Of the three panels that Sarah and I were able to attend on Saturday, this was the second-most attended panel behind the Andrew Lincoln/Norman Reedus panel. Alas, the crowd wasn't nearly as big, which is a shame for those who didn't attend because it was by far the funniest panel we saw. Without further ado, here's our recap of what was discussed and joked about at the "Abraham's Army" panel!
"ABRAHAM'S ARMY" WALKER STALKER CON PANEL
- The panel got off to a start as Cudlitz and McDermitt took the stage sans Serratos. Cudlitz was sporting his awesome fu manchu mustache and a baseball cap while McDermitt looked about the same as Eugene normally does, except his mullet was noticeably shorter. McDermitt (who, it turns out, is a former stand-up comic) gets the crowd riled up by declaring, "This is the real bromance. Andy and Norman never talk to each other on set."
- McDermitt immediately took control of the panel with a constant barrage of jokes, particularly about how Serratos had yet to appear on stage and how he had to share the loveseat with Cudlitz. After a few cracks McDermitt says, "This is a sh*tshow," then immediately covered his mouth after realizing their were kids in the audience. He also either pretended as if he just realized there were moderators or he actually had no idea. My bet was the latter.
- At that point Serratos ran onstage from the audience (no idea where she was coming from) and the panel was truly underway. The first question was fielded by Serratos regarding Rosita and Abraham's mission to get Eugene to D.C., answering, "If (the mission) fails, it will crush her."
- I missed what prompted this reaction, but the crowd went nuts for McDermitt and his character, prompting Serratos to crack, "A lot of family members of Josh's here today!"
|"Abraham's Army" panelists (from right to center) Christian Serratos, Michael Cudlitz, and Josh McDermitt.|
Photo by Sarah Keck/Two Tickets For...
- A fan asked McDermitt where Eugene's humorous lines come from, him or the writers? "I think (executive producer) Scott Gimple is a hilarious guy, such a dry wit," McDermitt said. "So he puts that in the script." McDermitt added that one of the most well-received parts from the premiere was his Eugene running away from conflict but without moving his arms as he ran, saying, "When Eugene walks, he walks with his arms down at his side, so I just figured he probably runs that way too and just did it."
- A fan asked Cudlitz why Abraham believes so much in his mission to get Eugene to D.C. "Because he has to," Cudlitz stated. "He's the only potential hope...to save the world."
- At this point a fan got to the microphone and started chatting with the actors about their off-set interactions, prompting McDermitt and Cudlitz to joke about the cast having "Spaghetti Tuesdays." I'm not sure if they meant it this way, but the fan pointed out that on the show, Hershel had joked about "Spaghetti Wednesdays" to which Cudlitz responded, "We eat it on Tuesdays. You can eat it whoever the Hell you want!" followed by McDermitt adding, "Hershel's dead, so it's back to Tuesdays." This exchange garnered big laughs from the crowd.
- A fan asks the trio about their characters and whether they've had an effect on the actors personally. Serratos got the ball rolling, saying, "I think that's happened to me extensively. I've grown a lot this year."
"She's embodying Rosita," McDermitt added. "Out of anybody in the cast, she's changed the most because of her character." He and Cudlitz then joked about how Serratos originally joined the cast and was this nice, pretty actress; then when they returned from their filming break she had turned into a badass who was cleaning and loading her gun with ease.
McDermitt took his turn to answer the fan's question, half-jokingly saying, "I have to look up a lot of words when Eugene speaks...I've had to look up more and learn more because of my character. I've become a lot more book-smart I guess."
- A fan asked about the dynamic between Abraham's Army and Rick's group following the events of the Season 5 premiere. Cudlitz answered, "The relationship between our group and Rick's group is...yes, we're separate. All this time we had a very specific mission - getting out of Terminus - and now we have to continue our own mission of getting to Washington. We'll see if they join us." Of course by now we've seen in the second episode of this season that Rick's group will indeed be joining Abraham's Army.
- A male fan wearing some Eugene cosplay pointedly asks McDermitt, "Where's you mullet?" McDemitt jokingly answered, "Dude, you should like you're ready to fight! 'Where's you mullet!?'" Laughs from the crowd before McDermitt answered the question with, "It takes about an hour to put in and 30 seconds to take out. I think that's messed up."
- A fan asks the trio how they're like their characters. After a short pause from all three, McDermitt cracks, "Well I have Eugene's body," garnering big laughs from the crowd. McDermitt turned to Cudlitz as if to say it was his turn, to which Cudlitz cracked, "Yup, he has Eugene's body."
At that point Serratos took control of the discussion and talked about why Cudlitz was like Abraham, espousing his strong traits and caring about people. It actually got quite emotional to the point where I stopped writing for a second, and she finished up by adding to the pile, agreeing that McDermitt indeed has Eugene's body.
McDermitt finally chimes in on the fan's question, talking about his wife and his twin teenage sons. McDermitt takes the opportunity to chime in that Cudlitz's kids are a perfect mix of Cudlitz and his wife, and that they're very cool and funny, finishing with, "If I were their age I'd love to hang out with them. I don't know if you'd let me hang out with them, though." Many laughs from the crowd.
|McDermitt, Cudlitz and Serratos as their The Walking Dead characters Eugene Porter, Sgt. Abraham Ford and Rosita Espinosa, as introduced in Season 4, Episode 10 "Inmates"|
- A fan asks the trio how they all got into acting. Serratos answers first, saying, "My start into acting wasn't destined. I grew up in Los Angeles, my dad worked for the studios...I just kind of trickled into it. I grew to love it. I wouldn't have had it any other way. It's an experience I wouldn't change for anything."
McDermitt took his turn, explaining, "I didn't start deciding acting was what I wanted to do full-time until about 7 years ago." He continued to explain how growing up he enjoyed being funny, and how his mother would pretend to be dead all the time whenever Josh came home, going so far as to lay down in the doorway with a blood capsule in her mouth. McDermitt said he routinely would just step over her "And I'd be like, 'Get up, Mom.' But she would commit! I'd sometimes worry she might actually be dead!" McDermitt continued, saying, "I like acting more than stand-up, but I did stand-up for 12 years, so I'm sure it's something I'll get back to some day."
Cudlitz took his turn to talk about getting into acting, saying, "I wanted to do it my whole life. As a kid, apparently I'd stand in front of the television acting out commercials, which is terrifying because TV commercials used to just be jingles, so I'd be studying in front of the television singing, which I can't do."
- I missed the question and the start of the answer as I was writing down the previous responses, but a girl asked the actors a question and mid-answer apparently walked away from the microphone, prompting McDermitt and Cudlitz to shout, "Hey! Where you going?!" and jokingly giving her crap for leaving mid-answer. Serratos chimed in on the fan's behalf saying the guys do that stuff to her all the time. At this point McDermitt asked the girl how old she was, and when she said she was 13 both McDermitt and Cudlitz went, "Nevermind!" while laughing.
- A teenager girl walked up to the mic with her apparently special needs brother, asking a question on his behalf asking "How does it feel to help Rick kill zombies?" Cudlitz immediately answered, "AWESOME." McDermitt followed up joking, "Eugene has never killed a zombie," to which Serratos pointed out he had killed a gas tank in one episode.
- Cudlitz is asked how long Eugene would live without Abraham. After a pause Cudlitz cryptically answered, "All your questions will be answered by the end of the season." The crowd responded in unison with "Oooooooo," cracking up the panelists.
- McDermitt is asked about why Eugene is so unable to kill zombies, to which he talked about how he thinks Eugene would love the ability to kill zombies, looking at Michonne and going, "She's badass!" He then told the fan to talk to Gimple and executive producer/The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, to ask them when he'll get to kill some zombies and then let him know, too.
- With the last question of the panel, a fan asked the trio about what they felt like when they were cast on the show. McDermitt, a self-proclaimed huge fan of the show before he joined it, chimed in first saying, "It's like I won the fan lottery. This was the first thing I ever auditioned for, dramatically."
Serratos picked up McDermitt's thread, telling a story about how Andrew Lincoln came to meet the three of them when they first got on set to explain where the show was at story wise, and how when he left McDermitt had to sit down. "I was like, 'Hershel and The Governor are dead??? WHAT??? And who's Tara? Tell me about Tara!'" McDermitt joked.
Cudlitz wrapped the panel up by saying none of them had any idea who they were auditioning for, that during the audition process the producers and dummy scripts and write-ups, so none of the actors knew who they were auditioning for until they all did some research after their audition.
A: Wow, that recap was a little longer than I thought it would be! It wasn't necessarily the most eye-opening panel of the day that Sarah and I sat in, but it certainly was the most entertaining. McDermitt is a natural comedian, and his constant injection of humor kept the whole affair quite light-hearted. It was also neat to see the way these three actors seemed to genuinely care about one another and had good chemistry off the set. 'Twas a good panel, and I hope you all enjoyed our recap of it!
Tomorrow will be our final post about our day at Walker Stalker Con Atlanta, as we'll do a little wrap-up that will include more photos Sarah took on the convention floor of some cast members at their autograph booths, our face-to-face moment with Greg Nicotero, and what was probably our favorite part of the whole affair, meeting Roy Wooley and R.J. Haddy from SyFy's movie makeup effects reality competition Face Off. That post will be coming tomorrow, so we hope you swing by and check that out! And as usual, thank you for reading!
More Coverage from Two Tickets For…'s Trip to Walker Stalker Con:
- Walker Stalker Con Introduction
- Greg Nicotero Panel, Part 1
- Greg Nicotero Panel, Part 2
- Andrew Lincoln & Norman Reedus Panel
Photo Courtesy: Walker Stalker Con, AMC