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Stars say 'Walking Dead' helped them navigate real pandemic

Lennie James' Fear the Walking Dead starts its sixth season on AMC Sunday. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Lennie James' "Fear the Walking Dead" starts its sixth season on AMC Sunday. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 11 (UPI) -- The stars of Fear the Walking Dead said some of what they've learned on the zombie-apocalypse drama has come in handy while living their real lives during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lennie James -- who plays Morgan, a hero who carries a bo staff -- told UPI in a cast zoom video conference with reporters that training with the weapon has helped him with social distancing.

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"If I see a group of people -- I live in an apartment block -- and if I am walking down, i can keep the six-feet distance from a number of people at the same time," James said. "I do find myself able to pivot quite easily to make sure I am the distance that I want to be without it feeling like I am being impolite."

"We had a mini-move when all this went down and I realized our emergency kits were expired and I was like, 'I'm gonna update those,'" said Jenna Elfman, who plays June.

"Having been on the show actually gave me a much more comprehensive view about what I might need," Elfman said. "When something hits like [the coronavirus pandemic] and you don't have enough information and you see it's got this global aspect to it, you hunker down and you protect your family."

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Danay Garcia, who plays Luciana, has adopted a "Don't talk to strangers" policy in recent months.

"Just don't approach people that you don't know," Garcia laughed.

"It's weird because the pandemic on our show, we know who is infected," she said, referring to how it is easier to tell who is a zombie than it is to determine in real life if a human has the coronavirus.

James doesn't know if viewers in 2020 will see the show through a new lens given their own recent experiences.

"We're always going to be too close to it," James said of himself and his castmates.

"For the fans of the show and the people watching, I'll be really interested to see whether or not -- having gone through their own pandemic -- their viewing of our particular version of an apocalyptic pandemic is different before and after."

Season 6 of Fear the Walking Dead is set to debut Sunday on AMC.

Representatives from the show mothership show The Walking Dead and its spinoffs Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead: World Beyond participated in this weekend's virtual New York Comic Con.

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