How Pollyanna McIntosh of ‘The Walking Dead’ made Jadis her own

Fanning Out

Jadis and the intimidation factor

Pollyanna McIntosh, who plays Jadis on AMC’s Sunday zombie thriller “The Walking Dead,” says stepping into the skin of the cunning, resourceful and oddly-spoken leader of the Scavengers was something that came to her quite naturally.

“She felt very much mine from the audition, and I can’t really explain that,” the 39-year-old Scottish actress says. “Because other people have taken issue with her language and stuff and find it so strange. But I found reasons for her to be doing all the things she’s doing including speaking the way she was speaking.

“And for me, it was about intimidating outsiders and making them feel awkward and on the back foot,” she continues. “And then both enjoying their discomfort but also playing up the fact that you’re enjoying it, (which makes them) even more uncomfortable because I feel that she (believes) you could get more understanding of a person when they’re in a state of discomfort than you can when they’re at ease because you’ve got the upper hand. And people under pressure will show themselves more than people under normal circumstances. She just kind of ups the ante and sees what happens.

“And so this whole feeling of sort of lording over people is also a little bit of an act,” she adds. “I don’t really feel she feels she’s above people but I feel she finds it useful to act like it. And the apocalypse is not a time for sissies.”


George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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