The Walking Dead: World Beyond may be about Empties – the latest way to not name a zombie – but star Aliyah Royale thinks it’s also about family above all else.

In the first season, Iris Bennett set out with a mission to find her father – and she did so with her sister Hope at her side. Whatever struggles their encountered or people they allied themselves with, their family unit was most important. But how does that change when she has been separated from her sister and doesn’t even know if her father is alive?

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Aliyah Royale spoke about working alongside Alexa Mansour and Joe Holt to bring the Bennett family dynamic is life in her interview with The Illuminerdi. In preparation for the second season, be sure to check out the home release of Season 1 on Blu-ray and DVD then read to find out her thoughts on Iris’ family and what fans can expect in Season 2.

ALIYAH ROYALE ON KEEPING IRIS’ FAMILY CLOSE

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In addition to being a talented young actress, Royale knows how to make friends with costars and turn that into chemistry onscreen. Here is how she described her relationship with her fictional family members on the show:

Iris and Hope are the heart of the story here. Can you talk about working with Alexa, and how does the possibility of losing Hope change or harden Iris?

Aliyah Royale: Yeah, Alexa is the greatest. We’re really close, and we have an actual sister relationship. Literally, we were arguing about something on set the other day, giving each other hard time and cursing each other out, but all in good fun. Then someone came up to us and was like, “Dang, you guys argue like…” and another person went, “Like sisters?”

But she really is near and dear to my heart. When we first met, we got together and were chilling in our hotel. We were talking, and I guess we bonded so much that she took a ring she was wearing and placed it on my finger. Then she continued the conversation as if she did not just do that. And it’s funny, I wore it for a week before we started shooting, and then I wore it onto set. By the time anyone realized it was on my finger, we’d already been shooting, so it became part of my costume. I literally have not taken the ring off since I met her.

Iris’ mission early on is built on her dad, but we haven’t really gotten to see you two interact in real time yet. What is it like for you to build up that dynamic for Iris without necessarily getting to go through all those scenes and memories together with Leo [played by Joe Holt]?

Aliyah Royale: I think I’m just a lover, and I have the ability to form relationships fairly quickly that transfer to the screen and look like family. Joe is really cool to work with. Even though we didn’t have a lot of time together in season 1 – I think we have one season – we made it work.

And it’s funny, there was a moment where I took my head and rested it on his in a goodbye sort of way. And he was like, “That was such a sweet thing to do.” And I was like, “Thanks. Acting! Talent, hard work.” I’m kidding, but it was such a cute, organic moment. And we’re gonna try and keep that if there’s ever room to do it again.

Who do you hope to see Aliyah Royale’s Iris reunite with first in Season 2 of World Beyond? Let us know on social media or in the comments below, and check back with The Illuminerdi for the latest TV news and interviews.

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READ MORE: ALIYAH ROYALE HYPES TEEN ROMANCE DURING THE APOCALYPSE IN THE WALKING DEAD: WORLD BEYOND