The Walking Dead is a scary show. Scary things happen. And something very scary happened to Jon Bernthal on the very first day of shooting, but it had nothing to do with zombies. Instead, it had to do with costar Andrew Lincoln’s driving.
That’s what we learned when we asked Lincoln to recall his first day ever on the show. “It was the shootout,” Lincoln says about day 1 of work on the pilot episode. “It was on the roadside. It was throwing down the roadblock, and I think Jon Bernthal was terrified because I was driving and he knew that I had only spent three weeks in the country and I was still driving on the left-hand side of the road. And I had to break 60 to 70 miles per hour and then put the brakes on.”
Evidently, the combination of Lincoln’s speed, extreme braking, and the fact that he was having trouble remembering which side of the road to drive on made Bernthal a wee bit on the nervous side. “Jon Bernthal is not a man that gets scared often,” says Lincoln. “And after about the third take, he just went, ‘Andy, Andy, please slow down.’”
That’s not Lincoln’s only recollection. “I remember just dripping in sweat and everybody seeing the rushes apparently and it just looked like we were in a shower. So the execs from AMC came down and said, ‘Where’s the makeup?’ And they all came in suits. And within about three minutes they just went, ‘Okay, there’s no makeup on this show. It’s too hot.’”
Lincoln first day also involved him getting shot in the chest. “I got shot, I think, on the first day, so we had the whole sort of lead-up to the apocalypse happened straight up, and I didn’t meet my first zombie until I think day 2, and that was Bicycle Girl. And then I started to really get freaked out. It was amazing. It was everything that I had hoped it would be and more because Frank [Darabont] was so accomplished and knew what he wanted to do with the world.”
To see more of Lincoln discussing his first day on the set of The Walking Dead, check out the video above. And for more Walking Dead scoop, follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss.
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