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Season 7 of The Walking Dead has been, without a doubt, exhilarating. With the introduction of Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the evil, eternally-feared Negan (and his baseball bat friend Lucille), Rick and the other survivors have been tested more than ever. We couldn't wait to chat to the cast to hear more about the finale, what life has been like on set and how they feel about their fans.
We spoke to Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon), Christian Serratos (Rosita), Josh McDermitt (Eugene), Austin Amelio (Dwight), Tom Payne (Jesus) and Greg Nicotero (special effects makeup artist, producer and director) and here's what we found out...
It can be difficult to come out of character and switch off
Josh McDermitt : "I think especially with this season which has been a little more dark and depressing – it was a little bit easier because we didn’t always have to live in that headspace as long."
Austin Amelio: "I find that so hard though, to go in and out, in and out, in and out, especially in this show- you’re going from hot hot to freezing cold. It can take a couple of days to get back into it."
Josh: "I usually drive home in silence after filming – I find that I end up being so in the Eugene character that even music sounds different… this show weighs on you."
The season 7 finale is going to be epic
There was talk of a confrontation between Sasha and Rosita, discovering whether Eugene really is Negan or not, and - seeing as the the phrase "Rise Up" was thrown around a lot - the possibility of a pretty epic battle.
Josh said he believed it was a "fitting finale," while Austin agreed the fans will "definitely be satisfied".
In a real zombie apocalypse, the cast may not fare well...
Josh: “I would imagine I would be one of the first to go. I would just find Norman Reedus. Not Daryl Dixon the character, Norman Reedus the man.”
Unfortunately for Josh, however, Norman said he thought he "would just hide!” Uh oh.
Christian Serratos is an introvert IRL (and we love her even more for it)
“I struggle with being very introverted so doing things like interviews, I have to activate that part of my brain because I tend to be very shy and introverted," she explained.
"I have to balance giving people enough of me because I know that that’s something that is kind of required of me and sometimes I feel like maybe I don’t do enough – but it’s a work in progress"
There are no ‘main characters’ on the show anymore – it’s considered an ensemble
Josh: "This show is certainly a collaboration. I mean, sure you can say Andy and Norman and Melissa are the stars of the show but if you asked them they would say ‘this is an ensemble’. We all work together as opposed to ‘well we have these tiers of people’"
Norman Reedus gets just as excited for the new episodes as we do
“Myself and Melissa (McBride, who plays Carol) are usually texting throughout the episode.” TEXT US NORMAN!
The cast have some pretty dark (and weird) fears IRL
Presumably speaking from experience, Tom Payne said his biggest fear right now was "getting a tick in an unfortunate place while filming in Atlanta."
Josh, on the other hand, took us to a bit of a dark place: "Right now I’m obsessed with my death. There’s a lot of people around us dying that are going too soon and I just keep thinking ‘shit man I hope that’s not me soon!' I love to live."
It’s no longer just a show about zombies
Tom: “At this point in the show, the walkers are not a big deal I don’t think… unless there are like thousands of them, it’s more about the human part of the show. Humans are much more dangerous”
The fandom can be a little crazy
Norman: “You have no idea, it’s insane - sometimes it can be a little overwhelming. It gets to a point where it’s crazy – I don’t even want to touch this question! 90% of the time it’s amazing but it can get a little bit creepy…”
The cast all have a lot of fun on set
Norman: “On the day Eugene bit Dwight’s crotch, we had hotdogs on set – we called them Eugenie Weenys and Dwight’s dongs".
The Walking Dead, Mondays at 9pm on FOX.