- INSIDER caught up with Katelyn Nacon, who plays Enid on AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” at Walker Stalker Con New Jersey.
- Nacon said she learned Enid would be in a relationship after this season’s time jump by reading it in the script. No one told her ahead of time.
- She estimates Enid is supposed to be about 23 after the two time jumps. Alden should be 29. The age gap isn’t as weird as some viewers may have thought.
- Nacon hints we’ll find out why the two got together on the second half of season nine when the show returns in February.
While we’re still waiting for answers to who the Whisperers are on AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and how Michonne and Daryl (and possibly more) wound up with those mystery “X” marks, we finally have some answers about Alden and Enid’s unexpected relationship which occurred during the six-year time jump.
INSIDER sat down with Katelyn Nacon, who plays Enid on the AMC zombie drama, earlier this month at Walker Stalker Con New Jersey where we discussed the time jump, chopping off Aaron’s arm, Negan’s jail escape, and Enid’s new romance.
Nacon revealed just how old Enid is supposed to be, how she learned about Enid’s relationship with Alden (Callan McAuliffe), and what to expect next.
Before The Whisperers threaten to take anyone else out of our lives when “The Walking Dead” returns Sunday, February 10, here’s everything you need to know about Enid and Alden’s relationship and how we’ll probably learn a lot more about how it came to be.
Nacon estimates Enid is now in her early 20s after the time jump. Alden is 29. And Henry is way too young for her.
One of the most jarring things about seeing Enid with Alden was that it wasn’t really established how old Alden was supposed to be on the series.
The last relationship Enid was sort of in was with Carl when the two were teenagers. It seemed like McAuliffe’s character might be a lot older than Enid since he was hanging around Maggie (Lauren Cohan) a lot and appeared to have an interest in her. In real life, Cohan is 36. As a result, the uncertain age difference between Alden and Enid confused and creeped out some viewers.
Henry so pressed for Enid. I feel like Alden is too old to be dating her. Wasn't he sort of interested in Maggie? Wait how old is Alden? #WalkingDead
— M’BlockU (@rodimusprime) November 26, 2018
Nacon is aware that the age gap between Enid and Alden has alarmed some of the fans, but says it’s not as large a gap as some may imagine.
“I did the maths in my head. I mean, if we’re looking at last season, she [Enid] was probably about 16. And so there’s a year-and-a-half time jump, so she’s about 17 or 18 in the very beginning of season nine. And then after the five or six year time jump she’d be about 22, 23,” said Nacon, estimating Enid’s age now.
“I’ve been asked a lot because it is kind of a weird topic. He’s [Alden] honestly the only one that’s closest to me in age other than Macsen [Lintz], who plays Henry,” said Nacon, noting that Henry’s too young for Enid. “He’s 17, so he’s a minor.”
How old is Alden? Nacon says Enid’s new boyfriend is supposed to be about five to six years older than her character.
“I’m [supposed to be] 23 and he’s [Alden], after the time jumps and stuff, I think he’s about 29, 28 or 29, in his later 20s. I’m in my early [20s]. So it’s not weird. No. Because I know a lot of people [are] like, “She’s 15!” And I was like, ‘No no no no no no no.’ It’s been a lot of years since then.”
In real life, Nacon is 19 while McAuliffe is 23 so the age difference isn’t as big as the onscreen gap.
Nacon cut her hair to to make Enid look older, and she was thrilled.
In order to make Enid look like she aged a total of seven-and-a-half years in both of season nine’s time jumps, Nacon cut her long brown locks short. It was something she was thinking of asking new showrunner Angela Kang about after wearing her hair long for so many years, but it was already in mind for the show.
“I’ve wanted to have this hair length for three years now and so I remember they were talking about a time jump and so one day, I think it was the finale of last season we were filming, and Angela Kang was there. I remember walking up to her and I was like, ‘So, for the time jump, ya know, Enid’s hair…’ And she was like, ‘It should be short.’ And I was like, ‘Yes! Finally!'”
“I had to wait a little bit longer than I expected because we had the first time jump and they didn’t want it to look too different or too similar to the big, big time jump. It was a little shorter in the year and a half time jump and then I got to finally cut it off. It was so nice. I love it. It’s so much easier. It used to be down to my butt. It was crazy.”
Nacon found out Enid would be in a relationship with Alden by reading the script and thought he was supposed to be with Maggie.
Nacon learned she was going to have to amputate Aaron’s arm this year before filming for season nine even began. But when it came to her new relationship with Alden after the time jump, no one gave her a heads up. Nacon found out on her own.
“It was very strange though. No one really told me that that was gonna happen. I don’t know if they were trying to do the Alden and Maggie romance and then that didn’t work out. I’m not sure. I wasn’t told,” said Nacon of being surprised to learn Enid and Alden were in a relationship. “I just remember one day I was reading the script and it said, ‘Enid kisses Alden.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh!'”
Learning about that big change for her character came as an initial surprise. She had a similar reaction to some of the fans watching at home.
“And then I was like, ‘Wait! How old is this dude even?’ And I was like, “OK, he’s not that much older.” So it’s not too weird.”
It wasn’t just Nacon who thought Alden was originally supposed to be a romantic interest for Lauren Cohan’s character, Maggie.
Enid’s relationship with Alden came as such a surprise because it seemed like the show was leaning towards pairing together McAuliffe’s character with the tough-as-nails Hilltop leader.
The only problem? Cohan was leaving the show this season –for now anyway – to start her own ABC series.
“I’ve spoken to Callan before too and that’s what he was talking about,” Nacon said of McAuliffe believing Alden’s character was originally supposed to wind up with Maggie. “He was like, ‘Yeah, there’s a character in the comic books that he kind of parallels.’ But I don’t know. I don’t know what their plan was. It doesn’t matter now because now he’s with me. Sorry, Maggie!”
In the comics, there’s a member of the Hilltop community named Dante who eventually becomes the first person Maggie warms up to after her husband’s death. It takes years and though Alden isn’t a character from the comics, it seemed like the show was remixing him to be, at least, inspired in part by Dante.
Enid’s relationship with Alden hasn’t been going on for a long time. This is new and we’ll get insight into how it came to be.
When Jesus was killed off the show, fans were upset we never got to see him in a relationship with Aaron. Showrunner Angela Kang told INSIDER they didn’t feel they had built up the relationship to that point on the show. The comment confused some fans who pointed out that Enid and Alden and another relationship between Father Gabriel and Rosita appeared to come out of nowhere.
INSIDER asked Nacon if she and McAuliffe came up with a backstory of how their characters got together and she hinted that she didn’t need to. “Well, you might find out,” said Nacon, in reference to how Enid and Alden got together. “It’s a six-year time jump. They have gotta fill you in eventually, right?”
“There’s a lot of explaining that should be happening in a sense. So I don’t want to say anything too much,” she continued. “But there is a reason that Alden and Enid got together. And it wasn’t as easy as it might seem on screen, because the relationship is still very, very new for Alden and Enid. There’s not even a definite definition of the relationship. They’re kind of in limbo right now. So you’ll see later on how they got there. So it’s not finite. She doesn’t call him her boyfriend, he doesn’t call her his girlfriend. It’s still kind of in a weird situation.”
Although it came up a bit unexpectedly, Nacon says she likes where her character is with Alden and the time it took for them to find one another. This isn’t a relationship that has been going on for years during the time jump.
“I do really like Enid and Alden together, and I think he is amazing for her in the sense that he is a very kind and caring person, but also very strong and knowledgeable of the world that is surrounding them, something that she can’t always find that connection with, and I think she found it with him. I think he really does help her, and he’s helped her to grow into a healthier grown woman, in that sense.” “It wasn’t easy in any sense for her to move on,” Nacon added, noting that her relationship with Alden hasn’t been going on for very long. “It was six years. And the fact that, no it was actually, yeah, more than six years. And the fact that it’s just started [Enid’s relationship with Alden]… It took her more than six years in order to get over Carl and stuff.”
“It’s very hard. Especially if you have that kind of connection with a person,” Nacon said of the time it took for Enid to get over Carl’s loss. “The world around you is falling apart, and they were the only person that you could connect with and could understand you. It’s a lot to have that person taken away from you, and to not even be able to say goodbye. It took a long time. But I think she’s finally come to terms with that kind of death and what that should mean in her life and how she should move forward from that. And Alden is in that kind of equation for this.”
Enid seems to have it all right now. Should we be worried for her character when the show returns?
Whenever anyone seems to be too happy on “The Walking Dead,” their lives often get uprooted. With the Whisperers now on the horizon, should Nacon be concerned for Enid’s life?
“I mean, it’s hard to say,” said Nacon, noting that she is an important part of the Hilltop now as a doctor. And those are in short supply.
“Either way it’s just nice to see Enid kind of take on this new role and character about herself,” she continued. “She is becoming happy and ever since that, which is always scary, I think there’s still a lot that she’s trying to learn from. And I think there’s still a lot that she needs to teach the community around her. So she still has a lot more to do.”
“I’m excited for people to get a lot of explanation and to also see how the Whisperers effect the group and how that kind of changes the group’s dynamic and everything,” Nacon said overall of what she’s excited for fans to see when the show returns from its winter hiatus. “And for Enid, I’m excited for people to see the new person that she’s grown into be. Because she is very different than when we first met her. She’s still the same girl, but she’s learned a lot from where she originally was.”
If Enid doesn’t make it through the rest of season nine, she’s currently on another series and has her own music career
Nacon is also currently on a show called “[email protected],” which follows a group of young high school students who get tagged in violent online videos. It used to stream on Verizon’s go90 app until the service was discontinued in July.
“Hulu picked it up and now they have released all of season three December 7,” said Nacon of the show. “Hannah Macpherson, the writer and director, just does such an amazing job of bringing this thriller-horror genre into these teenagers’ lives, and makes it still so relatable and so realistic. You feel like you could be one of those characters. Even though there’s crazy chaos going around them that you would think would never happen in a normal day.”
Nacon also recently released a single called “Undone,” which is available on iTunes and Spotify. Her old “Walking Dead” co-star, Chandler Riggs, also works on music under the alias Eclipse. Could we ever see the two of them team up on a project?
“I don’t know. I know fans would really love to hear it,” says Nacon of the possibility of reuniting with Riggs on a musical project. “It’s kind of hard because I live in Georgia [and] he lives in California. It makes it a little more difficult. But I love his music, too. I think he does really great work and I think we could do something cool. So, you never know!”
We have our fingers crossed. “The Walking Dead” returns to AMC Sunday, February 10 at 9 p.m. on AMC.
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