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That Time The Walking Dead's Michael Rooker Almost Stabbed Somebody On The Set

merle saying shh on the walking dead

An actor who has seen it all and done it all, Michael Rooker is a veteran of just about every film and TV genre, so he is definitely used to how things go on a set. But back when he was starring on The Walking Dead as the sometimes villainous Merle Dixon, Rooker definitely was not used to having a rather large and bladed attachment jammed on the end of his right arm. And according to the actor, that almost led to a behind-the-scenes stabbing. In his words:

The first time I put that on, the wardrobe person is putting on my wardrobe, and I'm coming with the knife hand and I had forgotten that I had worn 8 inches extended from my hand. It wasn't very sharp. It didn't really stab him. It just poked him a little bit.

Michael Rooker sounds like the opposite of Holy Grail's Black Knight right there. "I didn't really stab him. It was just a flesh wound." Rooker memorably looked a little different when Merle returned to The Walking Dead in Season 3 after being completely absent since lopping off his own hand in Season 1. Not boasting a stump or anything of the sort, Merle instead turned his arm into half of a bayonet, giving him a pretty solid and quasi-cyborg look in this post-apocalyptic universe. He used it to his advantage on the show, too, but that likely came after he practiced not stabbing anyone in the wardrobe department.

Seriously, though, as legitimate as everything looks within the world of The Walking Dead, it would probably have been someone's first decision of the day to make sure that Merle's giant arm blade was not sharp enough to serve as the weapon in an accidental daylight murder. And that's an every-single-day kind of decision to make.

merle dixon the walking dead

When speaking at Heroes & Villains Fan Fest (via MoviePilot) this past weekend, Michael Rooker did describe how he got used to having Merle's new arm-esque attachment on the set.

I would practice all the time, trying to touch certain objects on the wall. You're extending your own hand out 8 inches into the tip of a blade... I worked hard so I wouldn't accidentally stab someone.

We're still mourning Merle's loss over here -- though not quite as noticeably as Daryl did -- and Michael Rooker's presence in any capacity is a great one. (He's even got solid ideas for how The Walking Dead should end.) But while Merle won't be involved in that universe at any point soon, the AMC hit will be back in front of audiences for Season 8 this October. Meanwhile, Rooker can currently be seen in Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, currently in theaters. And if you need to figure out your primetime delights in the near future, head to our summer premiere schedule.

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.