The Walking Dead is not exactly a happy show, and it takes a certain amount of stamina just to watch each season. The constant doom and gloom must be especially difficult for the actors who have to spend more than just the one hour per week immersed in the zombie apocalypse. According to star Norman Reedus, the actors' return for Season 7 was especially rough, since the Season 6 cliffhanger meant the new season had to open in a very dark place. Here's what Reedus has to say about returning to set for another go at The Walking Dead:
It was exhausting, and it was no fun. You know, we always come back to this show every season, and we're like, 'Yeah, let's get back into it!' You know, all the actors are excited to be here and see each other and get back into where they were. But this was one of those where it's like, 'Oh, fuck. Here we go.' It was definitely not a joyous reunion. I mean, it was nice to see everybody again, of course, but it wasn't the same as in previous years.
Norman Reedus revealed the glum atmosphere on the set of The Walking Dead Season 7 in a chat with EW, and it's easy to see why the cast wouldn't have been terribly excited about picking up where they left off in Season 6. The cliffhanger featured new bad guy Negan beating somebody to death with his baseball bat Lucille. Even though the episode didn't show which one of the characters got the face full of Lucille, the actors knew that they'd be saying goodbye to one of their own after the cliffhanger resolution. No wonder nobody was partying hearty as Season 7 kicked off.
According to Season 7 premiere director Greg Nicotero, filming didn't get any easier on the cast after their first somber reunion. The actors were pushed to their breaking points after having their darkest fears elicited for filming...which lasted for two weeks. The poor cast must have been circling the emotional drain by the time the footage for the premiere was finished.
The seventh season is reportedly a reset of sorts now that the surviving characters will need to find a way to live in Negan's world. Norman Reedus didn't spill any beans on whose character will be dead in the Season 7 premiere, but if Negan actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan is to be believed, Daryl is one of three characters who can be crossed off the list of candidates for the big death. In fact, a tease from showrunner Scott Gimple could point toward Daryl getting a major comic story when The Walking Dead returns to the airwaves.
Unfortunately, The Walking Dead won't be back on AMC until Sunday, October 23. Check out our fall TV premiere schedule to see what else you'll be able to watch on the small screen in the not-too-distant future, and take a look at what we know so far about The Walking Dead Season 7 for a peek ahead.