- Insider asked “The Walking Dead” cast and crew what they would do if a zombie apocalypse really occurred.
- Angel Theory and Ryan Hurst seem the most prepared. Hurst says he would channel his show character, Beta.
- Showrunner Angela Kang says she wouldn’t last long, but she has an ax from star Andrew Lincoln.
- Norman Reedus, who plays fan-favourite Daryl Dixon, told us he’d chill in Costa Rica.
- Quarantining during the pandemic has really made Christine Evangelista consider how she would prepare.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
After 10 seasons, the characters of “The Walking Dead” can take on just about any zombie army that comes their way.
But what would the cast do themselves if a zombie outbreak happened?
During interviews for the show, Insider asked “The Walking Dead” cast and crew where they would go, what they would do, and their weapon of choice in a zombie apocalypse.
Some of them, like Angel Theory and Ryan Hurst, had very serious answers. Others, including Katelyn Nacon and showrunner Angela Kang, don’t think they’d last long around real zombies.
Keep reading to see how some of your favourites would fare and what they would do if the undead rose up.
Norman Reedus would head south to Central America.
Daryl Dixon may be a leader in the communities right now, but the actor who plays him isn’t interested in fighting any of the dead.
“I’d go to Costa Rica and I’d just surf all day. Eat coconuts,” Reedus told Insider without missing a beat while discussing the show’s 10th season in October at PaleyFest.
Cailey Fleming says she may not be as brave as Judith with her katana on the show.
“Oh my gosh. If the zombie apocalypse happened, I definitely wouldn’t be as brave as Judith,” Fleming told Insider at Paleyfest.
Fleming said she probably wouldn’t pick up a katana like her counterpart on the show.
“I don’t think I could ever do that. I would probably prepare, get canned food,” said Fleming. “I would probably be the one to hide behind people and say, ‘You can fight for me,’ because I don’t use weapons.”
If she had to choose a weapon to defend herself, Fleming said she’d go with something familiar.
“Since I know how to use the wakasachi [Judith’s sword] probably the wakasachi. I couldn’t use a gun because I’m too little,” said Fleming. “I would point it and it would fly me back in the air.”
Josh McDermitt thinks a weapon with a blade is also the way to go.
“I don’t really know how to make bullets like Eugene does so I would probably try and drop a gun as soon as I was out of bullets,” McDermitt told Insider at PaleyFest.
A seasoned veteran who’s been on the show since season four, McDermitt suggested a practical weapon that doesn’t need reloading is the way to go.
“I like a big heavy machete or something very thick and durable because you can use the butt of it as a blunt force but you can also slice through. I just think some sort of blade or knife would be the best way to go.”
“Don’t you just want to hack off a zombie’s arm?” asked McDermitt.
Forget the zombies. Ross Marquand would hole up in a Costco and thinks you should as well.
“I’d go to a Costco with my friends, weld the doors shut, and I’d be set for the rest of my life,” said Marquand, of the wholesale chain that’s encased in giant warehouses across the country. “Everyone would be fine. 50, 60 years. We’d be totally fine.”
The chain was Marquand’s advice for anyone who needs their own zombie plan.
“Just go to a Costco. Make sure it’s well fortified and you’re good,” he said.
“TWD” executive producer Greg Nicotero didn’t know if this was the best course of action.
“Obviously, the problem with that is everybody else would have the same idea,” said Nicotero. “You’ll end up probably getting shot. You get shot in the head the minute you tried to open the door.”
Showrunner Angela Kang has a special ax from Andrew Lincoln, but she doesn’t think she’d fare well with the undead.
“I actually have an ax in my office that I’m looking at right now that Andy Lincoln gave us as a wrap gift that says, ‘My mercy prevails over my wrath,'” Kang told Insider while discussing season nine.
“My mercy prevails over my wrath” is a line the line Lincoln says as he sits beside a tree after deciding to forgo violence and let Negan live after the war with the Saviors ended.
“I’ve got a weapon, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t make it,” Kang says of her chances in any impending zombie apocalypse. “I’m not fast, I need medications, and I have glasses. I’m not sure. I got to pair up with a group that’s much stronger.”
Kang needs to team up with Ryan Hurst who plans to try his luck as his Whisperer character, Beta.
“You wear dead skin, everybody’s happy,” said Hurst of why he’d channel his onscreen character in real life to blend in with the dead. “They’re not gonna try to kill ya. They don’t know that you’re there! It’s zombie camouflage.”
For those who aren’t familiar, the Whisperer group wears the skin of the dead over their faces. It’s kind of gross and intense, but it seems to work for them.
Out of everyone Insider spoke with, it seemed like Hurst put some of the most thought into what he would do if the world came to an end.
“I always just thought, if there’s a zombie apocalypse, you’re gonna need three things. One, like Forrest Gump, you’re gonna need a comfortable pair of shoes. Two, you’re gonna need layers. Zombies can’t fight you if they can’t fight through ten layers of clothing. And three, you got to have good teeth. How long are you gonna survive if your teeth are rotting out of head?
That’s a reason Hurst asked about his character Beta having gold teeth on the show as a means of survival.
Wearing the skin of the dead over your face sounds like a strange survival tactic, but Hurst sees a huge benefit if the undead act just like the ones we’re used to on “TWD.”
“If food and water are in high demand, what you gotta do is preserve your energy,” said Hurst. “Stop fighting so much! Fighting takes energy! Just walk slow, talk low. Blend in. Look, these zombies are going nowhere in a hurry. Just let everybody calm down.”
Of course, that strategy may not work out if real-life zombies are a bit more rabid and smarter like some of the ones introduced in “Zombieland: Double Tap.”
King Ezekiel’s Khary Payton says he would head to the real life version of the Kingdom he oversaw.
“I would make a beeline to the Kingdom if you ask me,” said Payton while discussing the back-half of season nine. “The Atlanta set is actually a decommissioned Army base in Atlanta. And so yeah, I’d head to Fort McPherson.”
The Kingdom is the fictional community Payton’s character oversaw on “The Walking Dead” until his community was forced to leave near the end of season nine.
For Payton, the area has a deeper meaning than just a place of survival on the show for him and Cooper Andrews, who plays his comrade Jerry.
“Cooper Andrews and I always talk about the fact that what we love about the Kingdom is that it’s not just about survival, it’s about living a joyous and full life no matter what random darkness is around you,” said Payton.
“I love that I got lucky enough to portray a character that that’s his focus and that’s the kind of story that this community is trying to tell,” he added. “I frankly love that about the kingdom, so as far as I’m concerned, I wouldn’t go anywhere else.”
Matt Lintz, who played Ezekiel’s foster son Henry, hasn’t put as much thought into his plan.
“I honestly haven’t really thought about it,” Lintz wrote in an email to Insider after his character Henry was killed off the show on season nine.
“I definitely would try and loot a gun store and get some supplies from nearby stores before any other looters could get to it,” he added of his strategy. “I would honestly go to the woods nowhere near civilisation and feel it out as the days would pass. If [there’s] one thing I’ve learned from the show, don’t go anywhere near cities.”
Katelyn Nacon, who played Enid, would sacrifice herself to the zombies unless she finds a boat.
“I would walk up to the first walker I see and just kind of [go], ‘eat me.’ Honestly, I’m not gonna make it in the apocalypse,” Nacon said. “I know I’m not.” When asked why she wouldn’t last, Nacon said she wouldn’t be any good. “I can’t survive. I’m a picky eater! I can’t just be eating like rats and stuff,” said Nacon. “I don’t think I would last long. Or I would just live in a treehouse for as long as I can.”
On the show, Nacon’s character, Enid, famously caught and ate a turtle with her bare hands. After thinking about it a little more, Nacon considered travelling on a boat out of Atlanta, Georgia, where she currently resides.
“If anything, I would have to go south to Florida, I guess,” said Nacon.
“Eventually you’re gonna have to go somewhere and get food and gas. You don’t really need gas for the boat. You could just idle,” Nacon added, feeling better about the boat decision. “At some point, you’re going to need food again. If it’s just you on the boat, you can put as much on there as you can.”
Austin Amelio, who plays Dwight, gave us one of the most unique responses involving treadmills.
“I would surround my house with treadmills. So no walkers can get in. I’d steal all the treadmills,” Amelio told Insider while discussing his return to the world of “The Walking Dead” last summer.
“Yeah, I’m staying in my home. I’m watching movies, I’m hanging out. I’m enjoying myself for a little bit,” added Amelio of his Austin, Texas, home.
The treadmill plan would probably work until Amelio runs out of power. After that, he would turn to something a bit more practical.
“I like the ax. I do. I think it’s functional,” said Amelio of one of Dwight’s weapons we saw on “Fear the Walking Dead.” “It’s easy to carry. You get some length with it, you know, so you get some distance between you and the walker.”
Christine Evangelista, who plays Dwight’s wife Sherry, wants the MRAP from “Fear the Walking Dead.”
“In a time where we have been quarantined for the last few months and we’ve had to make that decision of, ‘Where do you want to be?’ I’ve certainly been around with my family and have done everything in my power to protect my family and keep my family safe,” Evangelista told Insider, who recently rejoined “TWD” universe on its spinoff, “Fear the Walking Dead.” “I’m inclined to think I would do the same thing then.”
Evangelista has a few ideas for what her ideal weapon would be in the zombie apocalypse.
“I was always really jealous of the machete. That just looked like such a great weapon, but I don’t know if I would have the skillset for that,” Evangelista admitted. “So I guess I’d have to say an automatic [gun].”
However, after watching season six, episode five, there’s one thing Evangelista really has her eyes on: Al’s seemingly indestructible MRAP vehicle.
“That’s definitely something that I would look for, something that you could move in and that could also serve to protect you,” Evangelista said of the SWAT vehicle that comes armed with machine guns.”Having and using an MRAP that’s what I would really want.”
Angel Theory says she’s the person to be with if zombies take over.
“If you asked anyone that knows me personally, they will tell you that I would be the best person to have with you in the apocalypse,” Angel Theory told Insider via email while discussing her role on season 10. “I would definitely be prepared, hands down.”
Angel Theory says she would combine a few favourite items into the perfect zombie weapon.
“Slingshot, crossbow, sword, nunchucks, and spear gun. I don’t know how that would look all together but in my head, it looks pretty d— awesome,” said Angel Theory.
She was the only cast member we spoke with wise enough to keep her escape plan to herself. You can’t tell everyone the good hiding spots.
“As for where I would go that has to remain a secret, if the apocalypse ever happens just know my family and I are good,” Angel Theory said.
Paola Lázaro says she would head home to Puerto Rico.
“Oh lord have mercy. I would go to Puerto Rico,” said Lázaro. “I would go back home. I would camp out by the beach.”
Lázaro is forgoing any weapons to be with family.
“I’m going to build a little fort. I’m going to be there,” she added. “Come through, come say hi.”
How Lázaro was cast as Princess on “TWD.”
“TWD” universe chief content officer Scott Gimple would consider taking a page from “The Last of Us Part II.”
“If it all went down today, I would hope these 10 years have been very instructive for me,” Gimple said.
Since he’s currently in California, he said he’d consider getting to Catalina or to the mountains. Catalina is an interesting choice. If you’ve played the latest instalment of zombie survival video game “The Last of Us,” some survivors are apparently thriving on Catalina Island.
“I would first be looking for a housing situation that had good terrain around it and I think I would be gathering folks,” Gimple said.
As for a weapon, he had a few ideas. He really liked Elton’s pocket fisherman, which we’ll see on “TWD: World Beyond.”
“Tripping walkers is a hell of a lot easier than hacking them down. Quite efficacious. Quite smart,” Gimple said. “I guess I would gather the props that I have over the course of shooting and choose one of them. Right now, I think I’m looking at Eastman’s stick. That’s the prop I think I would be using.”
Eastman (John Caroll Lynch) appeared briefly on season six, episode four to teach Morgan (Lennie James) in the art of Aikido. By the episode’s end, Morgan was inspired to start defending himself against the dead with a carved stick, similar to Eastman.
Executive producer and makeup supervisor Greg Nicotero would head to a dentist’s office or just make himself up to look like one of the dead.
Nicotero comes from the George Romero school of zombies, working on 1985’s “Day of the Dead.” With that in mind, Nicotero has considered how, at least in Romero’s world, zombies would always congregate around places that were important to them or that shared some significance with them when they lived.
“I always used to joke around that I would probably go to the one place that nobody else would ever go because then no zombies would ever show up there,” Nicotero told Insider while discussing season nine of “TWD.”
Where would that be?
“I would probably go to the dentists’ office or somewhere that would be the last place that you would think to hide,” said Nicotero.
He said many of the show’s cast didn’t share the same sentiments and had another idea.
“Of course, half the cast says, ‘Well, we’ll just go to Greg’s shop and he can make us up as zombies and then we’ll just walk around,'” said Nicotero.
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