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The Surprising Walking Dead: World Beyond Scene That Terrified Aliyah Royale

There is no shortage of terrors in the apocalyptic world that is home to all the shows in The Walking Dead franchise. From the shambling walkers whose bite is a death sentence, to the survivors whose morality has been warped by their instinctual need to survive at any cost, deadly perils await survivors around every turn. While the humans might spark a certain kind of fear due to their cunning, the vast number of walkers and their mindless desire to rip apart any living thing, and feed on its flesh, are hard to top.

So chilling are The Walking Dead's take on zombies that before Aliyah Royale joined the franchise as the co-star of The Walking Dead: World Beyond, she avoided watching the prior TV shows altogether. During an interview with Looper, she revealed that she considers the creatures "possibly the most terrifying creature to have ever been created," and that the first time she saw a group of extras in full walker getup she instinctively ran for a hiding place.

However, while the mere sight of the shambling undead might have triggered Royale's fight or flight reflexes, she also encountered other non-zombie related terrifying moments on the set of the spin-off series, which just concluded its first season. During a recent interview, the actress shared one unexpected moment from filming that really freaked her out.

Iris' driving lesson was also new for Royale...

While speaking with CBR about the finale of World Beyond, Royale was asked about a specific scene she shared with Felix (Nico Tortorella), a bodyguard and older-brother figure to sisters Iris and Hope (Alexa Mansour). After discovering that not only have Hope and Huck (Annet Mahendru) abandoned them in the night, but that Huck is a double agent who tried to sabotage their trip by hiding supplies they needed to fix a truck they'd been using, Iris and Felix make the needed repairs and hit the road. There is one other hitch to their plan. The truck has manual transmission, and Felix has a leg wound that prevents him from operating the clutch on the massive rig. That means Iris is going to have to learn how to drive a stick shift on the fly.

Anyone who has ever learned to drive stick can likely relate to the ensuing scene of the truck jerking and bucking while Iris attempts to get a handle on the complicated routine. According to Royale, the scene wasn't just a sweet moment of bonding between her and Felix, it was also pretty scary. The actress told CBR, "I was actually terrified. Driving stick is something I have never done and never thought I would do, at least not in a vehicle that large."

Do we think that's scarier than encountering a real-life hoard of walkers? Although the former feels tame in comparison, when you consider that the latter is nothing more than a group of actors in makeup and costumes milling around until they can take lunch, it ups the terror factor of driving an actual military-style truck when you have no experience.

...but both she and her character overcame their fears

While Royale might have been terrified of learning to drive stick, based on how she views Iris' arc through the season, it seems like she believes her character felt like she had a handle on the situation. Needing to switch things up at the last minute and take on an intimidating task herself is something that might have scared Iris when she was a bookworm living in the lap of post-apocalypse luxury in the Campus Colony. But after her cross-country trip, Royale says that Iris feels empowered to take on challenges, even if they feel intimidating.

During an interview with Screen Rant, Royale said of Iris, "I think she's grieved a lot this season, and she's also grown in a way where she really has nothing left to lose at this point."

For Royale, that translates to an embrace of dealing with the difficult stuff, rather than constantly trying to run from it. She said, "I think it started out really scary [...] And I think she's at a point where she does not want to be afraid anymore. And it's easier for her to just make decisions. It's easier for her to get things done, you know, get back to business."

The actress then went on to clarify, "She's always been about her business, but instead of in like a political way or a people pleaser way this is about her just doing her in the apocalypse. And I appreciate that."

And business will likely be booming for Iris, now that she can add "Drives a stick shift" to her resume.