‘Walking Dead: World Beyond’ Star Aliyah Royale Says Her Character Has Something In Common with Negan

The Walking Dead: World Beyond introduced viewers to a new generation of zombie fighters. Iris (Aliyah Royale), Hope (Alexa Mansour), Silas (Hal Cumpston) and Elton (Nicolas Cantu) set out from Campus Colony to find Hope and Iris’s scientist father. They’re armed too, with handheld weapons that make them fierce zombie fighters.

Walking Dead: World Beyond - Aliyah Royale
Aliyah Royale | Sarah Shatz/AMC

Royale spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet by phone before the premiere of Walking Dead: World Beyond. They do take after the original series’ characters in some ways. The Walking Dead: World Beyond airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on AMC.

Naming weapons is a ‘Walking Dead’ tradition that continues in ‘World Beyond’

Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) famously named his barbed wire baseball bad Lucille. The kids of Walking Dead: World Beyond name and personalize their weapons too. Iris named hers Shiloh.

Walking Dead: World Beyond cast
L-R: Hal Cumpston, Aliyah Royale, Alexa Mansour and Nicolas Cantu | Jojo Whilden/AMC

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“They’re these long metal rods that have a blade at the end,” Royale said. “Instead of a blade, because mine was sort of makeshift, her top is a triceratops horn. She’s super badass. That’s my favorite weapon on the show. I always feel like a warrior the second she’s in my hands. I’m always ready for battle.”

Aliyah Royale had to train hard for ‘Walking Dead: World Beyond’

Before she learned how to wield Shiloh, Royale went through the basics of Walking Dead fight training. 

“The moments we landed in Virginia, for at least a week straight, we were doing four hours of combat training a day,” Royale said. “Just working with the stunt coordinators on hand to hand combat, working with weapons since we didn’t have our character weapons yet. So working with batons, rods, makeshift machete type of weapons. It was intense.”

Part of the Walking Dead: World Beyond training was just building up enough stamina to continue training and filming.

Aliyah Royale: Walking Dead World Beyond
Aliyah Royale | Zach Dilgard/AMC

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“We did a whole lot of sweating,” Royale said. “I had to stop loading up on the cheeseburgers for the moment. The Walking Dead requires a lot of physicality and I had no idea how intense it would be but it was an amazing experience. I’ve never done stunts before and I think this show is a great introduction to that. I felt like a total badass. I really did.”

Iris is going to get better at killing walkers

When Iris first encounters walkers, or empties as the Walking Dead: World Beyond generation calls them, it takes a lot longer for her to handle it than her adult counterparts. The Campus Colony trained students to fight, but Royale said Iris will have a learning curve. 

Walking Dead: World Beyond Iris
Aliyah Royale | Zach Dilgard/AMC

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“Iris starts off trying to remember how she learned to kill or avoid walkers from Campus Colony, but when you’re in the field, it’s a different kind of story,” Royale said. “It’s different when you’re facing the dead eye to eye, falling flesh and all. It starts off really tricky and less refined but as the show goes on, you’ll see. We all become really incredible warriors.”