“It’s always for someone else. Both of us know, if we’re gonna kick ass, there sure as hell better be a point to it.” – Michael Cudlitz, Abraham, The Walking Dead
Michael Cudlitz, the actor behind The Walking Dead character, Abraham Ford, has gone from the zombie apocalypse to being home with a full house during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his interview with Cudlitz, Dead Talk Live Host Viz notes that he is starting up the interview with “guns blazing,” which sums up well Cudlitz’s character, Abraham. In The Walking Dead, Cudlitz plays a former U.S. Army Sergeant who lost his family when the world turned upside down. Abraham spiraled into depression before making a friend, Eugene, who promised he could save the world with science.
When asked about Abraham’s viewpoint after people began turning into zombies and society shut down, Cudlitz says, “By the end of it he sort of saw a new world, a new world order, and he saw a future. So I think he was a very changed person.”
In The Walking Dead books, Abraham discusses his failures as a father and husband, so he saw the new world situation as a fresh start. Cudlitz believes Abraham would not change any of the decisions he made throughout the plot.
One viewer asks what were Michael’s favorite and most difficult episodes to film. The actor responds that his favorite Walking Dead episode is the very first one. The pilot features a large amount of reflection by Andy Lincoln and truly shows his perspective without using dialogue. As for the hardest episode to shoot, Cudlitz notes that “it’s a lot of fun” to film the show. The hardest part would be other elements like the heat because extreme temperatures make it more difficult to film and act.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays the villain character Negan in The Walking Dead. When he first joined the show, Michael says that Jeffrey didn’t know who Negan was going to be killing. Jeffrey gave Michael a hard time because Michael knew the plot and did not share any information. Cudlitz says that he would have loved to work more with Jeffrey before Abraham was killed off the show.
When Michael found out his character was being written off of the show, he was not shocked because he knew the show was roughly following the storylines of the book, which includes killing Abraham.
Viz mentions that many viewers of The Walking Dead discuss who they believe had the most senseless death on the show. Viz thinks Abraham’s is one of the most senseless, along with Glenn’s.
Dead Talk Live asks Michael if he thinks Abraham would kill Negan if he was still alive. Michael shares that it’s difficult to answer hypothetical situations. Cudlitz says if it was a one-on-one fight, Abraham would kill Negan, but the show is unpredictable. Viz believes that if Daryl can let Negan live, he has no doubts that Abraham would let Negan live, too.
When asked about his start on the show, Cudlitz says, “I was brought in to audition, but it was an interesting situation because I found out later that Scott really wanted me for the role. But they still had me kind of go through the motions for it all.” The show writes new scenes for the auditions, but they aren’t the exact scene that will be produced. Cudlitz tried to reschedule his audition because he had jury duty, so he was not fully prepared when it was time to audition. He nailed the audition, but it was difficult because it was a 3-page monologue.
Michael discusses the importance of clear communication with writers, and he says “it takes a village in television,” and “change happens very quickly.” He continues by saying “when things are neglected,” problems arise, so “you want to fix as many problems as you can before you get into production.”
A viewer asked what Michael’s favorite Abraham quote is. The actor says his favorite Abraham quote is “I don’t give a monkey’s left nut,” which is very characteristic of Abraham’s blunt personality. Cudlitz says it is hard to find a favorite quote.
One of Viz’s favorite scenes is when he asks Maggie and Glen why they would want to bring a baby into that world. This triggers Abraham to start thinking about his life with Sasha.
A viewer asks if Michael ever thought Abraham’s character would be friends with Eugene’s character after Abraham found out that Eugene did not really have a cure to the zombie apocalypse. In response, Cudlitz says Abraham was upset because Eugene lied to him. Viz and Abraham agree that Eugene gave Abraham a purpose when he was on the verge of committing suicide. Eugene essentially saved Abraham’s life.
Michael says that everything on his resume contributed to his success today. Not only did he act in and help direct The Walking Dead, he also appeared in 90210, 21 Jump Street, Criminal Minds, and many other well-known productions.
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