The Walking Dead (TWD) debuted on AMC last season with a cautious six episode run, but quickly became a runaway hit with both critics and fans. The comic-turned-television series is back Oct. 16 for its second season with 13 episodes and a group of rabid followers anxious to find out what happened to the show’s roving crew of uninfected humans as they attempt to outpace the zombies that have taken over Atlanta – and beyond.
One of the stars of the show, IronE Singleton who portrays the character T-Dog, spoke with me before (here) the much-anticipated series first aired. Now, he shares updates about how the series has affected his life and talks about his roots in Atlanta, which is both his hometown and the backdrop for TWD.
The following interview has been edited and condensed.
Comic Canuck: How has your life changed since season one of The Walking Dead?
IronE: Lots of excitement and anticipation in the air. It’s really good. I feel with season two on the way there’s about to be an explosion – a ton of excitement – and once season two hits the air we may have to resume the conversation then to really get the full picture. It’s been a phenomenal year.
Comic Canuck: What can we expect from T-Dog in season two?
IronE: Um, I can’t say too much because as you probably saw in the trailer that T-Dog cut his arm so there’s not much conversation happening beyond that point. We’re just going to have to watch that and see.
Comic Canuck: Season one was quite the short season. How many episodes have been ordered up for season two?
IronE: There are 13 episodes for season two.
Comic Canuck: With the addition of episodes in comparison to season one (at six episodes) has there been a point where you get bit tired or do you say, just keep going?
IronE: I think for any actor if you’re doing more than double the amount of episodes you’ve done from the past season then you’re going to get a little tired, but we are trained to deal with that and move on…because we want to produce the very best for our fans. That’s just apart of the business. More work. More fatigue sets in. That’s our job so we’re used to it.
Comic Canuck: Last year we met on Twitter and at that time you were starting to notice a lot of the fans of TWD and just getting to know it yourself. Now fast forward to today. What do you make of the positive comments over social media about the show from such a huge fan base?
IronE: Wow. I guess it‘s just like any other big hit. I did some international interviews last weekend and they asked me about the fan base and how people approach me because of TWD…It’s kind of expected when you’re working on such a huge show like this, to have this major influx of people to tell you that they enjoy you or that they don’t enjoy you so much. Hopefully, I get more of the former than the latter. (He laughs.)
Comic Canuck: What other projects do you have going on outside of TWD?
IronE: I’ve got this big one with Nicolas Cage and I think it should be released within the year. It’s called Seeking Justice. It’s been on the back burner for a short spell, but it’s going to get a release date soon. I play a villain similar to what I did in The Blind Side, but I play one of [actor] Guy Pearce’s henchmen. We are trying to track down Nicolas Cage’s character throughout the movie because he reneged on a promise that he made to us. I am also the commander of the Green Brigade for the Zombie Survival Crew on Twitter @TheZSC and at facebook.com/ZombieSurvivalCrew. It’s a fictional organization where we prepare all of our fans for the coming apocalypse.
Comic Canuck: Now, are you guys still shooting in Atlanta?
IronE: Yes we are. Production is scheduled to end the first week of November.
Comic Canuck: Atlanta is your hometown and it must feel great to be filming such a huge show there with friends and family around you can talk to. How good is it to get up and go to work every day and be at home?
IronE: I have these really emotional moments where I’ve driven to work and think about how I get to do what I love in my backyard. The word I use to describe it is surreal. To have shot, last year, right in the same area where I grew up, it’s really fascinating and a true blessing. Also, when people such as extras come out to the set, and I talk to them and they tell me how they’re big fans of mine because I made it happen from Atlanta, and they tell me how they adore me for what I have been able to accomplish, that makes me feel really good.
Comic Canuck: When you and I first spoke last year, we talked about when you were growing up that sometimes TV was a babysitter and that sort of led you to becoming an actor. Now, when you’re talking to the extras, it must be inspiring for actors and young kids in Atlanta to look and say here’s a guy who I admire who was where I am and maybe I can be there. How does it feel to be that inspiration?
IronE: I’m getting choked up just thinking about that and listening to you there. That’s true. That is what it’s all about. It’s all about us inspiring one another and a phrase I use: The purpose in our lives is to help others search for theirs and on the journey you will find yours. And that’s how we become better as humanity. When I see that twinkle in somebody else’s eyes and particularly the kids, it’s a really good feeling that I have.
Comic Canuck: Season two airs Sunday, October 16 on AMC. I really want to thank you for taking the time today and I look forward to speaking with you again soon.
IronE: Thank you so very much brother Chris and I love you and your fans and you take care.
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