It was announced earlier this summer that Seth Gilliam (formerly of The Walking Dead’s favorite feeder show, The Wire) would be playing Father Gabriel Stokes in Season 5 of the AMC hit, and now, a little over a month ahead of the Season 5 opener on October 12, we have our first look at Seth in character as well as some fun intel from the actor himself. Read on for the scoop!
Per Entertainment Weekly, the first photo of Father Gabriel — a priest taken directly from the comics who offers our group shelter in his church as he attempts to atone for his past sins — is pretty, well, priestly. No major spoilers there.
But in his chat with EW, Seth, who hadn’t seen TWD prior to being cast, opens up about how he plans to play the well-known character, his TWD binge-watching, and what it’s like to join such an established, popular TV show.
Revealing that he only read comic book issue #61, the one in which Father Gabriel is introduced, Seth explains, “I discovered from reading about the show that often times characters’ names and journeys are kind of crisscrossed and mismatched, so I thought if I did read too much I might be giving myself a lot of information that would be useless, or just outright wrong. So I figured, like with everything, I’d just take the script and try to fill him out the best I possibly can.”
And while he made the decision not to be too immersed in Robert Kirkman’s TWD source material, Seth did say he binged-watched the show and fully caught up after he began filming. Calling the binge “intense” he says, “I thought, well it’s a zombie show. It’s a show about zombies. And then I watched and I was like, this show is not about zombies at all, really. The show’s about a whole lot more than just zombies, which I was really excited by.”
As we mentioned above, Seth already knew some TWD actors from his days on The Wire — Chad Coleman (Tyreese) and Larry Gilliard Jr. (Bob Stookey) were also on the HBO drama — but joining the show five seasons in still had its challenges. “It was pretty intimidating because it’s a well-oiled machine,” Seth recalls. “But Andrew Lincoln was the first cast member that I met. And the guy has got a heart the size of the Grinch at the end of the Dr. Seuss story where it just grows and grows and grows. So he made me feel instantly welcome, and instantly a part of it. And everyone after that, I mean, they’re the warmest people and they’ve done everything they possibly can to make me feel like I’ve been part of it from the very beginning.”
We’d expect nothing less from the TWD cast and crew! Head on over to Entertainment Weekly for a first look of Seth as Father Gabriel Stokes, and tell us what you think below!
The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres on October 12 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.
Source: Entertainment Weekly