With tonight's midseason finale of The Walking Dead, fans are expecting showdowns between The Governor and Rick, Merle and Daryl, Michonne and Andrea, etc. Both the living and dead will likely be mutilated and beaten up pretty bad, and at the end of the hour, more questions will be left over.
In that spirit, we wanted to present Walking Dead leftovers; that is, bits and pieces from interviews with cast members - Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Michael Rooker, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan and creator Robert Kirkman - that we've just not gotten around to using yet. They cover a wide range of topics, but thought you might need an appetizer before tonight...
On how the show has evolved:
"I couldn’t be more proud of what we've been doing on season three … I’m constantly shocked by what we’re able to pull off."
On being tempted to hold back on killing/maiming a character:
"Yeah. I know Glen [Mazzara] has spoken publicly on how Hershel was going to die at the end of the second season. That was something we came up with in the room, and really liked and how it laid out the story and factored into the Shane/Randall scenes. It was very much involved with how Randall escaped and Shane went after him. But as we got into the scripting process and developing those episodes, it just wasn't working. It was something where we kept going, 'We can’t lose this guy.' This guy represents a lot of different things … and so he gained a reprieved. It happens in the comic a lot."
On seeing Danai Gurira dressed as Michonne the first time:
"I like to think of myself as kind of a mellow, low-key kind of guy, but when I arrived on set and saw her walking around in costume between scenes – she stays in character so she storms around, looking grumpy – it was really great. I just had this stupid grin on my face and had to concentrate, like 'Hey, you’re doing that dumb smile again.' It was a big moment for me. It's crazy going from season one to season three. I was there when Andrew Lincoln and Steven Yeun met for the first time. Steven came onto set when we were filming the pilot. I got to stand there and watch Rick Grimes meet Glenn for the first time. It was crazy. I have all these kind of moments, like the first time I walked into the prison. I got to go inside a cell and tour the hallways by myself. It's a lot of fun to have the comic book brought to life."
On The Governor's future:
"He doesn't look like the comic book Governor but we’re going to start him at a certain point, and evolve him to a certain extent ... we're definitely going to see the violent and dark Governor you got in the comic."
On how the show has changed his life:
"I call America and Georgia [where the show shoots] my home now. We have a very extraordinary life now where we live more in America than in London, and I love it … it's changed my life in as much as I don't want to do any other job. From the outside of it, and meeting you guys and doing this, I'm very private. I go to the same coffee shops. Nothing's changed ... But there's something about working in Atlanta – not really an industry town – that's really amazing. People see down at the coffee shop, and they come up, and it's like they’ve embraced us. We're like their show down south … It's because they were with us before we were The Walking Dead when we were just scruffy and wearing a hat."
On Norman Reedus and Daryl Dixon:
Norman "went to cool school" and is definitely "the wing man" and "strongest warrior of the group."
On what scares him:
"The Omen," which "completely traumatized" him as a kid - and Jaws or all sharks
On The Governor:
The Governor is the "evolution of Rick ... further down the line"
On Rick as a leader:
"I think his [Rick's] humanity is intact but his ruthlessness has moved into a Shane point of view."
On the evolution of Daryl:
"Growing up with a big brother like Merle, you'd probably assume he's constantly being put down, and constantly having to fight to be heard. With how things have gone with the apocalypse, he's kind of begun opening himself up to be people and being respected in other ways, and finding reasons to fight for certain people and be part of a group. It's a big deal for him. With Shane being gone, some of those responsibilities are on Daryl ... but Daryl doesn't want the responsibility of taking over a group. He's just trying to fit in ... I try to think of him as a wet coyote in an alley; he's starving and you want to pet him, but he'll bite you. Not because he hates you, but that’s how he's grown up."
On reuniting with Michael Rooker's Merle:
"It’s not what you think. Daryl and Merle are always looking for each other, and hope the other one’s out there. But there’s a lot of toes being stepped on. There’s a lot of ‘whoa, whoa, whoa, no, no, no.’ It’s so complicated and not what you think at all. I know both things you can think, and it’s not either one of them."
On Daryl’s love life:
"If it happens, I hope it happens in a way that’s not very smooth. I don’t want Daryl to have any game whatsoever. He’s not a 'throw you up against the wall' type of 'taking you now' guy. He’s more of a 'what are you doing – stop, cut it out.' He wouldn’t be the aggressor, I wouldn’t think, unless the situation called for it. But I don’t see him as a smooth operator in regards to that, at all ... I’m not sure Daryl’s emotionally up there yet."
On his crossbow vs. Michonne's katana:
"Crossbow's still cooler. I wouldn't trade it for the sword."
On the most exciting part about being back:
"Getting paid! [laughs] – very exciting, a lot of fun. No, you know, I made friends with a bunch of guys down there, and it’s always fun to work with everybody. And when you come back, you get to have a meeting with the writers, which is kind of cool."
On the reunion with Norman Reedus’ Daryl:
"I think we [Daryl and Merle] have always dealt with baggage, even before the zombie apocalypse. There was baggage between big brother and little brother. Big brother running away and leaving little brother; little brother being pissed off because big brother went out and didn’t take him with … I taught this guy how to hunt, trap, track. He saw I wasn’t there; he could track me down!"
On his bayonet arm:
"It gets a little hot and sweaty, but other than that it’s fairly comfy. I can do a lot of stuff with it. I’m very adept at using it. I can cut apples and stuff with it. It’s a real blade; when I get angry I stick it in the wall! … we have rubber blades for when we have a real hard, rough-and-tumble hand-to-hand kind of stuff."
On other arm attachments:
"What I have is pretty good, but I was thinking a mace. A little chain, mace - pop your head off, just like that. Go into a horde of zombies, and just start swinging."
On a Merle action figure:
On Glenn's fate in the comics:
"Isn't it just so twisted? He [Robert Kirkman] could have just killed him, but three pages of mush?!"
On Glenn and Maggie as the heart of the show:
"What was cool was in the first season, for Glenn, he kind of plays the hope role, in a way. He's a naïve kid that wants to believe everything is still good in the world. But in the second season, it's two people actually coming together to create that and to be that lasting, working image of that."
"Maggie and Glenn's relationship is, you’re always looking for someone who is more courageous than you in some aspect. Or someone who thinks like you or believes the things you do. It might be the apocalypse but Maggie and Glenn have this because it works. They were supposed to find each other. People talk about the parallels between this and the Rick and Laurie relationship, and it’s like they offer complete different things."