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In Part 2 of his fan chat, The Walking Dead Executive Producer and Writer Robert Kirkman talks about the possibility of Daryl finding romance in Season 4 and shares his thoughts on living life as a zombie.
Q: Can you shed any light into how the Governor's story will continue...or close in Season 4? --Jeffrey Hawboldt
A: I can say the Governor will certainly be around. But we'll be seeing him in a new light, and doing some different stuff with him, so it's not going to be the same Governor in Season 4.
Q: I find it hard to believe the most badass dude in the zombie apocalypse is the only guy not getting laid! Will Daryl ever have a love interest? --Johnny Zimmerman
A: Never say never! I think that it could happen eventually. I wouldn't want to spoil anything, but Daryl is a complex character and he's really got a lot of emotional hurdles to get over in his life. It is kind of odd that we haven't seen him in that kind of romantic light, but I think that adds a layer to the character that makes him a little more mysterious and a little cooler. But I wouldn't rule out some kind of love interest for him in the future.
Q: At this juncture, the TV show has veered away from the graphic novel series. If you had to choose one of the two universes, which would you say is your favorite? --therunningdead
A: Well, I'm a little biased because I've been writing the comics for a decade, but I consider that to be the original. The comic book is where it all came from, so I consider the TV show to be an alternate to what happens in the comics.
Q: How do you decide what information from the comics to keep the same, and what to change? --Erica Britt
In Part 1 of Robert Kirkman's fan chat, The Walking Dead Executive Producer and Writer talks about killing off characters and the eerie similarities between The Walking Dead and a kid's movie. Click here to read Part 2 of the of the interview.
Q: What was the reasoning behind having Laurie Holden's character killed in the Season 3 Finale? --Cancerdog
A: We were really working on the Woodbury arc, and it sort of played out that it made sense. The only thing that would make Rick accept the remainder of Woodbury would be something as tragic as seeing Andrea lose her life. The unfortunate thing about all these deaths is that right now the audience is saying, "Oh my God, why did you kill Andrea?" We understand that's an emotional thing -- it's supposed to be -- but there's a lot of stuff in Season 4 that comes from that moment. Once the viewer sees the next season, they'll know why we did it.
Q: How do you let the actors know their number is up? And do they get any say on the amount of blood spilled? --Ani Munoz
A: They get as much input into their death scene as any actor does in any scene. It's a back and forth, and there are a lot of discussions that go between writers and directors and actors. As far as when they find out that they're dying, usually it's a call before the script comes out. It's very late in the process. We try to be really mindful of the actor's process -- we don't want an actor to play a scene differently because they know they're going to die.
Q: With Rick bringing more people back to the prison, will this is some way complicate his relationship with Carl? --Diana M Sawyer
A: We'll have to find out in Season 4, but I will say that the dynamic between Rick and Carl is going to be a central focus of the season, and it is going to change in some startling and interesting ways.
Q: Can the group survive if something happens to Rick? --Jamal Montgomery
Q: What a Season Finale! Did you have any input into Andrea's final moments?
A: No, but what was written... the actual words that were spoken, felt absolutely perfect. It was organic and true to the character and I am grateful that her intent, what was most important in her heart, was finally spoken and shared.
Q. How do you feel about Andrea's fate?
A. I will never think of her as a victim... I see her as a casualty of war. Andrea had a tumultuous journey this season, but at the end of the day, in spite of everything, so many positive things came out of it; the people of Woodbury did escape and reach their sanctuary and none of the people at the prison were killed.
Q: Andrea spends her last moments talking about why she didn't kill the Governor when she had the chance. You're a human rights activist; can you relate to her dilemma?
A: Absolutely, 100 percent. Listen, do I think it's sad and a bit depressing that this woman got caught up in a bad situation and ended up losing her life? Yes, it is obviously a tragedy. But I truly believe Andrea's death was not in vain. She went down fighting for the people. She believed in humanity. And at the end of the day, that is all that matters, really. Sometimes one must fall for the others to rise. And I am glad it was her and not any of the people she loved and cared for.
Q: What do you think about your character's arc on the show?
Got a question about The Walking Dead Season 3? The show's executive producer and writer, Robert Kirkman, wants to hear it. Leave your query in the comments section below from now until Mon., Apr. 1 at 3PM ET and he may answer it in an interview posted on on this website later that week.
Actor Jose Pablo Cantillo, who plays Woodbury soldier Martinez on AMC's The Walking Dead, talks about the similarity between pickled eggs and walkers and the secret to making an epic on-screen kill.
Q: Martinez gets some great moments with his baseball bat this season. Did you have to dust off any little league skills for those scenes?
A: I did have to practice, although I have a background in martial arts. I studied Jeet Kune Do and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. On element of Jeet Kune Do is that I had several of years of practice with the kali stick -- a stick with a size and length similar to a baseball bat. It might be a little bit different, but a secret that I'll let you in on is that on-set we'd swap out the bat for a rubber bat, which is actually weighted like a kali stick. It's sort of to protect you from hurting yourself so that you can wield it with a little more confidence. I was able to have fun and make it look kind of flashy because of that.
Q: Martinez seems to get a real release from taking down walkers. What's the closest thing like that for you?
A: Martial arts and surfing. In martial arts, the way that they train really does channel that killer instinct. We used to put motorcycle helmets on and go full force at each other with these sticks to train. Or we would put on the gloves, and the other guy would wear a motorcycle helmet and we would just rip into him. Knees, elbows, head-butts -- you don't have to pull your punches in those situations. There's a little bit of an element of acting in it as well. You always motivate with a training scenario, like there's a loved one that you're defending or something. But in terms of my own personal enjoyment these days, surfing is the big release for me; less martial arts now that I'm getting a little bit older.
Q: Martinez has the unenviable task of ordering Andrea to give up her gun in Episode 14. Have you ever had to disarm someone?
A: My toddler, a 4-year-old, she holds on to her toys and stuffed animals as preciously as Andrea holds on to her gun. Actually just this morning we were taking her to school and were really trying to break her of that habit of bringing stuffed animals to school and every day we literally have to take five to ten minutes and talk her out of her death grip on that zebra. In terms of how dire and important those objects are, it's certainly similar.
Q: Martinez and Daryl get pretty competitive over their walker-killing. Is that something you can relate to?
Actor Chad L. Coleman, who plays Tyreese on AMC's The Walking Dead, talks about learning his own survival skills and why he's a natural mediator between Rick's people and the Governor's.
Q: You're one of many new characters on-set this year. What helped you get up to speed?
A: Well, Danai [Gurira] and I had done Broadway together; August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone at the Lincoln Center in Manhattan. So we already had a relationship and that helped. But everybody was just amazingly good people. It was just easy that way. Many of them were fans of The Wire, and on some level it helps when people appreciate what you do and know your work.
Q: Who would you rather have by your side in the event of the apocalypse: Cutty, your character from The Wire, or Tyreese?
A: If I had to choose one I would choose Tyreese. Cutty had a chance to find himself, but he also has a sense of his own limitations. With Tyreese, I really feel the sky's the limit. Cutty says all I can really do is be in the gym and try to help these kids if they come. He recognized certain restrictions in himself, and I don't see that in Tyreese, who's a bona fide leader that can probably find his footing in any situation.
Q: Are your survival skills in any way comparable to Tyreese's?
A: I spent four years in the United States Army between 1985 and 1989, and I certainly learned how to survive out in the woods. I served at the Pentagon and at Fort Leavenworth -- my job was video cameraman, and that allowed me to travel to places like Korea, Japan, Alaska, Germany and the Netherlands. But for my training, I learned everything: firing M-16s, working with grenades, bivouac, first-aid, concealment, doing the low-crawl, working around barbed wire, rappelling. You name it, we did it.
Q: Do you have a sister, and if so, are you two at all similar to Tyreese and Sasha?
Q: It's been a challenging season for Maggie. Has that affected you personally as well?
A: It's stressed me out a little bit, but I feel the writers are writing to my emotional self. I'm very good at being emotional like that. That's something they've probably recognized and written to, so it's been a very rewarding season for me. Fun is not something you think of when talking about the apocalypse, but it really has been enjoyable. If somebody is going through emotional gut-wrenching material, it's pretty serious. But if we have time and if we have to jump off a car and slash somebody's head open, we do have fun with that.
Q: Maggie has many roles on the show, "lover" and "daughter" foremost among them. Which do you favor?
A: As much as I love the romance between Maggie and Glenn, I just really love seeing the father-daughter relationship done right on-screen. Maybe it's because I have two dads, I don't know -- my mother remarried when I was about 7; my biological dad and I are very close and my step-dad and I are very close. My moral dilemma is always which one is going to walk me down the aisle, when the day comes.
Q: You recently tweeted about the differences between British and American actors. What are some of the differences between these two camps on set?
A: I don't really see that distinction between England or America on set. Andy [Lincoln] speaks with an American accent all the time, David Morrissey speaks with an American accent all the time, and we're all a bit method when we're out there. The only surreal part of it for me is seeing everyone on the weekends: Andy wears glasses and speaks like an English person.
Q: You have a pretty intense sex scene with Glenn in Episode 13. Were you nervous at all about shooting that?
Q: Now that Madison Lintz (Sophia) is gone, what's it like to be the only kid on set ?
A: Luckily, some of the actors act like kids, like Steven Yuen and Norman Reedus. So I hang out with them a lot. They're really fun guys.
Q: Carl played a big part in Lori's death this season. Was the material in that scene at all difficult for you to process?
A: I read the script and it was just horrifying. The whole scene felt like it took a week to shoot. It was dreadful, but you just gotta get over it and get on with it. There was no way to keep those days bright and happy.
Q: What's it been like acting on the show without Sarah Wayne Callies, your on-screen mother, and Jon Bernthal, who was a bit like a second father for Carl?
A: It's been hard having them gone -- both of them -- but I learned from them in the time I did have with them. When I signed on I knew that they would eventually get killed off, because I'd read the comics. Every now and then Sarah's on the set again. It's been cool to see her. Usually they have the death dinners that are at bars, so I can't go! I don't think [I've been to any.]
Q: You told us last year that because of Georgia's laws you can't hold a working gun on-set. This season Carl gets to use a weapon more. Has that been a welcome shift?
Actor Dallas Roberts, who plays Milton on AMC's The Walking Dead, talks about his geeky street cred and a secret rivalry that developed on the Season 3 set.
Q: Milton is quite the egghead. Did you do anything especially geeky to prepare to play him? Hit up some trivia nights? Sit in on some graduate school seminars?
A: I was the guy literally in the chess club who decided to wear a bow tie for the last two years of high school, so I obviously wasn't trying to get the ladies. I understand that part of Milton. I find that with any good run on a show with good writers, they put something on paper and you put something back on film and that affects what they put on the paper the next time. It's been a growing, evolving relationship with Milton and I feel like hopefully everyone is working together to make him as great as possible.
Q: How has the gig differed from your expectations?
A: When you get a job on The Walking Dead you imagine you're going to be running through the woods with a lot of weaponry shouting, "Look out!" But I haven't had to do a lot of that this season. Woodbury is a completely different setting than our sort of crack team of apocalypse survivors have dealt with -- it's much more civilized and organized. People who had guest starred in Season 2 would be like, "Is this the same show?"
Q: Is there any rivalry between the Woodbury actors and the prison gang?
Q: Emily Kinney told us about how they worked her skills as a singer into the show. Have any of your off-screen talents been integrated into your character?
A: I can't sing like Emily, but a lot of my characteristics are in Daryl. I ride a bike and am good at giving people dirty looks.
Q: You've been riding your motorcycle on-set and off for a few years now. Have you found some good back-country Georgia roads to cruise?
A: I take it south of here and I don't even keep track of where I am. I drive for hours. I've found so many new trails and so many new roads. The motorcycle Daryl rides is the one they picked out from Season 1 -- it was in the background. They found that bike and left the stickers on and liked it so much they didn't want to change anything.
Q: It's hard to imagine anyone else playing Daryl. What are some ways you've made the character your own?
A: When you do television, you have this opportunity to drop these subtle hints everywhere. The way you say things, for example, sometimes those seeds turn into trees. I've had quite a few of those things happen. Daryl's childhood, for example. In Season 2 when Carol kisses me after Andrea shoots at me, I flinched. That wasn't in the script and now this year there's a story line about how I had an abusive childhood. Having to do 16 episodes with these characters, of course we're going to find more to do. Carol and Daryl have a stronger bond, and I've gotten to explore stuff with my brother, for example.
Q: Was the reunion of Daryl and Merle this season as sweet for you and Michael Rooker as it was for fans?