When Alanna Masterson joined the cast of The Walking Dead, she was so obscure no one had made a Wikipedia entry for her yet. Coming from a family of actorsher brother Christopher was Francis on Malcolm in the Middle, and her brother Danny was Stephen Hyde on That 70's Show—it was only a matter of time until she would make her own mark in the family business. Not surprisingly, Masterson seems to share her siblings' gift for comedic timing, even if her portrayal of Tara Chambler doesn't provide her with many opportunities for humor.

You got dropped into the middle of some intense stuff with those Governor episodes in season four. Those standalone episodes were pretty unique in the history of the show.

Yeah. It was interesting. I read the sides, which are the audition papers that you have, and I got to work two days later [after being hired]. I literally flew out the next day. Then I had scene after scene after scene, and I had no idea that this was literally a standalone episode with me, my sister, the Governor, and my niece. It was crazy. I had no idea that was how it was going to be. Then I had two more episodes without ever meeting anyone until [episode] eight. Even in eight, I didn't get to work with anyone, because I was on the other side of the fence [at the prison]. But I'm happy I got those standalone episodes, because there are so many of us [on the show]. It was nice to have a lot to do.

What were your first impressions of the Tara character?

Well, she's ever-evolving. I love that she was the first gay character on AMC, because a lot of people watch the show, and there are a lot of open-minded people and close-minded people. I think it's good that we address everything that is real in the world and not exclude certain things. I love it, because that's how it would be in this world. And I slowly but surely add to her and build her and make her more dynamic. She was going through the loss of her family in season four, and now she has a new family to protect.