However do we survive the long wait for more new “Walking Dead” episodes? By chatting with intriguing members of the cast, like celebrated newcomer Chad L. Coleman, who made his “Dead” debut in the gripping midseason finale, “Made to Suffer.”
MTV News was lucky enough to jump on a conference call Monday to hear all about what Coleman thinks of Tyreese, how much we’ll see of his comic book-generated backstory and how much zombie-killing to expect when the show returns in February. Here are our five favorite facts gleaned from our chat:
How Long Will Tyreese Last In The Show?
“I can’t say anything,” Coleman said when asked if he’ll be able to stick around for awhile or be killed off this season. “Slowdown, be easy, you’re going to be incredibly proud. All of these folks have the highest integrity [for storytelling] and character so you’re going to see that played out on the show. Don’t think there’s any agenda, it’s how storytelling unfolds sometimes. You’re going to be so proud of Michonne and Tyreese and Sasha, what’s coming you’re going to be so shocked by,” he teased. “I’ve been lucky to have been involved in shows that are absolutely amazing. I say no worries, fasten your seatbelts.”
But how much will we see of Tyreese this season?
“I think that’s okay to say, I’m in five of the last eight [episodes],” Coleman said.
TV Tyreese Vs. Comic Book Tyreese
Coleman admitted that while he is not yet a student of Kirkman’s source material, he has deep respect for it and the fans who already love his character.
“That is the icing on the cake, to have something that was already present in another form and to have to honor it in a way that you know people have an attachment and to live up to that, that’s huge for me,” he explained. “That’s my desire, to continue to make the audience proud of what’s happening in the television world of ’Walking Dead.'”
Also, here’s what he had to say about Tyreese’s relationships with Rick and Michonne and how it may or may not correspond with his backstory in the comics.
“That’s a dangerous [subject]. I can say that forces collide on the same level, that’s what I will say. I have no, could not give you one iota about [Tyreese and Michonne]. That is a cliffhanger to the third power,” he teased. “There is much that will surprise me as it will surprise you.”
“Walking Dead” Vs. “The Wire”
“Well the differences right away are in the whole horror/zombie aspect,” Coleman said when asked to compare and contrast his work on two highly-respected shows. “There’s the technical aspect of it, what’s done in post and the digital stuff, ways to position your body, things of that nature in order for the audience to experience what you’re experiencing in that very real way.”
“It’s far more physical, even though I was training in the gym [on ’The Wire’], I still found myself more winded than I was with ’The Wire,’ not to say I’m out of shape but it’s a lot more physical,” he continued. “The similarities are in the intelligence, the creativity and the passion of the actors and creators of the show, that’s the same. Sonequa [Martin-Green] who plays Sasha, she’s like, ’Chad I’m tired of hearing how this reminds you of “The Wire.”’ But I say this in, these are flagship shows to me that speak to the level of artistic integrity all actors pine for.”
Everybody Loves Andrew Lincoln
“This is an amazing extraordinary cast of human beings and I don’t exaggerate at all,” Coleman said when asked if he was welcomed immediately by his fellow actors on set. “Andrew Lincoln has to be the nicest ego-less lead actor I’ve ever met in my life and I’m not exaggerating at all. His temperament falls over everyone and it’s one big happy family. On one level they respect the body of work I’ve been able to put together, but the show is the thing for Andrew, it’s his baby and we all dial into that. They’ve been amazing.”
Zombies, They’re Just Like Us!
“It is a complete and absolute adrenaline rush, that is what it is,” Coleman said when asked about his first days on set and adjusting to the frenetic pace of the show. “The electricity running through my body is crazy, but also the technical aspect which I won’t give away but was equally as compelling for me, ’Oh wow, this is how you do it.’ And those zombies are so real, there’s really no acting required when you see the amazing work that’s being done, it’s so real it’s eerie,” he said. “The most eerie part of it is to see them doing regular things in-between takes or during lunch breaks, just to watch a guy getting salad dressing and he’s all made-up, zombied-out, it’s pretty hilarious. It’s real trippy.”