It’s Walker week all over the place! Not only did the first season of the Texas Ranger reboot drop on DVD on October 26, but the second season of Jared Padalecki‘s family drama also launches tomorrow on The CW.
Ahead of both, Keegan Allen (Pretty Little Liars)—Liam, on-screen brother to Padalecki’s Cordell—spoke with TV Insider to promote the DVD set—complete with a gag reel you know you need to see—and give us some insight into what is waiting for the Walker family when they come back. It sounds like a whole mess of drama, mystery, and sibling squabbles are on the horizon.
Having just watched some Season 1 episodes from the DVD set, I gotta say, the Walkers went through a lot last year. So many secrets and life changes…Cordell came home and shook things up!
All of those things coming to light affected, of course, Cordell, but stemmed into the branches of the family tree in different ways. Grief manifests in so many ways in the Walker universe. It’s always grounded in a reality that’s so interesting. From an actor’s standpoint, I love that. Every single director we’ve worked with really leans into reality and creates, I think, an environment for our viewers to mourn alongside these characters. And not just with [Cordell’s wife] Emily’s death, but also with the repercussions of exactly how those events transpired.
Liam ran for district attorney, ended up getting shot during a siege on the ranch… Where is he when we come back?
In Season 1, Liam is not only dealing with family personal issues and personal issues with his break-up and fiancée but also trying to be this banner of “William Walker” for his county. So we pick up in a world where he has lost the election to Stan [Jeffrey Nordling], who actually murdered someone. I think that rattles his cage. Now he’s going to deal with a new chain of command and really evaluate where he stands moving forward, not just in his career, but in his personal life.
Right, because he’s still an ADA, correct?
Yeah. He stays an ADA but, again, it challenges his moral compass and it’s interesting because, in Season 2, we get to see this part of Liam that has been emotionally affected by the events of Season 1. Because, ultimately, he killed Clint West [during the siege] and he saved the day, but he is dealing with those wounds and those scars that are physical and, again, emotional.
As you know, Walker is a three-sided coin. There’s the heads and tails, but then there’s the middle part of the coin — this very transitional period within each character’s storyline that we get to excavate over the season. That, I think, informs not just the broader storyline, but the really nuanced, beautiful moments of human interaction between the family and any kind of antagonist or protagonist. It’s really, really fun.
I’m waiting for him to voice his resentment toward Cordell for leaving them for that year and basically forcing him to become responsible for his kids.
Yeah. There’s moments that are coming up… Those are always touchy situations, as anybody knows who has siblings. I’m an only child, but I’m starting to recognize, through playing this character, how complex those blood relationships can become. Especially because sometimes Liam feels like he’s living in the shadow of his brother and his [role in the family] is more or less to keep things normal…or keep things as normal as they can be with the extraordinary situations that have befallen the Walkers.
Moving into Season 2, we get to see those talks with me and Cordell. We get to deal with the past situations that have caused grief and anxiety within Liam. And Liam, I think, champions a greater and broader emotion from the family. He’s the only person who can really tell Cordell what’s been going on while he was removed momentarily and Liam had stepped in.
I spoke with [showrunner] Anna Fricke recently, and she said Liam is doing a lot of soul-searching this season. And I know early on, Liam and Cordell get to team up together on a case. How prickly is that situation?
Man, it’s a lot. You said it the best: It is prickly. It’s complex because they love each other. These characters have so much reverence for each other and yet there’s still sibling rivalry along with that camaraderie. On top of that, Liam is experiencing something — oh, man, I want to make sure I say this exactly the way that it is. Liam is suspicious of this family, the Davidsons. I’m just going to tell you exactly why I love Season 2. It falls into the basin of this episode and we get the rest of the season to collectively crawl out of it together.
There’s an oil-and-water aspect to the Davidsons, which is essentially adding a Hatfields and the McCoys feeling to Walker. This family has so much trauma that has unfortunately linked the Walker family into it through a combination of events that are highly disputed. It’s left us in a place where Liam is very clear [about them], and his clarity is not affected by something that is holding Cordell back from believing him. And, it goes even further. There’s so much uncovered in this season that was briefly touched on in Season 1. Abilene [Molly Hagan] even spoke about someone named Mark Davidson in Season 1.
And so many people have so many different opinions in Austin about this situation. We get to see what the rivalry is and that it has driven a fence between Liam and Cordell, quite physically as well.
Liam is pretty serious, but you are hilarious. Your Instagram is a scream and we all know Jared is hilarious. How is it when you two are working together?
Oh, man, I love him. He is absolutely the brother I’ve always wanted. And he’s showing up for me not only at work in incredible ways, but also as a friend. He’s just a tremendous soul. I love working with him. I mean, it’s ridiculous. I cannot believe that my job is getting to hang out with one of my best friends all day. When it’s between rehearsals, we’ll run and jump into his truck. Or we’ll sit and just laugh for 20 minutes while they’re setting up and then we’ll go and shoot these serious scenes. It’s just so fun.
But working with him, I mean he is the utmost professional, I don’t even want to say actor because he does so much more than acting on the show. He’s an executive producer, his hand is in every single stroke that is Walker. And there is so much more that Jared does that no one knows.
I cannot believe that, at the same time, he also has a family with kids and a social life. He really is able to do all this stuff and stay healthy and work. His work [ethic] is tremendous. This season, what’s wonderful is that we get to see this Walker after he has had to put something to bed, right? But, at the same time, now we have this new veiled shadow of a voyeur and we get to experience what that’s like.
Again with you being watched by someone, right?
[Laughs] Right? And I was on a show [Pretty Little Liars] that did it for seven seasons, the voyeur, the person watching. And this particular part of the storyline is done so incredibly well. And it lends to a broader storyline.
And do you get to work with Lindsey Morgan more this season? Because I feel like Mickey and Liam would be a great pair.
Oh, it’s great. Yeah. I get to work with her. She’s amazing. Every single time I work with her, we just laugh. She’s so great. And I wish I could tell you some of the stuff we do, but it would spoil it.
Also, I want to point something else out: It’s also very safe. We’ve always made safety a huge thing on set. Even now, more so, with what has happened and even further back, we’ve locked that down along with probably every other movie set or television show. It’s an environment that I love working in and I always feel protected.
Good. Now, I’m assuming this job has opened up an entirely new world of photography for you? Austin views are very different from those in Los Angeles.
Oh, yes, very different. [Laughs] For a while, I was very uninspired, mainly just because of COVID. You just see the same four walls of your home for a year, so I guess I’ll take a photo of the cat! Then I started working in Texas and most of these places that we’ve filmed are an amalgamation of Hill Country and downtown locations and then sets. So it makes for really great behind-the-scenes photography.
And you know me, I love to champion this idea that being an actor on set is one part of the job. Moving into these forms of social media in the last decade, actors have another ability, of being able to photograph something that most people could never get. I’ve been really, really fortunate to bring my cameras with me to set and have incredible opportunities to take some really great behind-the-scenes photos that I will continue to share. And, always, my thing is, I love to promote the show, but I love to do it from a perspective of my excitement, my enjoyment. Being able to share that with fans is so fun and so fulfilling.
Walker, Season 2 Premiere, Thursday, October 28, 8/7c, The CW