Everyone who watches The Walking Dead knows that it doesn't matter how crucial an actor's role may be in the hit AMC show; when it's their time to go, it's their time to go – usually by way of a ravenous zombie bloodbath, or an unfortunate bullet to the head. The robust numbers of our favorite heroes on the show are dwindling rapidly, so luckily a new head-count was introduced in Sunday night's mid-season finale.
The leader of the new pack is none other than The Wire star Chad L. Coleman. Coleman plays Tyreese, a popular character from the Walking Dead comics who leads a new group into the prison where Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his group of survivors have circled the wagons. In the post-apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead, humans can be much more deadly than zombies, so has Tyreese and his group jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire?
"Honestly, there is much that that will surprise me as it will surprise you," Coleman says of the unraveling third season storyline to come. "But you guys know the pedigree of the show by this time -- so you know it's going to be juicy and awesome for all parties involved."
Coleman can't reveal any details from the rest of season three, of course, or he could easily end up on the "unemployed actor" slab. However, he does enthuse that working on the show is a "roller coaster ride," adding with a hearty laugh that killing zombies on the Atlanta set is "a complete and absolute adrenaline rush."
"Those zombies are so real, you know, it's really no acting required," he says. "But the most scary part of it is to see them just doing regular things, like in-between takes, or going on lunch breaks… Just to watch the guys getting the salad dressing -- all made up, all zombied out -- is pretty hilarious."
Of his character's motivations, Coleman explains, "His desire to protect and his desire to abstain from egregious violence, his humanity, his strong sense of family -- those are things that are resonating for me in playing this role." Still, when it comes to whacking the undead, Coleman beams, "The man has a hammer and he knows how to use it."
Coleman adds that the established Walking Dead cast has welcomed him with open arms: "This is an amazing, extraordinary cast of human beings," he says. "Andrew Lincoln has to be the nicest, ego-less lead actor that I've ever met in my life, and I'm not exaggerating at all. It's just one big happy family. … I know it sounds hokey, but everybody feels the love."
After Sunday's cliffhanger episode, fans will have to wait until February 10, 2013 to catch the remaining episodes of the third season, but Coleman promises, "You'll be on the edge of your seat on that journey with me."
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