These ‘Walking Dead’ Actors Almost Left the Show After Season 1
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Credit: Gene Page/AMC    

The Walking Dead

These ‘Walking Dead’ Actors Almost Left the Show After Season 1

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As die-hard fans of The Walking Dead, we thought we knew just about all there is to know about the hit AMC drama, but apparently we still have plenty learn.

The six remaining original cast members — Andrew Lincoln, Chandler Riggs, Steven Yeun, Melissa McBride, Norman Reedus, and Lennie James — recently caught up for a roundtable discussion with Entertainment Weekly, and after they revealed how Sarah Wayne Callies saved Melissa’s Carol Peletier from certain death, the sextet opened up about the show’s tumultuous early days.

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When TWD first premiered on AMC in 2010, Frank Darabont, who had nurtured the project from comic book to TV show served as showrunner. However, AMC let him go by the end of the first season’s six-episode run.

The separation was a contentious one and there’s still a legal battle raging on nearly six years later, but the actors caught in the middle have stayed relatively quiet on the subject, until now.

Daryl and Rick Aim Their Guns in The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 10
Credit: Gene Page/AMC    

"It was the most painful year of my career,” Andy says when asked if he considered leaving the show after Frank’s departure.

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Norman, who came onto TWD about halfway through Season 1 “didn’t get to know Frank as well as everybody else,” but was similarly affected by his exit. 

“I’ve always been a huge fan of his and grateful that he created this part for me, and I owe him a ton,” Daryl Dixon’s portrayer says. 

Recalling an interaction in the makeup trailer when Frank wanted Daryl to appear even dirtier on screen, Norman adds, “He’s super f—king cool and I wish I had more time with him, to be honest.”

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Melissa, who had previously worked with Frank on The Mist, remembers how she just barely had time to thank Frank for the opportunity before he was gone. 

“When that happened, it was awkward — so awkward, and a little heartbreaking, to say the least,” she explains. “But it was a gift, and it’s still a gift, you know? He’s a creative force and I feel very blessed and indebted to him.” 

Leave it to Melissa to turn crappy circumstances into something positive!

The Walking Dead Season 6 airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.

Check out more of Wetpaint’s coverage of The Walking Dead Season 6 below:
The Walking Dead 2016 Schedule: Everything You Need to Know
What Happens Next on TWD Season 6?
Find Out Who’s Dying on TWD Season 6
Will Rick Lose His Hand on TWD?
Everything We Know About TWD Season 6, Episode 10