Zombie television

Finding Dorie: Actor Garret Dillahunt discusses Fear the Walking Dead’s breakout character

By Chris Post

Fear the Walking Dead has come a long way since its first season and the current season is its best. With new producers and showrunners on board, the fourth season has been something of a reboot, with a time shift and a host of new characters.

Arguably, the best of the bunch is John Dorie. He’s a former lawman with an affinity for revolvers, but he’s no Rick Grimes. Dorie, as portrayed by Garret Dillahunt is an introspective and compassionate man with layers of complexity who seems strangely at home in the apocalypse.

“I think John’s well-suited for this kind of thing. He seems to be one of those people that manages to look at life as the glass half full and keep a small sense of humor,” Dillahunt said, describing his new character. “He’s from another time and way of thinking. He’s polite, honorable and loyal – maybe to a fault. He’s handy in the woods, he’s capable and he’s someone you’d like on your side.”

As season 4 opens, Dorie is alone in the wilds of Texas and comes across Morgan Jones, a 4C7D223A00000578-5752059-image-m-14_1526885079183cross-over from AMC’s original zombie show The Walking Dead. The two of them form an unlikely friendship.

“It seems like you don’t really get to choose who you meet in this world,” Dillahunt said. “Morgan happens to be the guy that’s there and it was a good sign that he was trying to save me from a walker.”

It is through these early interaction with Morgan, that fans get their first glimpses into Dorie’s innerworkings. Dillahunt points out that the season opener shows that while he is somewhat suited to surviving in a world full of zombies, Dorie’s life is far from perfect.

“I think there are times where you see it’s not all sun and light for him,” he said. “He’s clearly hiding a deep sadness and loneliness. He does not let Morgan go in that first episode.”

https_blogs-images.forbes.cominsertcoinfiles201805fear-dorie4Fans of the show got a much clearer picture of what caused those feelings of isolation in the fifth episode of the sesason. In that episode, titled “Laura,” Dorie rescues a stranger from the river and nurses her back to health. Aside from zombie extras, the entirety of the episode focuses on just these two chracters.

“When you’re on set every minute, you learn a lot about your character. In fact, you learn so much that you almost want to go back and reshoot the episodes you already shot,” Dillahunt said. “I feel like a lot is revealed. I’m really proud of that episode and I felt like we were making something special.”

The woman, known to as both Naomi and Laura, eventually leaves Dorie’s cabin and set him on a quest to find her.

“She’s the reason he’s not in that cabin anymore,” Dillahunt said. “Maybe she released any feelings he had about who he was. He uprooted his whole way of doing things. He’s clearly decided that it’s a silly thing not to hold onto love when you find it in a world like this.”

We see the couple reunited in episode 6, but to disasterous results. The show took Memorial Day weekend off, but a sneak peak of episode 7 (which airs June 3) was tweeted out to give fans something to tide them over.


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