Sunday, May 29, 2022

Interview: Jalen Thomas Brooks Talks ‘Walker’: Colton and Stella, His Relationship with Geri and More [EXCLUSIVE]

All season long fans have been watching as Colton, the son of Denise Davidson-Miller and Dan Miller, weathers an old rivalry between his family and the Walkers. There’s been one twist though — Colton likes Stella, Cordell Walker’s daughter, as the family’s feud heightens and Stella turns her eyes to another.

We got the chance to talk to Jalen Thomas Brooks, the actor who plays Colton, and asked him all about working on Walker, Colton’s relationships with Stella and his newly-discovered aunt Geri, and more.

Note: This interview has been edited for clarity.

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Nerds and Beyond: In the most recent episode, Colton and Stella are hanging out secretly after he extended an olive branch at the fair. What’s your favorite thing about their friendship or relationship so far?

Jalen Thomas Brooks: They seem to be the only people in their families that are actually trying to find a common ground, and so there’s a buddy-buddiness. [Like] Colton with the previous episode, he said, “It finally hit me. Everything you lost.”

They’re trying. All of the older people, like the Walkers and the Davidsons, they’re not. So, I feel like my favorite thing is that Stella and Colton are trying to have something greater than what was… So, I really appreciate that between them, because they’re trying to break something that’s been going on for generations. I think that’s great for their friendship, and hopefully, if it sparks into something, that’d be great too.

Rebecca Brenneman/The CW

Nerds and Beyond: That leads to my next question, what do you hope happens between them in the future?

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Jalen Thomas Brooks: I think it could be a cool Romeo and Juliet thing. You know, the Walkers and Davidsons, and they get to just break that gap between the two families. I feel like it’s important not just for Colton and Stella to experience that type of love, but I think it’s also important to see for Walker, Dan, and everybody involved. To see that, “Oh my god … actually something positive can come from this.” I think that’s what I’m looking forward to.

Nerds and Beyond: We see Stella and Colton get Bonham and Dan to work together — do you think they could be the link to potentially having the two families call a truce?

Jalen Thomas Brooks: I think so. Yeah, I think it can be.. yeah, I think so.

Nerds and Beyond: I’m sure you can’t say much because of spoilers [laughs].

Jalen Thomas Brooks: [laughs] You never know because … both sides of the family, everything turns so fast. But, I think… I think it can go well.

Rebecca Brenneman/The CW

Nerds and Beyond: Colton and Geri have a kinship about family and being adopted. What do you love most about their relationship, and working with Odette [Annable]?

Jalen Thomas Brooks: I love Geri and Colton’s relationship because it just sparked out of nowhere. I mean, Geri had told Colton before that, “Hey, you could talk to me about anything.” It was just really cool to see that when they found this huge news out, especially her character, is that she was still there for somebody. She treated him like family because he was, he is. I really liked that about that whole situation.

Working with Odette, she’s the calmest, most sweetest person ever. And she’s just a pleasure to be around. I haven’t been able to work with her that much, but every single time I do, it’s like… everything feels so good, bubbly, and fun. My first acting job I did was for Supergirl, [which] she was also on. The first time we worked with each other was like, “Oh my god, no way.”

Nerds and Beyond: And then her real-life husband, Dave Annable, plays your dad in the show, too. So I’m sure that’s a lot of fun.

Jalen Thomas Brooks: It’s a blast, and Dave is a bro. That’s all I’ll say [laughs].

Nerds and Beyond: So, with Colton, it seems like he’s a sweet kid, who just really liked Stella and who wasn’t truly trying to be malicious. What’s your opinion on where Colton stands now?

Jalen Thomas Brooks: I do think Colton is pretty angry. Still. I think he’s a very angry kid and he doesn’t allow himself to justify what he’s been feeling. And I think he’s holding on to Stella because she makes him happy, you know?

Where I think Colton stands right now is that there’s the possibility [of Stella and Colton] around the corner. And he’s scared of it working out and he’s scared of it not working out. I feel like he’s kind of in limbo, and he’s just trying to see where everything’s gonna go. It’s also an age where you’re going to college, you’re leaving high school, what are you going to do with your life? I just think he is very on edge, I think with everything, and it could teeter one way or the other.

Nerds and Beyond: What’s your favorite thing about playing him?

Jalen Thomas Brooks: I really enjoy playing him, it kind of changes as he’s developed over time. But when I first started playing him, I loved just playing into the snarkiness of him and how he would just yell at people. He was rude to his mom, to his dad, to Stella, August … that was really fun to lean into because he had no filter, he just didn’t care. It was also really fun to uncover that, [and] slowly peel back layers and that’s what I really enjoyed about it.

Rebecca Brenneman/The CW

Nerds and Beyond: What has been a favorite moment or a scene that you’ve shot?

Jalen Thomas Brooks: Oh well, I had a really fun one that we just shot and I don’t think I’m allowed to talk about that [laughs]. But, I really liked doing the [scene] when Todd was singing to Stella my song that I wrote for Stella. We’re all friends… so it was just cool to sit there and watch August perform and Todd perform and everybody was there. That was a really fun time.

Nerds and Beyond: Walker is known for having a lot of really intricate storylines and plot twists. What has been your favorite plot twist so far?

Jalen Thomas Brooks: My favorite plot twist would have to be that Geri is my aunt. I did not see that coming at all [laughs]. But I love how it played into the character of Geri. How it plays with the whole Davidson/Walkers, is that there’s this outlier that connects them in a weird way. So, I did not see that coming in. That’s going to change, and is changing, everything. So I’m excited to see where that goes.

Nerds and Beyond: You’re surrounded on Walker by some pretty incredible actors. What lessons, big or small, have you taken away from working with your fellow castmates?

Jalen Thomas Brooks: Well, Dave always tells me to hit my mark because he just jokes with me all the time about stepping out onto the camera… [laughs]. I just honestly… being around these people and them being actors… they’re all just good people, and it’s made me really realize that if you’re a good person… and how you treat people… you just make everybody’s life way more fun. It’s made me realize that the environment in which you work is very important, not just to you, but to other people. So it’s helped my approach, not just to work, but to life and to how to treat people a lot better. Just to enjoy moments and just have fun. The set and the working environment here is just so family-friendly. And everybody’s family. It’s taught me how to lead with kindness, so it’s been great.

Nerds and Beyond: That ties into my last question, which you sort of answered already, but what has been your favorite thing about working on Walker so far?

Jalen Thomas Brooks: It’s just it’s the whole family environment of everybody. It’s just being a part of it. It’s fun to be in Texas and to be around ranches and trees [laughs]. I’m not from here. I’m from Las Vegas where it was really deserty. So it’s awesome to be around something different but to be around just great people, great and kind people. It gets better every single time we work. It’s just awesome.

Walker airs Thursday nights on The CW, and if you miss an episode, you can catch up on The CW app.

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