“i get re­quests from peo­ple who want to be walk­ers”

SFX - - The Walking Dead -

di­rectly out of the comic. Even if it’s not the ex­act same char­ac­ters, you know the set­pieces, and you go, ‘ Oh yeah!’ I love that we change it up just a lit­tle bit, but cer­tainly the sit­u­a­tions that hap­pen in the comic are even more of a guide for us than in pre­vi­ous sea­sons.”

This sea­son, Ni­cotero di­rects four of the 16 episodes – the pre­miere, the mid­sea­son pre­miere, as well as episode 12 ( shoot­ing to­day) and the fi­nale – more than any other helmer. “So Mr Gim­ple and com­pany have en­trusted me with a lot of their very big sto­ry­telling mo­ments,” he says proudly.

De­spite his in­creased re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, Ni­cotero con­tin­ues to su­per­vise the show’s award- win­ning un­dead make- up ef­fects. To his tor­ment, just as ev­ery ac­tor in Hol­ly­wood wanted to play a vil­lain on the ’ 60s Bat­man TV show, it now seems ev­ery fan of The Walk­ing Dead wants to be a zom­bie.

“That’s a great anal­ogy. I hadn’t thought of that,” he laughs. “Peo­ple are en­am­oured with the idea of experiencing what it’s like. We’ve cer­tainly got­ten a lot of re­quests. I get a ton of re­quests from peo­ple who want to be walk­ers on the show. The bot­tom line is, when they get into it, they gotta go through the make- up process and they’re out in the woods and they have the con­tact lenses and the den­tures. They all think it’s a great idea on pa­per, but ac­tu­ally get­ting down there and go­ing through the en­tire process… I have thou­sands of re­quests — ‘ I’ll make my way down there and I’ll put my­self up…’ I’m al­ways cu­ri­ous as to whether peo­ple would still be as en­am­oured with it once they were fin­ished.”

Like all who work on the show, Ni­cotero is Lori Grimes

Sure she’d gone all Lady Mac­beth on us in sea­son two, but the af­ter­math of Lori’s death — the birth of Ju­dith, Carl’s shoot­ing his mother, Rick’s break­down — was mul­ti­lay­ered in its tragedy. also con­cerned about its se­crets leak­ing out. “It’s al­ways tricky,” he sighs. “Be­cause we do have to be care­ful. There are a lot of peo­ple whose sole pur­pose is to spoil the shows. And we go to tremen­dous lengths to make sure that doesn’t hap­pen. So there have been times when we’ve had to be re­ally cau­tious about who can come on set and be walk­ers. Be­cause peo­ple have made an ef­fort to post stuff on­line, which just ru­ins it for every­body.”

But he smiles as he re­calls the lucky few Merle Dixon

Af­ter sav­ing Mi­chonne and killing the Gover­nor’s men, Merle him­self was killed in turn by the tyrant; prov­ing the death of a re­formed man can be as sad as that of an in­no­cent. Lizzie Sa­muels

Af­ter los­ing her own lit­tle girl to walk­ers, Carol is forced to kill the crazed child Lizzie to pro­tect Ju­dith, her­self, and Tyreese. We knew she had no choice, but in so do­ing, she kills a part of her soul. who have joined the ranks of the un­dead.

“I know a lot of peo­ple who have been on the show that are re­ally proud of it. There’s just some­thing cool about want­ing to be a walker. Who you get killed by is also very im­por­tant. Be­cause it’s a bit of a sta­tus thing…

“If you get killed by Rick or Daryl, he grins, “that’s def­i­nitely a badge of hon­our.” The Walk­ing Dead re­turns to Fox in the UK from Mon­day 9 Fe­bru­ary. Bob Stookey

Hav­ing con­quered al­co­holism and sur­vived Ter­mi­nus, Bob has re­newed hope for the fu­ture, and the love of Sasha. Yet his death is all the more heart­break­ing for how grace­fully he ac­cepts it. Beth Greene

We’d met nu­mer­ous in­no­cents be­fore on The Walk­ing Dead. But none we’d got­ten to know quite so well as the doe- eyed in­genue with the voice of an an­gel. The big­gest shock of the sea­son so far.

The world as we know it might have ended, but den­tal hy­giene is still im­por­tant.

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