'Walking Dead' Season 4: Norman Reedus Explains Why New Faces Feed This Season's Fear

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Walking Dead season 4Excuse me, but did you realize we are less than a week from the season 4 premiere of The Walking Dead? I'm finding it hard to believe, maybe because I've been writing about show teasers ALL SUMMER LONG and it was really starting to feel like the actual series was never going to come back on the air.

We really are just days from seeing firsthand what season 4 has in store for us, though (and you better believe I'll be recapping each episode, so I hope you'll read along), and to tide you over until Sunday, I've got some juicy details about what we can expect -- shared by executive producer Gale Anne Hurd, and everyone's favorite varmint-killer, Norman Reedus.

Let's start with what Reedus had to say about getting back to work with a bunch of new actors portraying the 50 prison-dwellers that have come from Woodbury and elsewhere since season 3 -- a development that not only forced him to work with unfamiliar faces, but also initially cut back on scenes with the core actors as viewers are introduced to everyone:

It’s weird to delegate authority to newbies in the group and on set. Starting the season, there’s certain techniques that the writers are using to integrate the storylines of other people and it’s interesting. I know Andy [Lincoln] going into the first episode was like ‘Man, when are we getting back together? When are we going to kill something? I’m farming. I’m doing pigs. I mean, what the hell?’ And I’m like, ‘Don’t worry, man. It’ll happen.’ And I’m running and yelling at people I don’t really know very well.

As for that unfamiliarity between actors, Reedus says that actually paid off in terms of portraying characters who don't know if they can trust each other:

I think the internal fear has always been something hanging in the wind, and who’s gonna fuck over who and who can you trust? So now having that fear back inside the camp is just as scary as season 1. I like people scared on the show. If everyone’s tough, it seems more manageable. I like the fear in season 1, and I think the fear is back in season 4, which is awesome to see people afraid again. That’s really the dynamic that we’re playing with this whole season so far.

As for the fear and other emotions in season 4, here's some interesting info from executive producer Gale Hurd.

It's no accident the Governor hasn't appeared in any season 4 promotions.

We did that for reason being we don't want people to focus too much on, 'Oh, you know, season 4 is going to be exactly like season 3.' Then all the questions are, 'Is he going to be in the first episode? How much of a focus is going to be on the Governor?'

There will be more zombies in season 4, but they won't be included gratuitously for the sake of a fan-pleasing walker battle.

It's important to get a sense collectively of what people want, but also realize if it is not an organic outgrowth of where our characters and world are at a particular point then we can't necessarily accommodate it. It's true that there are more and more walkers in the world. At some point this calm period at the prison is going to end, and it's they're going to encounter them when they go on runs, they're going to encounter walkers at the prison; it's inevitable.

Some of the new folks are probably going to be REALLY bad news.

With society now and any group, there are going to be people who are positive additions to the community and people who bring discord and jeopardize the others.

She cannot confirm nor deny a Carol/Daryl hookup (DAMMIT):

They have a great chemistry, and a lot of their dialogue is really double entendre. It's very cute. They bring some levity into what can often be a very grim world. They seem to have a lot in common in terms of having violent backgrounds that they've endured and come out the other side.

The evolution of Carl's character will have a major impact on Rick:

At the end of last season, he got to see the direction that Carl was taking. I mean, he really had become a child soldier, and a child soldier who could kill another young man. That's not something that Rick could have imagined happening, and I think it was a huge wake-up call for him. We'll see how Rick has been changed by the observation of who Carl was in danger of becoming at the end of last season.

Is your DVR set for this Sunday? Do you have snacks ready and a comfy butt-dent in the couch? 


Image via AMC

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