To celebrate the Oct. 22 Season 8 premiere of The Walking Dead — the series’ 100th episode — Yahoo TV will be posting a new TWD-related story every day through the season opener.
The Walking Dead fans know her as Jadis, the new Scavenger on the block who made her debut during the second half of the show’s 7th season. Just a few episodes in, the adorably named Pollyanna McIntosh quickly made her mark as one of the brightest new stars on TWD’s super-sized cast. And while she’s an antagonist on the AMC post-apocalyptic drama, in real life, she’s sweet as apple pie.
Here are five things you need to know about Pollyanna McIntosh.
1. Her mom enrolled her in acting classes because she was hyperactive as a child
McIntosh started acting as a teen, but the seed was planted early on — by her mom. In an interview with Starburst magazine, McIntosh revealed that her mother enrolled her in acting classes when she was a little girl to give her something to do with all of her energy. “When I was nine years old, living in Edinburgh, I was a hyperactive child, always up to something loud so she thought that excess energy could be put to good use in an after school acting class once a week,” McIntosh said. Mama’s idea paid off. Pollyanna went on to study drama and theater in college and her career has included stage, film, and TV work. She even landed a coveted video game voice role in Dante’s Inferno and has tried her hand at screenwriting.
2. She was married to a Melrose Place heartthrob.
McIntosh was married to Melrose Place hunk Grant Show from 2004 to 2011. The couple met during a shoot for a Lane Bryant ad. While she has no children yet, McIntosh hasn’t ruled motherhood out in the future. “I’d love to have a kid,” she told Herald Scotland. “But if I have to adopt then I’d be happy to do that. I’m in no rush. My ex-husband had a baby [with his new wife] and I found out online. I got a real fright and, at first, was all puffed up and furious. And then it was a good lesson … Because I know I don’t want to be with him. I don’t want his baby. And I realized, ‘Oh, I would like a baby some time, that’s why.’ Do I want one now? No, but down the line, I would really like the option to raise a child, whether it’s mine or someone else’s.”
3. She used to be a ‘plus-size’ model.
McIntosh has been vocal about her ups and downs when it comes to her weight. The actress battled anorexia and has worked as a “plus-size” model, appearing in Vogue at the (still not plus) size of 14. “I went out with a bit of a bang,” she said of her modeling career, which she started at age 16 in London. “The last jobs I did were phenomenal. I learned a lot, not least being a skinny model and not being able to eat; being anorexic through work. I can’t thank that experience enough for having shaped me and making me grateful for my body. It’s always there, but I’m lucky in that I’m already kind of tall, deep voiced, and powerful looking, so it would be weird if I was really skinny now.”
4. She started watching horror movies at age six.
She stars in one of the goriest dramas on TV and has appeared in horror films like The Woman and Let Us Prey, so it’s no surprise that McIntosh has an appreciation of the genre — even if she didn’t always realize it. The actress was introduced to the horror genre by “mistake” as a young child. “I didn’t consider myself a horror fan before but having got to understand the genre further I recognize that I have always admired the more artfully made horrors such as Rosemary’s Baby and The Shining,” she told Eye for Film. “I was 12 when I saw [Rosemary’s Baby] and it blew me away. I saw The Omen by mistake when I was six. Wow! I haven’t seen it since, but I can remember it almost scene by scene.”
5. She didn’t have to cut her hair for the part of Jadis.
TWD fans have definite opinions on Jadis’s haircut — as so does McIntosh. She has called the character’s banged-up ‘do “a good comparison to Spock.” But it turns out Jadis’s signature cut was actually Pollyanna’s real haircut when she went in for her audition for the role. The actress was filming a movie where her character was required to have that cut, so when she went to her TWD audition, the crew wanted her to keep it. “[The fans] do love to take the piss out of Jadis’s haircut but that’s been done quite creatively and funnily too,” McIntosh told The Herald Scotland. “I’m getting a lot of ‘who wore it best?’ memes comparing Jadis’s cut to He-Man, Planet of the Apes, Spock, etcetara. The funny thing is that that was my haircut already. It’s not for everybody but it’s her’s now and I think the jokes would amuse her too.”
The Walking Dead Season 8 premieres Oct. 22 at 9 p.m. on AMC.
Read more from Yahoo TV: