Talking 'Walking Dead'

  • Article by: GREG BURKE , McClatchy News Service
  • Updated: January 1, 2013 - 4:42 PM

Three of the series' stars talk about the undead and their on-set games.

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Norman Reedus (as Daryl Dixon) plans to grow his hair out during the hiatus from “The Walking Dead.”

With a hiatus before the conclusion of "The Walking Dead" comes home to fans in February on AMC, actors Norman Reedus, Steven Yuen and Danai Gurira opened up.

Q: OK, first, congratulations on "The Walking Dead" -- you guys are all phenomenal actors and actresses. What's it been like working on the show so far?

Reedus: Wow. I mean, we all really love each other, it's kind of weird. But you know, we don't shoot it out here, we shoot it in the woods, in our own little bubble, and we rely on each other every day. So it's been a blessing just knowing everyone.

Q: And I've got to say, right now there's a lot of talk between you and Steven about who's the more popular character, because everyone loves you right now [points to Yuen], but everyone LOVES you now, too [points to Reedus].

Yuen: That's not even a question, come on, man [points at Reedus].

Gurira: They're going to fight over that.

Q: Do you guys do any gaming on-set at all?

Yuen: Uh, what's that?

Q: Do you guys do any gaming on-set at all, during your spare time?

Reedus: Uh, we shoot each other with BB guns.

Yuen: Yeah, that's true.

Gurira: Oh, that's true, that's true -- we play with Norman's "gifts." Norman gets a lot of gifts, so we play with his BB guns, that's true.

Q: So you are getting a little break now between "The Walking Dead." What are you doing in your spare time?

Reedus: I'm doing nothing [chuckles]. As much nothing -- I'm growing my hair really long, that's all I'm going to do.

Yuen: Whole lot of nothing, that's right.

Gurira: Uh, this and that, here and there.

Yuen: [laughs] "This and that."

Q: Just hangin' out?

Gurira: No, I've got a few things I've got to get done, but they're not fun. Just -- stuff, you know "life."

Yuen: Taxes.

Gurira: Yeah, taxes.

Q: This coming January, yeah.

Gurira: Where am I going to live? That stuff.

Yuen: Library returns. When are you going to return all those books that you borrowed from the library?

Gurira: Right.

Yuen: Yeah.

Q: You guys be sweatin' on set. Now, how much of that -- is that real sweat, or is that just makeup adding all the sweat?

Reedus: That's 100 percent real, and then they squirt us on top of that, which is kind of weird.

Yuen: It's gross.

Gurira: It's good and shiny, good and shiny.

Reedus: We get stitches and bug bites, and sweat.

Gurira: Yeah, and ticks.

Q: So how'd you end up getting involved in "The Walking Dead"?

Reedus: Well, I came out here for pilot season -- where every jerk actor floods this town -- and I came out and I read a bunch of pilots, and that one just popped off the page. I went in and I ended up reading Merle's lines, and then when I left, thinking like, "I don't know if Rooker's going to not -- did he say no?" you know, whatever. Then I heard Frank wrote that character for me, so ...

Gurira: Oh, wow.

Yuen: Uh, hey, I just moved here [chuckles] the year of, and um, this came out, and so for me I can't really say I got involved like, "Oh, yeah, I was looking at all these scripts" and stuff. It was more like, "I want a job," and this just happened to be the first job, so it was amazing.

Gurira: Uh, really, I was here -- I was just moving out here, really more for my writing -- and my play was in hiatus, and I just came out here, and then the auditions started happening, and I was like "Oh," and then the next thing I knew I had the part and I had to move to Atlanta [laughs].

Q: So how are you going to prep for the next season?

Reedus: Some of this [mimes lifting weights], I'm going to grow this [gestures to hair] -- uh -- you know, that's about it.

Yuen: Same thing. Tons of curls, just tons of curls, yep.

Gurira: Yeah, I guess some sword swinging -- the weights'll make it harder to lift it.

Yuen: (laughs)

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