Photos and casting news are flying out of The Walking Dead production this week with official releases from AMC as well as set photos obtained by ET Online.
AMC published 10 character photos featuring Rick, Daryl, Morgan, Sasha, and more, setting a strange, oversaturated tone over the suburban-themed promotion. Melissa washes weapons in a pristine kitchen; Daryl washes off blood while working on an engine; Glen loads guns on a backyard table in spectacular weather for soccer; Rick sits on a porch regrouping, with only bloody boot prints and a gun indicating recent mayhem. Zombies have come to Mayberry.
Soon after those pics hit the web, set photos indicated Daryl Dixon may be getting a redneck buddy. ET Online obtained a photo of a yet-unnamed actor who’s styled like the character Paul “Jesus” Monroe from the comic books. I shouldn’t actually call Monroe a redneck, as his character in the comic series is a smart and altruistic leader, but this first photo of a man with long hair, a beard, skullcap, and quilted vest make the actor look like a squirrely trailer park extra. SpoilersGuide.com managed to obtain some fuzzy set pics showing him suited out a little closer to the graphic character, sporting holsters, overcoat, etc.
The important thing to know is that Jesus is a man of conscience who becomes a strong support for Rick. A skilled fighter with natural survival instincts, the comic’s wiki describes him as a “highly rational, logical, and thoughtful man with a knack for advising. He values justice and fairness greatly, believing that one should not criticize others for doing things they would not have done themselves. In his first appearance, he appears to be a casual guy with a puckish sense of humor, but as the story progresses he reveals himself to be much different. He is generally quite serious, and is always the first to speak up for what is right and what needs to be done.”
No information has been released on the actor featured in the photo.
Just after that photo was circulated it was announced that Xander Berkeley is also joining the cast in the second half of season 6. Though his character’s identity hasn’t been released, TV Line’s Michael Ausiello, who broke the news, confirmed that the actor will not be playing the brutal leader of The Saviors, Neganm but may be filling the role of “Rich”. The character is described in the breakdowns as “a fiftysomething narcissist who has an angry streak, a ‘Senator-like charm’ and the charisma of a car salesman.”
Berkeley is well-known for the role of CTU head George Mason on 24, but has more recently appeared in Longmire, Salem, and The Mentalist. His Dead deal has a season 7 option so it’s difficult to know what role he’ll fill in the series or how long he’ll last.