As the season premier of ‘The Walking Dead’ creeps closer, more and more new cast members are being announced pretty regularly.  ‘Phineas and Ferb‘ voice actor Vincent Martella will play another kid around Carl’s age, while ‘Twilight’s’ Christian Serratos will play a former prostitute.  Now actress Alanna Masterson has been hired to play an undisclosed part.  Despite the secrecy of the role, for some reason the rumor mill is buzzing that she will play Tara Chalmers.

Yeah, I drew a complete blank.  I consulted my ‘Survivor’s Guide’ (which, by the way is kind of falsely named) and she wasn’t listed.  So I took to ‘The Walking Dead’ wiki and apparently she’s from ‘The Rise of the Governor’ prose novels.  (Which I obviously haven’t read.)  “Tara Chalmers is the older sister of April Chalmers and the daughter of David Chalmers. She is described as being overweight, and always wearing different colored mu-muu’s. She is also described as having her mother’s temper and single-mindedness.”  The Chalmers are members of a traveling bluegrass band and they encounter the pre-Governor and his friends before he rises to power in Woodbury.

Just judging by that description and the accompanying photo, they’re clearly taking some liberties with the character.  Overweight?  Mu-muus?  Either that, or they plan to ugly her up or add prosthetics or something.  But then, why not just hire an overweight actress?

For a little bit more about the character of Tara Chalmers read on. However, if you intend to read the novels but haven’t yet, SPOILER ALERT!

In the novel, Phillip and April form a bond, but when things start to heat up between them, April changes her mind and tells him to stop, but Phillip winds up raping her.  He is immediately remorseful, but the following morning, Tara aims a shotgun at him and his friends and forces them to leave, with no food or weapons.

This appears to be the extent of the Chalmers story line, at least so far.  (These are planned as a series of novels, so there is more to come.)  I’m not sure why people feel that Masterson is playing this particular role, but having not read the novel, there may be reasons.  (If you’ve read the novel and get why, feel free to explain in the comments section.)

But then again, she may be playing a different character, even a completely original one.  There have been plenty of those in this series.  T-Dawg, Jacqui, Milton, the Dixons and so forth.  And in some of their cases, they’ve become massive fan favorites, so who’s to say the producers won’t continue to bring in all-new characters to freshen things up and to differentiate the show from the comics to keep comic readers on their toes.

‘The Walking Dead’ returns on AMC on October 13th at 9 pm Eastern.

Sources: Dealine, Hypable and TheWalkingDeadWikia