How Fear The Walking Dead Season 3 Changes Madison, According To Kim Dickens

madison and soldiers fear the walking dead season 3
(Image credit: Photo courtesy of AMC)

When Fear the Walking Dead wrapped up its sophomore season, each of our main characters found their central means of shelter and comfort taken away from them, and Season 3 won't exactly offer up quick and easy roads to peace and calmness. Star Kim Dickens spoke with CinemaBlend all about what we can expect to see in Season 3, and not only are things getting more action-packed in general, but it looks like Madison is going to take a hard, dark turn as the story twists forward. Without spoiling anything, here's what she told me.

Madison, this season, is much more merciless and is willing to trade in brutality. She sees that it's necessary, so she becomes a different beast this season as well. So some may not agree with her ways.

In these still-sorta-early days of the walker outbreak, Fear the Walking Dead has done a decent job of introducing characters that are villainous, but not always entirely so. And interestingly, I'd just mentioned to Kim Dickens that some characters on the series likely view Madison and the more impulsive Travis (and others) as the villains, so it sounds like we might get to witness Madison as the person inciting shake-ups and causing chaos, rather than mostly just handling dangers as they come up. (Also, If you wondered if hearing Dickens call her character a beast was as magical as it sounds, it was.)

The actress' fans should be pumped to hear this, as Kim Dickens is taking the already fearless and grounded Madison to more psychologically nuanced places, which will of course be combined with some major ass-whipping. And the kinds of things we've seen teased in the images and trailers are not exaggerating on the increase in action, as is made very clear by one scene in the premiere. It's not solely that there are more big scenes, but the moments themselves are lengthened and go in some interesting directions.

Madison's hectic rise (or descent, depending on how you look at it) is definitely something that Kim Dickens welcomed, too. Here's what else she told me about how Season 3's emphasis on action and mayhem changed things up for her.

I've been an actor for over 23-24 years, professionally. And it's just a new and different ballgame. And I love all the choreography and the stunt work and just the heightened existence of it all. It's pretty fun for me. I was given a phone call by the showrunner before we began filming Season 3 and he said, 'Prepare for Madison to go darker this year,' and I got very excited about that. I love playing dark, complex, layered, complicated characters, so it's been something I've embraced.

Showrunner Dave Erickson is unfortunately leaving after Season 3, but we're pumped that a big element from his zombified swan song will involve a dark evolution for Madison. With a career that includes winning turns on Deadwood, Treme, Sons of Anarchy, Friday Night Lights, House of Cards and more -- not to mention her work in feature films -- Kim Dickens has given audiences many years of complex and complicated characters that we've almost always rooted for, regardless of their motives. That hasn't changed in Fear the Walking Dead, and Dickens' empowered matriarch Madison will get to do a lot more head-bashing in Season 3 to spice things up. Joanie Stubbs would have definitely survived the apocalypse, too, if we're keeping track.

Check out a trailer for the upcoming season below.

Fear the Walking Dead Season 3 premieres on AMC tonight, June 4, at 9:00 p.m. ET. Stick with CinemaBlend for more Season 3 news and more from my conversation with Kim Dickens. In the meantime, head to our summer TV premiere schedule to see everything else that's hitting the small screen in the coming months.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.