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The Walking Dead; Season 5 Cast Q&A

ANDREW LINCOLN

Rick

TELL US WHERE RICK IS AT THE BEGINNING OF SEASON FIVE?

Rick is very much back. He has made peace with the fact that there is a very brutal side to him, but he has a humane side too.  Both are acceptable to him in his worldview.  Rick is one of these people who keeps finding himself at the edge of this moral precipice, and throws himself off of it for the sake of his family and his friends who are now family.

SO RICK IS AT PEACE WITH A LITTLE BIT OF MADNESS INSIDE HIM?

The most exciting thing this season is you meet a man who is trapped in the most dangerous situation he has ever been in, and yet he is at his most confident and calm.  I’m interested in the guy who keeps reinventing his moral code to suit his needs. When that comes up against other people in the group or in the world, what does that cause?

WHAT DID YOU THINK WHEN YOU READ THE PREMIERE EPISODE?

My first thought was how are we going to shoot this?! My second thought was how is this going to fit in 47 minutes?! The first three episodes are the strongest we’ve ever had.  It’s an astonishing, kinetic, thrill ride, but with incredibly detailed character development and really smart storytelling. It’s nothing short of insane. I truly feel it is our best season yet.  It’s great to come into a show Season Five and be more excited about it than ever.

WHAT IS ONE OF THE GREATEST MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT THE WALKING DEAD?

That it is genre. I don’t see it as genre.  It is none of the stereotypes of genre.  It is the opposite.  It is about human beings’ adaptability.

ARE YOU AFRAID OF MORE CHARACTER DEATHS THIS SEASON?

Everyone reads the scripts going ‘there are a lot of us here…’  We all live in fear.

NORMAN REEDUS

Daryl

WHAT DID YOU THINK WHEN YOU READ THE PREMIERE EPISODE?

I read the first script – it’s insane. I read the second script – and it’s insane. It is one of those scripts you have to put down every couple of pages to think about it. Fans are going to freak out.

THE PREMIERE EPISODE IS WRITTEN BY SCOTT GIMPLE.

The way Scott Gimple puts them together is so genius. Every little thing means something. He is really good at throwing people in different directions and you never exactly know where you are going to land. When you speculate what is going to happen, it ends up being completely different.

HOW DID DARYL’S TIME WITH BETH CHANGE HIM?

It changed him a lot. Beth gave him hope that the world wasn’t as bad as he was thinking it was. Even if it is, she hinted that maybe it doesn’t have to be.

DO YOU THINK DARYL COULD BE THE LAST MAN STANDING?

That is probably his greatest fear – to be left alone. When you see characters that have been through a lot and they are trying to be better human beings – that is uplifting. He is definitely an underdog. I can see how people relate to him.

DO YOU GUYS PLAY JOKES ON EACH OTHER?

Yes, when there were particularly heavy scenes, I would lean over Andy [Lincoln] and whisper, ‘Love You.’

STEVEN YEUN

Glenn

WHERE IS GLENN WHEN WE START THIS SEASON?

Where we left off last season is a very good indicator of his disposition going forward. He just went through the toughest test of faith. That solidified a hope that this world can still be good, that there is still something to fight for. There is still humanity left in the world.

HOW WAS THE FIRST DAY OF PRODUCTION?

It’s happy smiles, high fives, and back to work.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO DOING THIS EPISODE?

I’m excited to get to the crazy action of it all. This episode is very physical and action packed. It is a great welcome to the season. This one is definitely a heavy hitter.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT WITH YOUR CHARACTER, GLENN?

I’m excited to show other sides of Glenn. The first and second seasons you got to see the light, brash side of him. Then in the third and fourth seasons, we focused on his growth and evolution. This season you get to see a well-rounded, overall fully realized person.

WHAT CAN YOU TELL FANS ABOUT SEASON FIVE?

It jumps off where we left off and keeps going at that pace. The beauty of this show is the fact that it is a curve ball at every circumstance, at any moment. You have to watch closely.

LAUREN COHAN

Maggie

HOW IS IT BEING BACK IN PRODUCTION FOR SEASON FIVE?

We get to be back together. That’s really the biggest thing. The rest of life is just on pause until we get to go back toThe Walking Dead. This is our family.

WHAT DID YOU THINK WHEN YOU FIRST READ THE PREMIERE EPISODE SCRIPT?

To me it’s the biggest script we’ve had yet. It is a complete action movie. This episode is so exciting, so disturbing, and so real. This world is escalating.

WHERE IS MAGGIE MENTALLY AT THE START OF SEASON FIVE?

You have to live for the moment. That’s Maggie’s M.O. Glenn and Maggie really appreciate just being back together, being present and grateful. It warrants hope.

MAGGIE IS HOPEFUL EVEN THOUGH SHE AND THE GROUP ARE LOCKED INSIDE A RAILCAR?

In moments of peril and those highest moments of panic, that is when she really grounds herself. That is an important depiction of the Green Family – the hope and strength they have.

AND SHE IS HOPEFUL TO FIND BETH AS WELL?

She found Glenn and the group. Look in the hopes that you find, and you will find. Maggie has no reason to think Beth is not alive, so Maggie is not going to entertain that.

WHAT KEEPS SURPRISING YOU ABOUT THIS SHOW?

I’m still always amazed at the evolution of the writing, of the show, and of the characters. It feels so fresh all the time.

CHANDLER RIGGS

Carl

WHAT IS IT LIKE GROWING UP ON THE SHOW FOR FIVE SEASONS?

Growing up on this show has been awesome. I have the most amazing actors to work with who are mentors. It’s been one-third of my life.

DANAI GURIRA

Michonne

HOW DOES MICHONNE FEEL ABOUT WHAT RICK DID TO SAVE HIS SON IN SEASON FOUR?

Sometimes you have to have a brutal response. Her man did not go to that extent for her son. She has an understanding of what Rick needed to do.

WHERE IS MICHONNE IN SEASON FIVE?

She is fully committed. These are the people she chooses in this realm. She almost lost them, and she felt that loss. She is not going to let that happen again. The question is how does she respond to various situations and circumstances now that she is integrated into the group.

HOW DO YOU HANDLE BEING ON SUCH A HEAVY, SERIOUS SHOW?

I have always preferred stuff that makes me go to the core of the human experience. In all my work, I have a tendency to deal with the hardest and most profound questions of humanity. I like going into those questions. I think they are important. And we have so much fun.

THE ROLE OF MICHONNE IS ALSO VERY PHYSICAL.

I like being exhausted as an artist. I come from theatre. I want to be tapped out at the end of the day. That means I give Michonne all that I have.

MICHONNE IS WITHOUT HER KATANA.

Michonne is powerful beyond a weapon.

WHAT HAS BEEN ONE OF THE GREATEST COMPLIMENTS A FAN HAS TOLD YOU?

That Michonne transcends race and gender. That really touched me to hear that. That means Michonne is getting rid of the categories a little bit. It’s a beautifully multiethnic cast. Not just my character, but many characters in this show are transcending those categories. I love that.

MELISSA MCBRIDE

Carol

WHERE IS CAROL MENTALLY AT THE START OF SEASON FIVE?

The great thing about Carol is that she is prepared to do anything. It’s coming to terms with the fact that this is the way the world is. This is what you have to do now. She has come to a place of courage to be able to do those tough things. It comes from a place of caring.

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE SHOOTING IN THE CITY?

They are going back to the place they were running away from.  I love all the different locations we have this season.

WHAT SURPRISED YOU MOST LAST SEASON?

Carol never expected that Tyreese would forgive her.

MICHAEL CUDLITZ

Sgt. Abraham Ford

WHAT DID YOU THINK AFTER YOU READ THE PREMIERE EPISODE?

I think it is possibly one of the most satisfying hours on television I’ve ever read. There are so many moments where you will have genuine excitement for what is happening. Things you want to happen, do happen; and things you can’t believe happen, happen.

THERE ARE THREE ALPHA MALES – RICK, DARYL AND ABRAHAM.

There is conflict everywhere.

DO WE LEARN MORE ABOUT ABRAHAM’S BACKSTORY THIS SEASON?

He is ex-Army like the comic book. The rest may or may not be the same. There is a lot going on under the surface of Abraham. What that is – we will see as the series unfolds.

DO YOU WORRY YOUR CHARACTER WILL BE KILLED OFF?

Everyone is here on borrowed time, everyone.

IS THE COMIC BOOK PART OF YOUR RESEARCH?

If we can be in touch with what is going on in the comics, even if it is not written in the script, there are elements you can call upon. That is very satisfying for the comic book readers. Robert Kirkman created these characters. The comics will always be a part of the [television characters] in some way. To be as informed as you can from that standpoint helps everyone have a much richer experience.

WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES THE WALKING DEAD SO SUCCESSFUL?

It is good storytelling. Ultimately, it does not have to do with the walkers. It has to do with people, how we structure society, and what happens when social norms and governments break down. We are forced to deal with each other.

EMILY KINNEY

Beth

WHERE IS BETH?

I can’t tell you, but she is a lot stronger this season. She has to use everything she’s got.

CHAD L. COLEMAN

Tyreese

TELL US ABOUT THE WALKERS THIS SEASON.

I thought the burnt out flame walkers from last season’s episode “The Grove” were gross, but they top that [this season]. It’s eerie.

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO SHOOT IN THE CITY?

It takes me back to when the show first started, and how it was for them to be in the city. For me, it is a whole new experience because most of our stuff has been out in the woods. When you bring it to the city, it is that much more intense. It is a reminder there used to be so much life that has been lost and the devastation seems greater. It speaks to everything happening on a larger scale.

WHERE DO WE SEE TYREESE THIS SEASON?

All this devastation ramps up his humanity. There is something inside him that just aches. It’s interesting to see the push and pull. There is life, and what are we going to do with this life that we still have? This season tells you where we are going.

SONEQUA MARTIN-GREEN

Sasha

WHAT DID YOU THINK WHEN YOU READ THE PREMIERE EPISODE SCRIPT?

It is always interesting when you read a script and go ‘okay, that’s impossible.’ It’s so big! It superseded my expectations!

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO SHOOT IN THE CITY?

It resonates the gravity and tragedy of the situation because cities usually symbolize life and opportunity.

TALK ABOUT THE SETS THIS SEASON.

One of the beauties of this show is that everything is so well done. Every department is at the top of its game. Everyone works in excellence. All you have to do is look around and take it in. Then it’s ‘Lets go, Action!’ It’s crazy.

IS IT ALL WORK AND NO PLAY?

We know we are making something really profound and it is a mirror to society. That makes us more passionate about it. It is dark, but there are a lot of prevailing messages in it. A lot that can be learned from it. We really enjoy being here and enjoy being with each other. That allows us to laugh and have fun.

JOSH MCDERMITT

Dr. Eugene Porter

HOW IS THE CAMARADERIE ON SET?

People are laughing and having a good time. It’s a huge family. People are excited to see each other, hugging and saying welcome back. Its reunion time. Then about three hours in, we start playing pranks, shoving garbage in Norman’s chair – all our pranks are directed at Norman because we know he’s licking our food before we eat it.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE MOST IN THE SEASON PREMIERE?

I didn’t really get a chance to work with all the cast last year. We only saw Andrew, Norman, Chandler, and Danai for a split second last season. It is great to be with everyone. I get to see how they work and see the process that they go through. To see that in action is a great payoff for me.

WHAT DID YOU THINK WHEN YOU READ THE PREMIERE SCRIPT?

I forgot that I was working on the show. I was so excited as a fan. It’s mind-blowing.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH FANS ABOUT THIS SEASON?

If you are a fan of the show, forget about all the other seasons. This season is going to blow your brains out like you are a zombie!

CHRISTIAN SERRATOS

Rosita

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER?

She is just trying to survive in this world the best she can, picking up traits from people along the way. Her mission to get Eugene to D.C. is the purpose that keeps her going.

HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THE COMIC BOOKS FOR INSPIRATION?

I’ve been going back and forth on if I should from an artistic standpoint. But as a fan, I think I’m going to cave.

DOES SHE REGARD RICK AND THE GROUP AS ALLIES?

She does not by any means think they are her family, but she does not think they are going to kill her, at least not today.

WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES THE WALKING DEAD SO SUCCESSFUL?

Part of it is the walkers. They are beautiful and such hard work goes into creating them. But it’s the psychology and love behind it. How people perceive each other and how you make bonds. That is very relatable.

ALANNA MASTERSON

Tara

WHAT IS IN STORE WITH YOUR CHARACTER THIS SEASON?

What makes this show super successful is Scott Gimple doesn’t tell anyone anything.

DOES SHE STILL FEEL GUILTY ABOUT THE GOVERNOR?

The loss of her family will never go away, but the guilt is gone.

NOW THAT GLENN IS REUNITED WITH MAGGIE, DOES TARA CONNECT WITH ANYONE ELSE?

Her family is gone and the person Tara was with is now with his family. I think she is going to try to find a family and a group to fight for. There is nothing left for her but survival.

ANDREW J. WEST

Gareth

YOU HAVE RICK AND COMPANY TRAPPED.

We don’t really see eye to eye with Rick and the others. It’s a great new chapter for sure.

TELL US ABOUT THE SET OF TERMINUS.

The cool thing is I have never shown up to work where you get as dirty as possible, immediately. The attention to detail is staggering. It’s very easy to slip right into the apocalypse where you feel like you have been living it for the past couple years.

YOU HAVE SOME AMAZING PROPS.

As long as I’m doing the shooting, I’m good with that.

SETH GILLIAM

Father Gabriel

WHAT WAS IT LIKE FIRST SETTING FOOT ON THE WALKING DEAD SET?

It seemed like a set from a big Hollywood film production.

HOW WAS JOINING THE CAST?

Joining the cast, I was completely greeted with open arms.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER.

Father Gabriel is introduced in the 61st issue of the comics.  They [Rick’s group] are very weary.  They don’t know if he is trustworthy, or not.

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