I'm Tovah Feldshuh, I portray 'Deanna', the head of Alexandria on "The Walking Dead" and I'm also on "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" and "Flesh and Bone"

I've been on Broadway, I've made a few movies and have tussled with a few zombies...so Reddit I'll be back at 6PM EST in the meantime go ahead and ask me anything!

My Proof: https://twitter.com/TovahwithaV/status/668893326888837121

Edit: 7:14 PM EST To the 130 wonderful questioners, I thank you, for your time and your interest in my work and for your love of The Walking Dead, I'm hoping reddit will save these questions and maybe we can have a second session.

Comments: 171 • Responses: 20  • Date: 

junkyneedshelp45 karma

Great acting in The Walking Dead Tovah! If you could grow a beard as good as Rick would you?

tovahfeldshuh214 karma

I have a lovely beard, it's just not on my face.

bannejs32 karma

How did it feel when Andrew Lincoln held you in his arms ?

tovahfeldshuh45 karma

It always feels good, because I am the elder stateswoman of the cast, so I am fortunate to be hugged a lot. My biggest huggers are Norman and Andrew, and because of them, I started to hug everybody! There's such an abundance of love on that set, that it is beyond belief. I've never encountered anything like it, and it was informed me, should I ever lead a company again, how to do it better than ever because of what I learned from Andrew.

bettyellen23 karma

Are (or were) you really friends with my Mom's cousin, Kathleen Mc F______ (she was a NYC paralegal, perhaps for your lawyer)? (Edited name for her privacy)

tovahfeldshuh26 karma

Kathleen was my father's secretary, we remain close and she is a friend of our family. She was a great friend of my father and mother. She was at every birthday party, part of the inner-friendship circle.

bettyellen6 karma

WOW, it is true. (So many liars on my Mom's side of the family!) We have been out of touch for a long time, and I noticed you said was. OMG, has Kathleen passed away? Oh wait, you said remain close. sigh of relief

tovahfeldshuh14 karma

She absolutely didn't pass away! When my mother was widowed, she went to great lengths (taking two busses and two trains to visit my mother.) She also attended the funerals of both my parents. We love her.

scotty26918 karma

What was the atmosphere like with the cast and crew before a death sequence was shot?

tovahfeldshuh40 karma

Everybody showed up the see the work. People who weren't working that day. There were crowds of our community (actors and crew) who came to keep me company. Can you get kinder than that? I held my mother in my arms as she died, and her death informed my acting in episode 6:08. I really had the chance to explore what it means to die. What it means when it's the end of your parade. Thats one of the reasons the walking dead is number one, because we are all going to die, and this series explores what that can look like. TWD's familiarity with death gives us all permission to look at our own deaths with less fear. After all it's the next adventure.

wonderbrian15 karma

What's the most annoying habit of your favorite cast member on TWD?

tovahfeldshuh38 karma

Norman is a sniffer. Sometimes when he is on set he goes sniff, but his virtues far outweigh his odd little behavior tick.

Executer1315 karma

Great to have you here! What would the real you - Tovah Feldshuh - do to survive in a zombie apocalipse?

tovahfeldshuh19 karma

I would imbibe the virtues and the prowess of the most successful survivors, for example Rick. I’d watch him or watch Carol, or watch Michonne, and see how they do it, and then I would imitate it.

Executer134 karma

Thank you for your reply! I do believe that's a good plan. I don't think I would survive for long, though.

Your character, and your interpretation at TWD is great. Keep up the good work (whether at AMC's or anywhere else)! :)

tovahfeldshuh15 karma

Thank you, please watch tonight at 8:00 PM EST on the CW Channel Crazy-Ex Girlfriend. It's a wonderful part, and I don't die!

penfield10 karma

Tovah! Big fan ever since I first saw you in Kissing Jessica Stein! You had an immediately arresting energy, so memorable. Thank you so much for this AMA.

I cook for a living, so I'm curious: what is a go-to, rainy day comfort food for you? Thanks again!

tovahfeldshuh10 karma

My father came from an Austrian family, in the center of our table was corn bread, mustard, pickles, and sauerkraut. My parents loved frankfurters, so that is my secret partial home plate when I’m not eating at edamame and raw vegetables, and all those anti-oxidants that are so good for us. I also love pretzels, I’m actually eating some right now.

mochachill10 karma

How did you personally react to the "death" of Glenn?

tovahfeldshuh21 karma

When I read that script, my jaw dropped. It was like losing Lorrey or Hershal all over again. That kind of catastrophic death.

tex7570310 karma

I think you had the most dynamic character in this season. At times I couldn't stand Deanna, and other times I loved Deanna. How did you prepare for this role? What was your favorite thing about being a part of TWD? What did you hate the most?

tovahfeldshuh16 karma

I hate nothing, quickest path to happiness is gratitude. I was so grateful to be part of the show that had the largest watchership on the planet.

I prepared by studying other great stateswomen (notably Hillary Clinton) who has a mind like a steel trap. And by focusing on telling the truth, looking low and telling the truth. What does it mean to be alive under these circumstances. Deanna is very much like Hilary, community first.

When Carl doesn't betray Pete's older son (who wants to hurt Carl) you realise what it means to be a human being.

meowsicalchairs9 karma

Hi Tovah! What will you miss the most from being on the set of TWD? Also, what do you have planned next? :)

Side note: I really appreciate you doing this AMA. You seem to be really excited to connect with your & TWD's fan base and I just want to let you know that I think that is so refreshing and awesome!

tovahfeldshuh14 karma

What I will miss most is the extraordinary abundance of love that each of the TWD family member bears for one another.

What I plan to do next is to hopefully hang out as Rachel Blooms (Rebecca Bunch's) mother on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. It's extraordinary, you sing your inner thoughts, you break into song all the time! The series demands tremendous skill, musical as well as acting. That's what's so challenging about it. TWD demands so much skill because of the circumstances that we are in (surrounded by monsters intent on killing us!)

I loved doing musical comedy all my life, it was always my secret happy pill as a child. And to have the pleasure of singing to the country via the medium of television. It's a joy. I will keep preforming live because I love people so much, but my top goal is to be a core member of a huge hit series that goes on for at least 5 seasons. That's what I would like to do next. In the meantime, watch Crazy Ex-Girlfriend tonight on the CW Channel at 8:00 PM EST, and watch for my new nightclub act Aging Is Optional: ('Cause God I hope it is) when it comes to the west coast in 2016.

To the 130 wonderful questioners, I thank you, your time and your interest in my work and your love of The Walking Dead, I'm hoping reddit will save these questions and maybe we can have a second session.

fickle_floridian6 karma

Really enjoyed seeing you over the years on Law & Order, one of my favorite shows. Do you still have any contact with L&O cast members? And do you have any fun stories from your time on the set? Thanks! :-)

tovahfeldshuh10 karma

I have contact with Sam Waterston, the star of the show. Law and Order was serious business and I can only tell you that Sam was a gent. A friend of mine was dying of cancer at the time, and asked to meet him. I called him and told him the circumstances, and he said to come ahead and meet him right away.

My funny stories have to do with Crazy-Ex girlfriend. I am on tonight 8:00 pm on the CW. I play the role of the mother Crazy-Ex girlfriend, Naomi Bunch. It's quite hilarious, I sing a 5 page solo “Where’s the bathroom.”

burritoBandito1236 karma

What is your most memorable moment while on the set for The Walking Dead?

tovahfeldshuh28 karma

My son, in the show who survives, Spencer (Austin Nichols.) In the episode where I was bitten, though we don’t see me die, I learned definitively that his own mother was dying. She was 63 years old and a great athlete, so that was very rough on him as an actor. It was compelling to play his mother in the show, because he was losing his mother in the show, and in real life.

Attunement4 karma

Were you a fan of the show before joining TWD? if so what was it like transitioning from being a fan to cast member?

tovahfeldshuh28 karma

If I had watched the show before I had joined the cast, I definitely would have been a fan of the show. My demographic wasn’t really a target of the show, so I hadn’t actually watched it before I was asked to be on the cast. I live a dimensional full life, you want to live in the metaphor, not the literal. To me the walkers are ISIS, Ebola, HIV, Al Qaeda, and those elements that soak the planet in blood. The walkers are death animated. I think the reason the show thrives, is that we all know that we are all going to die, and the question is how are we going to face that moment, can we face it like a hero, or like a worm?

LetitiaTHELemon10 karma

That's such a poetic way of looking at the show. I love it!

tovahfeldshuh12 karma

When I accepted the job, I asked to see every episode, (seasons 1-4 plus the first 11 episodes of season 5.) I thought the acting was extraordinary and I hold myself as well as every other actor on The Walking Dead as a very lucky, lucky artist.

TheVulcanSalute3 karma

Hey! Loved your portrayal of Deanna! It was sad seeing you leave the Walking Dead. How big do you think the community would've changed if she made it through the walker assault? And, how do you think Spencer is going to change when he finds out his mother is gone?

tovahfeldshuh6 karma

I hope Spencer keeps developing his heroic side, and not the more selfish pragmatic side that stole the food from the pantry. All appendages are crossed by this mother, that my son will turn out to be mentsch and not a jerk.

ME246012 karma

I just want to say that you were fantastic in Pippin. Do you have any plans to return to the stage in the near future?

Also, was last night's line about Rick's beard ad-libbed, or was it part of the script?

tovahfeldshuh9 karma

Thank you so much! First of all I loved that job. I’m looking at a play now where I am playing a man (not a woman playing a man, just a man.) Its called Uyssle the Muscle, it's about a German prize fighter in pre-war german who was a favorite of Hitler’s. He came to the United States to fight, and America hated him until he was managed by a Russian-Jewish American citizen Max Schmelling. The last line in the play, Max says to the grave of Uyssle, “We both won Uyssle, we both won” because they were both dedicated to annihilating Nazism.

My nightclub act: Aging Is Optional ('Cause God I hope it is) is my only current foray on the stage.

LetitiaTHELemon2 karma

Hi Tovah, I absolutely ADORE you- you’re so beautiful and talented! Deanna is my favourite character on TWD, she’s brilliant and your portrayal of her is just perfect (Also liking to claim myself as Deanna’s number 1 fan!). Sorry, I just needed a moment to express my adoration for you! I have a couple of questions about the show that I’m hoping you can answer, which are: 1. When you first joined the show, how long did you think Deanna was going to be in it for, considering how different she is to Rick and his group? 2. Did you expect the character to change so much, and change the way she did, throughout season 6 because of the emotional turmoil she had been through during season 5? 3. How do you feel about Deanna’s death- as in the context behind it and whether it was the right time for her to go, or if you think she could have stayed a bit longer to develop and adapt to the situation better? (I bawled my eyes out watching it live at 2am, so heartbreaking!) And I also have a question about Walker Stalker. I don’t know if you’ve seen any of my many tweets (under the same username LetitiaTHELemon) requesting for you to attend Walker Stalker in London next February, I was just wondering if you can perhaps shed some light on this? I’ve been wondering and hoping for a while and I would LOVE to finally meet you in person, I even have a Deanna cosplay for the occasion! And did you see the video I tweeted to you earlier? I hope you liked it! Many thanks for taking the time to read my questions! I love you! <3 Letitia x

tovahfeldshuh3 karma

  1. My original contract was for no less than 12 episodes, so that's exactly what it's going to be. On the other hand, Scott Gimple is full of surprises. Many characters get flashbacks on the show, and I would love if that happened to Deanna, then I could revisit you all.

  2. That's the mark of a good writer, it's called the character mark. Most interesting characters, for example Carol, has a big character mark. Any change in a character is interesting. I started as a civilized politician believing in due process of the law, and ended as a samurai believing in swift justice for survival

  3. Of course.

  4. At the moment, not yet. Though I would love to go. I also speak fluent French, Spanish, and Italian, and would happy to attend any of those “Walker Stalker” conventions.

baddawg121 karma

You did an amazing job on TWD! :) My question is, in the zombie apocolypse, besides Rick, who would you want from TWD crew to be by your side?

tovahfeldshuh13 karma

Three people, Michonne, Daryl, and the head of special effects. I would choose the head of SFX because that's where the danger of the set lyes. Explosions, decoys, and camouflage are all things that he excels at. He is also a great shot.