New Delhi, Sep 28 (PTI) Actor Annet Mahendru says while period spy thriller 'The Americans' was her 'breakout' role, she is looking forward to stepping into the 'alternate reality' universe of zombie horror series 'The Walking Dead: World Beyond'.
The Afghani-born Russian-Indian actor rose to prominence after essaying the role of deadly KGB triple agent Nina Krilova in the Emmy-winning series 'The Americans' and was also nominated for the Critics' Choice Television Award for best supporting actress in a drama series in 2014 for the same.
She is now set to lead the third spin-off in 'The Walking Dead' franchise, based on the popular comic series of the same name by Robert Kirkman.
'It ('The Americans') was my breakout role. People know that I speak English now. That's exciting,' Mahendru told PTI in a Zoom roundtable interview.
Set in a post-apocalypse Nebraska, 'World Beyond' features four teenage protagonists and focuses on 'the first generation to come-of-age in the apocalypse as we know it'.
The 31-year-old actor is set to play Huck, one of the members of the older generation trying to handhold the new crop as they make their way into the big, bad world.
The 10-episode series, set to premiere on Amazon Prime Video from October 2 in India, also stars Nico Tortorella, Aliyah Royale, Hal Cumpston, Alexa Mansour, and Nicolas Cantu.
'Kids are really affected by things and you really feel that in 'World Beyond'. Hopefully, the kids can make some light of it because otherwise they'll build destructive patterns to protect themselves, to get through. Nico and I are there to help them see the light and make good choices, overcome their experiences.' As the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, Mahendru said, it was her character that helped her deal with the current situation.
'Huck is the definition of cool. Her attitude is incredible. She's very driven but she doesn't push or force anybody with her beliefs and passions. She's so chill about it that it's unbelievable. It helped me deal with (the situation) now. Stress is the ultimate killer, if we can get a grip on that, we'll be alright.' The actor said she saw the most dedicated crew on the sets of 'World Beyond'.
'I've never seen a more involved and interested crew in what's happening on set. When you show up on set, it's like 200 per cent. Everyone is so into it, gives it their all. You're just walking in this alternate reality. Nothing breaks you out of it,' she said.
Mahendru, who also has comedy series '2 Broke Girls', 'Mike & Molly', and crime drama 'The Blacklist' to her credit, said working on the upcoming AMC series with an ensemble cast was a 'whole new experience'.
'It's a big show, it's got a big cast but it's very intimate at the same time. So there is a lot of movement. The camera is in your face, your soul. So that's been a big transition for me.
'You're in this whole new world, protecting each other, swinging weapons in literally every way. You're really alive, like you're surviving in a whole different way.' Asked why zombie horror continues to be an appealing device of storytelling, the actor said the genre highlights the potential in human beings.
'There is a monster within us, there is an angel too. When you look at that, (I think) I could be that. That could be very much in me in some form of expression. It just makes you more aware of possibilities and your responsibilities in this world,' she added. PTI RDS RDS BK BK