The Real Clementine: An Interview with Melissa Hutchison

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With The Walking Dead being “the most-watched drama series in basic cable history“, it’s no surprise that it has inspired plenty of merchandise – and one of my favorites is the video game by Telltale. As my fellow Geekiary author Rinienne said in her review of the game’s first season, “The Walking Dead game is a wonderful addition to the Robert Kirkman’s world and a must-have game for any fan of the series.”

Being such a fan of this game, I was definitely excited about getting the chance to sit down with Melissa Hutchison at Walker Stalker Con in Atlanta this past weekend. I actually met Melissa, who voices Clementine, at the first ever Walker Stalker Con last year…and now that the second season of the game has been released I made it a goal to actually interview her this year. Thankfully I was able to catch up with her on the last day of the convention, and she was happy to sit with me for a few minutes and have a pretty laid-back conversation about the game, Clementine, and even cosplay!

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Tara: I feel bad because I’ve played only Season One of the game…

Melissa: There are a lot of people who I’ve talked to who have not played Season Two.

Tara: I mean we already know what happens at end of Season One […] It’s sad.

Melissa: Right!

Tara: Have you played the game?

Melissa: I have. I am indeed not a gamer. I do a lot of work on video games […] Doing voice overs. But this I’ve played […]. Because, you know, it’s more of a ‘choose-your-own-adventure’, choice-based game. It’s very entertaining for me to play, to watch! It’s more like an animated series where every once in a while you have to make a choice, and it’s just good story-telling.

Tara: That’s why I really love about it. It’s a story, and it’s so good […] So, how do you feel about Clementine’s growth through the two seasons, from a scared little girl to a survivor?

Melissa: It’s been such a cool transition to make, actually. Basically Season One was just a giant preparation for Season Two. But what’s interesting is, I was just telling someone, that when they first made this game, the writers at Telltale had […] no idea, no intention […] that Clementine’s story [would] continue. They had no clue that the fans of this game [would] latch on to her and become so protective of her character. And for me, getting to age her up a bit in Season Two, […] in episode one, there’s a first line. It’s my favorite line […] She comes out the shed. She’s just killed this giant zombie and at that moment, after recording that, I was like ‘Oh! My God!’ It just felt so good to have such a bad ass moment […] She’s awesome! It’s been fun to play her a little sassier at times. She’s just such a strong character. So, it’s been such a cool ride.

Tara: How old is she supposed to be?

Melissa: Now, she’s like ten or eleven.

Tara: Anything that we can expect from Season Three, from her specifically? Are you guys recording it already?

Melissa: I have no idea. I think the writers at Telltale have no idea. They left Season Two with so many branches; it will be really interesting to see where they go with it. But as for Clementine continuing, I believe she will be in Season Three. But I can’t of course confirm that because again, I have no idea. I hope she is, and again we can continue with her story because […] of course there are strong female characters in games but […] I would love to see her age. She’s so awesome and strong. And it’ll be really cool to continue playing this awesome, strong female character.

Tara: I know. I agree! […] And she’s so young too. And the great thing about it is that there are no sexual aspects.

Melissa: Right. She’s not going to grow up and all of a sudden have double D’s.

Tara: Yeah, she’s still a kid.

Melissa: She will [age] […] but obviously […] I would love to see her continue. I’m also very selfish and I’m like ‘Please don’t kill Clementine’. Because I really enjoy […] I just love her. I love the character. I’m so grateful to be in the world of The Walking Dead, doing what I’m doing. It’s awesome!

Tara: Have you seen any Clementine cosplayers this weekend?

Melissa: I have! I was at New York ComicCon just recently and I saw a lot more. […] I’ve been signing a lot of Clementine hats. […] I’ve met a couple of Kennys. […].

Tara: Wow! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Kenny cosplayer. I’ve seen a lot of Clementines. Is it kind of weird seeing people cosplay a character that you’ve voiced or is it not so bad?

Melissa: It’s awesome. It’s such a huge honor, you know? And with Season Two there are just so many more of them out there. I remember my first time at DragonCon, there was like one or two. But now I go to conventions and […] they are all over the place. So, it’s really cool.

Tara: I think I saw four or five of them at MegaCon earlier this year […].

Melissa: Yeah! It’s surreal. It’s totally surreal to me.

 

I for one agree that it would be awesome for Clementine’s story to continue in the third season of The Walking Dead video game, which is supposed to be released next year.  Fingers crossed, Melissa!

Author: Tara Lynne

Tara Lynne is a fandom and geek culture expert, public speaker, and character cosplayer who is best known for her Cersei Lannister (Game of Thrones), Starbuck (Battlestar Galactica), and Andrea (The Walking Dead) cosplays. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.

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