Iron Maiden: Mercedes Rules

Swedish-born Fear the Walking Dead star MERCEDES MASON is as cool as she is fit.

What’s your training regimen? When I was younger I started modeling. As I got older, my body wanted to develop boobs and a butt, so I was fighting against that. In high school I had a great teacher who realized I was way underweight and taught me a lot about muscles, so I started weight training. Every time I did lighter weights my body changed dramatically, a lot quicker than when I did cardio, so I concentrated on muscle groups. Also, in Scandinavia we jump into ice-cold water and then go into the sauna, and I just find that my body reacts really well to that—something weird happens to my muscles.

Do you want to be a Bond ? Girl or Bond? I want to be Jane Bond! I think it’s time for a role reversal, and I’ll have sexy Bond Men.

What’s better cardio: sex or the treadmill? Oh my god, who would say the treadmill? No, sex, of course. My god, yes, sex. It’s the best core workout in the world if you’re not just laying there. I get creative: I start out with a cartwheel, then I get into it. I take a running leap at my husband.

Any training tips? I’m always doing something different. I’ll hike one day, run the treadmill another. But for me the secret is a really good sound track. It gets my heart pumping, gets me excited. I’m one of those crazy people on the stair climber, and I’m full-on dancing.

Can you kick all the other girls’ asses on the set? Laughs, I think physically, but emotionally I wouldn’t want to do that because I love them. Actually, I think I can beat up the guys—I think if it came down to brass tacks I’d take them all.

How does your degree in psychology help your acting? You know, honestly, I think it has so much to do with breaking down characters. And it has taught me how to deal with people. I’m surprised psychology isn’t more readily taught in school. It teaches you so much about human nature. Of course, I have obsessively studied serial killers, which has helped me no way at all. But at least if I meet a serial killer, I’ll be able to talk my way out of it!

Why haven’t more models been successful as actors? I think models who do really well in modeling are almost a different breed. I modeled, but I was never a supermodel. I got by. But those girls, they’re almost alien, in a beautiful way; they were made for it. Their bodies are different; their facial expressions are different. I think a really good model can express everything through silence. And I think they’re such different worlds. On top of that, there is such discrimination against models. There’s the thought that they’re stupid or vapid, and no one gives them a chance, really.

Do you think humans and the undead will learn to live together in harmony? Who knows? I would imagine that zombies would outdo all of us at some point. They always ask me, “Would you survive a zombie apocalypse?” I think physically, yes. But emotionally? Would I want to? What sort of world is that to live in?