February 22, 2013 at 05:00 AM EST

Another one bit the dust on The Walking Dead when quirky redneck inmate Axel (Lew Temple) was on the receiving end of a bullet to the brain courtesy of the Governor (David Morrissey). For Temple, news of his character’s demise came as ”a gut punch.” Not only did Temple request a stay of execution from showrunner Glen Mazzara before the episode was filmed, but he had a powerful ally in his corner: ”Andrew Lincoln made a very kind stand for me to the producers and writers and said, ‘We can’t do this. I think this is a mistake because we’re bringing in and investing in players — and actors — that bring something to this world, and we’re starting to connect, and their time is too short.’ But in the wisdom of the show — and this is why the show connects so much — in life, sometimes just as we get to know somebody, they pass through our graces.”

Unfortunately, Temple’s fortunes look no better on his next project, Disney’s big-screen adaptation of The Lone Ranger, due in theaters July 3. ”I was three months on a horse for that, playing a ranger,” says Temple of the action film, which stars Armie Hammer in the titular role and Johnny Depp as Tonto. ”Clearly, based on the title alone — The Lone Ranger — I don’t fare well in this picture.”

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