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Tara Actor Alanna Masterson Learned Of Her TWD Casting Through A Cruel Prank Call

"The Walking Dead's" Alanna Masterson began her professional career portraying a young Colleen Carlton in a pair of episodes of "The Young and the Restless" in 1994. But Masterson's most prolific work came from playing the role of Tara Chambler on AMC's "The Walking Dead." Tara first appears in Season 4, Episode 6, "Live Bait," and the character remained an integral part of the series for six years.

Sadly, Tara was one of the many unfortunates who did not survive the post-apocalyptic world, and she succumbs to Alpha's (Samantha Morton) wrath in Season 9. But Masterson did appreciate the way her character's death played out. "It was kind of tight getting my head cut off," Masterson said during an on-stage interview at 2021's Steel City Con (via Fandom Spotlite). While Masterson thought Tara's head stuck on a pike was cool, the actor freaked out while having her head cast made by the special effects team.

"Straws in your nose, and you're like... you're halfway through it," Masterson told the crowd at Steel City Con. "You're fine for like the first hour, and then the next 30 minutes is when they put on the hard plaster ... And that's when you start to go, 'Oh, my god. They're going to leave me in here to die.'" Years prior to the actor enduring the claustrophobic process of creating the severed-head special effect, Masterson experienced an equally terrifying moment following her audition for "The Walking Dead."

Masterson's brother tricked her

Alanna Masterson suited up as Tara for the final time in Season 9 of "The Walking Dead." During the fifteenth episode titled "The Calm Before," the Kingdom hosts a fair, but the leader of the Whisperers, Alpha (Samantha Morton), has had enough. As a result, Alpha graphically marks the boundaries of her lands using pikes topped with the severed heads of those who should have been celebrating! That's where Daryl (Norman Reedus), Michonne (Danai Gurira), Carol (Melissa McBride), and others in their small group find Tara's zombified remains.

The actor's final appearance on "TWD" was undeniably heartbreaking, but Masterson reminisced about the day her brother scared the hell out of the actor before booking the AMC gig. Masterson's sibling decided to have a little fun, and he duped his sister following her audition for "The Walking Dead." "The next day, my brother prank calls me," Masterson told Interview Magazine.

"He sounds really upset, almost crying," Masterson continued. "And he's like, 'I need to tell you something, something bad has happened. You booked The Walking Dead!' He was with my mom who is my manager, and they were screaming at the top of their lungs." Naturally, the actor freaked out, too. But, as it turns out, Masterson was also celebrating her 25th birthday. So, she got the best gift she could have possibly asked for. "The next day, I got on a plane and went straight to work," Masterson said.