Thanks to Eugene (Josh McDermitt), Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), and Ezekiel's (Khary Payton) journey to establish first real contact with Eugene's radio buddy "Stephanie," they (and the viewers) were introduced to what we already know will be a game-changing addition to AMC's The Walking Dead: Paola Lazaro's Juanita Sanchez aka Princess. Lazaro had the kind of entrance that fans will be reflecting back on several seasons down the road. Did she try a little too hard? Sure, but she's also been spending an unhealthy amount of time by herself trying to stay sane by creating walker dioramas. Did she scare off their horses? Sure, but she did it trying to impress them with her walker fighting skills. Did she lead them through a landmine field that turned out not to be a shortcut after all? Yeah, got nothing for that one other than "we all make mistakes" but I'm not sure that works here.
But what do we really know about Princess? A shortened production season has put a pause on us learning more about her this season. In the comics, Princess was a good-natured, upbeat survivor who hides a rough past and upbringing. She was considered to be the harbinger of the "Commonwealth" storyline, where she settles down at the end of the comic book series' run. Great intel to have, but remember to take it with a grain of salt since we've already witnessed firsthand series showrunner and executive producer Angela Kang's willingness to run a "remix" on what fans of the comics might be expecting on-screen. That said, the fine folks at Skybound have started a new video series entitled I See Dead People where they offer background and comparisons between our series folk and their comic book counterparts. By now, we're pretty sure you've figured out who the series is focusing on first:
Discussing what life's been like for her since Princess' debut, Lázaro revealed that she purposefully didn't want to know much about her comic book counterpart going into her The Walking Dead audition and filming. She had such respect for the writers that she wanted to respect their words, which touched her on a personal level as she sees much of herself in Princess: "She reminds me of when I was a kid. It really hit home. I used to get in trouble all the time and the only people that really believed in me was my family. Everyone else thought I was hyper and a trouble maker. It reminded me of trying to find my place in the world with all of my awkwardness and energy levels. The night before we shot the first scene, I had a breakdown in the hotel room. I just started crying. Obviously, she's a badass and she's tough, but she's like a child too. There are so many levels to her. I was so into it."