Lew Temple who played “Axel” on The Walking Dead Talks about Scrapped Story Lines, Rob Zombie, and Horror
Axel’s character was introduced along with 4 other characters, all prisoners, who have been taking refuge in their prison’s cafeteria since the Zombie Apocalypse started. Out of those 5, only 2 members emerged as major supporting cast members, Lew Temple and fellow prisoner “Oscar” played by Vincent Ward.
During the interview, Lew said he was called in to read for Merle, and a couple of weeks later, he came in to read for Merle’s brother, whose character did not yet have a name. Not receiving either of those two roles as they went to Michael Rooker and Norman Reedus.
When the show reached its third season Temple finally got the call that he was cast as a prisoner named Axel. Axel quickly became a fan favorite, but his time on the show was cut short when he was brutally shot by The Governor play by David Morrissey.
He’d spoke on the Season 3 episode 10, “Home,” where his character met his end.
“They didn’t know till the 11th hour that Axel was gonna die. Greg Nicotero didn’t have enough time to make a dummy of Lew, so Greg made one of himself to use, in the scene where Carol uses Axel as a body shield”.
“Yes, I would love to do that. That was family, and you’d want to help out your family”.
In a previous interview, Lew mentioned that Axel was in prison because Axel was a serial killer. Still, that idea was scrapped because it was “Too Dark.” Asked to elaborate:
“That’s why he never gave a direct answer to why he was in prison. Once he answered drugs, next time, armed robbery. He was to kidnap Beth and take her out into woods and kill her, but the governor thing happened so fast, they didn’t get to explore it.”
A majority of the scenes that involved Axel were shot with Melissa McBride, who plays Carol on the show. When asked about their work chemistry off-screen, Lew Temple’s response was:
“It was really fantastic and very rewarding. She’s very available as an actress, I found her to be really prepared in the moment and very giving as an actor.”