NOC Interview: Keegan Allen Discusses The CW’s ‘Walker’

Keegan Allen stars as Liam Walker in Walker. The show, which is a reimagining of the long-running series Walker, Texas Ranger, is currently on its second season. New episodes air Thursdays from 8pm ET on The CW.

I had the chance to speak with the actor about playing so many different sides to his character, his friendship with Jared Padalecki, the theme of family, a crossover between Walker and Roswell, New Mexico, the show’s Easter eggs, and much more! Read my interview below for everything he shared.

Brian Bowen Smith/The CW

What has been your favorite aspect of portraying Liam?
Keegan Allen: Well, I really, really love Liam as a character. He is a full spectrum of an actor’s dream. I get to play so many different sides of humanity through him and not only that, but him being a family man and having an older brother is something that I’ve always wanted. I’m an only child. I always really wished I had a sibling or someone like an adult in my life that I could be like, “Hey, what’s up? You got my back?” So it’s wonderful that Jared has sort of stepped in that kind of role in my real life, but also on-screen and I think it really has transformed this sort of side of Liam that I’ve been exploring and really, really enjoying.

Obviously, you and Jared Padalecki play brothers in the series, but you have such a great friendship off-screen and that chemistry definitely shows. What is it like playing off of each other to create that dynamic?
Yeah, it’s wonderful. I really feel like Jared is an anomaly of a human being. He’s just really the brother I wish I had but he is the brother that I have now and couldn’t have come at a better time in my life. Getting to work with him on a daily basis really is magical. It’s something I’ve never experienced in my entire career, stepping on a set and feeling like the cameras disappear, everything disappears in a way where I’m like, “Oh my God, this guy is just so inclusive, wonderful, and he’s so fun to work with.” He comes up with the craziest, smartest choices, and he’s also a bit of a raconteur. So he’s just such an interesting person to be around. He has so many fun stories. He’s been in this in this business for so long. I mean, he’s done 300+ episodes of television. It’s just an interesting dynamic that he brings to the table as Cordell that kind of informs Liam and informs my character as his younger brother because it really feels that way.

Rebecca Brenneman/The CW

You both also have two of the most powerful TV fan bases between PLL and Supernatural. What does it mean to you to see how passionate the fans are, not only your PLL fans that have followed all of your new projects but the new Walker fans.
Yeah, look, it’s been just a dream come true beyond comprehension as an actor, as a person to see the acceptance of not just Jared and Jensen coming from such a juggernaut– I mean, that’s a gargantuan entity and family in itself. I went recently, just as a fly on the wall, to see what that Supernatural conventional world was, because I’ve done the PLL convention before, and the inclusive nature of the Supernatural family and sort of how they’re branching off, Jared and Jensen’s trajectory in their careers to Walker and The Boys. Then me with PLL and moving to Walker, having this new fan base that is such an amalgamation of our collective fan bases, it’s been wonderful because I think we’ve all matured, all of us in a way that now a grounded show about family and real struggles, there’s real things. Obviously, there’s a heightened sense of drama because why not? But how we tackle those everyday dramas, mistakes, second chances, and experiences is just so wonderful and, quite frankly, a beautiful experience and a human experience. So being accepted by those fan bases and kind of bringing us along with them has been so so rewarding. And we love what we do, we do it for the fans. So, getting that feedback is just so special.

Family is such an important theme in the show and I, personally, always love that as a viewer. What do you hope audiences might learn from this or some of the other real issues you tackle?
I feel like as a viewer of the show, cause I do watch Walker, I enjoy it. It’s so weird. I really didn’t watch Pretty Little Liars until quarantine and I was like, “Oh wow, okay, I get it.” But Walker, I watch and I enjoy it because there are so many times where I read the script multiple times, I shoot the episode, I’m in it, I’m watching it being shot, I’m very aware of what the show is about, then I watched the episode and I watch it place like a little puzzle piece in the storyline. I learn so much about the human condition, so fast. The show has a really wonderful moral compass that sort of shifts and changes. It’s like villains don’t feel like villains sometimes, heroes don’t feel like heroes, and the anti-heroes are ever-present. It’s just such a wonderful experience as a viewer. I learn so much as a viewer, which I can then employ as the character but just from my experience as a viewer, I’m learning a lot. So I know that there’s something in it for everybody in every walk of life — the kids, the family, the parents, the struggles, there’s are so much in this season, especially dealing with the past and how the past informs the future and the present, holding grudges, romances, and all that stuff. I just love that, I love the way it’s been crafted and season two is really a masterpiece.

Rebecca Brenneman/The CW

Do you have any favorite relationships to either bring to life and film or see play out on screen as a viewer when it comes to Liam?
Yeah, I honestly love the way that Liam interacts with each and every character, whether it’s Stan, Denise, who has a real contemptuous feeling toward, or his brother, his family, and even, other characters like the kids. I’m really looking forward to more interactions, especially with Jeff Pierre, I love Jeff. He’s just an amazing actor. But Liam’s interaction on multiple parts as he starts to get more of his identity, I think, just roped in — to use a very Western term — to get a bit more understanding of where his trajectory in his career is and what he finds about himself. I mean, it’s his own kind of personal story and journey, but so many of us are always asking ourselves, “are we where we’re supposed to be? What does our future look like with the choices that we’ve made? Why have we made the choices that we’ve made? Why did we make the mistakes that we made and what have we learned from them?” So, it’s really, really exciting to see kind of where he goes in this season and the people that he meets and talks to, how he interacts, especially in 2×06, ramifications are seismic of his choices. So, how that plays into moving forward, I’m very excited about each and every interaction that he takes on.

If Walker could do a crossover with any show that you are personally a fan of, which would you pick and what would you want to see happen?
Man, any show… see that’s tough because the moment you dip into like — I don’t know, what would you say to this? What would your answer be?

Well, I have to tell you, I’m currently obsessed with Roswell, New Mexico, which is also on The CW. So, selfishly, I would say that because I love both shows and, of course, would love to see you and Tyler Blackburn together again.
Tyler! I love Tyler. Roswell is great and honestly, Tyler is just — God, I love Tyler Blackburn so much. He’s such an amazing, enlightening, bright star. I just love him so much. Yeah, I would love to do some sort of a crossover with him. I mean, he’s just a Western dream, honestly. That’s a good one, that’s a really good one. But see, the moment you add in the element of supernatural stuff, they can go in many, many different ways with that. I don’t know — it’s like any answer is the right answer, honestly. But I’ll go with you what you said, Roswell sounds cool.

Brian Bowen Smith/The CW

If you could bring any of the PLL characters to Walker for an episode, which would you pick? Toby can be included as a choice.
Oh, interesting! I just play Toby and Liam, it’s like how are they gonna do that? Green screen. Honestly, I was saying earlier, Ian Harding looks very rugged recently, and he needs to come out here with that beard and the whole look. But now that you brought up Roswell, Tyler could definitely — you know, all of the actors from PLL, and I said this just in another interview, but I mean this from my heart, all the actors from PLL are so talented, and even though we know them stamped with these characters from PLL because they were such tremendously built characters over seven seasons in Pretty Little Liars, any of these characters, any of these actors could come over to the Walker universe and be very comfortable in a different light and totally shed their other Pretty Little Liars characters. I feel like they would just dissolve into whatever character they wanted to play. But yes, I like the idea of Tyler and, or Ian being these rugged dudes, just showing up. Oh man, it’d be so cool. In some sort of simulated world, that would be so fun.

Which was a scene from this season that you were excited to see play out on screen or see fans react to?
Well, over the last 10 years of my life, I’ve gotten really into a sort of a lumberjack on the side. I’m pretty obsessed with chopping wood and cutting wood. I really am, I mean, it’s so weird. But it’s something I’ve gotten really into and so the writers on Walker have kind of done a little a nod to that many times over the years. I can’t believe Walker‘s cresting the year, isn’t that so wild? So they put in a little Easter egg in there because I love chopping wood, they put in a little thing of me chopping wood and what’s funny about it is that it’s manual labor. I’m out there like slamming logs in between scenes too. So they have a little Easter egg in there of me, of really like Keegan Allen hitting the logs out there in 2×06, just for fun.

I always love the little Easter eggs.
There’s tons of Easter eggs this season. At the end of season two in the gag reels, I’m sure all of the fun little hints that we throw into the show will come to light. It’s great.

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