All guts, all gory! Entertainment Weekly takes you behind the scenes of the series that lives to shock. In this week’s cover story on the pulse-pounding return of The Walking Dead, we’ll take a deep dive into the jaw-dropping twists, scripts that made the cast physically ill, and a new villain who’s more terrifying than any zombie. To get the issue, head here – and subscribe now for the exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.
The life expectancy rate on The Walking Dead is pretty darn short. I mean, just look at the title of the show and that pretty much tells you everything you need to know. People die at an alarming rate on the AMC drama. However, six characters that were there at the beginning in season 1 have somehow managed to survive as we head into the back half of season 6: Rick, Carl, Glenn, Carol, Daryl, and Morgan.
We sat down with the actors who play them — Andrew Lincoln, Chandler Riggs, Steven Yeun, Melissa McBride, Norman Reedus, and Lennie James — for an exclusive roundtable discussion that can be found in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly.
Among the nuggets we uncovered was the fact that Sarah Wayne Callies may be responsible for Melissa McBride’s Carol still being alive. Exec producer Greg Nicotero recently spoke about the fact that Carol was originally set to die instead of T-Dog back in the season 3 episode “Killer Within.” Andrew Lincoln told EW the same thing in our roundtable that took place back in October, but he also revealed something else — that Callies (whose character, Lori, also perished in that episode) went to producers to lobby to keep Carol. What makes the story even more amazing is that McBride had no idea. Check out the exchange from our roundtable below.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: An absurd amount of people have perished in terrible ways over the course of this show. Why are you guys so lucky?
NORMAN REEDUS: That’s a good question. There’s a certain story that we’re telling, and part of that story involves loss. I don’t know if there’s anything in particular about any of us and why we’re still here, I think we’re just part of that story.
ANDREW LINCOLN [to MELISSA McBRIDE]: You had a close shave in season 3.
McBRIDE: I feel like I always have a close shave.
LINCOLN: Yeah, but do you remember, with Sarah Wayne Callies [who played Lori]? She fought for you.
McBRIDE: She did? I didn’t hear that.
LINCOLN: Did you not know?
McBRIDE: I didn’t know that.
LINCOLN: It was the episode when Lori and T-Dog die. But for a few weeks it was going to be Carol and Lori. And Sarah, in her good grace and class, stepped in and said, “That’s a terrible mistake.” And so she knew that she was going, but she fought for you to stay.
McBRIDE: I did not know that. I’m going to faint.
McBRIDE: Get her on the phone!
LINCOLN: Yeah, there you go.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: That speaks to the family you guys have that Sarah is not sitting there fighting for herself to stay on the show, but she’s fighting for another actor that she has respect for.
LINCOLN: Yeah, that’s it. That’s her, Sarah Wayne Callies.
REEDUS: That happens a lot on the show. We get word of something and everyone rallies to change people’s minds. It happens all the time.
That’s just the first of many insightful exchanges. To read the entire roundtable, you can pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly right here. You can also hear the entire roundtable on Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) on Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. For more Walking Dead scoop, follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss, and keep checking back here on EW.com for tons of scoop on the return of the show.