The first eight episodes of The Walking Dead season seven have been tense to say the least. Our group had to deal with the loss of Glenn & Abraham in the season opener, Eugene was taken as a hostage and Spencer & Olivia were killed in the mid-season finale. Rick’s family is scattered: Carol is ‘here but not here’ at the Kingdom, while Maggie, Sasha & Daryl are (literally) hiding from Negan and the Saviors at the Hilltop. As brutal as it was to watch these scenes play out, actors Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus say they had an even more difficult time filming them.
Norman Reedus recently told Entertainment Weekly “That first half was very hard for us to film,” said Reedus. “It was just rough. We were all separated. I mean, I know the show evolves and all of that stuff, but man, that first half was rough.” He goes on to talk about episode 3, ‘The Cell’, and what is like to film his scenes: “I didn’t even see anybody. I was in a hole by myself, naked. It just did not feel right to me,” he says. “I’d talk to [Scott] Gimple, and I’d be like, ‘Man, this sucks. I hate this.’ And he’d be like, ‘You’re supposed to.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, there you go.’ You know what I mean? He was right. It was supposed to suck, and it did suck — for me, anyway. But you know, it just makes coming back together that much more special.”
When asked about the complaints about this season and the dark tones, Reedus said “I was saying that about the first half. I think part of that chatter you’re talking about came from me. But you know, it’s true: You can’t make everybody happy about everything. But we try, and you have to keep the story moving forward at all times or you just tell the same story over and over again. But I know new actors that came onto this show that were like, “Man, I miss the old group,” and they were playing new roles this season. So I know that everybody felt it.”
Andrew Lincoln said he and Ross Marquand filmed the scenes in the walker pond for a few days. While he was not fond of being in that water for so long, the group reuniting at the Hilltop made it all worthwhile. “I came back home after two days of being drenched in sweaty, zombie-filled waters,” Lincoln recalls, “and my wife said, ‘You look happy for the first time.’ Ross and I were thrilled to be outside of the oppressive walls of Alexandria and to be able to be in a completely different sequence.”
Lincoln added that when Rick & Daryl were re-united for an emotional hug in the mid-season finale, “It was embarrassing. What you saw was nothing. You should have seen us in between action and cut. It was just never-ending! You couldn’t pry us apart!” Bromance at it’s best!
The Walking Dead mid-season premiere is February 12, 2017 at 9pm EST on AMC.