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