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July 22, 2016 at 1:17 pm #1201879185
Ugh. I still have a bad taste in my mouth after the Season 6 finale.
Here’s to hoping the Season 7 premiere course-corrects.July 23, 2016 at 7:09 am #1201879310
Ezekiel and SHIVA! are the only worthwhile parts here.July 28, 2016 at 11:36 pm #1201881340
An EW interview with Ezekiel
That’s right, all hail King Ezekiel!
The leader of a new community called the Kingdom, Ezekiel insists on being addressed as a king and carries around a scepter while accompanied by his pet tiger Shiva. (We told you he was colorful.) The favorite from the comic book will be making his debut when The Walking Dead returns for season 7 on Oct. 23, and we’ve got your first interview with the man playing him, Khary Payton.
I guess it must be nice to finally be able to talk about getting this role, huh?
Yeah, man. I’m honestly a little freaked out just talking to you. I’ve been diving in the backs of vans and having blankets thrown over my head so that nobody catches a glimpse of me and getting in and out of Georgia. I’ve got a lot of family in Georgia and I didn’t even tell them that I was there, so to have an interview with a reporter is a little unnerving.
Why don’t you start off by just telling me how you ended up landing the role. What was the whole process like for you?
The process was relatively simple, honestly. It was essentially a four or five-page monologue that they gave me, so I spent a good 72 hours pretty much by myself cloistered in a cave trying to get everything down. I didn’t audition in front of producers or directors or anything. It was all on tape, so it was just myself and the casting director.
I feel like I had a connection with this character in a weird way. I always say that when you’re in this acting business, you get a lot of rejection. You get a lot of people telling you no and you’ve got to get up, dust yourself off, and try again, and I feel like in a way Ezekiel fits that same mold where he’s in the hope business. I always say I’m in the hope business. You’ve got to stay hopeful. You’ve got to get up off your behind and try again no matter how many times they tell you it’s not going to work out. Your opinion’s got to overshadow whatever negativity might come your way. In a zombie apocalypse one can find themselves getting down about their situation, but Ezekiel’s not one of those people. He fights with all he’s got to make sure he stays positive and stays joyful. That’s what I love about him.
Did you know that you were auditioning for Ezekiel at first, or did you not know who the character was?
It was pretty easy to figure it out. I mean, I knew that I was auditioning for The Walking Dead, and they renamed it in the sides. They changed the name and changed the tiger to a lion, but honestly, it doesn’t take a whole lot of detective work to figure it out.
I love that they changed the tiger to a lion, as if that would throw people off.
It was a little weird because when I started reading the sides, I was like, “Wait a minute. Did I read that right? He’s got a lion?” He just kind of starts talking about his lion, you know? There’s no preface! So it took me a couple of reads to realize, okay, yeah, I need to do a little research here.
How familiar were you with the show or the comic before you got the part?
I actually didn’t read the comics, but my wife and I have been watching the show for a few years. We kind of got into it maybe three or four years after it started, and so we binged the first three seasons and we’ve been fans of it ever since. So when I got the audition, I’d been busy and I hadn’t caught up with the last half of the last season, so I had to hurry up and catch up and see what was going on.
I really adore the connection that people have with the show. I’m not a big zombie apocalypse guy, but I think the acting and the writing of the show is just exceptional, and the fact that I happen to be working with Lennie James and Melissa McBride on the show — their characters and their performances are two of the things that really kept me watching the show, so it was really wonderful to have those guys as kind of mentors and hosts introducing me to this world.July 29, 2016 at 9:48 am #1201881479
By: Natalia Lima
July 28, 2016
Follow Natalia at @TheNatiLima
‘The Walking Dead’ Just Took a Major Step for Animal Rights
Everyone’s favorite zombie TV show, The Walking Dead, released its season seven trailer this week, and animal protection advocates have reason to celebrate. Just like the time when the cast and crew of the hit TV show went vegetarian on set, the sneak peek into the series’ next chapter is a huge step in a humane direction.
The trailer introduces King Ezekiel, an intimidating character to say the least, with his pet tiger Shiva. Held by a chain around her neck, Shiva roars to the camera but, rest easy, animal lovers, because Shiva is not an actual tiger. She is made of animatronics and CGI since the show’s executive producer, Scott M. Gimple, didn’t think having a real tiger on set was a good idea.
“I was asking Scott, ‘How are we doing this thing?’ He pointed out that it’s not very humane to have a live tiger on set. And it’s also very dangerous for the actors,” show creator Robert Kirkman told CinemaBlend. “So I was like, ‘Great, no real tiger, I can still come to set! That sounds awesome.’ Because I would not have gone to set if there had been a tiger anywhere near the set. So there’s no real tiger involved. It’s all magic.”
The magic is keeping animals from suffering for entertainment. Undercover investigations have shown that the training of animals used on set can involve beatings and even withholding food to encourage them to show a certain behavior. The animals are kept in cages for long periods of time and, when not shooting, they’re not necessarily kept in the best of conditions — as evidenced by the movie The Hobbit where 27 animals died during production.
“Wild animals are wild, and do not belong imprisoned in a trailer or exploited on a television or film set,” said Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA in a statement. “These animals are not props, and forcing them to perform for our entertainment is neither humane nor safe—particularly when technological innovations can so easily be substituted.”
Born Free is one of the organizations that has been pressuring the CBS crime drama Zoo, which has continued to use real animals despite public backlash. The show features big cats, wolves, reindeer, horses and buffalo, and has been unwilling to change its ways.
“We spoke to executives at CBS last year and were told that, if the show got picked up, a conversation or meeting would take place to discuss Born Free USA’s legitimate animal welfare concerns. We never heard back and further attempts to speak with them have gone unanswered,” said Roberts. “It is clear that no progress has been made in phasing out live animals. ‘Zoo’ can certainly adopt modern technology in place of outdated practices that significantly impact animal welfare and public safety. We know the television industry is better than this and would never want a tragedy to occur.”
Thankfully, The Walking Dead is taking a different approach and it’s not the first to opt for some technological magic to spare the animals. Noah in 2014 featured no real animals after the director, Darren Aronosfky, revealed he was “pretty alarmed with the condition” monkeys were kept on another movie he had worked on. The Rise of the Planet of the Apes also opted for only computer animated primates in the epic battle scenes, and the recent blockbuster The Jungle Book had all CGI animals.August 20, 2016 at 11:14 pm #1201911116
New York Daily News reports,
“The Walking Dead” has been trying to keep a lid on the identify of the character who was beaten to death in last season’s controversial cliffhanger. But photos leaked from the set of next season’s ninth episode may have already spoiled the surprise.
Lead characters and lovers Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Guirira) still appear to be alive and well in the paparazzi shots, as well as secondary figures Aaron (Ross Marquand) and Tara (Alanna Masterson).August 21, 2016 at 9:43 am #1201911212
Here is hoping, that Melissa McBride can finally break into Drama Supporting Actress this year! Go Walking Dead!October 23, 2016 at 2:44 am #1201938248
Episode Title: “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be”
Synopsis: As the members of the group remain helpless, Negan takes action that will forever haunt those who survive.
Discuss.October 23, 2016 at 7:14 pm #1201938509
God damn it! Why was the premiere so well done. I wanted to quit this show in peace! Looking forward to the 10 episodes about nothing now.October 23, 2016 at 7:14 pm #1201938510
What kind of crap is this????? We’ve all struggled through the seasons watching people ‘die’. But this?
Yes, it’s “the walking dead”. Horror. But watching sadism and torture like this isn’t my thing.
Kill Negan, and I’ll come back.October 23, 2016 at 7:18 pm #1201938511
just handle on the emmy to Andrew Lincoln, there is not anyone more deserving.October 23, 2016 at 7:58 pm #1201938533
Goodbye Walking Dead! I understand all the crap that get’s thrown around about this show being about the zombie apocalypse & you can’t expect everyone to live. So on many occasions I’ve had to see a character go who I really had invested time in & I would accept it, but this was just torture porn, plain & simple. There was nothing of value in watching these characters I love being treated like this & yeah I know, they will rise up & overcome, but this time the rancid taste in my mouth will not go away. So congratulations Gimple & Kirkman, you have created such a “real” show about this imaginary world that I’m hopping off & you can take your little (lap)dog (Chris Hardwick) with you. In other words not only will I be removing TWD from my DVR but @Midnight will be gone too. The only thing more depressing than watching your show would be watching your paid apologist trying to make people think TWD is a show that cares bout it’s characters or the people watching the show. Bye bye…October 23, 2016 at 8:56 pm #1201938557
Goodbye Walking Dead! I understand all the crap that get’s thrown around about this show being about the zombie apocalypse & you can’t expect everyone to live & on many occasions I’ve had to see a character go who I really had invested time in, but this was just torture porn, plain & simple. There was nothing of value in watching these characters I love being treated like this & yeah I know, they will rise up & overcome, but this time the rancid taste in my mouth will not go away. So congratulations Gimple & Kirkman, you have created such a “real” show about this imaginary world that I’m hopping off & you can take your little (lap)dog (Chris Hardwick) with you. In other words not only will I be removing TWD from my DVR but @Midnight will be gone too. The only thing more depressing than watching your show would be watching your paid apologist trying to make people think TWD is a show that cares bout it’s characters or the people watching the show. Bye bye…
You can bet they care about their ratings…..
My reaction is similar to your own btw.
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