The Walking Dead: World Beyond is amazing! We had the pleasure of sitting down to chat with Nicolas Cantu about his experience bringing Elton to life and his love for zombies in The Walking Dead: World Beyond. Ready?
Here we go!
We love icebreaker questions! You start to get to know the star better and they help to get down to business. Our first question for Nicolas Cantu was to describe his character Elton in three words. “Let’s see…I think curious, hopeful and zen. Yeah, zen is a good word to describe him,” he shared.
Oh yeah, it’s definitely a good word. It’s the one that we would have chosen, in fact so, very good choice, Nicolas!
The Walking Dead world is a really special world that not everyone is attracted to but, what is it that most attracted Nicolas Cantu to this world? “The zombies. Just being able to like, show up to my job and kill zombies for a living,” okay, yes, that’s kind of fun. But… those zombies are realistic like… very realistic, did Nicolas really like to be immersed in this world where literally the undead are all around him? We love scary movies but this gives us the creeps, we admit it.
“Yeah, I mean, the first time I think I saw any zombies on the show, they kind of scared me a little bit. Because we were not filming with them. We didn’t have a scene with them. So we were just kind of hanging around set. And one of the production assistants came up and said, hey, there’s some zombies over here if you want to go see them. And I was like, yeah I was demon nurse before. So I go to like open this door. And as soon as I open it, one of them was coming out and one of my classmates Aaliyah [Royale] was with me. And so she really just came face to face with a dude in full Walker makeup like blood and everything. It was pretty funny first encounter,” he tell us.
Talking about Elton, Nicolas Cantu’s character in The Walking Dead: World Beyond, has a history full of loss and suffering and we wanted to know how Nicolas faced the emotional challenges that this character demands.
“I think very much comes from a place of relating to the character and trying to find situations where I’ve felt the same in my life. But other times, I take a different approach where I just, you know, really get into the character. And for one of the points in season one, I’m supposed to be under a boat, fixing something fighting through my claustrophobia. And previously, they had filmed the younger version of me, kind of like gaining that trauma. So seeing his performance really helped fuel that as well. And so, in order to play a sad character, I guess I just get sad.”
Nicolas Cantu is Latine, “Yeah. Both of my parents are from Mexico City. I was born there so I have a lot of Spanish influence in my life.” And, as a Latino, we needed to know his opinion on the challenges that remain to be conquered in terms of diversity, especially for the Latine community.
“I feel like we’ve definitely come a long way. There’s a lot of great representation for Latinos everywhere. I’ve definitely had a lot of positive experiences in Hollywood being Latino. There was this one, in an award ceremony, and I’m totally forgetting the name, but it was awesome to just see a bunch of, you know, Latinos come together and celebrate their heritage and being able to be accepted in this industry. But I feel like, ways it could get better is, I guess, just more and more focus on you know, Latino sides of character. Sometimes there are characters in these big massive projects that have a Latino background, but it’s not that much of a part of them. So I think having more focused on that would be great,” he comments.
And we agree. I mean, we have come a long way and we are increasingly aware that representation matters but we still have many challenges to overcome and Nicolas Cantu set a perfect example. When a character is Latine, it must be shown what it means to be Latine, that being Latine is a big part of the character to show true representation.
Now, what is Nicolas Cantu’s favorite moment on The Walking Dead: World Beyond? Other than the zombies, of course. “Episode nine, I get to do my first big kill. And that was such a blast. I’d say that’s probably my favorite one. I really got to kill one of them. So you got to do like, like the action scene and everything like that. Yeah, I had to prepare for with the stunts and just get ready to you know, do this whole thing,” he shared.
One of our favorite moments too!
Elton is a complex character, who can transmit very valuable and important lessons to fans, so the next question was a must. We wanted to know what Nicolas Cantu expected fans to learn from Elton.
“I hope they learned that no matter how bleak the world gets it, no matter how objective your viewpoint is, you can still find hope and you can still learn and grow. And I guess, you know, be more of a person because sometimes it feels like Elton is stepping outside of himself and removing his ego to face his problems. But he has to realize that he is a person with feelings, and he has to face them if he has to grow and be better,” he tell us.
“So don’t be afraid of your emotions even if you have a nihilistic viewpoint on the world, because Elton lives in an apocalypse. and, sometimes things happen in our world where there’s in justices and then peril and people are being put in danger. It’s easy to just kind of get sad about all that. But it’s it’s also good to remember that there’s hope, and that you can fight for change. I think those are good lessons to learn, those are really good lessons,” he added.
Every word he said. We cannot add anything else.
We love seeing Nicolas Cantu on The Walking Dead: World Beyond and that is precisely why we can’t wait to see him in other projects as well. We asked him to share with us what his next projects would be.
“I can’t really talk about them that much. But I’m working on two new voiceover projects that are very exciting. And people will be able to see them soon. I hope so, at least. That’s what I’m working on right now. But other than that, just waiting to see what comes comes next. Just having the door open”, he comments.
We can’t wait to enjoy his new projects!
Our chat with Nicolas Cantu was absolutely delightful. He is young but he is truly aware of what it means to get to where he is, what it takes to achieve it and the challenges that the industry faces. Also, you can clearly see the passion about his work in his words and the love and excitement he feels for being part of The Walking Dead: World Beyond. We loved chatting with him!
Do you like the interview? Feel free to share with us in the comments below!
AMC Networks, released the hit drama series The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 1 on DVD and Blu-ray.