Chad Coleman discusses playing Tyreese in The Walking Dead Season 3
Each time The Walking Dead begins a new season, fans are always curious what characters will survive, and which new survivors will pop up. While this season has seen more than its fair share of casualties, die-hard fans were treated to the debut of Tyreese, played by The Wire star Chad Coleman, who was present very early on in the comic book as a member of Rick's group. The actor recently participated in a conference call to discuss the mid-season finale, "Made to Suffer", and how the character will evolve when Season 3 resumes in February.
Chad Coleman first spoke about how they are using Robert Kirkman's comic book series as a reference point for the characters.
"When I came on board I was told if you need to reference it we will and this is no way to diminish it, but the experience that I'm having with the show it was just ride with us and as we need to reference the graphic novel we'll give you some insights from that perspective. We will but just ride it out with us script for script kind of deal. So in as much as I would say the humanity of the man is very much akin to what was done in the graphic novel, I believe his kind of lack of skills as a likable (person) is very much part of it. But, his desire to protect and his desire to abstain from egregious violence - like I said, his humanity, his strong sense of family, those are things that are resonating for me, you know, in playing this role."
He also said that Robert Kirkman's love of The Wire played a key part in him joining the show.
"Robert Kirkman was a huge fan of The Wire and the character I played on The Wire, Dennis "Cutty" Wise. I think that's kind of the origin of their interest in me. No I could only say that I watched all of the prior episodes and I had great discussions with Glen Mazzara and some limited discussion with Robert Kirkman but knowing full well that he and Glen were in full discussion. Glen's background is huge as well and I just trusted that we were going to go somewhere interesting and compelling and I was open to the journey. And Glen has an open door policy, so whatever questions I may have, you know, he's always there and at a moment's notice to answer."
When asked how Tyreese will interact with Andrew Lincoln, the actor gave a brief tease of the confrontation to come.
"I could say cliffhanger, but forces collide on some level is what I would say. Honestly there is much that will surprise me as it will surprise you, but you guys know the pedigree of the show by this time. It's going to be awesome for all parties involved."
The actor also spoke about the physical nature of being on The Walking Dead.
"Yeah, it's a complete and absolute adrenalin rush, that's what it is. It's like electricity running through my body like crazy. And also the technical aspect of it, I won't give away but it was equally as compelling for me right. Because zombies are so real, there's really no acting required. You just see the amazing work that's being done. It's just so real it's just eerie, but the most eerie part of it is to see them just doing regular things like in-between takes or going to lunch break - just to watch a guy getting the salad dressing, and he's, you know, all made up, all zombied out. It's pretty hilarious. I just thought I'd throw that in."
He also spoke about how welcoming the cast was, including high praise for Andrew Lincoln.
"This is an amazing, extraordinary cast of human beings and I don't exaggerate at all. Andrew Lincoln has to be the nicest, egoless lead actor that I've ever met in my life and I'm not exaggerating at all. His energy and his temperament just falls over everyone and it's just a one big happy family. On one level they respect some of the body of work that I've been able to put together but, the show is the thing for Andrew. It's his baby and his passion and the way he cares about it, that's what we all tune in. We all dial into that and we go forth, they've been amazing, they've really been really, really special. This is special, it doesn't happen often so it's only the second time in my career where, you know, in a television endeavor that I feel this sense of family and open arm kind of come in and we want to see you shine type of attitude and it really for me starts with Andrew Lincoln."
One of the more intriguing scenes in "Made to Suffer" is when Carl (Chandler Riggs), filling in for his dad, takes charge and locks Tyreese and his group in one area of the prison. Chad Coleman spoke about how Tyreese didn't want to take young Carl for granted.
"It speaks to his ability to read a situation, read it clearly and communicate in an effective manner to try to get the objective taken care of. So he read the situation really quick, he could see something in this young man, in the way he handles himself with that weapon and just his whole presence and statute was very clear to Tyreese of what he was dealing with. He was going to handle it as diplomatically as possible and he was in no way, shape or form going to take for granted who this young man was."
Chad Coleman returns as Tyreese in the second half of The Walking Dead Season 3, returning to AMC in February.