The Walking Dead Showrunner Scott Gimple Answers Fan Questions – Part II

TWD-S4-Scott-Gimple-325In Part II of amc.com’s two-part fan interview with Scott GimpleThe Walking Dead Showrunner, Executive Producer and Writer talks about diverging from his source material and the possibility of celebrity zombies. Click here to read Part I of the interview.

Q: What factors go into your decision-making on whether to follow the comic or diverge from it? – Jan P

A: There are a few things going on with that. There’s so much in our current timeline that doesn’t match up with the comic when they were at this stage of the story. Plus, there were characters that get on the show like Daryl that weren’t even in the comic. So right there there’s a basis for things to be different. That said, what’s cool is we can tell the comic stories sometimes kind of verbatim, sometimes in different ways, sometimes a sort of combination. It’s something we have to do now, and I think it’s something we can use to our advantage. I’d say one of the things I love doing on the show is taking things I love in the comic books and hitting them even harder. Robert Kirkman’s given us an incredible roadmap — an incredible piece of music that we can do a lot of stuff to remix. We have to be like Steve Aoki.

Q: Is there a certain character you see yourself in the show? — EMR

A: That’s too hard a question to answer. Because I have to write all of them, I have to see myself in all of them, and get into their heads. I’m very lucky to have a cool wife like Glenn.

Q: How would you describe Michonne and Carl’s relationship in one word? – walkingdeadbutters

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The Walking Dead Showrunner Scott Gimple Answers Fan Questions – Part I

TD-401-Scott-Gimple-325In Part I of amc.com’s two-part fan interview with Scott GimpleThe Walking Dead Showrunner, Executive Producer and Writer talks about survival odds in Season Finales and why hopefulness is like punk rock.  

Q: For this Season Finale, how did you decide whom will survive and who wouldn’t? Which factors do you use to make this decision? – Ming Lee

A: We were fulfilling the overall stories that we had from the beginning of the season. And with those stories — though anybody could die at any time — it doesn’t mean that they have to. It seemed like somewhat of a stretch to do that. I don’t ever want to use it for just shock value. Deaths can be totally random, actually; there doesn’t have to be this giant, built story that leads to a death. In this case we had decided it really wasn’t a part of the stories we were doing. If in fact every finale had death, that would be pretty predictable. We don’t want people setting their watches by The Walking Dead deaths.

Q: Scott, are you sadistic and evil? WHERE’S BETH?!?!?! – DarylsPotato

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Comic Book Men Q&A – Jason Mewes

cbm-episode-316-jay-325Jason Mewes, a.k.a. Silent Bob’s partner in crime, Jay, talks about his relationship with Kevin Smith and how Jay and Silent Bob would fair on The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad.

Q: How often do you hang out at the Stash?

A: Every time I go back [to New Jersey], I go to the Stash, at least a few times. I have a couple of nieces and nephews, and they like to go by and get comics and check out the store and stuff.  There’s a really cool arcade right down the street from the Stash, with a ton of old stand up video games, and they also have like five TVs with an Xbox and PS 3. I’ll bring my nieces and nephews to the Stash, and we’ll hang out, and check out comics and action figures and then we’ll walk down to the arcade.

Q: You’ve worked with Kevin for 20 years. How has your creative partnership changed? 

A: Now, it’s nice, Kevin comes up with ideas and will ask my opinion, or I’ll tell him my ideas and we’ll have a back and forth. I feel like the first ten years — I was younger in the beginning with Clerks and Mallrats, and for Dogma… I was a mess, so I would say in the first ten years, it was more about him being like, ‘Hey, you gotta be on the straight and narrow if you want to do this movie, and get your act together.’ Now, I feel he actually asks my opinion on stuff. For example, he gave me the Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie script and told me to go do something with it. It used to be more like a younger brother and an older brother, to where I feel like now it’s more of a partnership. It’s been really nice, and a big change.

Q: How do you think Jay and Silent Bob would fare on some other AMC shows like The Walking Dead?
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Q&A – Josh McDermitt (Eugene Porter)

TWD-S4-Josh-McDermitt-Interview-325Actor Josh McDermitt, who plays Dr. Eugene Porter on AMC’s The Walking Dead, talks about modeling his character on a close family member and the secret truth about his mullet. 

Q: This is your first season on the show. What about The Walking Dead appealed to you?

A: The Walking Dead was my favorite show before I even auditioned for it. That’s every actor’s dream, to be on a show that they’re a fan of. It’s just dark, and as a comedian I’m drawn to dark things.

Q: Is there room for comedy in the apocalypse?

A: I think there can be some humor, but it needs to be subtle. I’m not sure that’s what draws people to a show like The Walking Dead. I talked to some of the writers about this, because one of them came up to me after a scene and was like, “Oh my god, that was so funny.” And I was scared! I’m not trying to make it funny. She was like, “No, no, no. It’s great. It works.” So as long as it’s grounded and it’s real, there’s a little room for it.

Q: Have you ever known anyone like Eugene before? Is there anyone that he reminds you of?

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Q&A – Lawrence Gilliard Jr. (Bob Stookey)

TWD-S4-Lawrence-Gilliard-Interview-325Actor Lawrence Gilliard Jr., who plays Bob Stookey on AMC’s The Walking Dead, talks about his apocalypse-ready clarinet skills and how his character from The Wire would react to zombies.

Q: You’ve been in a lot of crime-centric shows. Were you excited to do something different on The Walking Dead?

A: Yeah absolutely. You get to play and have more fun and be more creative when you’re doing a show like this. Killing zombies — that’s what you do as a kid! Now I get to do it as a grownup. I definitely looked forward to the change and I’m having fun.

Q: Your character is a medic. Do you have any skills that would be useful in the apocalypse?

A: I play clarinet. I also play the drums, so I could keep the spirits lively and entertain everyone. That’s all I could do.

Q: Bob is a pretty good shot. Did you do any weapons training for the role?

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Q&A – Emily Kinney (Beth Greene)

- The Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 11 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMCActress Emily Kinney, who plays Beth Greene on AMC’s The Walking Dead, talks about Beth’s musical tastes and how the show seeps into her everyday life. 

Q: Let’s talk about Beth’s singing. Daryl’s on the fence about it, but do you look forward to those scenes? 

A: It’s a good way to give a glimpse into Beth’s life, in a way. With the kind of music a person listens to, you feel like you really know somebody. When I first meet people, I send some songs to them. So I think having Beth sing on the show is a good way to let people feel like they know a bit of her inner life. This season I sing another Tom Waits song to Judith, “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up.” Beth is definitely a Tom Waits fan.

Q: Beyond Tom Waits, what might Beth’s musical preferences be? 
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Q&A – Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon)

TWD-S4-Norman-Reedus-Interview-325Actor Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl Dixon on AMC’s The Walking Dead, talks about the inspiration behind Daryl’s infamous scowl and how he welcomes new actors on the show.

Q: Daryl has really emerged as a fan favorite character. When you signed up for the role, did you ever think that he would be so lovable?

A: I’m trying to make him lovable here and there, but not too lovable.

Q: He’s also one of a dwindling group of characters who have been on the show since the beginning. What’s the secret to his longevity?

A: Oh man, I don’t know what the secret is. Everyone that has met their end has been such a rich character, and those actors have brought those characters to life in such great ways. I don’t think anybody is going to die in a hospital bed smiling with all their loved ones around holding hands.

Q: Fans have their own methods for trying to predict what is going to happen on the show. What do the actors do? 
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Q&A – Michael Cudlitz (Abraham Ford)

TWD-S4-Michael-Cudlitz-Interview-325Michael Cudlitz, who plays Sgt. Abraham Ford on AMC’s The Walking Dead, talks about his apocalyptic skills (or lack thereof) and trying to stack up to a buff comic book character.

Q: How did you end up on The Walking Dead? Were you a fan of the zombie genre before?

A: I grew up watching B horror movies and loved them. I was a huge fan of the Dawn of the Dead stuff and all that. The TV stuff, when it’s done well, can be fantastic. And when it’s not done well, it’s probably some of the [worst] television you’d ever want to watch. People try to grab onto the genre, but it’s always about the storytelling in anything that you’re doing.

Q: It was announced that you would be on the show long before you appeared in an episode. How intense was the fan pressure to reveal things about Abraham? 

A: They always ask. Everyone wants to know when you’re coming on. And I don’t think they realize that half the time they’re asking, that’s potentially a spoiler. They just get excited like, “When are you coming, when can we see you?” And it’s like, “Soon.” I haven’t told them anything. Hang in there, be patient, watch.

Q: You play a tough guy determined to see his mission through on the The Walking Dead. Are you like that at all in real life?

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Q&A – Alanna Masterson (Tara)

TWD-S4-Alanna-Masterson-Interview-325Actress Alanna Masterson, who plays Tara on AMC’s The Walking Dead, talks about finding love in the apocalypse and new cast member initiation rituals.

Q: You are one of the new members on set this season. What is the initiation like for new members of the cast? Be honest.

A: Let’s see, my first day on set, I just went into the makeup trailer and was like, “Hey, I want to know exactly how you make zombies.” Because I’d been such a fan of the show and that was the first thing I did. And I watched them make them. They’re awesome here. They throw you right in and hand you a gun, like, “Here you go.” Luckily I play a lot of “Call of Duty,” so I fit right in.

Q: Tara and her sister take in the Governor when we first meet them — have you ever taken in a hitchhiker or stranger?

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Q&A – Danai Gurira (Michonne)

TWD-S4-Danai-Gurira-Interview-325Danai Gurira, who plays Michonne on AMC’s The Walking Dead, talks about Michonne’s chances with Daryl and her most enjoyable walker kill scene ever. 

Q: What was different for you playing Michonne this year?

A: Well, one of the things that’s really fun about Michonne is that she can be peeled back like an onion. It was really kind of interesting to allow walls to come down, and that does involve a whole different process. Seeing who that chick is, that was really fun.

Q: We see a lot of that peeling in the Mid-Season Premiere. Did you have any input into that?

A: Me and Scott [Gimple] have been conversing about this stuff for a while. He definitely had the lion’s share of it down. And it would concretize exactly what her story was. But it was really great because he had given a lot of understanding and thought to what her background was, and I materialized it.

Q: The dream sequence in Michonne’s apartment is memorable. Did you enjoy the chance to shoot a scene back in civilization?

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