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The Walking Dead: Ross Marquand on profound season premiere

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Gene Page/AMC

Walking Dead director Greg Nicotero told us the season 7 premiere is the most emotional episode he’s ever shot. Jeffrey Dean Morgan called the shoot for the episode “10 days of hell” because of how difficult it was. Now add one of the men in that lineup of death to the chorus.

Ross Marquand, who plays Aaron, stopped by Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) Wednesday morning and talked all about the big cliffhanger and the resolution waiting on Oct. 23. Marquand confirms that the cast did not know whom the victim was when they shot the finale scene late last year. “Most of us did not know,” says Marquand. “Because again, they wanted to play their cards very close to their chest. But towards the beginning of shooting this year they told us.”

It turns out fans are not the only ones who have been asking the actor for answers. Even his parents have been angling for clues. “My folks are trying to plug me for information,” says Marquand. “They’re like, ‘So, are you free to come over this month?’ I’m like, ‘What do you mean?’ ‘Like for a few weeks, are you available?’ ‘Are you asking if I’m dead? What is going on here?’”

As for what to expect for the season premiere, Marquand says to expect to be thoroughly depressed. “We’ve been really cognizant of the fans’ emotions,” he says. “And it’s going to be an emotional episode. It’s going to be a great episode, but it’s going to be one that affects people in a very profound way. Whether your favorite character is Daryl or Rick or whoever, the death is going to really be brutal and it’s going to affect you in a very visceral way.”

And like Morgan, Marquand confirms it was a difficult episode to shoot, but one that was well worth it. “Awful,” he says of the premiere filming. “It was the best work I think I’ve ever been a party to and witnessed. I think it was the best work we’ve all ever done. It was just tough, It was tough to go through those steps every single take for days on end, oftentimes 12 to 14 hours a day at night. And then again 12 to 14 hours the next day. It was intense.”

So what does Marquand think of the final product? He doesn’t know because he and the cast have yet to see it. “We haven’t seen it. We’ve never seen it cut together. We see it the same night everyone else does. So we’re excited to see just what they leave in and what they take out and how they choose to tell the story, because it’s told from multiple different camera angles and it could go one of many different ways.”

To hear more from Marquand, click on the Soundcloud below. To listen to the entire interview, check out SiriusXM On Demand on the SiriusXM app. And for more Walking Dead scoop, follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss.