An Interview with TWD’s Amber Dawn Fox One of Grady’s Finest
Bicycle Girl chats with actress Amber Dawn Fox, who played Officer Bello, and appeared in THAT scene in Episode 508 “Coda”
Imagine that you’re cast to appear on The Walking Dead after following it through all of its seasons. You find out when you arrive on the set that the scene you’ll be in will be one that will shock audiences and mark the end of a beloved character’s time on the show.
You learn that you’ll be front and center during the action, and that your performance will help to shape a moment in the most-watched show on television’s history that people will be talking about for years. You have to sell that moment to millions. Make it real. Make them feel something. And you have to do it without saying a single word.
That was the task placed before Amber Dawn Fox when she played Officer Bello in the mid-season finale of Season 5, Epx508 “Coda,” and when you watch the action, you see just how masterfully she added emotion and tension to the moments after Beth’s death using nothing but her face and her body language.
I had the good fortune of being able to chat with Amber recently about that episode and about what she’s been up to since her appearance on The Walking Dead.
BG: How did you get the role on The Walking Dead? Were you a fan of the show before you landed the part?
ADF: I was a huge Walking Dead fan before I got the role of Officer Bello. I had worked for the casting company in the past and had recently submitted for a movie they were casting. They contacted me and said I was a fit for a featured police officer on The Walking Dead and asked if I would be interested in that instead. The director had to approve, so I heard back a few days later that I had gotten the part.
BG: What sort of preparation did you do for the role? Did you give Officer Bello a backstory?
ADF: Because I didn’t have any lines, I was never given a script. So, going in the first day I only knew that I was playing a police officer. I didn’t know anything about the situation, so I just did research and studied a lot of videos on the Internet of cops. After the first day, I saw a bit of what was going on, so I then created a backstory for Officer Bello.
This was what I came up with: Officer Bello was single before the zombie apocalypse. She saw her job as her life, and some of the cops were good friends with her. That is why she stays in the hospital, even when things take turns for the worst. It is what she knows, and she doesn’t feel comfortable going out and venturing in to the unknown.
BG: In that final scene of Coda, your expression is so intense as you pulled your gun on Rick and the others. How was your character perceiving the moment? As a supporter of Dawn or one who was ready for her to go?
ADF: I felt she was one of the “good cops” compared to Dawn and a couple of the others. She was probably ready to see Dawn go, but at the same time she wants to defend this place that has kept her safe. When Dawn goes down, she thinks it is about to become an all out war in that hallway.
BG: What was the mood like on the set when the final scene was shot? I imagine there was a lot of emotion.
ADF: There was a lot of emotion. It was a sad day for sure. I felt bad for Emily and for the cast–I could tell they are like family. At the same time, I was an emotional wreck and full of mixed emotions. I was so sad for her, but so very excited to be there and get to be a part of the show.
BG: Why do you think no one left with Rick’s group? Not even the wards.
ADF: Rick was really referring more to the wards than the cops. But, I think the wards were still afraid of the cops of Grady. If they tried to leave, I think they were afraid we wouldn’t let them. As for the cops, I think it is like I said before…we have this safe place to stay and don’t want to venture out into the unknown. Now if it were up to me, Officer Bello would have been jumping at that opportunity!
BG: What effect did appearing on TWD have on your career and your life?
ADF: I knew being on the show would be a great addition to my resume. What I didn’t expect is the way it has changed my life. I am getting to travel around North America signing autographs and meeting fans at conventions. My social media accounts are growing all the time. Fans have been wonderful and are even supporting my new projects. It has been amazing and is certainly keeping me busy.
BG: As a fan and as a cast member, why do you think The Walking Dead has enjoyed the success that it has?
ADF: The writers and creators are so talented. It isn’t just “that zombie show.” The character development and story lines are incredible. I think people enjoy the “what if” aspect of it, too
BG: I know you’re set to appear in the Realm Series. What can you tell us about it?
ADF: Realm is in the development stages right now. It will be a series of movies based off of the Realm novels by Kayla A. Lambert. The first book Realm: The Blood Moon is out on Amazon. I will be playing Agnes, who is the head witch. Realm is a supernatural/sci-fi drama and my character is a witch who is out for revenge and wants to destroy a small town. It is a unique twist to such a popular genre– vampires, witches, werewolves, demons…
BG: What other projects do you have coming up?
ADF: I also just finished up a movie called “Tarnished Notes.” It is based on a true murder mystery story and is set in the 1980s. I play a friend of the main character. It will hopefully end up being a TV movie. You can follow it on Facebook for updates.
On behalf of TWD Fansite, thank you to Amber Dawn Fox for taking the time to talk to us. And yes, Fans, I promise I didn’t bite her! You can see for yourself that she’s alive and well by following her on Twitter and liking her on Facebook. You can also check out her credits on IMDb.
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