The Walking Dead: Actors Reveal Their Audition Stories

AMC's 'The Walking Dead' cast reveal what their auditions were like for the hit TV series.

Before becoming one of the most watched shows on television, AMC's The Walking Dead was nothing more than a pilot, a script, and an idea. Casting directors were given the tough task of finding the right actor for each and every character in the TV series. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, actors from The Walking Dead revealed what their audition was like for the zombie drama and damn it's pretty exciting. Here is what Andrew Lincoln aka Rick had to say about his audition. AMC AMC


I remember pacing around my hotel since I was flying in from England and had terrible jetlag before going to have a screen test with Frank Darabont. I felt like a lab rat, I was completely over obsessing about it. We were throwing ourselves off a cliff with this thing, holding hands and hoping the parachute would open. Jon Bernthal (Shane) had already been cast. I remember doing the big car scene with him and thinking, "That was a really great take and one of them, we really clicked." I kept hearing this noise and I thought it was the car engine. We looked around and realized that one of Jon's dogs had fallen asleep and was snoring in the middle of my take. I thought, "I'm never going to get this job." … AMC offered the part to me soon after I touched down back in England. I remember meeting Sarah WayneCallies the day before we started filming and she looked at me and said, "Don't f— this one up!" She was cast after me. Lennie James (Morgan) was cast before anybody else. It was a very shrewd move. They'd been trying to find Rick for a long time and I was just about to film a movie in England but had to pull out because my son was born a bit early and when my daughter was born, I made a vow not to do that ever again. Then I had to fly out to L.A. for a screen test for The Walking Dead. I got a friend to replace me in this movie and the next day, this script came through from AMC. I must have been on their radar with Frank and he wanted me to test. It was incredible.
Andrew Lincoln wasn't the only actor with anxiety over their Walking Dead audition. Steven Yeun revealed the casting director first hated his audition and forced him to take a break before auditioning again. Steven Yeun The Walking Dead


I knew what part I was going to play and I remember being pretty excited about it. I had read the comic book before and binged on it just prior to the audition. The best part of the audition process was that it was a pretty actor-friendly situation. Frank Darabont was so kind and supportive the entire time and [casting directors] Sharon Bialy and Sherry Thomas were also so great to me; they just wanted me to do well. The best part of the audition process, besides the surreal aspect of being in Frank's office and doing a scene with him directing you, was before that when Sharon Bialy literally grilled me in the call-backs. She was a hard ass on me, in a great way, where she broke down my initial nervousness and overthinking. She told me to get out of the room, go work on the scene again for an hour and come back. I remember coming back and going for it; she was much happier this time around. Whenever I do see her, I often remind her of that and how much I appreciated it.
But, what about tough guy Norman Reedus? Did he struggle with his audition, absolutly not. Joe Seer /


I went to L.A. for pilot season just to see what was on TV because it was starting to become really great. I was already watching AMC shows like Breaking Bad and Mad Men religiously. There were so many similar scripts — hospital and cop dramas — and then The Walking Dead was so different. It stuck out like a sore thumb. I had a feeling it was going to be something cool that I would want to watch. I asked to go in for anything, even something just for a day. They got me in for an audition — not in front of Frank — but I read Merle's lines. I'd already been told that Michael Rooker was playing that part and thought maybe he couldn't do it or said no for some reason. I read it and went back to New York after pilot season and got a call to audition again. I came in and read different Merle lines. I thought maybe Rooker was not going to be doing it. When I left the offices in New York, I was walking home through Chinatown and got a call saying Frank created a new part — Daryl — for me. I did cartwheels in Chinatown! It was a dream. I didn't know how long I'd last or if it was just one episode. But the job since Day 1 has been my favorite working experience ever and it continues to be. I feel very blessed to be here.
The Walking Dead is currently filming in Atlanta, Georgia as they prepare for their October season 6 premiere. Recently, casting directors were looking for walkers to work on an overnight scene filming outside of Atlanta, Georgia. To read all of the audition stories for 25 of your favorite actors on The Walking Dead visit Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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