The Walking Dead Star Paola Lazaro on Her Connection to Princess

With AMC's The Walking Dead having to delay its tenth season finale "A Certain Doom" until later this year, viewers were left wanting when it comes to two storylines we were looking forward to the most. Obviously, we need to know how Lauren Cohan's Maggie is going to be blended back into the series. The teaser only dumped more gasoline on the speculation fire, with Maggie receiving Carol's (Melissa McBride) letter and possibly playing a part in the endgame against Beta (Ryan Hurst) and the Whisperers. But our storyline obsession is definitely Juanita Sanchez aka Princess (Paola Lázaro), and our love for her grew by leaps and bounds during the last episode. Her willingness to show her vulnerability yet not be ashamed of it, to actually embrace it and still try to be better from it was impressive. It was especially endearing it to see her attempt to impress Eugene (Josh McDermitt), Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), and Ezekiel (Khary Payton) as if she was auditioning to be part of their group.

Ezekiel, Yumiko, Eugene, and Princess take a detour through a minefield on The Walking Dead, courtesy of AMC.
Ezekiel, Yumiko, Eugene, and Princess take a detour through a minefield on The Walking Dead, courtesy of AMC.

Speaking with the network about what life's been like for her since Princess' debut, Lázaro revealed that she 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 writing that she wanted to respect the work. The words she was presented with touched her on a personal level in many ways, seeing 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 bad ass and she's tough, but she's like a child too. There are so many levels to her. I was so into it."

As eager as Princess was to help our heroes and make a good impression with a perky, never-say-die attitude, it wasn't long before we saw the pain nor far beneath the surface. As much as her "walker diorama" was definitely an amusing treat for the eyes, it spoke volumes for the effects being without human contact for a year had on her. For Lázaro, going from no one to suddenly three people in front of her required her to think on her feet (and think landmine fields are a smart move): "As we see, it's this sense of 'are people even here anymore? Am I the only person that exists in this world?' That brings her back to before the apocalypse when she still felt alone and like an outcast. Now, she finds herself literally alone and it doubles that pain. Does she trust that they are actually real? When it's been a year since you've seen anyone, she'll take anything. It's okay if they don't even like her."

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought on board as staff in 2017.

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