EXCLUSIVE: What The Walking Dead Cast Have Learned About Survival From the Global Pandemic

The Walking Dead

If there’s one thing the cast of The Walking Dead knows how to do, it is survive.

And while their characters on-screen are in a constant state of fight or flight, off-screen, they have been living through the global pandemic just like everyone else.

In the six new episodes of the hit series, that began streaming weekly from March 1 on BINGE, core cast members Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Lauren Cohan, Seth Gilliam and Ross Marquand are trying to pick themselves up by their bootstraps following the destruction the Whisperers left in their wake. The years of struggle weigh upon them as past traumas surface, exposing their more vulnerable sides.

As they question the state of humanity, the state of their collective community, and the states of their minds, will they find the inner strength to persevere with their lives, friendships, and group intact? Sound familiar?

While the plot from the series hasn’t happened in the real world, the same themes do seem to apply to what we as a global community have faced over the past year.

In an exclusive interview with POPSUGAR Australia, Reedus, McBride, Cohan, Gilliam, Marquand and showrunner Angela Kang spoke about the survival skills they have learned and how they have applied them to daily life.

For McBride, the world has changed so rapidly, and it has taught her not “take things for granted.” “I think people are really wanting that,” she said.

For Reedus, the pandemic has highlighted “the desire for human intimacy”.

“You’re separated from everyone and you can’t give people hugs. You don’t see them smile because they’re wearing a mask. It can get really lonely when you’re isolated. I think the characters on the show have each other, but what else is out there?”

As a result, the stories from season 10 are an “intimate” and “vulnerable” look at the characters we’ve grown to love.

“I’m really excited for these fans to see these intimate stories that are real deep-dives into several of our beloved characters,” Kang said. “And we’re really excited for people to see Maggie’s return and learn more about her. We’re diving into a lot of ghosts of the past with a lot of these characters. And there’ll be just some surprising stories.”

For Cohan, the new season marks her return to the character of Maggie Greene, a role she stepped away from in 2018.

“Maggie has been away for a long time, and it’s in our first episode of 10C [season 10], that she actually gets to reconnect with Daryl (Reedus) and we learn some of where she’s been.

“We’ve had a huge change in her that hasn’t been seen on screen that we’re going to get to parse out over these episodes.”

As for the rest of the cast, their lives have changed dramatically since joining the popular series.

“It’s been a wild ride and I mean, it’s not over obviously, but with fandom, with popularity, with telling stories, trying hard every day to be original after 10 years, it’s done a lot of things,” Reedus said.

Stream The Walking Dead, Season 10 weekly on BINGE.

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