Warning: "Walking Dead" Spoilers! There Is No Sanctuary!
So, the "Walking Dead" midseason finale happened, and whoa: The episode shocked fans, despite the fact that it was accidentally spoiled for those on the West Coast. As far as what's happening next, showrunner Scott Gimple has teased that there's a "huge change" coming for the characters now that they don't really have a clear objective, like escaping from the Governor or saving Beth. Oh, jeez, Beth ...
In the middle of the change is Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt). Porter captivated us in the first half of Season 5 with an immaculate mullet and tales of a mission to Washington, D.C., to create a cure for the zombie plague. Well, it turned out that was a lie, and the other survivors didn't take it too well.
Recently, McDermitt revealed some secrets to HuffPost Entertainment about what's coming in Season 5 (including confirming that spoiler about Morgan that Gimple had hinted at), and it definitely went a lot better than when he came clean to his group:
The midseason finale ended with a huge shocking death. Will we get a break from that intensity to start Season 5?
I think when it picks back up, we’re gonna see the group kind of dealing with the aftermath of that he horrible situation that we ended off with. It’s certainly sad to see Beth go, and not just Beth, but to lose Emily Kinney, who is an incredible person and a great member of our cast. So we’re gonna kind of see them dealing with that moving forward. And I think, you know, the second half of the season is gonna change a bit. We've seen the characters that are in a place they’ve never been before, and it’s just gonna get a little darker and a little crazier, and to quote Scott Gimple, "It’s just gonna get weird."
Norman Reedus previously told us, "Grab your tissues," when it comes to Season 5. Is that still going to be the case?
Yeah, I mean I think that’s always the case with this show, and not just in the sense of, "Oh, there’s gonna be people dying, so you’re gonna be crying." I mean, I cried when I saw Abraham breakdown and start crying after he found out that the mission to D.C. was a lie. There are other moments you cry in that aren’t necessarily related to death, so I absolutely agree with that statement. You gotta get your tissues ready because there are some pretty intense moments.
Will Season 5 get back to the stories in the comics?
The producers are always looking to create new storylines and interweave moments from the comics as well as new things, so I think it'll be more of the same. There's always a moment where it's like, "Oh, that’s from the comics." And it's small, so small and subtle. I think it'll be more of remixing storylines and getting back to a version of some stories from the comics.
One of the Season 5 previews shows everyone blasting guns in the woods. Does this mean big conflict with humans is on the way?
I love that people are talking about it. I think we were all, when we were shooting it, trying to figure out what it meant, and we couldn’t even figure it out. I think we’re reading a lot into something that’s probably not the case. You're absolutely right. That ammunition is a sacred resource. You probably don’t want to be wasting it too much, and we got a promo of us just firing at whatever is alive in the woods, which is just awesome cause people are fired up over this promo. But yeah, I don’t know. I just feel people reading too much into it. Or are they?
Is Morgan as close to the group as we think he is?
The answer to this -- any sort of detail I'm gonna screw it up -- just, I'm not confident of the details ... as Morgan kind of showed up to the church in the last episode, and he saw the map and everything, the greenery had grown up over some of the vines to show that several months have past. I don’t think that Morgan is around the corner.
What's the best thing about rockin' the mullet?
Just the fact that it’s so noticeable. I doubt I would get lost in the shuffle or just kind of end up looking like anyone else if I didn’t have the mullet ... but if I were just on the show as another guy people would have to go, “Oh, you know he’s just kind of the chubby guy with you know whatever.” Now, they just go, “It’s the guy with the mullet,” and they know exactly who they’re talking about, and that’s great. Norman Reedus just shouts "Mullet" at me. I don’t even know if he knows my name.
While wearing it, have you ever had the urge to dance to "Achy Breaky Heart"?
I get a lot of comparisons to Billy Ray Cyrus. You know, people call me Billy Ray Scientist and that sort of thing. I used to call into this radio show in Arizona and request "Achy Breaky Heart" when I was 14 years old, and that kind of like set me on the path of the entertainment industry, so I'm very closely tied to that song. And I'm gonna actually take your suggestion and throw the mullet on and dance to "Achy Breaky Heart" because I think, number one, the Internet needs to see that.
Do you have any tips for finding love in the apocalypse?
Hygiene I think is key. I also think we can look at someone like Abraham who was protecting his wife and kids and savagely destroyed some people and killed them. I think if you try to minimize what they see of that, then you're probably able to show a softer side. Make that your 9-5 when you're killing people, and then come home and you go to the person you love, and hopefully find some like canned corn or something. And they're able to cook a nice meal for you. And then, you know, make love.
Corn does sound pretty romantic.
In the apocalypse, I think it is. It’s not like you're gonna be able to sit down on the couch and watch an episode of "Parks and Rec." We all know "Parks and Rec" leads to love making.
Has the show prepared you for a real apocalypse?
Absolutely. I think a lot of people think they would be Daryl or Michonne or this badass warrior. My theory is 99 percent would be Eugene, and I think, with that knowledge, we’re able to live a little bit longer. We just know, "Okay, I am gonna be this wuss. I'm not gonna really know what I'm doing." And because of that, I know I'm gonna have to find someone like a Daryl or Michonne.
Any tips for surviving?
If you want to work on it now, start working on your rotator cuff, like building up your strength there. I think NFL quarterbacks are gonna be the best survivalists in this world because they just have strong arms, and they’re gonna just be able to like destroy people. Put a football in their hands, and they're just gonna crush. Aaron Rodgers is gonna be the last man standing. I just know it.
How would you describe the second half of Season 5?
Weird in a great way. The great thing that our writers and producers do is constantly reinventing the show. And they're not doing it out of the need. They’re pushing it in an awesome direction, and I love where the show is headed. I think true fans of the show are gonna love it as well, and I think it’s also gonna bring in more viewers, more people who maybe previously haven't watched the show. I think they're gonna latch on and get excited about it.
As for any other spoilers, Eugene says it best:
"Walking Dead" returns Feb. 8 on AMC.
This interview has been edited and condensed.