Angel Theory Revealed Which Character She Thinks Will Be The Last Standing On "The Walking Dead"
"I can't wait for everyone to see what's gonna happen next."
Even if you haven't been keeping up with The Walking Dead, Angel Theory is someone you should know. The 21-year-old actor is currently stealing hearts as Kelly on the long-running post-apocalyptic series, and also IRL. She recently logged onto Zoom with BuzzFeed to chat about the series, her new show Kinderfänger, and so much more.
🚨 Warning: Spoilers for The Walking Dead ahead. 🚨
1. What’s the last thing you searched for on Google?
The weather. We had a snowstorm out here [in New York City].
2. What was your most starstruck moment?
Danai Gurira. I met her on my first day of filming The Walking Dead. I don't know if she remembers this, but I fangirled a little bit. We walked past each other, and as I'm passing her I said, "Oh my god, I love you." It was so weird. [Laughs] Thinking about it now it's like, "Seriously?" But yeah, that was a starstruck moment.
3. Favorite behind-the-scenes memory with your Walking Dead cast mates?
When I got scared. My hearing aids were in and I don't think the director knew. He was pretending to be a walker to show everybody else what was going to happen and he came behind me. He didn't realize he was doing that directly in my amplifier. I was in the dark and I actually got scared, which was a really fun time.
4. Favorite scene or episode to shoot on The Walking Dead thus far?
My scene with the pig. I was sad because I was vegetarian at the time. I really didn't want to do that kill scene. But I love working with animals so it was a really good experience to do two things: I love being with animals and working on set.
5. What was your reaction when you found out that Lauren Ridloff's character, Connie, had survived and would be returning in the mid-season finale?
I knew she was gonna return. That's my sis. We also have a relationship off camera as well. As much as I was happy for the reason of her leaving, I was also sad, like, "Oh, we're gonna be away from each other for a while." I do think it gives us a really nice arc for the show, especially for our characters and the dynamic of their storylines. I can't wait for everyone to see what's gonna happen next.
6. When it’s all said and done, who do you think will be the last person standing on The Walking Dead?
Kelly! [Laughs] Honestly, I don't know. I would hope it would definitely be me, but we don't know what's gonna happen. I think that's the beauty of The Walking Dead. Just like normal life, you don't know what to expect. You can come into work and not know what's gonna happen until you read the script. So, [the ending is] going to be really interesting to see.
7. Tell us your favorite part about playing Olivia on your new show Kinderfänger?
My favorite part is being able to challenge myself. It was a challenge to put myself in a whole different world and try to be this character, and interpret her feelings as if they were my own. I'm [also] known for being the person that rocks hoodies and sweatpants. I'm a very comfortable person and didn't have that much experience wearing dresses [until now].
My other favorite part was being able to work with so many people who are genuinely nice and cool. Even Dmitrious [Bistrevsky] — who plays the Kinderfänger character — he's such a sweetheart and so mushy. I love it. It's hilarious when he's in the full Kinderfänger mask and outfit.
8. You’re also an executive producer on the show. What has it been like having that role while also starring in the show?
I'm proud of myself. I pride myself on being young and able to show, "Hey, I can put on these different hats if need be and do my best."
Starring in the lead role and also being a co-executive producer works very well together. I was able to put in my two cents on the storylines. I felt like some of it wasn't as relatable to my real life as a person who’s also hard of hearing.
9. Speaking of sharing ideas, what input did you have on shaping Olivia’s storyline as a deaf/hard of hearing character?
There was one part in the script, for example, where Olivia walks into her room and her phone vibrates on the bed, and that's what scares her. I had to tell them, "This wouldn't make sense. If my phone was on my bed and it vibrated, I totally wouldn't even know. When I get a notification or a call, it'll flash just in case it's not on me to feel it or I can't hear it directly connected to my hearing aids."
We were actually able to put that into the show. It worked perfectly because it helped with the scare factor — just like the flashing lights out of nowhere causing her to jump and be afraid.
The director and writers were so easy to work with when it came to giving them those ideas so the story can be realistic, and so that Olivia is not seen as a fictional character. She has a lot of dimensions to her that you can still watch and be like, "Well, I would probably do that too," or "Yeah, that's something that I've done as well."
10. What do you think the entertainment industry has gotten right when it comes to casting and working with people from the deaf/hard of hearing community?
From my experiences, everybody's been very open-minded and open-hearted. They've been understanding and they've taken the time to educate themselves instead of only relying on me to educate them. That's been very heartwarming for the simple fact that I don't ask for it. And I don't feel like it should be asked for, it's just nice when people do it.
Also, making sure that work events are accessible all the time, or making sure that everybody understands there's specific ways to communicate with someone that's hard of hearing and/or deaf. From what I've had to experience, everybody's been amazing at that. I haven't really had to experience anything negative so far.
11. Conversely, what is one thing you think the industry can do better?
There's a lot of assumptions when it comes to the hard of hearing and deaf community. I think that's natural. Even when it comes to the LGBTQ community, people assume what their experiences are because they've probably heard one story.
My needs and someone else who is hard of hearing or deaf might be different, depending on the person. Instead of assuming what a hard of hearing or deaf person's life is like, just ask, "How do you function throughout the day?" or "What makes it harder for you throughout your everyday life?" and "How can I get your attention?"
"Instead of assuming what a hard of hearing or deaf person's life is like, just ask."
Just basic questions allow room for us to explain it without feeling like, "Oh, you probably think that I can't understand something because I'm hard of hearing." I think that's something that can be improved on.
The most beautiful thing about that question is the fact that people are already having the thought process that there needs to be an improvement, which leaves us room to continuously grow together as people, and for this industry as well.
12. Name something on your bucket list?
I want to put my mom and my grandma in house. That's my bucket list.
13. Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
"It's not your disability, it's your superpower."
Well, of course, one that everyone already knows is the one that was also put into The Walking Dead. It was when my mom told me, "It's not your disability, it's your superpower." That changed my whole outlook on who I am and being able to accept myself, and become comfortable with saying out loud, "Hey, I'm hard of hearing."
My grandma also told me, "Remember to stay humble and grounded, because if you don't I'm gonna whoop your ass." [Laughs]
"Don't let everything outside change what makes [you] unique."
Honestly, that was perfect advice. This is an industry and lifestyle where you can easily get caught up in it and lose parts of yourself along the way. To have people who are in my corner let me know, "Hey, still be you. Still be that humble and grounded person, and don't let everything outside change what makes [you] unique." I feel like that was the best advice.
14. Hidden talent?
I can jam skate, like roller skating dance.
15. Is there a movie or show that people would be surprised to learn that you auditioned for?
Ghostbusters and Star Wars. I don't even think I could say which roles.
16. Guilty pleasure?
Cheese! Macaroni and cheese. Pizza. Everything cheese.
17. What is your go-to adult beverage?
Hennessy. I'm a New Yorker. Or wine, if I'm trying to be sophisticated.
18. Which emoji do you use the most and why?
The rose [🌹] emoji. I love roses and I give them to everybody that I love. So I use that all the time in my messages.
19. Who was your childhood celebrity crush?
20. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
My first audition and landing the role for Kelly on The Walking Dead. And, of course, graduating high school and stuff. Got to put that in there for grandma, as well.
21. If you could join the cast of any current TV show, which would you choose?
Anything superhero-related. I've always been such a tomboy. When I was younger, I loved Spider-Man. I am also fascinated with American Horror Story.
22. What's the absolute best thing about your job?
New experiences and working with different people from different countries. Learning about them and where they're from.
23. Dream superpower?
Invisibility. Just to be able to travel wherever I want and never be seen.
24. Favorite curse word?
Shit, or deadass! Like, "Are you deadass?"
25. What is something you've always wanted to learn how to do?
Fencing, which I'm trying to get into a little bit now. I feel like it's also the perfect COVID-19 sport, because you got the mask, the full guard, and everything.
26. Dogs or cats?
This is so unfair. I would say dogs because I'm allergic to cats, but I love cats too. So for the cat community: Don't come for my neck, OK? I love both!
27. Lastly, what do you hope for in 2021?
I hope everybody gets their shit together. [Laughs] Let's learn the life lessons that 2020 has shown us and take that into 2021. Let's learn from the mistakes. Let's learn together and be better for future generations. Let's stay focused on the things that are actually important and unite together as a people.