The Walking Dead: Josh McDermitt on sharing the set with Make-A-Wish kids
The star describes the visitors to set while filming 'Something They Need' as one of the coolest parts of his job
Every week, The Walking Dead’s very own Josh McDermitt, who plays Dr. Eugene Porter, is taking EW behind the scenes of the hit AMC horror series. For each episode, McDermitt will share his thoughts on what went down and what’s coming up, plus walk us through the ins and outs of the show. This week, McDermitt dives into the 15th episode of season 7, “Something They Need.”
The penultimate episode of season 7, “Something They Need,” written by Corey Reed and directed by Michael Slovis, did not disappoint. The whole time leading up to this episode I’ve kept hearing the name Michael Slovis. I was really looking forward to working with him and he was amazing. What a kickass episode. I literally finished watching and I yelled, “What a kickass episode!” And huge props to Corey for writing a phenomenal episode. Corey is a fantastic writer and has a childlike laugh. He may be one of my favorite writers because he laughs at the things I say and that, my friend, will always take you far in this business!
This was an episode where we had a bunch of kids from Make-A-Wish come to set and hang out. There are a lot of cool things about this job, but being able to hang out with these kids and their families certainly ranks toward the top. We watched Lauren Cohan and Xander Berkeley shoot their scene together outside the Hilltop walls. It’s always funny to hang out with someone on a set visit and know that half of what you say to them won’t register in their brains because they’re too busy thinking, “Oh my gosh, there’s Norman Reedus!” or “Khary Payton doesn’t really have a tiger???”
Sonequa Martin-Green and I took a group of them over to look at Daryl’s motorcycle and to hook up with John Sanders, our prop master. John explained how all the weapons work and how we have a ton of rubber replicas of each weapon. The whole time, I’m listening and pretending to know everything, but as a huge fan of the show before I started working on it, I found myself asking John a lot of questions, too. Then John let the kids take their picture with one of The Walking Dead weapons. It’s funny to watch who picks Michonne’s sword or Daryl’s crossbow. I’ll admit… my feelings were a bit hurt when nobody wanted to take their picture with Eugene’s jar of pickles. I cherish those memories and am so happy I got to share them with those kids.
Another cool thing with this episode was this was the last episode most of our film student interns were with us. It was hilarious watching them being forced to do jobs they’ve never done on their last day and tumble their way through that. Let’s try and cram in as many jobs as we can get you to do on your last day! Baptism by fire! Everyone had a good laugh and the interns went away with a little more experience.
I want to give a special shoutout to Greg Nicotero and his whole team for the sick looking walkers coming up from the beach. The walkers covered in barnacles looked amazing. Almost like they were out of Pirates of the Caribbean. I know Greg is a huge Disney fan so it wouldn’t surprise me if they drew some inspiration from there. Or not. I don’t actually know everything.
Thanks for following along. This went by so quick; next week is the season 7 finale. I’m sad it’s going to all be over soon.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.