The Walking Dead Cast Celebrates Episode 100
The Walking Dead Cast & Producers React to Hitting Episode 100
The Walking Dead will air its landmark 100th episode with the season 8 premiere on Oct. 22 on AMC. With that in mind, we asked the actors and producers wh have been with the show the longest to offer their thoughts on hitting the milestone.
Andrew Lincoln (Rick)
“It’s insane. It’s an incredible extraordinary amount of blood, sweat, and tears, and energy and commitment — and enjoyment and love and attention to detail and fight — to reach this milestone. It’s an incredible thing and it was funny because I was talking to my dad a few weeks ago and my dad just said, ‘It’s only a show.’ And I went, ‘Dad, it’s eight years of my life, my blood, sweat, and tears, and effort and energy and care and I’ve created this thing.’ And I said, ‘You used to be a civil engineer. When you build a road and a bridge, is the bridge real or not? ‘And he went, ‘Well, it’s real.’ And I went, ‘Rick Grimes is real.’
“He’s just as real as any other part of my life because it’s what we’ve done. Reaching 100 episodes is an astonishing amount of time to spend with this man, in lots of different ways. So yeah, it’s huge. This amount of time with a character I’m sure will never happen again in my career. It’s just absurd. I never thought that I would ever play something for eight years. I keep thinking back to that first episode. I keep thinking back to Jon Bernthal and Sarah Wayne Callies and Jeff DeMunn and all of these incredible actors that we all sort of linked arms and jumped and it stuck.”
Melissa McBride (Carol)
“I’m just so proud that we’ve come this far and I have a well of gratitude that I’m even still here and that I have met this amazing group of people and have them in my life. And also just the experience of making this show and being a part of it for this long — I’ve never been part of anything like this in my life, and it’s life-changing. To think that 100 episodes in, how we all personally and how our characters have evolved and survived, it’s been remarkable. When I first started, I thought Carol would be around for maybe three episodes. I never, ever, ever could’ve imagined that she would still be here 100 episodes in. No way.
“My mom and dad watch the show and this is probably not a show that they would’ve watched had their daughter not been a part of it, but they’re into it! Just watch that first episode. That first episode remains one of my favorites because of the humanity and the conflict and the heartbreak. That just reeled me in when I was watching the episode. I was like, this is really different. This is amazing. This is heart. This is real story. This could really go somewhere. It’s just special, although I didn’t think that Carol would be part of it.”
Norman Reedus (Daryl)
“I never thought we would get this far. I don’t think any of us did. It’s been such a big part of our lives, this show. It never felt like, oh, we’re going to go in and act on a show. It always felt like we were living it. The tears are real. The bruises are real. The friendships are real. The stories are so real to us, and it’s become such a yearbook, this show. It’s like the lines between reality and being on this show are super blurry sometimes. It’s a big achievement for us, and, we’re really proud of the work that we’re doing and the work that we’ve done. It’s been a giant blessing — a hard-fought blessing. It’s been great. It still is great.”
Lauren Cohan (Maggie)
“It’s been seven years for me now. They say within a seven-year cycle you can change completely. Every single cell in your body is renewed, so physically you are literally a different person after seven years. Not that your soul is different, but on a physical level you’ve essentially expired and replenished every single cell.
“I try to marry this idea that it doesn’t feel like any time has passed at all and yet it is a really significant period of time. And it’s probably significant for how much I feel I’ve changed within that time span, all thanks to being part of something so big and so intimate at the same time. It’s a good way of getting perspective on things. The show is meaningful enough that it does put you in this constant gratitude, and put me in a constant state of assessment and recollection.”
Danai Gurira (Michonne)
“Ultimately, it’s a serious blood thing. It might sound cliché, but honestly, every day I do tend to pinch myself because of all the people I get to work with — from the script to sound to hair and makeup, to the cast, to the camera crew. It’s just a family, and to be able to spend that much time together and in this deep, deep, deep solidarity — it doesn’t happen all the time.
“It doesn’t happen often that you find a family like that and you have the joint purpose. And it’s such a beautiful energy that you get to be a part of. Of course, Mr. Lincoln is such a huge part of that beautiful spirit the show has. It’s just family, and that, to me, is the best part. I just genuinely look forward to celebrating with everybody.”
Josh McDermitt (Eugene)
“Knowing how hard it is to shoot this show, the fact that we got to 100 episodes, aside from the fact that it’s just difficult to do within any TV series, but with this show in particular, is incredible. It’s mind-boggling. This show was my favorite show before I came on and started working with them, and so the groundwork and foundation had been poured long before I ever got there. And we’re still standing on that foundation.
“From people like Andy and Norman and Melissa and Steven Yeun, and Sarah Wayne Callies, Jon Bernthal — the whole crew that was there in the first season poured that foundation that we’re now standing on top of in season 8, episode 100. The show has had its ups and downs as every series does, and I feel like in talking to the fans now, they’re just as excited about episode 100 and season 8 as they were when I first came on the show. To be a part of your favorite show as an actor is a dream come true, but to be a part of it for so long and to make it to episode 100 is amazing. I’m speechless, you know.”
Greg Nicotero (Director, Exec-Producer, Zombie Makeup Guru)
“We hit these landmarks and we hit these beats and it always feels surrealistic and weird and strange. The fact that people watch it, that’s a bonus. That’s the icing on the cake. So we come down here every year and we buckle up for a bumpy ride because we know that the scripts are going to be ambitious and that we’re going to be asked to really dig deep as actors and as directors and as filmmakers and really push ourselves. I think that’s probably the biggest challenge in terms of making the show is that we’re constantly pushing ourselves. I know that me personally, I feel the pressure when I’m directing.
“For me being able to be the guy who directed episode 100 — since I was there from the beginning — was a tremendous honor because I remember being there on day one when we were filming with Andy and Jon Bernthal, and I feel like so much of my DNA is a part of what this show is. So for me to be able to celebrate that milestone by leading this group into season 8, I couldn’t even really begin to express what an honor it is and it was to be able to do that.”
Scott M. Gimple (Showrunner, Exec-Producer)
“Really, the No. 1 thing is just how quickly it’s gone — just how much has happened and how much we’ve all done together, and yet it just ripped right by. I mean, if it wasn’t for Chandler being nine feet tall now, I would not know what year it was.
“There’s been a lot of unbelievable opportunities — like Norman met President Obama when he was in office, and premiering the show at Madison Square Garden, and all these crazy things, but for the most part, all I do is the show, day in, day out, year-round, so it’s weird. It’s just felt like one crazy long season of making this show, and desperately trying to make something that’s worthy of our audiences’ attention and time and passion. You hit certain moments, and that stuff is so intense and so rewarding, but when you hit those big moments, you’re just chasing them. Making the show has definitely been an addiction. What I’m saying is, it’s all been one giant lost weekend.”
Robert Kirkman (Creator of The Walking Dead comic, Exec-Producer)
“It’s amazing. To think about which shows have made it to 100 episodes, there are not very many in cable, and so to have a show hitting that benchmark is remarkable and it’s very flattering that the audience has stuck with us this long and that we have this dedicated fan base that’s allowed us to get to that.
“It’s exciting because we are trying to tell a long-form story, and even though we have reached our 100th episode, we do have a lot more story to tell, and so it’s great to know that we have the runway and the freedom to actually tell the story that we want to, and really kind of dig into these characters long term. It’s a little overwhelming. It’s crazy.”