for your spontaneous commitment for the Fans


- How did you get your role  in The Walking Dead as Olivia? 

My agent submitted me to the casting directors, and I sent in an audition tape.  As you probably know, when you audition for TWD you do not get pieces from the actual SCRIPT - you are sent a fake script to put on tape.  So, that is what I sent in for my audition, the fake script they gave me - and I was booked from that tape.

- Ann ,  did you watch the show or read the graphic novel, prior to
your casting to The Walking Dead?

I read the graphic novel long before I ever auditioned, and when I got the audition, I watched some of the show in order to understand the tone of the show.  Once I booked the show, I went back and binge-watched the whole thing! 

- Working with Andrew Lincoln or Jeffrey Dean Morgan will be a dream for every
TWD Fan, what can you say about working with some of this guys?

Everyone I worked with - from the crew, to the producers, to the writers, the directors, and every cast member - was wonderful to work with.  It was a charmed existence on the show.  Andy was so welcoming to me when I started the show, making it a point to come by several times, to see what I was working on.  (I do a homework notebook for my characters, and he asked me questions and made sure I felt very accepted and welcome.)  He also made it a point to come to set the day I was killed.  He wasn't called that day, and made a special trip.  He is just the most humble, lovely, and supremely talented person.


JDM and I got to spend some fun times together on set, and he is also a consummate professional.  He has an insane amount of text to memorize in a very VERY short amount of time!  He is a charming and hilarious person in real life, but when we start rolling cameras and he becomes Negan, he is a FORCE and terrifying!  Which is exactly what you want when he is your scene partner.  I'd love to work with either of them again in any capacity!


- How much has the series The Walking Dead and your part as Olivia influenced your life? Can you
go outside unrecognized ?

I get recognized all the time.  But people are mostly wonderful and very respectful!  I love being a part of the great history of one of TV's most popular shows.

- What was the best thing or the funniest moment about working on The
Walking Dead?Is there something special you can share with us?

When we were shooting Season Six, Episode 2 "JSS" - I had to hide in the closet of the armory for a big scene where Carol kills these two Wolves.  At one point, in that tiny closet, it was me, a camera guy, and the boom mic guy.... by the time Carol (Melissa McBride) opened the closet door to find me, my glasses were so fogged up you couldn't see my eyes.  She cracked up!  Me too! There were so many people breathing in that tiny closet for so long that I couldn't see!

- Before you work for The Walking Dead you was a part of „Rectify “ , "Big Momma's House 2" , "Hart of Dixie" and many more. What was your favorite role so far?

My favorite role, besides Olivia, has been playing Gladys Presley on SUN RECORDS for CMT.  I truly wish I had gotten to continue on a subsequent season, but the show wasn't renewed.  It was truly magical portraying a women who really walked this earth.  I would love to portray an historical character again some day.

- You are currently working on an Live reading of the new romantic Comedy "Fanfare" with former The Walking Dead Actors like Jeremy Palko , Jason Kirkpatrick and other stars. What can you tell us about your project?

I was watching "End of theF***ing World" on Netflix, and this idea of two people burning their lives down was enchanting to me. Then, I wondered why no one ever writes stories like THAT about women in their 40s. So, I wrote about it. And FANFARE was born.

Jason and I have been friends for a long time, and we did a film called THE TRUE DON QUIXOTE together.  We knew we wanted to work together in a deeper way, and FANFARE was written specifically for us to do that.  Jeremy and I never met on the set of TWD, but we became very close on the comic con circuit in the years following the show. 

I wanted to explore the idea of a woman's mid-life crisis, which we rarely to NEVER see on screen.  We see men's midlife crises all the time.  Gen-X women have an interesting struggle, one that I feel deeply in my own life, which is this:  many of us were raised to believe that we needed to be so many things because WE COULD be ANYTHING.  Our grandmothers and mothers paved the way for us to "be anything we want to be."  The reality of that burden, is that we often feel like we have to be amazing at EVERYTHING, and also LOOK PERFECT while doing it.  

The lead character in this story, Janelle, who I wrote for myself - is at a critical point of her life where all these pressures are coming down on her.  We get to watch while she figured out what to do with it all.... and I will say, I think what she does, is what many women want to do RIGHT NOW in their own lives.  :-)



- Is there anything else you would like to let The Walking Dead Fans andyour fans know?

I just want to say thank you thank you thank you for your amazing support and love!

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