Former The Walking Dead star Chad Coleman was considered a fan favorite during his time on the show as Tyreese, but the actor has recently revealed he lost interest in the series long ago. In a new interview with Popcorn Talk, Coleman spoke about the state of the drama zombie following his exit, explaining how one particular scene essentially caused him to check out of the series. The moment came with the premiere of Season 7, which saw the deaths of both Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz). Echoing the same sentiments felt by many fans at the time, Coleman felt the graphic nature of the scene took things quite a bit too far, leading to a loss of interest in the show moving forward.
"After Glenn and Abraham, you know, Negan smashed their heads in that way, it was just kinda like, 'That's enough for me. Thanks guys. Take care. All the best.' But they're coming back around to more nuanced, less extreme characters, you know? That's one of the benefits and joys of playing Tyreese, he's a very real man in a very tough situation and you felt his humanity, his sensitivity, all the things that all of us as just regular folk would go through so they're getting back to more nuanced character stuff again with Angela Kang and she was very much a part, as a writer, very much a part of the, I would say the glory years, [Seasons] 3, 4, 5, 6, all of, 7, all of that so she's at the helm, proud of her I look forward to a change."
Chad Coleman is not alone with this opinion. Immediately following the airing of the controversial episode, around five million viewers abandoned the series, never to return again. Ratings have only continued to gradually fall since then, and it's hard not to wonder if the series would still be just as popular as before if AMC hadn't driven away so many viewers with the Season 7 premiere. While the argument can be made that Glenn's particularly graphic death played out in a similar manner in the comics, it seems that the murder just didn't translate as well on screen. For the past six seasons, fans had invested so much into the beloved character, and seeing him go in that fashion literally resulted in a disconnect for millions of people.
For better or for worse, Tyreese died before ever meeting the Saviors, possibly sparing the character from a much worse death. His demise came in the middle of Season 5, shortly after the death of Beth Greene (Emily Kinney). While searching through an abandoned house, Tyreese is bitten on the arm, leading to his friends amputating it in an effort to save him. Unfortunately, the fan favorite perishes soon after, but not before having visions of many deceased characters convincing him that it's okay to let go. Even still, the episode is one of the saddest installments of the entire series.
Despite his unhappiness with the way Glenn and Abraham were written out of the series, Coleman also admits he's open for a return to the show. Obviously, because Tyreese is long dead, this could only be possible with the use of a flashback or hallucination, which has been done many times with other characters. Should this happen, Coleman would love to appear with Sonequa Martin-Green, who played Tyreese's sister Sasha on the series. Martin-Green previously left the show as well when Sasha committed suicide, hoping to come back and bite Negan as a walker. Tyreese and Sasha both first debuted on the show in the middle of its third season, quickly becoming fan favorite characters.
"I would love to pop in if it was, like, Sonequa and I, something like before we got to the prison, what our life was like, if that was possible. That would be cool. If you're gonna touch it, touch it from the standpoint of her and I. Yeah, you could get a glimpse of what it was for us before the mayhem."
The Walking Dead does not have the same levels of massive popularity as years past, but the series is still among the highest viewed shows on television. Under new showrunner Angela Kang, Season 9 did better critically than the previous few seasons, and AMC has already renewed the series for Season 10. Expect to see it back on the small screen this October. You can check out the entire interview with Chad Coleman below.