With Reporting by Alex Zalben
"It was claustrophobic and incredibly intense — like, tight-wire intense."
That's how Chad L. Coleman describes how his big scene at the cabin from the "Walking Dead" season five premiere came together. In the scene, Coleman's Tyreese squares off against a gum-chewing goon named Martin (played by Chris Coy), a resident of Terminus with a penchant for trash talk. Martin eventually gets his hands around baby Judith's neck and uses her as a bargaining chip to get Tyreese out of the cabin, and toward a pack of walkers.
The gambit pays off, but what Martin doesn't count on is Tyreese's ability to clear out multiple zombies with nothing more than his hands. When Tyreese finishes the walkers, he bursts back into the cabin and punches Martin's face repeatedly; Tyreese later tells Carol that he killed Martin, though we never see the body.
As it plays out on screen, it's exactly as Coleman describes: incredibly intense. And the shoot was no different, what with an actual baby on set. Speaking with MTV News, Coleman explained that the baby Judith actress' parents were on set during the shoot, and a fake double was used as much as possible.
"Chris was on pins and needles about it," Coleman said of his co-star having to put his hands on the baby's neck. "The physical act of having to put his hands around her neck, that was only done once. We got her crying, we got his reaction, we got him moving towards her… all of that stuff happened, and then the money shot, if you will, was only done once."
"We handled it with kids gloves," he added. "[Her] dad was like, 'Okay, I'm cool with that. Shoot.' And baby Judith? She's a hell of an actress. All we needed her to do was cry. She's really good at that!"
Not only was the baby completely safe during the shoot, it's actually Chris Coy that viewers should worry about. During the scene that Tyreese pummels Martin into the ground, Coleman actually hit Coy in the chin.
"The physical stuff was wild," he admitted. "Chris Coy is an incredible actor, and that's what we wanted to do. We wanted to make that room way too small for what was going on between us."