Mad Men excels at surprising viewers with cool cameos and guest roles. Season 7 started with a guest stint from Neve Campbell and just last night, Episode 4, "The Monolith," showed us a very different side of The Walking Dead's Josh McDermitt (Dr. Eugene Porter).
Turns out, Eugene cleans up well!
Josh was featured at the start of the episode as George Payton, an old friend/colleague of Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser). His role turned out to be pretty key in setting up the rest of the hour’s action. (Here's a little photo of George, so you can compare him to Eugene.)
Josh is now back in Georgia for TWD Season 5, which just started filming, but he talked to AMC about how he landed the Mad Men gig. He said he went back to L.A. right after they wrapped The Walking Dead Season 4, which would've been in November, and read for Matthew Weiner and the producers.
“Everyone else auditioning was wearing business suits and everyone looked like they belonged on Mad Men,” Josh said. “It was a little intimidating to sit there looking at these people and just going, ‘Oh that guy’s going to book it,’ and ‘Oh look at him, he looks perfect.’… Then I went in and just started making jokes about my hair, and Matthew Weiner said he’s a really big fan of The Walking Dead, and he was excited I was cast on that show. And, despite having the mullet, they picked me anyway."
Nice. Josh wears clip-on extensions for Eugene's beautiful mullet, but he cut his hair short for the '60s role on Mad Men. He said it made for a refreshing change. "My neck wasn’t as sweaty! It was liberating."
He's now been on two AMC shows and he joked about wanting to go for three. But when asked which Mad Men character would fare best in the zombie apocalypse, he said "Pete Campbell would be the first to die" and maybe Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) would fare best.
How about the reverse — which TWD character would do well in 1960s advertising? "I would think Michonne would work really well,” Josh said. “What little we know about her past life, she seemed to be kind of buttoned-down. She would work well in an office, I would think, as long as she doesn’t bring her sword." No, Michonne (Danai Gurira) should definitely bring the katana — it might be the only way for her to keep Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and Roger Sterling (John Slattery) on task.
Anyway, congrats to Josh on the role! Did you see him in last night's episode? You can actually watch it online here. Do you agree that Pete would be the first to die in the apocalypse? It does sound about right....
The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres in October on AMC.