The Walking Dead’s Zombiestravaganza!

The Walking Dead - Glenn and Maggie

(Photo Courtesy AMC)

On March 11, 2014, The Walking Dead fans sold out the Writers Guild Foundation theatre in Beverly Hills for a special Zombiestravaganza.  Nerdist and Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick took on the arduous task of keeping the conversation flowing with show stars Lauren Cohen (Maggie), Steven Yeun (Glenn), co-producer and writer Scott Gimple, and The Walking Dead comic creator/writer Robert Kirkman.  That Hardwick…he’s got a tough life.

The Transition From Comic to Television:

Kirkman didn’t ever think his comic would be made into a television show.  When people mentioned the possibility to him, he’d think, “They’re crazy…Thankfully, AMC ended up being pretty crazy.”  Even on set, Kirkman thought, “This is never going to make it on air.  No one is going to watch this.”

A key element of the comic is the violence, blood, and body parts associated with a zombie apocalypse.  Kirkman recalled that when they were in Georgia in pre-production on the pilot, they were worried about how to shoot the gore.  Then AMC gave them a sizzle reel, cut with all the goriest scenes they’d previously televised and said, “This is what we can show.”  At that point, everyone realized the network was committed.

As far as adapting the comic, Kirkman isn’t overly protective of his material.  He confessed: “There are times when I’ve written that comic in a hurry,” so he’s open to changes and new ideas.

How Lauren Became Maggie:

When Lauren first learned about the role, she hadn’t watched the first season.  They sent her the script sides, not the full script because everything was so top secret.  She made a tape and sent it in.  She didn’t actually watch the show until she’d already been cast.

How Steven Became Glenn

Steven had only moved to LA the year before he was cast.  He’d had a successful pilot season, but then The Walking Dead role came to him.  Steven candidly admitted that he took the role of Glenn because he needed a job.  Even if he’d seen the show and thought “the show was crap,” he’d be like, “Cool, I have a job.”

Once he got the role, everything was a shock.  He imagined that in Hollywood they held your hand and told you where to go and what to do.  Instead, it’s “know your shit and show up.”

Of course, Steven is doing more than just showing up.  He’s had some of the more gut-wrenching scenes over the past couple of seasons.  Getting to such a dark, emotional place causes him to suffer headaches and stomach problems when filming has ended.  Steven explained, “Everyone goes for it so hard that sometimes you forget how twisted your brain gets for a second to get yourself there.”

New Show Runner Scott Gimple On Settling In:

As Hardwick noted, “Show runners in The Walking Dead have been like the drummers in Spinal Tap.”

Gimple was a big fan of the show and watched it every week.  But, he admitted that he was a little hesitant to get involved in the show because he had heard there was drama behind the scenes.

The Impact of Character Deaths:

Killing off main characters is not something the show takes lightly.  Gimple explained, “It should absolutely affect and change the other characters.  It should be something that lives on with the other characters.”

For those unable to attend, never fear – it’s the Internet Age, so there’s always a way to see what you missed.  The Writers Guild Foundation recorded the event and will make it available on their website.  So check with them at and on Twitter at @WritersGuildF.

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