Caution: This post may contain spoilers from episode 9×07 of The Walking Dead entitled, “Stradivarious”
Michael Cudlitz, previously Abraham Ford on The Walking Dead, returned to direct this week’s episode, which introduced more of the Whisperers, and the new group of people are learning to know better.
His episode also included a sweet scene between Carol and Daryl, which Michael says was a joy to direct. In the scene, Daryl has secluded himself from the society to live out in the woods with a dog he’s named DOG. Carol and Henry venture out to ask him to come back, because Carol misses her best friend. They share a tender quiet moment with Henry nearby, and you can feel the love the two friends have for one another.
The scene when she’s cutting his hair and taking care of him, and he’s sharing that story. That’s the two of them coming to terms with their loss. They’ve never talked about it. They love each other deeply. They care for each other deeply.
He goes on to compare that scene to another in the episode where some fans may believe is actually a blooming romance. According to him, there’s nothing romantic going on in either scene. Although that doesn’t mean possibilities for romance are in the future, right now it’s human connection.
We had a lot of those scenes in there, people who care for each other but there’s nothing romantic going on. The same to be said with Jesus and Aaron. Two friends talking about something very important to the future of the community, and Daryl and Carol talking about what their future holds. Norman getting schooled by Henry about what he means to Carol, and to not take that lightly. Even though Daryl has enjoyed his private solitude, that’s not who he is now. He’s grown past that. He always spent time trying to prove he doesn’t need anyone, when the truth of the matter is, he does.
Michael also has advice for anyone who is going to come and direct scenes with Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride.
If you’re smart, you sit back and you watch. That would be for anyone ever coming in to direct. That’s what I would say to start with. Watch what they do. Then, take what they do and help them shape what that is. They come in and do their thing, and they are amazing.
He also talked a bit about how Daryl is coming more into the forefront of the show now with Rick gone, and how they are doing that. Usually Daryl is quiet and we want to hear more from him, but there is a line there that could take the character into a realm he shouldn’t go.
He’s been working on his character. There has been more of a focus put on him. The danger is exposing too much, and losing that sort of magic of unknown with him. I think they’ve done a great job at maintaining that while moving him more into the focus.
You can check out the full interview with Michael Cudlitz on our Walking Dead Instant Reaction Facebook Live video!
The Walking Dead airs its mid-season finale on Sunday at 9 PM ET on AMC and will return for the second half of season 9 in the new year, and you can catch Michael Cudlitz on The Kids Are Alright on Tuesday nights on ABC.
Shannon Toohey is Editor-In-Chief of FanFest.com. She graduated from Hofstra University in 2015 with a B.A. in Journalism from the Lawrence Herbert School of Communications. Shannon has been a proud member of the Fan Fest team since 2013. Tweet her in your prettiest bird voice: @shannontoo