Transcripts of some of the highlights from my participation at The Walking Dead roundtables in SDCC 2015.
Andrew Lincoln On Rick Grimes : He has been restraining himself for two or three episodes. He realizes that the straw that broke the camel’s back was the incidents walkers coming in (to Alexandria) and Pete slashing Reg. You meet a man who is not willing to compromise anymore. As far as security goes,he is incredibly uncompromising because he realizes that the world out there will inevitably get inside the walls. They (Residents of Alexandria ) weren’t up to speed. He’s not neccessarily angry with the Alexandrians, he just doesn’t care about them as much as he cares about his people.
He’s going to try dating in the apocalypse.
Greg Nicotero: Speed Dating with only one table.
Andrew Lincoln: It’s never easy for Rick is it ? He’s met this girl. He kind of likes her . He’s shot her husband in the head in front of everybody. So the first date is going to be quite an interesting conversation. It was a sort of reset for this guy. He needs to make this work. He needs it to be a viable community for his children and also for this new family. But at what cost ? And I think that very much is explored this season. It’s them and us. Are they able to come with us ? If they can’t ,he has that callous nature in him which could quite easily cut them out. Done. We don’t need you. We can take this place. It’s an interesting sort of dance at the moment to see where’s the brutal side, where’s the uncompromising side, and a side that is willing to open his heart again,
Greg Nicotero: What’s interesting is, the way our show is structured, it’s never one storyline through the entire sixteen episodes. They are mini-movies. Episodes one through four are one storyline when they get out of terminus and meet with Gabriel. Then we had the Beth storyline,which was three episodes. Then everything sort of collides. So our show is really designed to have these mini-stories. What was fun about episode twelve when they get to Alexandria was the contrast of this sort of quiet, pleasant…the houses were beautiful. We hear kids laughing. The contrast of getting our characters to their absolute bottom of the barrel after the tornado and they’re walking out on the road with no energy,no food, nothing and putting them in Alexandria. That was a really fun episode for us because it was so dramatically different.
Andrew Lincoln: It was terrifying as well because it’s not our show. I had to physically strip my beard off and reveal myself and also meet this girl. Being touched again and all these kind of strange things which felt so foreign but actually necessary to move the story in this new amazing place. In the same way that Carol’s character just morphs. Darryl Dixon wasn’t willing to compromise. He felt incredibly uncompromising. Carol and Daryl were holding the viewers in the old world.
Tony Tellado: How was it like playing the Undercover “Betty Crocker”?
Melissa McBride: The undercover stuff was really fun.It’s becoming a lttle more entertaining for me as an actor to play this character because her original story was so close to me and so personal that it was just gut wrenching to me all the time. Now as far as acting goes I’m getting into a physical. Fictional, beyond bigger than life sort of fun stuff to do. But in the world of the apocalypse, bigger than life fits perfectly.And it fits perfectly with her story, with her backstory and how you know where she came from.
Show runner Scott Gimple and Lennie James on Morgan’s return and change….
Scott Gimple: I think it’s fair to say that we need to find out how Morgan got from here to there. Mentally. So one way or another, we wouldn’t just jump that story line. Where he was in “Clear” and where he was in 601 (episode). There must be some answers and there will be and it very much has to do with the story that we tell in the present. It was bizzare how it all happened last year. Right when the late great “Low Winter Sun” went down, that was when I got on the phone with AMC, we had plans for Morgan, but we weren’t rooting for “Low Winter Sun” to fail but were keeping our eye on it. But when you have a fantastic actor, they get snatched up before you can touch the phone and that kind of happened. But it was awesome on how we..It was really an uncomfortable weekend for us..
Lennie James: Laughs
Scott Gimple: I was so thrilled that we got to tell the story that way.But when Lennie and I were talking, I said “Holy Crap, I have to do all this work now.” Yeah just act out this stuff, I kind of have this general idea (kidding). It was kind of exicting because I had to hunker down and work on some season six stuff. We’ve had a story now and both of use are excited to tell for more than a year.
Lennie James: Circumstances dictated that. I think it was very..It’s been incredibly unconventional. It’s not been the normal way of showing up, reading it, kind of having a conversation. There was a weekend in which a decision had to be made. Scott had to pitch a whole season of stuff in a very short space of time. I was aware of stuff in a way where I wouldn’t have necessarily been aware of it even though all the cast members sit down with Scott at the beginning of each season to talk through their characters was done in a very different way. The job that I was doing happened to have two weeks hiatus which Scott heard about and said, “Just fly to Georgia for a day and shoot a bit in the first episode and a bit in the eigth”. And that’s what we ended up kind of doing. Then I came back as the show I was doing finished in time, for me to come back and do the finale. It just happened to play out that way and Scott being and the writer’s room being adaptable and brilliant. They just go “Then we’ll do this” . For a behemouth of show which this is, every now and then, it can be light on its feet. They can shift around and slightly improve my journey from last season to this.
Listen to The Walking Dead And Fear The Walking Dead Sessions episodes recorded live at SDCC. Special thanks to AMC and SDCC