Warning: spoilers ahead for the Season 7 midseason finale of The Walking Dead.
Few characters are ever really safe from being killed off on The Walking Dead. The Season 7 midseason finale was a reminder that sometimes people die just because someone with a gun happened to pick them out of a crowd. (R.I.P. Olivia.) Spencer was one of the characters who bit the dust in the midseason finale, gutted by Negan in the middle of an Alexandria street. On The Talking Dead, actor Austin Nichols recently reported that he was more than a little nervous during his big death scene. He had this to say about Spencer's untimely end:
They built this chest plate because Jeffrey had to actually stab me with a razor blade--they put a razor blade on the end of like a half knife. And actually, I was really frightened in the scene because I was literally scared that he was going to get through the chest plate and actually stab me. You have to get into the blood and gut bag, rip it open; I mean it has to all work or else the gag doesn't work.
Considering how quickly Spencer's innards spilled out of his belly after Negan gutted him, I'd say that Jeffrey Dean Morgan did a pretty solid job of stabbing Austin Nichols in the chest plate without actually slicing his skin. Still, I can't blame Nichols for his apprehension at Jeffrey Dean Morgan coming at him with a razor blade. The actor seems like a lovely person, but he's terrifying as Negan. Whether he's wielding a baseball bat or baking biscuits with Carl, there always seems to be an air of violence to Negan. If Spencer had picked up on that air, he might not have done anything to attract Negan's attention.
Austin Nichols shared the story of how Spencer was stabbed by Negan during an appearance on Talking Dead. Executive producer and comic scribe Robert Kirkman was also on hand, and he chimed in to assure the audience that the stunt was completely safe and Nichols was never in danger of literally spilling his guts on set. Nichols seemed happy to reveal that they managed to shoot the scene in one take, so he was able to have fun with his big death scene rather than endure stab after stab after stab. All in all, he was pretty upbeat for a guy who just got killed off of one of the biggest shows on television.
Of course, Spencer was brutally killed off in the Walking Dead comics, so Austin Nichols probably had an idea that his character didn't have a long future once Negan came on the scene. At least he got a memorable death that could have viewers talking for quite a while. He wasn't just another victim of Lucille; he was sliced right open with a razor blade. I know I won't forget watching his intestines slide right out of him any time soon.
Unfortunately, The Walking Dead just kicked off its winter hiatus, so we won't be seeing any zombie apocalypse action for a while. The show will return to AMC on Sunday, February 12 at 9 p.m. ET. Take a look at our midseason TV premiere schedule to see what else you can catch on the small screen in the near future, and don't forget to check out our list of the 2017 Golden Globe TV nominations.