Warning: This post contains spoilers for the “Heads Up” episode of The Walking Dead.
Call it a brother/sister thing, with some undertones of Glenn (Steven Yeun) acting as a father figure. That was the relationship that quickly developed in Sunday’s “Heads Up” episode of The Walking Dead, the one in which we found out Glenn’s alive, and he immediately found an additional reason — new pal Enid (Katelyn Nacon) — to make his way back to Alexandria. Not that the new pairing is an easy one. Skittish Enid, who bonded with Glenn over the fact that they were both, he assumes, orphaned by walkers, remains unsold on committing to the Alexandria community. Many fans suspect she also has some ties to another, likely nefarious, group, and she’s part of a teen love triangle that is just one of the reasons her boyfriend, Ron, appears to be ready to aim a gun at his teen rival, Carl.
Yahoo TV talked to Nacon about her character’s relationships, Enid’s “JSS” motto and her hopefulness in spite of all she’s experienced since losing her parents, her true feelings for Ron and Carl, and what she was really noshing on when she had to eat that turtle earlier in Season 6. And yes, she confirms we’re going to learn quite a bit more about Miss Enid…
Glenn and Enid were an unexpected pairing, especially in such a big episode, but it really made sense as they spent more time together and this brother/sister, father/daughter kind of relationship formed…
I like it just because there’s a good contrast between the two, and also I just really like Glenn’s character. [And] that’s what they wanted to portray between the two: Enid might see him as a father kind of character, but I think it’s more like they both have a respect for each other. Glenn wouldn’t be like, “Oh, you can’t do this, you can’t do that.” It’s more like an older brother-type thing. Steven even talked to me about that, because we were trying to establish the character relationship. He was like, “Yeah, I don’t feel like it would be a father relationship,” because he knows that she’s independent and she can take care of herself, so he wouldn’t take over that way. I totally agreed with him.
Do you think their new friendship gives her some sense of security that she didn’t have since losing her parents?
Yeah, in a way, it does. It definitely brings her a sense of security. I think also that sense of security can bring some kind of spirit to her, too, because she hasn’t had that in a long time. Especially to have someone that she could relate to so easily and who can replace the father that she’s lost. I think it’s kind of scary to her, too.
Because now she has something to lose again?
Yes. That’s one thing that she has been so adamant about not having to go through, especially with the way that she treats people. She makes sure that she can’t get close to them, and she tries to make sure that they don’t want to get close to her, either. She pushes people away, just because going through that loss is one of the worst things that could happen to her.
She does allow herself to be vulnerable with Glenn though. Why Glenn?
Because of just how protective he is and how safe she feels in that environment. She kind of does it without even noticing.
She’s also a smart character, smarter than most other people her age. Do you think she has a good intuition that Glenn is trustworthy and will look out for her?
Yeah. Yeah. Of course, she’s probably not 100 percent sure of him, because you never really can be, but I think she does see that he understands the world, and that he’s probably gone through even more than she has. He is a lot wiser, and I think she could easily learn stuff from him. It’s just getting over the fear of accepting people into her life that would get in the way of her friendship with Glenn.
Given that, that she is able to bond with someone who can truly understand what she’s experienced, it’s clear that she probably really didn’t bond much with Ron, even though he thinks she was his girlfriend. Until recently, he had lived a very safe version of life in the apocalyptic world.
That’s what it is. They are like boyfriend and girlfriend, but to be honest, if Ron got eaten or something, it wouldn’t affect her. Because, especially during that time when they started to get “closer” — and I put air quotes around that — she was definitely even more closed off than what she is now. There’s no way she would have let someone get near her, even if they were her “boyfriend.” It’s a tricky situation, but if he got eaten or died, it wouldn’t really hurt her that much.
Do you think it would hurt her if something happened to Carl?
I think it would have a little bit of an effect on her, even though she’s done her best to try to distance herself from him. It’s still more like there’s a natural understanding of each other in that relationship. They’ve been through really similar things, and they understand each other, but even if there’s nothing officially going on, it’s still that kind of… if [he] is gone, it affects her. It would affect her in some way.
How do you think Enid came to her personal motto, “JSS, Just Survive Somehow”? She tells Glenn the world’s trying to destroy itself, and we should let it, but that motto suggests she’s hopeful, too. How does she keep herself going?
I think it’s mostly because of her parents. Like Glenn said, “You live because they don’t get to.” The reason she’s still surviving and going on is because her parents didn’t get to. They don’t get to live their lives. She feels an obligation to not let their deaths be in vain.
We got to see a lot more of Enid’s personality in “Heads Up,” but there’s still so much more we don’t know about her, her background, who she may or may not be allied with. What do you most still want to know about Enid, or what do you most want the audience to know about her?
I think some people still can’t get past her tough exterior. I really want people to see what’s going on inside her head. You have to pay really close attention, just because she’s so closed off that there’s just little glimpses of what’s going on with her. You may be able to see more of that, of what’s happening inside, coming up. So, I want people to see what’s really ticking in her head, what’s really making her the way that she is.
In the restaurant where Glenn finds her, Enid is holding a small toy fire truck. Is there any significance to that toy?
Yeah. They were going to have me distract walkers with the fire truck, but it didn’t work out. They went with a different shot. [But] it just shows how resourceful she is. She usually uses things other than just straight up killing to get her way around problems. With the balloons, she was like, “Oh, I can use them to distract walkers,” and so she would probably just use the balloons to ward the walkers off so she doesn’t have to deal with it, less energy spent. It just shows that she knows how to survive and handle herself in this world.
Did the toy make a noise or something, and that was how it would distract walkers? Did you film a scene where you used that to distract them?
You roll it back, and then it drives away, so it would lure them away, but they went with something else instead. We did film it, I just think the shots didn’t work out. Then they added in Glenn’s hand coming in and grabbing her mouth, and pulling her back. I think that would have interfered with the whole truck thing.
This was an especially intense episode, particularly Enid and Glenn’s reunion and trip back to Alexandria, but there were a few lighter moments, like Enid’s “head up” line, and how sure Glenn was that she wouldn’t shoot him. Were there fun moments filming, working so closely with Steven Yeun for the first time?
Yeah, definitely. Steven’s such a great guy, and he’s just so fun to work with. And, I think you’ll definitely get to see that [side of Enid] more, because Enid’s not exactly… she’s pretty sarcastic when it comes to certain things, so you may get to see a bit more of that later on.
One of the, not fun, but more memorable moments for Enid this season was the turtle eating scene in “JSS.” What was that like to film?
I didn’t really notice what was going on while I was actually filming it, because I was just so in the moment of the scene. On the ride home, I was kind of like, “Ooh, that was pretty nasty.” At first, I was like, “Oh, that’s so cool.” Then I was like, “Eww, that’s going to hurt my stomach a lot.”
What were you actually eating?
It was chicken wings covered in this fake blood. It tasted pretty weird, but it wasn’t like it was inedible or anything.
You truly are part of The Walking Dead when you have to do something that extreme, though.
I’ve heard a lot that usually people can handle the show, but that was one of the moments where they could not handle the gruesomeness. That makes me really happy that I was part of one of those moments.
Have fans been sending you stuffed animal turtles and other turtle stuff since then?
At Walker Stalker Cons, I’ve definitely gotten a lot of turtles to sign, and a lot of Turtles candy, and Ninja Turtles.
Now you and Steven are probably going to get tons of green balloons.
I know! I kept one of the balloons that I blew up on set with the helium tank. Because usually after I blew them up, I would set them free, so they could fly and whatnot. One of the balloons I didn’t fill up enough, so I tried to set it free, but it just fell right back down. I was like, “Oh, poor thing.” I drew a face on it, and I named it Wilson, and I took it home. Wilson’s still home with me. He’s really deflated. He’s probably dead by now.
What can you tease about what’s ahead for Enid?
I think you’ll get to see a bit more of her, literally and metaphorically, if that makes sense. You may get to understand her a bit better, and her way of thinking.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC