As The Walking Dead seventh season draws to a close, after ratings have dropped more than 50%, one of the leading actors in the show was not too happy with this season. For instance, Lennie James hated filming Season 7 of the show because he was not able to hang out with his friends on set long enough. He recently told journalists, the splitting up of the cast for a majority of the show’s seventh season had an unexpected side effect:
“I swear to God, it was horrible… and it was the same for everybody… This season, everybody’s had more time off than they have ever, ever had… but it was horrible. I hated it… You just didn’t see anybody — because we film The Kingdom in a completely different area where they were filming either Alexandria or Hilltop or where the Saviors were… no-one was close to each other.”
As a result, even benefits of working on a hit TV show and getting time off to see your family were not enough to compensate for the loss of what sounds like a pretty fun working environment.
“There was one point where I had three episodes off and I’m like, ‘I’m just gonna go and see my kids, what am I doing in Atlanta for that amount of time?’ — so I would leave town and that was exactly what everybody else was doing… No-one was around. I didn’t see Andy [Lincoln, a.k.a. Rick Grimes] for six weeks and in the end, when I saw him, we were both on a plane back to London to see our families. You just didn’t see your mates!”
Ultimately, James took up the issue with the Walking Dead’s showrunner, Scott Gimple, saying:
“I’m not a complainer, but I complained about it every day… I said to Scott, ‘I see what you’re doing, I really respect you, but don’t ever do this to me again, ’cause I hate it!’ — I just didn’t see people, and then there’s whole bunches of people at the wrap party that you’ve never met… “It’s like, ‘Who are you? I don’t know you! Where’s my mates?’ — it was horrible. I hated it.”
The next few episodes of The Walking Dead will bring the entire gang back together. But, that doesn’t mean the entire cast is happy about the seventh season.