Exclusive Interview with The Walking Dead’s IronE Singleton

Last week, I had a chance to talk to IronE Singleton, the actor who plays T-Dog on AMC’s The Walking Dead. It’s no secret that I had some problems with the constrained setting and pace of the first half of season two, but I thought the mid-season finale was really impressive, and I have high hopes for the remainder of the season. I’d really like to see a bit more focus on T-Dog, who I think is sometimes overlooked.

In our chat below, we talked about zombie makeup, what to expect in the upcoming second half of season two, and University of Georgia football. Don’t forget to watch the mid-season premiere, tonight at 9 PM EST, on AMC.

I appreciate you taking some time out of your busy schedule.

I thank you for having me.

I’ll just start with some Walking Dead questions. I have to say that I was a bit surprised by the end of the previous episode, where we found out what happened to Sophia. I was wondering if the writers keep you away from any plot twists or are you ever surprised by something you read in the script?

We see the script before we shoot it, maybe even weeks in advance. But that right there was something we couldn’t get used to. You know, seeing Sophia walk out of that barn like that… it was devastating… When I first found out about it, Andrew Lincoln told me weeks prior to filming the episode, and it tore me apart. Then, once I got the script and read it, it hit me again, and then when we shot it, it was like that compounded. That was just was a miserable time right there, I’ll tell you that much.

On a similar note, the makeup in the show is just fantastic. Those zombies on the show just look so grotesque and horrible. What’s it like seeing that up close? It must be interesting.

Very interesting, to say the least, especially at the very beginning when we first started shooting season two. We kind of got used to being around them and then it just became part of the routine, but there are certain zombies that you never get used to. Like the well zombie, for instance. That was an abomination. That thing was so filthy and nasty and ugly and every other adjective you can use to describe how horrific that thing was. But you kind of get used to them. You know, you’re just walking around, say “Hey,” give them a wave and hello or something like that.

Yeah, you see one of them standing at the lunch table getting lunch or something…

[Laughs.] You’ll be right behind them, or right in front of them, they’re getting lunch, asking them what they’re going to eat for lunch. “Oh, you’re having the salad? Okay. Can you pass me that ranch dressing?” [Laughs.] It’s just like that.

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