It’s a dark, eerily quiet night, moon light streams down ominously on rows of ancient tombstones that crisscross the old cemetery. Gusts of wind whisper through the outstretched limbs of the giant oak trees lining the borders of the graveyard and pick up piles of leaves, creating little whirling dervishes that travel down the rows of grave stones. A cat hisses and jumps with fright as the soil beneath its paws begins to move, suddenly a fist pops up through the soil, then an arm, followed by a head with a hideous grimace on its face, soon the decaying form of a zombie stands in front of its grave and makes its way toward the street.
To us zombie fans, these are familiar images; ones that make us reach for the popcorn and clutch the arms of our couches. Victor Halpern’s White Zombie was released in 1932 and is often cited as the first zombie film, but it was George Romero that created the modern incarnation of a zombie that we love today.
Romero’s style zombies have thrilled horror fans ever since his film, “The Night of the Living Dead,” where a group of people hide from bloodthirsty zombies in a farm house. It premiered in October of 1968. Zombies have remained in the limelight off and on since then, but it was Robert Kirkman, an American comic book writer’s incarnation of the “Romero Zombie” that took the subgenre to new heights.
As we “Walking Dead” fans anxiously await the start of season 5 of, “The Walking Dead,” I was able to speak to some of the show’s cast members.
Andrew Lincoln, “Rick Grimes”
Tell us about Rick’s state of mind in Season 5.
Rick is very much back. He has made peace with the fact that there is a very brutal side to him, but he has a humane side too. Both are acceptable to him in his worldview. Rick is one of these people who keeps finding himself at the edge of this immoral precipice, and throws himself off of it for the sake of his family and his friends who are now family.
Has Rick come to terms with the madness inside of him?
The most exciting thing this season is you meet a man who is trapped in the most dangerous situation he has ever been in, and yet he is at his most confident and calm. I’m interested in the guy who keeps reinventing his moral code to suit his needs. When that comes up against other people in the group or in the world, what does that cause?
What did you think when you first read the script for the season 5 premiere episode?
My first thought was how are we going to shoot this?! My second thought was how is this going to fit in 47 minutes?! The first three episodes are the strongest we’ve ever had. It’s an astonishing, kinetic, thrill ride, but with incredibly detailed character development and really smart storytelling. It’s nothing short of insane. I truly feel it is our best season yet. It’s great to come into a show Season Five and be more excited about it than ever.
Norman Reedus, “Daryl”
What was your first impression of the season 5 premiere episode?
I read the first script – it’s insane. I read the second script – and it’s insane. It is one of those scripts you have to put down every couple of pages to think about it. Fans are going to freak out.
The first episode was written by Scott Gimple right?
The way Scott Gimple puts them together is so genius. Every little thing means something. He is really good at throwing people in different directions and you never exactly know where you are going to land. When you speculate what is going to happen, it ends up being completely different.
Did Daryl’s experience with Beth change him?
It changed him a lot. Beth gave him hope that the world wasn’t as bad as he was thinking it was. Even if it is, she hinted that maybe it doesn’t have to be.
Danai Gurira, “Michonne”
What does Michonne think about what Rick did to save his son last season?
Sometimes you have to have a brutal response. Her man did not go to that extent for her son. She has an understanding of what Rick needed to do.
What can fans expect from Michonne this season?
She is fully committed. These are the people she chooses in this realm. She almost lost them, and she felt that loss. She is not going to let that happen again. The question is how does she respond to various situations and circumstances now that she is integrated into the group.
How do you keep your sanity working on such a heavy, serious television program?
I have always preferred stuff that makes me go to the core of the human experience. In all my work, I have a tendency to deal with the hardest and most profound questions of humanity. I like going into those questions. I think they are important. And we have so much fun.
Is it hard to play a badass like Michonne?
I like being exhausted as an artist. I come from theatre. I want to be tapped out at the end of the day. That means I give Michonne all I have.
How do you think Michonne will do without her Katana?
Michonne is powerful beyond a weapon.
Chandler Riggs, “Carl”
What has been it been like growing up on the show?
Growing up on this show has been awesome. I have the most amazing actors to work with who are mentors. It’s been one-third of my life.
We “Walking Dead” fans have been in agony waiting for start season 5 of the show. We have so many questions from last season. Where is Beth? How will they escape the rail car? One question I can answer and that is, the shows starts this month, and I can’t wait!