Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Q&A: 'Walking Dead' Director, Killed-Off Star on 'Horrible' New Episode

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Q&A: 'Walking Dead' Director, Killed-Off Star on 'Horrible' New Episode

Article excerpt

Q&A: 'Walking Dead' director, star on 'horrible' episode

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After six seasons of relentless blood, gore and anguish, it's probably more difficult to shock and appall the fans of "The Walking Dead" compared to most other shows. But Sunday night's season 7 premiere managed to do both.

Greg Nicotero, who directed last season's cliffhanger finale and the latest episode, spoke to reporters on Monday about the divisive storytelling decisions he's made, as did an actor who met his match at the hands of the show's latest villain, Negan, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

SPOILER ALERT: Read no further if you don't want to know anything about the new season.

On the killing of not one but two main characters, Glenn (played by Steven Yeun) and Abraham (played by Michael Cudlitz):

Nicotero: We really needed to drive Rick and Negan's story throughout the season and we felt that one death would do the trick, but the second death, Glenn's death, really, really propels us into a very different direction. It's really about Negan laying down the law and saying, "Listen, guys, the bottom line is if you listen to me you'll be fine, but if you step out of line it's not gonna fly." So Glenn's death has a lot to do with Rick's future story, Maggie's future story and certainly Daryl's future story.

Cudlitz, on getting killed off and the power of shaking up the cast:

Cudlitz: That's just the nature of the show. (Comic book creator) Robert Kirkman has said in interviews the idea is you need to know that this world is never safe.... There's no safety in this show right now. None. Which is great, because as a kid growing up you always had Capt. Kirk who would get into danger, but you always knew Capt. Kirk was going to be on next week. It's "Star Trek" -- he's not really in danger.

Our show puts you in real jeopardy, our show really makes you fear for the characters you care about, which draws out an emotional experience and puts you very much in the moment.

On his character's death and Glenn's death happening in the same episode:

Cudlitz: I was very specific to (showrunner Scott Gimple) and said: "This cannot in any way take away from Glenn's death. …

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