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The Walking Dead: Josh McDermitt on that Eugene-Heath scene

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The Walking Dead‘s man with the magic mullet, Josh McDermitt, popped by Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) the other day and revealed some interesting tidbits about Eugene’s scene on guard duty where he lets Heath (Corey Hawkins) through the gate and then compliments him on his “hair game.”

Interesting tidbit No. 1: The scene did not originally exist at all. Originally, Heath would just kind of be there in Alexandria, sort of like other characters we never saw in season 5, like Ethan Embry’s Carter. But as McDermitt explains, showrunner Scott M. Gimple then decided a proper introduction was in order. “Scott Gimple told me that Heath was just there in the script that they wrote,” says McDermitt. “So they went back and wrote a scene to introduce this character so there was no question of who this guy was. And they thought, what better character to put there than Eugene!”

Not only that, but here comes interesting tidbit No. 2: When asked by Heath why we was on guard duty, Eugene almost had a very different response. Allow McDermitt to explain: “We actually had a few alternate lines that we had shot. [Heath] said, ‘Deanna put you on guard duty?’ And [Eugene] says, ‘No, I was walking by and she said she had to go to the bathroom for a few ticks. It’s been more than a few ticks.’ We had a couple of alternate lines there. He said, ‘I was walking by and she asked to use the restroom. She’s been gone a while. I suspect she’s dealing with an unannounced visitor — much like myself. Hers of the female variety.’ I was like, ‘Yes, let’s do that!’ ”

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McDermitt and Gimple apparently discussed various options for Eugene’s retort. “At first Gimple was throwing some alternate lines at me. He said, ‘Do you want to do this? Do you want to do that?’ And I said, ‘That might be too much, but I kind of love it.’ And he said, ‘Oh, it’s not enough! It will be perfect.’ So we shot that thinking that was going to happen. And then I think when they edited it they got scared and he put the safest alternate line in there! Which was still great.”

It turns out that wasn’t the only TMI line Eugene uttered. “I think there was a diarrhea joke at one point. Why not, right?” Indeed. To hear more from McDermitt on the scene as well as Eugene’s complete lack of stealth, listen to the two Soundcloud audio players below. And for more Walking Dead scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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