TWD: World Beyond interview with star Nicolas Cantu on Elton’s evolution

Nicolas Cantu as Elton- The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC
Nicolas Cantu as Elton- The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC /

TWD: World Beyond season 2 is already off to a wild start, with huge revelations about the CRM and what they’re willing to do to anyone – or any communities – that stand in their way.

For Nicolas Cantu’s Elton, the journey has been eye-opening and every day yields new discoveries. I had a chance to talk with Cantu about season 2 episode 3’s “Exit Wounds.”

TWD: World Beyond star Nicolas Cantu on Elton’s growth – both physical and mental

Sarabeth Pollock: When we talked before the season started you’d mentioned how Elton has grown physically and you really see that growth in “Exit Wounds” when Elton and Percy are on the horse. You’re as tall as Ted Sutherland now!

Nicolas Cantu: True! Yeah, I mean when we had that year in between because of the pandemic, I grew a lot. So it’s like you’re watching a different dude now that he’s caught up to Percy height-wise.

Pollock: I think it’s so interesting to think of growth, both for you as an actor and Elton as a character. When he meets Asha and Dev he truly believes they’re good people. He has a feeling. That really sums up who Elton is, that he still has this beautiful trust in people and that good things are out there and good things will happen.

Cantu: Yeah, 100%. It’s just his faith in the world is still there. I think it’s because Elton is very realized internally. When you attack your problems internally instead of externally, you realize that you’re kind of the creator of your own reality. So when he’s so stable inside, these huge crazy things happen to them. I mean, he finds out his mom died, he finds out his friend [killed her]. Those are two crazy things. And because of how stable Elton is, he’s unwavering. He’s still got that wonder for the world. He’s still a good person. So it’s a testament to his character that he didn’t flip out.

Pollock: That makes it even more interesting to see Elton and Percy paired up, with Elton insisting that they do things the right way. If Percy hadn’t gone and pulled a Percy, things would have turned out okay.

Cantu: Yeah. But then we wouldn’t have that funny prank where [Asha and Dev] kidnap us and they take my suit and then I’m in pajamas. That wouldn’t have happened.

Pollock: That’s true. It’s just such an interesting juxtaposition to think that they have such different experiences and instincts, and Elton could be called naive in so many situations. And yet his instincts are absolutely right. That doesn’t always happen in the TWD Universe. Terminus looked pretty good, too, until they started eating people.

Cantu: I think Elton got lucky with the group of people he found. They knew he was friendly, so he was set right off the bat. But if Elton had that naivete and he ran into, I don’t know, evil Negan when he was in the middle of that killing spree and he was just a bad guy, I don’t know if Elton’s approach to survival would have worked out for him. So he definitely got lucky with the type of people he met up with.

Pollock: It’s interesting that Asha and Dev live at the artists colony because they have very different ways of thinking from Elton. Elton has a scientific mind and they’re looking at things very differently. 

Cantu: Yeah, the relationship that Asha and Elton have, you see it at the start of the episode when the scientific and the spiritual mind clash. And so as the season goes on you’re going to see that idea developed, and you’re going to see how these two characters interact with these very different philosophies.

Pollock: Elton had the same instinct with Silas, who was kind of presented to the audience as someone who might be a bad guy, but in the end it was the exact opposite. But Elton saw his good side right away. 

Cantu: Yeah, and it might be because he was with a set group of people that he’s like that. And he definitely sticks out in the apocalypse. Not everyone shares Elton’s openness for connection or his trust in people. And it’s a tough thing. It would be hard to live like Elton in an apocalypse. It definitely would be.

Pollock: It’s funny you put it that way, because if you think back to the early days of the pandemic there were people who wanted to share things like toilet paper when other people hoarded it. Elton is kind of a beacon of hope.

Cantu: Elton would share the toilet paper.

Next. TWD: World Beyond 203 live stream: How to watch. dark

I want to thank Nicolas Cantu for taking the time to chat with me about TWD: World Beyond episode 203!

You can catch new episodes of TWD: World Beyond every Sunday at 10pm ET/PT on AMC, and new episodes are available a week early on AMC+.