INTERVIEW: Lindsey Morgan Shines in Her New Role on The CW’s ‘Walker’
Best known as Raven Reyes on the past CW hit show, The 100, Lindsey Morgan can now be seen playing Micki Ramirez on CW’s new knockout, Walker, a reboot of the old TV show, Walker, Texas Ranger. Walker also stars Jared Padalecki as Cordell Walker, a legendary Texas Ranger and Micki’s partner; Keegan Allen as Liam Walker, who is also an assistant DA for the city of Austin; and Jeff Pierre as Trey Barnett, Micki’s army medic boyfriend.
Lindsey sat down with Glitter to discuss her new role as Micki, her one piece of advice she’d give to Micki, if Micki and Raven would ever be friends in real life, her dream role (it’s not what you think it would be), her definition of self-love, and what fans can expect from this thrilling first season. Read on to find out more from this amazingly talented actress and director.
GLITTER: What first inspired you to pursue acting, and when did you realize your passion for it?
LINDSEY: Oh, wow. That’s a good one. You know what it was? I actually consider myself 50 percent introvert and 50 percent extrovert. So I have this very shy, private loner kind of side that I don’t really show too much in my work, but like it’s in my life. When I was a child, I remember my mom took me to the musical showing of Big at a regional theater that was touring, and I remember just watching in the seats and seeing these performers, and I thought they were so great. That was the word and sentiment I felt like even at seven, I was like, oh, my gosh, they are so brave to do this because that to me is terrifying. That would be terrifying to me. So, yeah, I just really always admired acting and admired actors and performers, and even throughout high school, I never had a real substantial role in any production.
I was always the understudy or in the chorus, but I would paint the sets a lot. I really enjoyed creating sets, and it was very artistic in that way too visually. I remember I would watch my peers from the wings and just wishing I could do what they could do. And so, yeah, it really just kind of started, there is this seedling of desire and passion, but it was also held back from my fear and my insecurity and shyness and so. Yeah, Been, this all life long battle, but, you know, I really always felt as if I could be an actor. That means that I could be strong and brave enough and fearless enough to do this beautiful art. Then I would be a better person because I conquered my fears, and what I felt was some of my personal limitations.
GLITTER: What attracted you to want to be part of the Walker series?
LINDSEY: Walker‘s a really special show, and up until this point, I was doing a very certain type of acting on my last show, The 100, and I was doing some other sci-fi things. I really enjoyed genre acting, but my heart was looking for something a bit more personal and a bit more modern; I suppose in real-time, in real life, I’ve been doing so much work, like work set in the future or under extraneous circumstances that I wanted to just be in something very grounded in I guess in history and my history. I grew up in Texas, my mother’s Hispanic, and my father’s Caucasian, so I felt so many things my character Micki is going through. I felt racism, I felt prejudice, and I felt misogyny. I’ve always been a pretty high achiever or had a desire for putting myself out there, especially for what’s right in the world. So that’s what I feel like, Micki, is she really is a pioneer in a sense, in this new world that she is tackling. Even though she’s afraid, even though there’s pressure, and even though she has to face obstacles, she knows what she’s doing is to elicit change. That’s really noble.
GLITTER: Do you relate to Micki in any way since her story seems to hit a bit close to home at times?
LINDSEY: Oh, my gosh, that’s so funny. So that was a big reason I took this job because another obstacle I seem to face is sometimes it’s hard for me to play very close things to home. It’s almost too much for me. And when I read the script and read about Micki, it is very close to home. But I hadn’t technically been home in a decade. I left Texas and moved to L.A., started working, and moved to Canada. I was there for seven years. So really, I haven’t been home in a decade. So, for me, to come back to this city where I started acting and where I was debating about if I could do this and be here, doing it full circle was really kind of surreal and magical.
There was a scene that never happened in the script, where Trey brings Nikki lunch on her second day. It’s so sweet of Trey. But to Micki, she’s horrified. She’s like, “No, don’t. It’s embarrassing. I have to do this.”
Sometimes I’ll bring my own food. I don’t always eat on set because I have some dietary restrictions. One day I was running late, and my fiancee was like, “OK, I’ll just bring you lunch,” and he started laughing because I was like, “No, you can’t do that. That’s so embarrassing to do that.” And it just made me laugh so much how it mirrored what Micki is going through. And Micki is really focused on her job and wants to feel respected and wants to feel like she’s doing a good job and just doesn’t want to be embarrassed. It’s pretty special how much it mirrors. I’ve actually been enjoying that a lot.
GLITTER: What else can fans expect from the season?
LINDSEY: So OK, so from what I know is, you know, we got picked up for an extra five on the back end, right? So, as far as I know, the writers are keeping the finale as it is at Episode 13, where we were supposed to end. So we’re gearing up for really epic next episodes. But then something else happens on the back five, for this “finale,” episode 13. So I have no idea what they are going to do after that. So I’m really, really excited to see it too.
GLITTER: How would you describe Micki if you had to give her, like, a tagline or something?
LINDSEY: She’s definitely a pioneer. She’s a change maker. She has an extremely strong moral compass. She’s badass. She’s kick-ass. She also has a great dry sense of humor. And she’s also a great truth-teller. She’s a really good counselor. She’s able to look at situations objectively and give good advice, but because of her moral compass, she’s always pushing for, she didn’t enable bad behavior. She’s always pushing for everyone to be their best and do the right thing. I really like that about her.
GLITTER: If you had to give Micki one piece of advice, what would you tell her?
LINDSEY: Relax. (laughing) I can also tell myself that. But yeah, Micki and I are very similar; we’re very high achievers. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves, and we never kind of think we’re good enough. That’s a big obstacle for Micki and me. So, now getting to play her and kind of seeing myself in that mirror, you know, I’m telling myself, “Relax, you are good enough. You’re doing great.” I want to tell her that.
GLITTER: You mentioned before you previously worked on The 100 as Raven Reyes. What has it been like to continue to be a part of The CW family for so long?
LINDSEY: The CW family is such a special family because it’s extremely nurturing, and that is something I find very important as an artist; I feel extremely supported by them, the people I call my boss, and I need that as an artist to do my best work because if I feel pressure to fight or feel like, you know, scrutinized, and then I don’t perform as well. But when I feel very much appreciated and loved and, I know they have my back, and I feel really free to perform and play, and they happen. They were extremely supportive of my work, all seven years, and when I wanted to direct an episode of The 100, they were very supportive. Then they offered me this role before I was even done with my last role. So that really meant a lot to me. That’s how much they wanted to keep me in their family.
GLITTER: You previously directed an episode of The 100 in 2020. Would you ever direct a future episode of Walker?
LINDSEY: Completely. I would love to direct an episode of Walker. Maybe, maybe next season, or maybe season three. I just wanted to really ace my first job as an actor and then add more to the play. But Walker is such a different world than The 100. We’re shooting very differently because of COVID, and also, my workload is very different than The 100. So, you know, I’d say I finally feel like I found my groove with the workload. Still, it always is changing a bit, so I just want to feel very secure in my acting in Walker, and then I really want to feel very secure in my knowledge of how to shoot Walker because Walker is filmed very differently than The 100. So that’s my next goal.
GLITTER: Do you think Raven and Micki would ever get along if they were to meet?
LINDSEY: Oh, my gosh. They would be best friends. They would be like, “Where have you been all my life?” Micki would take Raven out drinking, and Raven would be reluctant. And then Micki would get her drunk, and they would have a blast. They have a lot of similarities. But one thing I enjoy about Micki is that she has a bit more lightness to her than Raven. She’s not as heavy, obviously not as smart either. But she’s more light in her heart, and obviously, she’s in a much safer world, too. And I think that Raven needs friends like that to make her feel like, OK, yeah, we don’t have to study all the time. We could go play then.
GLITTER: What would a dream role or franchise for you to join be? LINDSEY: Wow, that’s a big one. It’s evolved over the years. You know, there have been some talks about Batgirl for a while, and that kind of faded away. Who knows what’s happening with that script now.
GLITTER: Do you have a dream storyline?
LINDSEY: OK. That one’s easier, you know, it’s something that I don’t think anyone will expect me to say, but I kind of always wanted to do. I want to reboot Flashdance. I would love to do a movie where I could really learn to dance. I think it would be so different for people to see me like that, and I think that would be cool, too.
GLITTER: What is it been like to return to filming with the new COVID-19 guidelines in place?
LINDSEY: Oh, you know, it’s different. It’s lonelier for sure. I feel like I can’t interact with my crew or cast as much as I would like and prefer. I can’t even really interact with people there; even though I’ve lived in Austin before, it’s very new now and different. It’s been a decade later. I still can’t interact with it the same way because I can’t be around people. I can’t go to things. As far as the filming, it’s just like it’s tough. It’s tough because every project, you really get close and you really bond and become like a family, and you really lean on each other, crew, and cast. It’s crazy to me because I still haven’t seen my crew members’ faces. They’re all goggled and masked up to where I feel like I wouldn’t even recognize them if I saw them on the street. I have no idea what they look like. So it’s a bit bizarre. I will say our set is like the safest place I feel in Texas. Like, everyone, there is tested almost every day. We all have our zones. We all have our masks. We all have our protocols and sanitizing everything. We do our best to stay apart from each other, and we’re outside a ton. We’re just all doing the best we can. I’m just grateful that we’re able to make it work despite this worldwide pandemic.
GLITTER: Are there any other aspects of the entertainment industry that you’d like to explore in the future?
LINDSEY: Yeah, I always thought it’d be a great producer. I’ve produced a photoshoot once, and that was really cool. I would love to write. I’ve been writing a little bit here and there, but I’d love to focus more on it and then really direct those things. Right now, I’m just happy to get the opportunity to be creative again, so I feel like I’m embarking on this new chapter in my life, and I think that’s going to hold a lot of me creating other content, not always for myself, just in general. So I’m excited about that.
GLITTER: Do you have any favorite fan interactions that have stuck with you over the years?
LINDSEY: Oh, I’ve had so many. I’ve been so lucky to be able to, before the pandemic, get into a lot of conventions with The 100, and that was just so magical, getting to literally travel all over the world and meet the people face to face who are like watching your show every week. It’s wild because it’s not like live theater to where you have an audience. You have this instant reaction from people. You work for six months or nine months in the same set or the same studio, and you’re making it with the crew, and you just have no idea what anyone thinks about it or if it’s any good or if it’s terrible. Then it comes out to the world, and it’s all edited and color coated and made really beautiful. Still, you don’t know if people are going to like it and then just to see that people do like it and that also just thought as an artist, you really like, least for me, I put so much of my heart into my work. And so I feel like people who resonate with my work, that’s them resonating with my heart. So the fact that there are people that see my heart and appreciate it means so much to me.
When I get to meet them, we connect about that and talk about their life or connect about how maybe these stories that I’m in help them. It’s really special, and it makes you feel extremely grateful that I could be a small part of these people’s lives. I didn’t expect that when I started acting. I didn’t realize that could happen, and that’s been a really a real gift. I mean, we forget how much media plays into our life, especially when we’re young and we’re creating our identities. We’re creating our perspective of the world when we can see strong, smart, intelligent women kicking ass. It’s just it’s just a subconscious reminder that “Oh, yeah. That happens. That’s the world, and that’s what I want to be that inspires me.” I love that.
GLITTER: Glitter has a celebrity self-love campaign. What does self-love mean to you?
LINDSEY: Self-love means self-care for me, and that doesn’t always mean bubble baths and face masks. To me, it’s really about getting to know yourself and knowing what you need to be your best and then doing that. And maybe for me, it’s meditation, it’s sleep; for me, and it’s eating healthy. Sometimes it’s just rest. It’s tough; it’s not always easy to make the time to exercise or make the time to meditate or make the time to make healthier food, but it’s a practice, and it has to be a priority for them. When it’s a priority, it means it means something important to you. I find that I feel my best when I prioritize taking care of myself. Because how else are you to help or take care of others if you can’t take care of yourself first? That was a big lesson for me, is to take care of myself first and fill up my cup first so that others can drink from it.
GLITTER: Do you have any new projects coming up that you can share?
LINDSEY: Well, girl, I’m so busy with Walker and exciting news. So this awesome sci-fi film I did called Skylines was released on Netflix. That’s cool. That’s exciting. I have some stuff on the back burner, but we’re waiting to see. We already have our start date for season two for Walker. So we’re going to have a pretty short break and then get right into it. So maybe there might be something else. But right now, Walker is the focus.