Whatever Happened To Sarah Wayne Callies After The Walking Dead?

Let's go back to the early days of "The Walking Dead." Before the Whisperers, before the Hilltop, before Alexandria, before Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors, even before producers announced the very first spin-off in "Fear the Walking Dead."

The group of zombie apocalypse survivors looked very different then. A pre-disappearance Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) in charge. His son Carl (Chandler Riggs) was still learning what it meant to be responsible and to act with integrity while growing up after society's fall. Even Rick's duplicitous best friend Shane (John Bernthal) was around for most of these days.

So was Rick's wife, Lori. Played by Sarah Wayne Callies, her relationship with Rick is not always healthy. When Lori dies giving birth to their daughter Judith, Rick essentially refuses to speak to her, not just out of spite but out of sincere heartbreak and betrayal. Obviously, "The Walking Dead" was never precious about killing off sympathetic or beloved characters. What's more, previous episodes had informed us that there was a chance Lori would die in childbirth. In any event, we never see Lori again, either alive, dead, or undead. That's not to say, however, that we never see Sarah Wayne Callies again.

Sarah Wayne Callies finished off her stint on Prison Break

Other than "The Walking Dead," the TV series for which Sarah Wayne Callies is most recognized is "Prison Break." In fact, Callies was one of the very first actors cast. Her character, prison doctor Sara Tancredi — the daughter of Illinois Governor Frank Tancredi — not only helps Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) break out of Fox River State Penitentiary but becomes his love interest and eventually his wife.

The first four seasons of "Prison Break" had already aired well before "The Walking Dead" premiered, with most primary characters' arcs coming to a fitting conclusion, including Sara's. But in 2015, it was announced that a limited series was in development. Many of the central characters returned, including Callies' Sara Scofield. "It was a lot like a high school reunion," Callies said at SXSW. "There's all these people that you know and love, but you've lost touch because that's how life is. And then you come back and realize that you've all changed, and you have to get to know each other again. But there's still that kernel of who they were." 

She played Katie Bowman in Colony

In early 2016, USA Network premiered the sci-fi drama series "Colony." Part alien invasion tale, part military saga, the show told the story of a group of resistance fighters in the wake of the extraterrestrial colonization of Earth, in which the primary Big Bad isn't so much the alien race itself but the human collaborators serving them. Co-creators Carlton Cuse and Ryan Condal said that the story was inspired partly by the Nazi occupation of Paris during World War II. Sarah Wayne Callies was cast as Katie Bowman, owner of a Los Angeles bar and secret resistance operative.

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Callies also contrasted the challenges and enemies of "The Walking Dead" with those of "Colony," of messy and aimless zombie horde compared to a highly disciplined global military occupation. "The threat we were running from on the other show was a little nameless, faceless, and disorganized," she said. "On 'Colony,' what we're facing is a hyper-organized adversary that we'll never be able to outgun."

She's played an unfortunately named Mennonite on Letterkenny

Considering Sarah Wayne Callies' established penchant for the more dramatic genres — sci-fi, horror, suspense, and the like — it may be difficult to picture her in the idiosyncratically hilarious world of "Letterkenny." And though she is not part of the Hicks or the Skids or the other main cliques, she is in a memorable cohort, if only because her name is so unfortunate.

Popping up in occasional episodes of "Letterkenny" are the Dycks, a Mennonite family living near the titular Canadian town whose matriarch, Anita, is played by Sarah Wayne Callies. Though she is polite, traditional, and proper, and though her family, for the most part, gets along just fine with the surrounding community, Anita's name and those of her family are the butts of plenty of jokes.

Speaking with the A.V. Club, Callies said she was taken aback by how different it felt to do "Letterkenny" from most of her more serious fare. "I did a couple of episodes of 'Letterkenny,'" she recounted. "Like 'I need to do something fun.' So it's amazing. The first day on that set, I'm like, 'Wait a minute. This is what your job is like? I have been in the wrong part of this business the whole time.'"

Her directing career has taken off

Since leaving AMC's "The Walking Dead" in Season 3, Sarah Wayne Callies has also tried her hand at the intricate work set behind the camera. Her television directorial debut came in 2018 when she directed a Season 3 episode of the series "Colony." The following year, she directed one of eight episodes of the Canadian drama miniseries "Unspeakable," which told the story of Canada's tainted blood scandal in the 1980s. Callies also starred in the miniseries alongside Shawn Doyle, Michael Shanks, and Camille Sullivan. 

Callies also signed on to direct an episode of "TWD" spin-off "Fear the Walking Dead" in 2019, though she later had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts.

Though she had to, unfortunately, bow out, she has since gone on to direct three episodes of ABC's "The Good Doctor" and even an episode for the premiere season of "Fire Country."