Jenna Elfman Interview: Fear the Walking Dead

In an interview with Screen Rant, Fear the Walking Dead actress Jenna Elfman talks about the latest episode of the AMC series, the repercussions of what happened between her character and Virginia (Colby Minifie), and more.

In Fear the Walking Dead season 6, episode 6, tiled “Bury Her Next to Jasper’s Leg”, it’s revealed that Virginia has Jenna Elfman’s June working as a doctor for the Pioneers. During a crisis at Paradise Ridge, June is put in a situation where Virginia’s life is in her hands when the latter is bitten on the hand by a zombie. Instead of letting the villain die, June saves her, and will apparently be rewarded with a hospital. While June now has what she wants from the Pioneers, her situation with her husband John (Garrett Dillahunt) has taken a bad turn. Following a disagreement about whether or not they should stay with Virginia, John has left Lawton. Here’s what Jenna Elfman had to say about the events of the episode and what it means for the characters.

One interesting thing about season 6 is that it allows for more focus on individual characters. What was it like for you to have June take the spotlight in this one?

I think there’s so much deep and meaningful story to tell with each of these characters. I think it’s a great opportunity for all the characters to have an episode where you can let the audience into their soul and let the audience commit and involve and really deeply understand their mental and emotional journey throughout the season, so I love that it was centered around June’s core purpose and I love that I got to do scenes with Colby [Minifie], where it’s two strong women and the conflict about what they both believe in from their both points of view and how they navigate those choices, and the vulnerability of June not knowing what’s going on with John. He won’t tell her and it’s a real problem also for her with John because she has her purpose and her goal. She wants to be in alignment with him, and he’s just this broken part of a cog and he won’t tell us. You can’t have a team if you don’t know what the other team members are thinking, so it’s just this really vulnerable situation for June but she’s still committed to her purpose of helping others and I loved seeing all of that come to life.

In the beginning, June was clearly unhappy about the way things were going but had a change of heart when she realized that she was going to get the hospital. What does the hospital mean to June?

It consolidates and strengthens the thing that keeps her sane, which is her purpose, which is to save lives and help people. That’s her value in this world, and that was her goal and purpose before the apocalypse. So that’s really anchoring for her to be able to continue to do what her purpose is in this world. And I think she’s so frustrated with how Ginny’s been running it and it’s like were getting the people too late, there’s not enough resources to help the amount of people that I can help if I have the resources, if Ginny would just let it flow. But that’s not Ginny’s intentions. So there’s a real conflict of purpose there. Ginny’s purpose is to control, and June’s purpose is to help. And so those aren’t really aligning with how its being structured and that’s maddening for June. So I think that getting the hospital I get to say how we run things and how we’re going to do it, and I think June feels like she can have some actual productivity.

Does this mean that she may start to believe in what Virginia is trying to build now?

I think June is smarter than that, and I think June knows that they are not aligned in their intentions. And I don’t think June is going to fall for anything that Ginny says or does. I think she knows she has to watch her back. I think when you save someone’s life, she knows she’s got a little leverage, but I don’t think she’s falling for anything.

June could have solved a lot of their problems by letting Virginia die, but she doesn’t. Is this going to have an impact on her relationships with the other characters going forward?

I think it’s going to be very obvious. I don’t want to hint or touch upon that, I just want you to see how that will play out.

Do you think June saved Virginia because it was the right thing to do, because she connected with her on some level, or just because she wanted the hospital?

I think it’s both, but there is that soft spot where I think there was a connection when Ginny says you don’t know what it’s like to want to help someone so much and feel like you’re not able to help them. Like that was June’s whole relationship with her daughter, and losing her daughter and having the entire FEMA shelter fall apart. It’s June’s guilt and everything that she wants to make up for, and everything that she does, and then not being able to help John, and to care about someone so much and not be able to help them…it’s maddening. If you think about it in your own personal life, when you care about someone and you try to help them and you can’t, it will make you go insane. It’s the most frustrating, upsetting experience. And June knows that feeling both with her daughter and with her husband. So I think that was kind of a win-win in a way because she empathized with her and that was her way of showing some mercy, but also it gives her leverage. That’s important right now. It’s hard to have leverage over Virginia. She controls everything. If you save someone’s life, that’s probably like top-leverage, I think.

The group being split up allows for interactions with characters who never really got a lot of screen-time together. What can you tease about what the season 6 has in store for June in terms of who she may be sharing scenes with?

I can’t hint at anything like that, but I will say what I’m exciting about is the change that takes place in each one of these characters because of what they’re butting up against with Virginia and I’m so exciting about the cataclysmic change that every character is going to go through, and I think that’s going to be really dynamic.

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