Tonight on AMC in anticipation of the season 9 premiere of The Walking Dead we have an all-new Thursday, October 23, 2017, The Walking Dead special called, “Behind the Dead.” On tonight’s special episode as per the AMC synopsis, “Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus and the rest of the cast and crew reflect on the history and celebrate the 100th episode.”
So make sure to bookmark this spot and come back between 9 PM – 10 PM ET! for our The Walking Dead – Behind the Dead recap. While you wait for the recap make sure to check out all our The Walking Dead recaps, spoilers, news & more, right here!
Tonight’s The Walking Dead Behind The Dead recap begins now – Refresh Page often to get the most current updates!
The cast gets together tonight to reminisce of the past 7 seasons as Robert Kirkham, executive producer, and creator of The Walking Dead (TWD), reveals how difficult it was to get the show off the ground as Tom Luse, executive producer says it was rejected, accepted, developed and the rejected again but it too a young cable network like AMC to value and take the risk to do a zombie television show. Gale Anne Hurd also explains that bringing that kind of horror to TV was like the “ugly stepchild” of drama and they only had hopes of being renewed for a second season.
Luse talks about the amazing “blueprint” they have from Robert Kirkham who loves that the show is like the comic, where you truly never know what is going to happen; even for fans of the comics, they never know what is going to occur on the show. Gale credits the actors for the series success, saying without them, no matter how good the script was, the show wouldn’t have lasted. She shares an interesting tidbit in where they didn’t cast Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) first, in fact, the cast Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal) first.
Andrew loved the name of the script, initially thinking it was a war story when his agent presented it to him; but when he saw it was about the zombie apocalypse, he salivated. He said the only way they were going to do this was to link arms, looking each other square in the eyes and give it all they have but to have fun.
Melissa McBride (Carol Peletier) reveals when she got the script, she stopped at a comic book store and looked up the section for The Walking Dead. At that instant, she knew it was going to be very different from anything she has ever done and felt it would be fun. Lennie James (Morgan Jones) says at the time when they started, it was the time for all the Vampire shows like True Blood and The Vampire Diaries and everyone thought they were crazy to do a zombie show.
Gale shares the funny story of Andrew’s audition – they skyped with him and he declined to say he just had a baby and was incredibly sleepless; they scoffed at him saying his wife had a baby and not him. Andrew reveals he got a friend to film him but it was just his nose up, but they felt the video was so strong, they brought him out for a screen test.
Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon) did the audition but told them he sucked and never got a job off an audition; Sherry Thomas, casting director says he was not right for the role, but he was fascinating, and they brought him back for a character that was not in the comic books and wrote the part for him. Melissa McBride never auditioned, because they loved her in the movie “The Mist”. Casting Danai Gurira as Michonne was exciting who had never came across a character so extraordinary. They needed her to be bad ass.
Melissa talks about how the performances were so incredible and never saw anything like it on television before. It was just something that happened, the right individuals and the right cast. Michael Rooker (Merle Dixon) felt the role was perfect for him, he never experienced anything like Walking Dead.
Lennie talks about the weather in Georgia, the heat and the bugs make the show harder but better. Tom Payne (Jesus) and Pollyanna McIntosh (Jadis) says the weather didn’t bother her but she felt for the ones in walker costumes and makeup, joking that she will know what that is like as they change her into a walker next week.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan) admits there is nothing hotter than being in Atlanta in August, but a zombie will never get his leather jacket off him. Melissa jokes that they love to be miserable, but the fact is for 6 months a year they are together, and the bond is closer than anything Gale has worked on before. Everyone credits the crew, saying they are the best crew ever; even calling them superheroes.
Scott M. Gimple, the Executive producer says they love creating the show as it is the best summer camp on earth. Angela Kang likes to explore sets, giving the writers ideas about a part of the set that us underutilized, or could be more prominent.
Alexandra Breckenridge (Jessica Anderson) talks about their characters are always fighting for survival and so they become very close to them as they fight for their lives together. Rooker jokes about pulling hair and fighting, asking if fans’ families do that; they are a family but unlike a family in the sense that everyone was really cool.
Lauren Cohan (Maggie Greene) was a huge fan of the show before she started and when she got to Atlanta, she was so welcomed into the fold. Ross Marquand admits it was intimidating at first, but the stress disappeared after he met Andy (Lincoln). Khary Payton (Ezekiel) reminds us that his first scenes were of wrangling pigs; Lennie welcomed him to the family and together they started running.
Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha Williams) says they truly mean it when they call each other “family”, and a lot of it has to do with Andrew Lincoln, saying that man is an example of a leader. Lincoln says they set the tone in the first season that even if you were off camera, you always worked harder for the other actor.
They all feel the hardest part about being on the show is seeing people leave. Gimple says it is a fictional show but it has real-life consequences and it’s ultimately up to him, so it falls on his shoulders to have difficult conversations with people. Reedus jokes to kill them all off while Pollyanna feels it’s exciting to know you can be killed off at any time; keeping you in the present just like life. Andrew says it sucks profoundly as Denise Huth, the co-executive producer says they show up to work knowing they can be killed off, but this is the show.
Huth says everyone bargains but Andy is notorious for trying to save everyone on the show. He says it is the most beautiful job but the most painful job; admitting the sad thing is he is still there as he is the one who is doing the catching and releasing. Melissa says there is no way to prepare for the loss of a cast member revealing they have a “death dinner” afterward. Sonequa admits her death dinner was the nearest and dearest to her as the words were so emotional and caring. Andrew talks about they are all going to go in the same way, but watching them go is sheer agony, but death is a part of life.
Reedus says Lincoln is always the actor’s quarterback. Lincoln jokes about working with Reedus, saying they will be working more together this season but it’s frustrating because he has to work twice as hard because he has to learn Norman’s lines for him. Meanwhile, Reedus talks about loving him as Lincoln says he is super annoying – beautiful hair, his little goatee that has taken him 8 years to grow. He hopes they kill him off this year, then Reedus calls him an a-hole.
Danai says their friendship is hilarious and cannot wait to see what they do to each other this year; Jeff loves that he was so accepting into the duo. Reedus says he has been friends with Jeff for over 20 years and finds their friendship is a huge deal. Chandler Riggs (Carl Grimes) admits he hasn’t been pranked yet but feels it is coming. Lincoln says the prank war is a thing of “honor” as Tom laughs that this is not British humor at all. It started in Japan and ended with the glitter bomb. Danai and Tom joke they would never get involved because they would land on their faces.
Lennie tells fans there was a drinking game that every time Andy would call out “Carl”, they would have to take a drink and in some episodes, people would get really drunk; everyone makes fun of Rick calling out Carl’s name. Andrew gets very defensive about how he says the name. Reedus makes fun of him when his accent slips a little bit when he is acting. Andrew laughs asking why they called him Carl and not Jason or Robert.
Walking Dead fans are the most passionate, sometimes in scary ways but Reedus says they wouldn’t have the show without the fans. He admits he has been bitten, pets are named after him; even fans named their baby after him. Chandler says he gets a lot of dolls and a lot of pudding while Jessica reveals she got a fake severed finger from a fan.
Sonequa says her favorite thing is seeing the creativity of TWG fans. Tom Payne and Lennie James find it strange that people would tattoo/ scar their bodies in the name of the show. Khary says the day before he started the show a woman came up to him and showed that his entire body sitting on the throne was tattooed on her thigh, he hopes he hasn’t disappointed her.
The Walking Dead fans are a family as some reveal they met at conventions, even couples getting married. Melissa, general manager of the Woodbury Shop shows where the cast signed the wall in the basement museum, but Norman Reedus’ signature is faded, they suspect people might be licking it. Reedus says he should get flavored ink pens if that is the case.
The fan experiences are gratifying and personal, the cast love hearing stories from their fans, especially Melissa McBride who has fans tell her of their own stories of abuse and finally having the courage to leave, thanks to her character. Ross says this isn’t just an acting gig, he learns from many that he was the reason people were able to come out with their sexuality. Jeff says it’s a really special relationship between the show and the fans.
Huth explains that almost none of the actors knew each other in the beginning, and now the characters have a will to survive and a closeness. Daryl has had a crazy evolution from episode 1 to 100. He played the first 4 seasons with a chip on his shoulder, wasn’t proud of who he was or where he came from and basically was going to become his big brother, but he found people in the group came to rely on him and he became a man.
Carol has most definitely had the biggest change from who she was at the beginning to who she is now. Melissa is proud of the role she plays; there isn’t a single character that is the same as they were on day one. Jeff says last year was about Negan showing Rick who the boss was while Andrew says he started out as an invisible man of law and order, he has been beaten and bent by pain, and the horrors of the new landscape.
The show is about change and how humans are adaptable, and the thing he loves about the show is that there is still hope. At the end of Season 7, we saw Rick become Rick again and Season 8 is going to be about “balls to the wall.” Huth says season 8 is bananas, so much action as Jeff feels this is what he audience deserves. Andrew admits that Rick finally has a good plan that only took 100 episodes to happen.