Last year, Nadine Marissa started her ongoing role of Nabila in the hugely successful series The Walking Dead, with the show recently finishing airing its eighth series, and she has now been announced as a guest for the Walker Stalker convention. Nadine previously appeared in a few episodes of Better Call Saul, the prequel of Breaking Bad, and she has completed work on a new film and recorded a voiceover for upcoming short film Blocked. We find out from Nadine about what it’s like on set of The Walking Dead, her role of Nabila and her time working on Better Call Saul.
You play the role of Nabila in popular series The Walking Dead, can you tell us about your character?
I am still learning about her. She is a member of the kingdom and over in the garden growing food. We haven’t really learned much about her past, but I hope we will learn more.
How are you finding your time filming for this role and what’s the experience like working on a massive hit series?
It is so much fun. I am truly fortunate to work with such a cast and crew. It really is the best time going to work with people you enjoy. I was in awe of the whole experience and the special effects. It is a fine-oiled machine. The production team is the best in the business and everyone works at the highest level of excellence.
What was the social media reaction like to you playing the first Muslim character in the show?
You know you will always have trolls that want to be disrespectful. Mostly, my experience has been positive and fans have been very welcoming to her. I feel honoured to represent her and all that comes with her. Another reason I love this show and the creators; they have created this world much like real life where people from all backgrounds can feel included.
How much time does it take to film one episode and where does filming take place?
It is really hard to answer this; I think it just depends on the episode. I am not really in the room where all that information is discussed. Google tells us it’s filmed in Georgia. I will agree; but to not accidentally spill anything “we can be anywhere, literally”.
How long does it take in makeup and costume before filming a scene?
I am one of the low-maintenance characters, so I don’t really need much time to go through hair and makeup, but I will tell you the show and the costume department did their research to make sure the hijab was wrapped correctly.
Would fans be surprised at how different a scene is filmed to seeing the final cut with special effects?
I don’t think so. Most of the scenes I have filmed were exactly how they appeared on television. For example, during the explosion in last year’s mid-season finale, there really was an explosion.
How different is it filming a series which uses special effects to ones that don’t?
It is very different; the time it takes to film a scene can be longer due to the special effects.
You have been announced as a guest at Walker Stalker, will this be your first time attending the convention and do you know what you will be doing there?
Walker Stalker will be my first convention, I am very excited. I am looking forward to meeting all of the fans. I will be signing autographs and meeting fans.
Had you watched Breaking Bad before being cast in the prequel series Better Call Saul and how did you feel when booking your role?
I had watched the show. My husband was a really big fan. I didn’t watch it a lot but I was familiar with the characters. I was really excited about doing the show. The character of Saul was so funny and I laughed so much on set, it was crazy.
Did you get chance to spend much time on set?
I am normally only on set when I am working a scene. The production is very private and I like being surprised along with the audience watching.
We understand you’ve also worked on short film Blocked, what can you tell us about it?
Blocked is a project that a friend of mine is doing. It is about an author dealing with her complicated life. I was able to do some voiceover work on this project.
How did you get into acting and what was your first role?
I am what you would call a theatre baby; I started acting at the age of nine. I was raised in a very supportive family. My first role was as Aunt Em in The Wiz. I spent much of my childhood dancing and singing in several camps and schools.
Has your career brought you over to the UK as yet?
It has not brought me overseas yet, but I have some things in the works that may make this possible sooner than later.
Are you filming anything at the moment that you can say about?
I just wrapped an independent movie called The Golden Voices. It is really exciting, it is starring Irma P. Hall.
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