I’m departing a little from my fledgling themed days and introducing Fangirl Fridays to the line-up. Some days I cook, and some days I get myself presents.
Today I received a 1:21 scale model of Sasha Williams from The Walking Dead.
Why Sasha? Does anyone even care about her?
If you only look at merchandise, promotional materials, and the actual freaking dvd covers, it would seem like ‘no’. Which is super unfair because she’s been a series regular since halfway through the third season, and was bumped up to main cast for season six. I have beef with that, but no one asked me.
Far and away the best part of the Walking Dead, for me, is the characters. I think the showrunners do an excellent job of explaining character motivation (even for the baddies), and giving them realistic, believable personalities and arcs. Sasha isn’t even a character in the graphic novels, and yet she is a fully realised character with an actual role to play in the group and the show.
So why is she so heinously overlooked? I honestly don’t know.
Sonequa Martin-Green, who plays her, has been to two SDCCs and slayed (pun intended) on Lip Sync Battle. So obviously, someone besides me loves her, and I suppose I’ll have to be happy with that.
Confession time! (I do that a lot on this blog, it seems) I’m not actually a huge fan of the Walking Dead, for a variety of reasons. I really only started watching for Sasha because I chose the actress as the face model for one of my main characters, and I was hoping that by studying Sasha’ microexpressions, I could breathe a bit more life into my portrayal of Sulat. It actually has helped immensely.
I first discovered Sonequa Martin-Green in Once Upon A Time (cover photo for this post), but I actually can’t stand that show, so I couldn’t face watching it again, even for her. And people like the Walking Dead, so I figured I’d depart from my usual anti-fad stance and take the chance. And I’m super glad I did.
Sulat, my original character, is a thief. She’s basically an ex-slave in a world that abolished slavery before she was born. (There’s a LOT more to this story, but I don’t want to give too much away. It’s honestly not because all Black people in the 1800’s are ex-slaves. I have People of Colour in all walks of life, Sulat just happens to be ex-service industry for the purposes of fairytale crossover) Her Myers-Briggs Type is ISTJ, which is a fairly steady and reliable personality type, who value order and tradition. She hit all the boxes, but a few pretty perfectly, but I was having trouble nailing her down completely.
So I was going along watch the Walking Dead and enjoying Martin-Greens performance and began to see some parallels to Sulat in strange ways. I should mention at this point, that I started watch as the sixth season was ending (I watched the Negan episode live with everyone else), and I was already five books into my series. But I was still having trouble with Sulat. People were having difficulty connecting with her, and I was having a hard time porrtaying her accurately. That’s the trouble with characters like these: you know them so well, don’t mention certain things because you forget that other people don’t know them that well. You try to be subtle, but you’re actually leaving out vital information. So she comes off as cold and almost mean in places. (See: the rainy gif above)
Plus, there was the trouble about her scoring as an ISTJ, and I trust the MBTI, but it still wasn’t quite right. Then I came across an interview where Martin-Green mentioned how honoured she was to be portraying Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, because so many people suffer from it. And then everything fell into place. I looked up the symptoms and causes of PTSD and Sulat scored for almost literally every one of them. Where she missed was covered by her type, and where she didn’t quite fit the type was explained by the trauma. And I had before me a complete picture of my character. All I had to do was explore what her disorder looked and felt like to her, and add in those scenes.
Now, I like to surround myself with inspirations for my characters. I have Pinterest boards, playlists, photo folders on my computer. I’d love to have Funko! Pops, but they don’t make them. Sorry–they don’t make them for Sasha. There are 4 Elsas, but not a single Sasha. Riddle me that.
Until a couple of months ago. My mother sent me a link that Entertainment Earth was releasing a Sasha figure in June of this year, and a couple of days ago, I got myself one, and it came today! She’s super tiny, but she’s literally the only official one in existence, so I had to have her. It’s even from one of her most important scenes!
So here she is, taking her place in my Sulat inspiration corner 🙂
Now, a shoutout to my nerd friends and followers–anyone know where I can get official BBC Musketeers merch? Or Madame de Pompadour from Doctor Who? Might have to bite the bullet and do RedBubble.
Until then, I’ll be happy to keep on keepin’ on with the best face model I could ask for!