'The angel on his left shoulder is talking a little louder now than the devil on his right,' says the actor
It’s been a rollercoaster ride for the character of Dwight on The Walking Dead. First he took Daryl prisoner. Then it looked like he and Daryl were going to team up. Then he stole all of Daryl’s stuff. Then he had his wife taken away and half his face burned off. Then he had his manhood munched on by Eugene. Then… you know what? You get the point.
And the point is the dude has been through some stuff. So much stuff, in fact, that Dwight finally turned against his master at the end of season 7 and became a turncoat spy for Rick to help bring down Negan from the inside. But what does that mean going forward into season 8 (which premieres Oct. 22 on AMC)? We spoke to Austin Amelio to get the intel, and he explains that “the angel on his left shoulder is talking a little louder now than the devil on his right.”
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So how is Dwight as we pick things up here in season 8? He told Rick he wanted to work with them to help bring down Negan but obviously he’s got to be pretty careful in terms of how he does that I imagine.
AUSTIN AMELIO: He’s kind of the lone wolf right now, you know? He’s in between two islands and every move that he makes, he has to be extremely careful. He’s on a personal battle to seek justice for himself and others. The angel on his left shoulder is talking a little louder now than the devil on his right. He’s done some bad things and he’s trying to bring justice back for himself. I think that’s kind of a good summation of where he’s at right now.
It’s pretty clear how Dwight feels about Negan after the whole Sherry thing and the face burning and all of that, but what I don’t really have a full sense of yet is how Dwight feels about the other Saviors?
Everyone is pretty f—ing evil, you know what I’m saying? He’s a good guy in a bad spot and that’s kind of what I’ve been clinging to for a while is that he has some heart left in him. And I think that’s why people gravitate to him when they say, “He’s the guy I love to hate,” because they get a sense of the goodness in him. And the other Saviors, you keep your f—ing head down and you do your job and you don’t worry too much about them because they’re out on their own missions doing their own thing. He definitely has to keep eyes and ears peeled and make sure they don’t get any signs of what he’s doing. But again, right now he’s kind of in his own universe at this point.
What a big step for him to not only choose to turn against Negan and go to the enemy, but also to throw that doctor under the bus — or into the fire, I guess, as it were.
He is really willing to do whatever it takes to get rid of Negan and ultimately get his life back. That’s kind of been the underlying objective for him really the whole time is that he doesn’t want that love between him and his wife to leave or to go.
What are his thoughts on Daryl now because their relationship is so fascinating. Dwight stole his stuff, wears his jacket, tortures him, resents him for not giving into Negan the way that he did. So how does he view Daryl now and how is he hoping that Daryl views him?
I mean, they’re definitely not buddy-buddy, but I do think that there’s more of an understanding between the two. Daryl was also first there when you meet Dwight and he’s sort of this mirror to his past. It’s a difficult thing because they despise each other. I definitely don’t think they want to take a road trip in a car together for 10 hours, but I think there is sort of a mutual understanding, because Daryl has come into our compound and has seen what I have to deal with. So I think that’s where they stand, and I also think that in the very, very beginning when he sees Daryl bring back the medicine, there’s also a little good in him too. It’s complicated out here in the post-apocalyptic world, man. It’s complicated.
Do you think fans are starting to root for Dwight a little bit, or is that still a ways off? Are they still wary of his intentions?
I do these conventions and they come up to me and they go, “Is he really trying to transfer to the other side?” It’s kind of disheartening to me because I’m like “F—! Maybe I didn’t do my job good enough.” Because I felt like when he goes to the jail cell and all of that, I thought I was being convincing enough. But I think they’re still struggling with the fact that he’s really going to make that big of a move, and it’s a huge move. It’s a big move to do that in this world. But I do think they’re pulling for him. Slowly but surely, they’re starting to grasp or understand this guy a little better, which is nice. I’m not just popping behind trees and doing that anymore.
For more Walking Dead intel, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.
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