‘The Walking Dead’ actor Austin Amelio previews life as a Savior: ‘It’s not easy for them at all’

It’s been two weeks since “The Walking Dead” viewers saw the Saviors haul off Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) after antagonist Negan killed two of his friends. But those waiting to find out what’s happened to their crossbow-wielding hero — and get a peek into what life is like for the Saviors — will finally get some answers in Sunday’s episode.

“It’s still very ‘survival of the fittest,'” teased Austin Amelio, who plays Savior Dwight, in a recent interview with CNN. “It’s not easy for them at all.”

Dwight, who first debuted as a character in Season 6, is a bit of an exception to the rule. As one of Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) top guys, he’s afforded certain freedoms. He gets to do what he wants, take what he wants and live comfortably.

The downside, of course, is that he’s given certain unsavory duties, some of which will come to light in the episode, titled “The Cell.”

“I think it absolutely weighs on him,” Amelio said of the trade-off. “Being under Negan’s rule is not all what it’s cracked up to be … I have to swallow my pride.”

Then there are Dwight’s scenes with beaten, battered and guilt-ridden Daryl.

The episode finds the normally gusto-filled Daryl at the mercy of his captors, including a man he once helped, Dwight. They share some high-intensity scenes that Amelio said were tough to film.

“It was not fun, not easy to do,” Amelio said. “Norman is one of my good buddies, so it totally sucked to see him in that emotional state.”

Amelio is prepared for the backlash he might receive after super fans of beloved character Daryl see how he’s treated by Dwight. But above all, he’s thankful that the episode allows them to dive deeper into Dwight as a person.

“It’s great because this season the layers of the onion are starting to peel off a little bit,” he said. “Dwight it a complex character and hopefully the audience members will get a better understanding of why he lives this way and the choices he makes and hopefully have a little more empathy for the character, which would be nice.”

He added: “I see [Dwight] as a guy who has to act one way and be a leader among all these Saviors and then I see another Dwight that has a lot of humanity. So that’s been a great lens for me to look through when I’m reading the scripts and as we go further in the season.”

“The Walking Dead” airs Sundays on AMC. New episodes are followed by after show, “The Talking Dead.”

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