The Walking Dead
Now, the cast of The Walking Dead is leery of accepting Nicotero's phone calls, particularly during the off-season hiatus. He made a random phone call to Melissa McBride one summer to see how she was doing. But instead of the typical hellos, McBride jumped right to, "Why are you calling me? I'm going to die, aren't I?"
In another instance, when it had been decided that Scott Wilson's character, Hershel, was going to loose his leg, Nicotero said, "Someone has to call Scott Wilson because he needs to come up to the shop and cast his leg and tell him what's happening. It's like I've become the grim reaper. When they get a phone call from me, they just let it go to voicemail because they think I'm calling to tell them that's it!"
Other fans had opportunities to phone their calls into The Walker Stalkers Podcast to try and get Nicotero to offer up some insight into Season 3, which he was understandably reluctant to do. However, he answered many other questions about his filmography and insights into previous episodes of The Walking Dead.
One fan, Danny from Nashville, asked Nicotero what scared him? Interestingly, Nicotero said, "Spiders freak me out. We built some animatronic spiders for a movie and I couldn't look at them because they freaked me out. We did a movie, Dr. Giggles, and there was this gag where a little kid hid inside of his mom and cut himself out with a scalpel." Nicotero had a tough time looking at that effect.
Another fan and regular to the podcast, Chris from Milwaukee, asked that if the walkers from The Walking Dead comic book series influence the design of the walkers on the television show. Nicotero answered, "Absolutely. The Comic book walkers have a really specific look - the exposed teeth and rotted away gums, the skinny necks and the shape of their heads - we really used the drawings in the first couple books of The Walking Dead to guide us in that direction. It was very important. We've been able to do that between casting and the sculptures and the stuff that we're doing. We're trying to stay true to the graphic novel."
As part of the Nashville, Music City based Podcast's final question, Nicotero was asked which musician would make the best zombie? Nicotero answered, "Keith Richards, he would take ten minutes and he would make the best zombie ever!" When asked if he had ever made a zombie to look like Keith Richards, Nicotero responded that he had not but that sometimes the zombies will end up looking like someone on accident.
But maybe in the most revealing insight from the Q&A session on The Walker Stalkers Podcast was that not only are the walkers designed to look like the walkers in the comic book series, some of the walkers have been designed as a homage to other films and actors. A couple of walkers on The Walking Dead were created as an in-joke to himself, which pay homage to other films and actors. These are little Easter eggs that have appeared on the show. Specifically, one of these actor's zombified heads are floating in the Governor's fish tank. But no spoilers here, if you want to know who and where to look, you'll have to listen to the interview on The Walker Stalkers podcast through their website, http://www.thewalkerstalkers.com or on iTunes.
Next week, continuing The Walker Stalkers Podcast series, Michael Rooker, who plays Merle Dixon, will be on the show to discuss his character and hopefully provide some insight into the rest of Season 3 and the soon-to-be release video game, The Walking Dead:Survival Instinct, which features the back story of brothers Merle and Daryl Dixon. Fans can submit questions to Michael Rooker at http://www.thewalkerstalkers.com.