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Walker's Keegan Allen On Liam's Grittier Storyline, LGBTQ+ Representation, And Jared Padalecki - Exclusive Interview

This article contains mild spoilers for upcoming episodes of "Walker."

"Walker" Season 2 started out with a bang in October, and in just six episodes of the second season, everything has changed for our favorite Texas ranger and his family. Lindsey Morgan's departure from the show as Micki left things up in the air at the end of the first half of the season. Now, the show is returning to address the Micki-sized elephant in the room: "Where do we go from here?"

Well, we know that one character, in particular, is walking a tightrope of bad decision-making. Episode 2.06 leaves Liam (Keegan Allen) in a pretty dicey situation, having just filed a false police report, and Cordell (Jared Padalecki) is left to pick up the pieces. Up until this point, the "Pretty Little Liars" alum and "Follow Me" star has played a relatively by-the-book character on "Walker." However, it seems like all of that's about to change in the second half of the season. 

During an exclusive interview with Looper, Keegan Allen dished on Liam's darker character arc, ad-libbing on the "Walker" set, and working with prankster extraordinaire Jared Padalecki. He also teased the return of a familiar face and opened up about the impact of playing an LGBTQ+ character on TV. Allen also noted which "Pretty Little Liars" actor he wants to appear in "Walker."

Dealing with Micki's absence

How do you think Micki's absence will affect the show as a whole, and can we expect Walker to lone-wolf it, or is there a possibility of him partnering up?

First of all, I can genuinely say I love Lindsey [Morgan] so much. She is such a talented, tremendous force that she needed to do whatever she needed to do for herself. We support her and love her so much. Personally, I love her and support her forever with whatever she needs. And so, of course, her leaving was very sad, but [we] very much support her in doing what she needed to do. And I don't know. I don't know really what's [in] the future. It's almost impossible to replicate something like that, but I do know that we are all moving forward and missing her very much, but respectful of her doing what she needed to do.

Liam's dark descent

Up until this season, your character has been the laced-up guy the Walker family can always count on, but now he's throwing punches and submitting false police reports. What has it been like getting to play this unhinged version of Liam, and can we expect him to keep going down this darker path of obsession?

[Laughs] The darker path of obsession. You know, we are getting to see the seismic effects that ruminate the rest of the season from his choices, and Liam, like you said, has always been a very tight, fully self-aware character. We're getting to see what happens when that falls apart — not only within himself and what happens with his career, but with his family, his friends, and his closest relationships, and also how he sees himself. We get to explore that, and the writers have done an amazing, I want to say "immaculate" job at showing what actually happens.

It is a concatenation of events, but as the dominoes fall, [we see] how each thing affects another and the relationship [between] Cordell and Liam. Last season, it was Liam pulling Cordell up from the darkness and being there to hold the family together by the bootstraps. Now, it's beyond the opposite, and so we get to see that dynamic as well. It is wonderful, as an actor, to be able to play a spectrum like that in a character that is so self-aware for him to lose that self-awareness and break his Matrix — his simulation of what he believes is right and wrong, and also to question himself [on] why he's done it. It's a wonderful journey, and the writers have done a really, really exciting job of telling it.

The one that got away

We haven't heard from Brett in a minute. Do you think that chapter of Liam's life is closed, or is there a chance we might see these two together in the future? And is that something that you want for your character?

[I] love Alex Landi ...  He's honestly amazing. In [2.07], Brett does come back to ... we'll see what happens. Do they reconcile? Does something happen? But I think it's a wonderful couple of scenes that happen. It does move that storyline forward in a very, very interesting way — especially just because Liam is trying to figure out so much of his identity in his career and his family and with his choices that he's made. 

I mean, we've all made mistakes in our lives where we go, "Why did I do [that?] What have I done? Why did I do that?" Right? Liam is very much involved in that self-reflection and Brett coming back, I think, aids and also ... maybe hinders his reaction to what he's done, but again, we'll see how much that interaction enforces something in the future.

The importance of positive LGBTQ+ representation

That's exciting. In that vein, I really love that "Walker" takes a more progressive spin than its predecessor. How has it felt to be a part of bringing this Texas story into modern times by playing an accepted and loved gay character instead of the typical doom and gloom angles that [are] often [the] focus of LGBTQ+ relationships on TV?

[With] "Walker," playing this character and being part of this universe, I think it's so important that this is just life. We are living in the 21st century. We are experiencing life as it is. And one of my favorite things about this show in particular and this character is that it doesn't need to highlight anything like that. It's just life, and that's so beautiful to me because growing up, I grew up in West Hollywood, and I never knew that anything was anything. It just was life. 

Seeing that now we're in the heart of Texas, that it is as it is, is just so wonderful to me because it is as it should be. It feels like the flow of life is just the way it is. And I love that. It's beautiful. It's a wonderful character. I enjoy every second of being this character, and I also want to point out that I love that the family loves him. That's so wonderful as he is, and as he comes, he's just accepted and loved and it should be as it should be, you know?

Chilling with Jared Padalecki

As Jared Padalecki's onscreen brother, you spend a lot of time filming with him. What have been some of your favorite moments with him both on and off the screen?

You know, probably one of my favorite moments is in [2.07]. It was just a real moment. I feel like every time that I work with Jared, it doesn't feel like we're shooting a television show sometimes. It just feels like he's always been my family. It's such a strange ... I don't know if it's just Jared hypnotizing me with his super handsome looks and his beautiful eyes. I don't know what it is. 

No, but I know what it is. Jared is just an incredibly warm, welcoming, almost family-feeling with everyone that he meets. But some of these scenes that are coming up in [2.07], I mean, Jared is able to really reach inside of my character's heart, and [mine] too, and pull out these just wonderfully emotional and really deep, real moments. There's a heart-to-heart that's coming up in, I believe in 2.06. Is it 2.06 or 2.07?

I think it's 2.07.

There's a wonderful heart-to-heart that's coming up, but at this point it's even more interesting when the brothers have family consternation or consternation amongst them [that creates] some sort of a barrier between them because family is forever and everybody that has siblings. I'm an only child. I can say that I have friends that feel like sibling and family fights, man, they fight, but they always find a way back. It's interesting to see that fight and how something that Liam did that affects his career also affects his brother, which also affects his family. 

Seeing how Jared or rather Cordell deals with this as the older brother, as the sibling that Liam looks up to, even though Liam has been helping him the last, however long we've known. It's interesting to see that dynamic shift very, very quickly. There [are] a couple of scenes coming up where Liam has to return to that and see how Cordell deals with it, and it's really interesting. Jared's choices are always so interesting as an actor. It's wonderful.

Ad-libbing with the best

Can you think of any moments where either of you broke on set or ad-libbed any scenes, improvised, anything like that?

Yeah, tons. We're loose cannons. Whenever I work with Jared, I mean, we have ... There's a scene coming up where I'm eating breakfast tacos, and we just get competitive, and it's just ridiculous. There's no reason to do these things, but we are just competitive and ate like 16 tacos in a take. It was nuts. It will probably never see the light of day, but lots of improvisation, always follows very closely to Anna Fricke, Seamus [Kevin Fahey], Steve Robin — following very closely to the lords of this show and the writers and the directors and their visions. It's wonderful because once there is that collaboration, the creative collaboration of the show is just so, so vast. We can paint outside the lines very, very easily because of how much freedom we have within our character's range. Lots of that has been happening, and it's very freeing as an actor to have that.

Can you think of any moments that made it to the final product?

I think there [were] a couple in, I don't know if it stayed, 2.06, playing like inebriated and I was just getting into it, I was like flowing, and I said something like, "A peppermint woo woo." It was just a joke, but it became this big deal on set. It was funny, and so the sound people made a peppermint woo woo. They made it, like the props, they made it, and then we hid it as an Easter egg throughout the season now.

It's just the candy bar. It says, "Peppermint Woo Woo." I don't know why that happened. It was just an improv thing that went out of hand, and I think it made it to the final. I don't know, maybe it did. I think it did make it through to the final episode, which is just so funny.

Jared Padalecki: Most likely to prank his co-stars

Jared is known as a bit of a prankster, but it seems like he spared many of his Walker co-stars. Have you been on the receiving end of any of that?

Not me. What? Spared?

He spared Molly [Hagan].

There's no sparing.

[Laughs.] Molly got spared, at least as of last season.

I don't know about that. He's a prankster. He's funny though. He knows how to just stitch in pranks, because if I did it, I would be in so much trouble, or everybody would just look at me, because he's so charming ... He's just so funny. His pranks are great ... I don't know, you have to see. There's a gag reel that's really great. If you guys get the DVD, there's a gag reel at the end of the DVD. It encompasses all of "Walker" and why some scenes are so hard, and I always get really worried when they're really serious scenes. If they're with Jared, I'm just like, I give him the look like, "Please not on my coverage because I won't be able to do it."

I'll try and keep it together. [There are] times where I'm like, "Okay, I got this. I could keep it together." But Jared's been doing this for so long. He's done 300+ episodes of television. He knows how to, he can throw little nuclear bombs and keep it together and then just look at you like, "Come on, man. What's wrong?" I'm like, "Dude, come on, help." So, he's a great prankster. He's so fun. What a fun guy. I just love him. I actually look forward to working with him because I like to see what's next with what he's going to do.

A hard pill to swallow

What has been your favorite prank or the one that caught you the most off guard?

Oh, gosh. You know, the props department did something really funny recently. They gave me this little ... There's, in scripts as an actor, they'll have [notes like] "This is a very hard pill to swallow for Liam." Well, Scott in props, he has [this] little TikTok/Instagram reels page where he does these ... they're the best puns on earth. He is so funny, and I highly suggest you follow him. They came up to me, and they said, "Here, you're going to probably need this for the scene." And it was just Altoids like mints, but it said, "Hard pill to swallow."

It really was way too funny. I don't know why, but I could barely keep it together. That was fun. And also, there was a scene in 2.06 with Coby Bell. Coby and I, we are straight as an arrow with scenes. We don't break, but there was just something about shooting that day where we just thought it was the funniest thing ever — couldn't stop laughing. So, I don't know. Sometimes it's just little things, like not being able to make eye contact. And then you're just like, "Oh, here we go."

Shooting with the Walker fam

"Walker" has an incredible cast and a slew of compelling characters. Is there an actor from the show that you haven't worked with much or at all that you'd love some scenes with or a character you think that Liam should interact more with?

I love working with Mitch [Pileggi]. I love working with Molly. I didn't really get too many scenes yet with Jeff Pierre, but I do have a couple that are coming up, and I've been rehearsing with him and working with him, and he is so delightful and so charming. Oh my gosh. I just adore him. He is slowly becoming one of my best friends — not slowly, at an accelerated rate. We have so many common interests, and he is just so fun. He's such a great, great actor to work with — so wonderful. 

Getting to work with Kale [Culley] and, I almost called her Stella, Violet [Brinson], is really, really wonderful. I'm so deep in the world, but I really, really love working with the kids too. I'd love to have more scenes with them, but yeah, I think, you can keep pushing Liam around in that sandbox to each character. I really love working with everybody and having the time with them is really, really special. They're all such wonderful, wonderful people.

Pretty Little Liars meets Walker?

You starred in "Pretty Little Liars" for seven years. Is there someone from that show that you'd like to see on "Walker"?

Gosh, that's a good question that no one has asked me yet. I don't know. Someone that instantly comes to mind is a very rugged individual, and I just genuinely love so much. I mean, I love all of them. They're all my family, "Pretty Little Liars." My family. I feel like Ian Harding would be fun because he's gotten very rugged over the years. He's an ornithologist by I trade, so he could come out here and help me figure out some Texas birds.

Honestly, anybody from the show I feel could live in the "Walker" universe very comfortably. They're all incredible actors, and even though we know them in certain roles, they're stamped with certain characters. All the actors from "PLL" — they're so versatile, and they're so talented. They could live in the "Walker" universe or any universe, for that matter, quite comfortably.

The original sin

What are some of your favorite memories working with that cast, and would you be down to appear in "Original Sin" if the writers figured out a way to make it happen?

Yeah. You have to understand, I'm a huge fan of "Pretty Little Liars." I was a huge fan of it, moreso over quarantine. I watched the show for the first time through, and I was like, "Oh, I get it now. Like I understand. Okay. I get it." I understand why people really enjoyed it. So honestly, anything "Pretty Little Liars," I love, and I hope it continues to be a fun staple of that teen drama sort of weird ... it's an interesting spectrum of horror, teen, romance and then, "Ravenswood" was, all this stuff with "Pretty Little Liars" [is] so interesting and heightened drama. It's such a wonderful, cool thing. I'm a fan, so, of course I'm always like, "Yeah, yeah, of course, me, pick me." If they were able to figure it out.

"Walker" returns to The CW on Thursday, January 13, with new episodes airing Thursday nights and streaming on The CW website the next day.