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Fear the Walking Dead: Ruben Blades opens up about Daniel’s struggle

Ruben Blades attends AMC's "Fear The Walking Dead" Season 2 Premiere held at Cinemark Playa Vista
Ruben Blades portrays Daniel Salazar in AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead. Pic credit: ©ImageCollect.com/Admedia

Daniel Salazar came to a devastating realization in Episode 10 of Fear the Walking Dead Season 6. While trying to protect Morgan’s (Lennie James) new community, Daniel came to the realization that he was the one behind the myriad of events occurring.

Initially, everyone thought a new, as yet unnamed group, were causing problems such as an explosion and the subsequent theft of their weapons.

However, by the end of the episode, it was revealed that Daniel was actually suffering from a mental episode that saw him sabotaging his own community. Until he spoke to June (Jenna Elfman), he was unaware that he was even doing this.

Now, the actor who plays Daniel, Ruben Blades, has spoken out about Daniel’s mental breakdown.

Ruben Blades needed to understand Daniel’s motivation

Speaking to CinemaBlend, Blades opened up about how he approached the episode and Daniel’s storyline.

“First of all, I had to understand where that was coming from, so then I can place it in the context of what I’m going to do and why,” Blades said.

He then went on to explain that Daniel’s actions in Episode 10 of Fear the Walking Dead were not dissimilar to him pretending to have amnesia while under the control of Virginia (Colby Minifie). However, the reasoning behind it was very different.

When with Virginia, it was a case of self-preservation. However, in this instance, Daniel was reacting this way out of a sense of potential loss to the people that he now considered himself to be close to.

Of course, Daniel also does not seem to be aware that he does not remember everything until the very end of the episode, which is, again, entirely different from the first time he lost his memory.

Mercedes Mason as Ofelia and Ruben Blades as Daniel Salazar, as seen in Episode 6 of AMC's Fear the Walking Dead Season 1
Mercedes Mason as Ofelia and Ruben Blades as Daniel Salazar, as seen in Episode 6 of Fear the Walking Dead Season 1. Pic credit: AMC/Justina Mintz

This is not the first time Daniel has struggled emotionally

Over the entire run of Fear the Walking Dead, Daniel has struggled. While originally a man who did terrible things in his home country, he now struggles to grapple with the terrible things he has done since the undead took over.

Blades also discussed how he used the loss of Daniel’s daughter, Ofelia (Mercedes Mason), for direction in the latest installment of the zombie apocalypse series.

“What helped me was that the background is similar to what happened to Daniel when he lost a grip with reality when Ophelia died, and with Griselda as well,” Blades explained.

“It’s like, I failed. I am the strong guy, I’m the guy who does this, I’m the badass and I couldn’t protect my wife, and I couldn’t protect my daughter. And that thing is in the back of his head always, no matter what he does.”

It was these memories, of the ones who he had already lost, that Blades believes triggered Daniel’s grip on reality to falter. As to how he will react, further remains to be seen now, and viewers will have to tune into future episodes in order to find out more.

Fear the Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on AMC.

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