Interview: Kale Culley on ‘Walker’ Season 4, Episode 11, Working with Genevieve Padalecki, and More

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As we near the final episodes of The CW’s Walker, I got the chance to chat with Kale Culley, who portrays August Walker, the son of Cordell Walker (Jared Padalecki) and Emily Walker (Genevieve Padalecki) on the series.

We talked about the most recent episode, season 4, episode 11 “Let’s Go, Lets Go”, working with Genevieve, the end of the series, and much more.

Editor’s note: this interview was edited for length and clarity.

Nerds & Beyond: In the most recent episode, you have a big speech at the end, and you’re incredible in it. Can you talk more about filming that episode and the speech?

Kale Culley: It was a dark and stormy morning… [laughs] No, I’m just kidding. It was very bright, very hot, and I was in a very warm suit. So, were those tears? Was I sweating? I don’t know [laughs].

No, it was fun. So the night before, I was very nervous to film the scene because I’ve never really done anything that emotionally vulnerable on screen, ever. [I’m] not really one to cry in front of people. So, having a whole film crew, with three cameras like, “Oh, just pretend we’re not even here,” That’s kind of impossible. I was so nervous. So I was thinking the whole night, “Okay, Kale, what’s gonna make you sad?” I’ve never seen a real coffin in my entire life. Whenever we went to set, there was a giant black coffin just right in front of me. That genuinely was enough to make me really emotional. The room was super heavy. I played a lot of sad music to put August in the headspace. And the whole cast was there, even Emily and Hoyt, they were there too. I was emotionally drained by hour six and we had four more to go. By one point of the speech scene, I think I’m just staring off into the distance. But, no, it was a fun/very emotional day.

Nerds and Beyond: Throughout the series, and this season, we have seen a lot of similarities between August and Emily highlighted. Genevieve returned this episode, and there’s a really sweet moment with the two of you with the camera. Can you talk more about working with Gen?

Kale: She’s just so lovely. She’s so sweet. And they’re just like, “Guys make up your own lines.” It’s so funny because we were both trying to figure out how to work this camera, it was an original Fuji, no, maybe it was a Pentax, but it was a classic film camera. We were just having a blast. If the camera actually had film in it, I would have taken really good photos… just take my word for it [laughs]. Yeah, she’s lovely. I love her so much.

Nerds & Beyond: August has had some incredible character growth. And, just a few episodes ago, he said, “Enough is enough,” and went to Geri and Liam, which proves that. How do you feel about the character growth this season and throughout the series overall?

Kale: I’m really proud of it. I’m not saying that as an actor, I’m saying that as August coming out of a show… I’m really proud of everything he has done. This season, there was a lot of ups and downs. I mean, we saw August get into his detective side, and I feel like that kind of brought a lot of confidence out of him. He and Stella, they’ve never had a bad relationship, but they really rarely ever have one-on-one scenes of just doing anything. And this season, you had a lot of sibling bonding time. Then coincidentally, the case actually hurt our relationship for a good second.

This season, August was just really in detective mode… he got a little less sassy. He stopped cursing at his grandma this season, which is good [laughs], he made some progress. But, then he also started comparing Stella to a bad side of Dad which is not so good. So I feel like the progress this season has been up and down.

In terms of the whole entire series, I mean, I always say this… he started off as very shy, not confident whatsoever, super introverted, didn’t want to talk to anybody but he wanted to make sure that everybody was okay, and it was kind of like a hard dynamic to portray and he’s just kind of sprouting each season. I feel like we got a good conclusion of August and his character arc by the end of the series.

Rebecca Brenneman/The CW

Nerds & Beyond: You brought it up already, but I do have to bring up the infamous scene of you cursing at Abeline. What was your reaction when you read that in the script?

Kale: So it’s funny, my Mom, whenever we all get the script, she reads it the moment it comes in the text. So, I’m upstairs doing something, I don’t know if I’m playing piano or making music or playing video games or something. But she comes to me, she goes, “Kale, what did August just say?” I’m like, “What, what?” And she’s like, “Look what you did!” And she’s acting like I’m in trouble [laughs]. So I’m like, “Oh my god, what?” And she’s like, “Look what you call Mawline!” And my first thought was, “I didn’t know that was allowed on The CW.” [laughs] I was like, “Oh, okay, cool. We’re going there.” I was shocked. I’m not gonna say it came out of nowhere, because there was a little thing leading up to it, but it did kind of just come out of nowhere. It was… fun is the wrong word to use because you know, it’s not great. But it was kind of fun being able to throw that out on The CW, I’m not gonna lie. I was a little scared to say it right next to her because Molly [Hagan] is feisty. But yeah, it was a pivotal moment.

Nerds & Beyond: What has been your favorite part about being on Walker and portraying August?

Kale: Just every single day showing up to the set with people that I love is a blessing. I feel very lucky to have been on the show, first of all, but to be on a show for four years. And then to add one on to that, to be on a show for four years with people that cause no issues, it’s rare. Because a lot of people get sassy… some people get sassy in this industry. Every single day it was just a fun ride with my family, gaining new relationships with friends and learning new experiences with acting or with life. I’ve learned countless lessons on this set because I am the youngest on the show, besides Violet, but I’m pretty substantially younger than everyone. They were always pouring into me, always feeding into me. And, being on a show for four years has really helped my acting as well, and how comfortable I am approaching a scene. And I noticed that in my auditions lately as well that I’m way more comfortable making choices that I think are good and it has taken a lot of the stress off of the skills required to be an actor because you do it every single day. It becomes second nature.

I think honestly, my favorite part about playing August is seeing tweets like, “I can’t believe August just said that! I’m so mad at him!” like I’m their son. Like, that Shelly from Ohio is watching and she’s referring to me as her son is honestly fantastic. She’s like, “Oh, I would never let them do that like this, this and that.” So just seeing the reactions out of people for the choices that I make or choices that you know the writers make, directors make… it’s an honor.

Nerds & Beyond: There are so many wonderful actors on the set, too, that are TV veterans. Are there any specific lessons that you’ve learned from them about acting or the business in general?

Kale: I can’t even tell you one, because it was every single week… this is not an exaggeration. Every single day, I was learning something. They would always tell me something and I was like, “Okay, I’ll keep that information.” I learned a lot about acting. And like I was saying kind of earlier, being around those incredible actors pretty much every single day for the past four years… being around good people, whether you’re hanging out with a jazz musician, whether you’re hanging out with somebody who is really good at acting or directing, you’re naturally going to pick up on habits that they do. And, because these are all masters of their craft, I just feel like even if they didn’t teach me something, just by watching them I was always learning.

Rebecca Brenneman/The CW

Nerds & Beyond: Is there anyone you wish you could have more scenes with?

Kale: Keegan [Allen]. Oh, and Coby [Bell], I wish I had a lot of scenes with Coby. I didn’t really have a lot of scenes with Coby, or Jeff [Pierre]. Yeah, pretty much all the Walker boys. I didn’t think that I was going to have a lot of scenes with Mitch [Pileggi] and Molly this season, but I did and it was fantastic, they’re such sweet people. I’ll just say the Walker boys. The Walker boys that aren’t in the family.

Nerds & Beyond: What has been one of your most memorable moments on set?

Kale: My dad, he rarely comes to my stuff because he has a job and he doesn’t really have time. But every now and then he gets a free moment to come and see what I do. And we were filming, I forgot which episode it was, but I remember we wrapped for the day. And, I walked over to holding and he just had tears in his eyes. He was like, “I’ve seen your work on TV screens but I’ve never seen you actually do it in person and how you treat these people. It’s just such a loving environment, and whether you created it to be loving or someone else created it to be loving, you’re just kind of a light and I’ve never seen you do it before.” So that was very sweet… I’ve never talked about that before. It was amazing, and he’s gonna be on way more sets to come, I’ll tell you that.

Oh! I always say this, but it was one of the best weeks of filming I’ve ever had on any project. It was… the Walker boys went on a camping trip. It was cold outside, but it was a crisp cold. It was like bone-chilling, but it was great because all of our wardrobe was warm and, you know, cool cowboy hats and whatnot and we were on horses, but every single person on that set said this at least at one point, they always said, “I can’t believe we’re working, I can’t believe that we get paid to do this.” We just showed up and had a camping trip, and then we had s’mores. I was an idiot and I ate a full marshmallow on my coverage and we had to do 30 more shots. I was down 30 marshmallows at the end of the day, but it was it was worth it [laughs].

Nerds & Beyond: So, I wanted to say sorry —

Kale: Thank you. Thank you very much, it means a lot. I’ll say a little bit about it. In this industry, you’re honestly lucky to even get a callback for an audition, let alone work on a show that has a pilot that airs, and that 90% of the time is not gonna get picked up for a season. We were lucky enough to get four seasons of an incredible show with an amazing fan base and amazing actors behind it, and the whole team was just incredible. It’s a bittersweet moment. Obviously, a little bitter because it ended. That was a family, but I feel like for me, it was an incredible experience that I’ll always cherish for the rest of my life. I’m 19 years old, and I’ve already been in this industry for more than a decade. But Walker really just feels like the start of it all and I’m forever grateful, and I can’t wait to go on and do incredible things in this industry. I have plans on it. I’m working. I just feel incredibly lucky. Chapter one is closed and I learned so many valuable things, though, that I’ll use on every set.

Nerds & Beyond: It feels like saying sorry isn’t enough, and I know, sadly, it’s the nature of the business.

Kale: I feel like everybody feels good in a way that we left something. We were lucky enough to have four seasons, we left a lot of world behind. It wasn’t just one season, there’s more than 13 main characters on the show and we got to tell every single one of their stories, you know what I mean? It’s not like we didn’t do anything. We started something and we finished something, and we’re all very proud of everything.

Rebecca Brenneman/The CW

Nerds & Beyond: After seeing episode 11, you all have done your best work so far — so you’re going out on top.

Kale: Yeah, the last few episodes are fantastic. And it really does conclude, it’s very sweet.

Nerds & Beyond: I saw you, and I believe Keegan, got to visit the sets one last time?

Kale: Yeah! So, wardrobe called my Mom, and they were like, “Hey, come down to costumes. We’ll lay out every single–” This is no joke, every single article of clothing that I’ve ever, ever worn through for years. They said, “We’re lining all of it up, come through and take whatever you want.” And so I’m like, “Okay, yeah, let’s do that.” So I got some nice, free clothes that day. That was cool. We got to take home some clothes and I gave my dad some stuff, my brothers, everybody in the family got something like, “You get a car, you get a car!” [laughs] It wasn’t a car. It’s like, “You get a Stetson hat or a flannel.” And then the same day, John Patterson, our main producer, he was like, “Hey, come down to the sets and grab anything you want to remember,” and my mom snagged the back of my chair for the past four years, so we’re gonna hang it up somewhere. And hopefully, I don’t know if I’m supposed to be saying this, but hopefully, I get to take home the Walker piano.

Nerds & Beyond: Yes! That would be so cool.

Kale: I don’t know if you follow my Instagram but on my story I posted, I was able to play one last thing in the house. I got this new Fuji camera, which I’m obsessed about, it’s the X100V, and I was able to go snap some photos of the set. But yeah, it was bittersweet.

Walker airs Wednesday nights on The CW. The show’s series finale will air on June 26.

Briar
Briar
Briar is the Editor-in-Chief of Nerds and Beyond. She has been running the site since 2015 with the goal of being a unique, professional news site dedicated to all the things she loved - and providing fans with the best content available. Briar oversees the day-to-day operations and runs all of the social media. She loves all things Disney & Walker. You can follow her @thebriarroseee.

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