The Walking Dead Q&A: Steven Yeun On Killer Deleted Scenes, Working With Melissa McBride, Norman Reedus
Steven Yeun is on a break from filming Season 4 of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” but he can’t go very far without being asked why he’s not on set hard at work, including by AccessHollywood.com.
“You know, I get asked that question quite often,” he laughs, while speaking with Access to promote “The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season,” out today on Blu-Ray and DVD. “If I show up to a coffee shop, they’re like, ‘What are you doing here?’ ‘Why are you here?’ ‘You should be making my show!’”
“I’m headed back [to set soon],” he adds.
“The Walking Dead” returns for its fourth season on October 13, but in the meantime, fans addicted to the gripping zombie-filled drama can feast on a host of special features on the Season 3 release. During his aforementioned break, Access had a lighthearted chat with Steven (who plays Glenn) about the release, including hearing his thoughts on which co-star’s deleted scene he wishes had made it on the program, and why he has a personal aversion to Halloween.
And, although the cast is under orders to remain tightlipped about Season 4 (something Access learned this year at Comic-Con), Steven did tease a little bit about what’s to come.
AccessHollywood.com: Season 3 was a big season – did you take anything fun home from the set?
Steven Yeun: I don’t steal. … I take mostly underwear from set. They give us pretty cool, good underwear, so you just find a reason to take it home every day and all of a sudden you now have 20 pairs of really nice underwear.
Access: They buy you guys underwear. That’s not something I would expect to be in ‘The Walking Dead’ budget.
Steven: It’s sweaty [where we film], so you don’t want to be running around in what you show up in.
Access: On the Season 3 Blu-ray/DVD, there’s some deleted scenes, like a lengthy one with Lennie James (Morgan) from ‘Clear,’ and another one you’re in with Andrew Lincoln. Do you guys know when something is going to get cut?
Steven: I think the tough part about our show is really filtering in the humor. … Last time we had a tough time with that considering every single second something was going down and to really put in hard line humor was hard, was very difficult, because it would really kind of jar you from the tone. But there are some scenes in there… that you kind of wish were still [included], like, in particular… the Carol and Merle [deleted] scene is so awesome and I wished that stayed so bad because Melissa [McBride] just kills it in that one. When she says, ‘I’ll slit your throat,’ at the end, you’re like, ‘Oh my God!’ It’s so good. I love it.
Access: What’s it like working with Melissa? The development of her character, Carol, has been interesting to watch.
Steven: Just wait. You know, Melissa has not been given the stuff that she can definitely deserve and pull off and it’s definitely gonna come – everyone, I think, this coming season, is gonna be open to sussing out the world and really diving into characters that you haven’t really gotten to know. And over the course of the last three seasons, just working with Melissa, she’s one of my favorite humans in this world. She is the greatest. … and to watch her act is mind boggling because all I can think about is how I can’t do anything close to what she’s doing so why I am on the show still.
Access: She told me when I talked to her during Season 3 that Norman Reedus signed bananas one day. One day, before he left the set, he went to Craft services and signed bananas. Do you guys do wacky stuff like that on or is that just a Norman thing?
Steven: I think that’s Norman. I think Norman is the only one on our show who could sign a banana and have someone fight to get that banana.
Access: It felt like the Daryl character captured a lot of ladies’ attention in Season 3. What was it like being around Norman as that attention was heating up around him? Did he react to it?
Steven: He’s awesome. Daryl is Daryl and Norman is Norman and people somehow mix the two up. Norman is such a great guy and he’s a fantastic actor. He’s not sitting there like, ‘Oh yeah. I have so many women all over me.’ He’s just such a nice guy and he’s also realistic, and if women are hoarding him, then he’s just going to take it in stride. He’s a really chill dude. It’s amazing to see what he goes through because sometimes I’m glad that it doesn’t happen to me, but sometimes I’m extremely jealous as well.
Access: So, Season 4 — how many birthday dinners have you had so far while filming?
Steven: Oh, nice! I cannot answer that one (laughs).
Access: Halloween isn’t too far off. Is it odd to be on ‘The Walking Dead’ set on that day?
Steven: It’s really fun, actually. … The crew dresses up as each other, so it’s really fun. … Like sometimes we’ll dress up like Mike Satrazemis, the DP (director of photography), just like how he dresses, so we’ll dress in his clothes or we’ll dress like a director or we’ll dress like a character. It’s a lot of fun. We just give each other sh**. It’s fun.
Access: Who have you dressed up as before?
Steven: I haven’t dressed up because normally I have to work.
Access: Couldn’t you come in some costume before changing into the Glenn clothes on set?
Steven: I’m boring ‘cause I actually don’t even like Halloween. Is that lame? I had some scarring experiences as a kid and I just never liked Halloween since then.
Access: But you’re on ‘The Walking Dead.’
Steven: Oh, it’s nothing to do with scary, it’s just all to do with candy.
Access: Don’t tell me someone put something bad in your trick-or-treat bag?
Steven: No, I was dressed up to the nines as like this dinosaur and I fell asleep when I was a kid and nobody woke me up and everybody went trick-or-treating without me and I freaked out.
Access: That’s so sad. Ok, Steven, finally – you get to work with the master of goo and gore on ‘The Walking Dead’ – Executive Producer Greg Nicotero. What have you learned from him?
Steven: Watching him do his specialty is pretty amazing and you just kind of let him do it, and you also realize how off the cuff he is too. It’s not like, ‘This something I picked up in ’86,’ ‘This is a little technique I know. It’s called the layman technique.’ It’s not like that. He’s just like, ‘That part needs more goo, so I’m gonna put more goo there and that part needs less goo, so I’m gonna take some good away.’ It’s just kind of how he feels it out, and it’s intuitive, but what Greg has actually really taught me is a lot to do with directing. He is far and away one of my favorite directors on this show. He is so great and he knows exactly how to get what he needs out of the actors in such a great way and he commands the set in such an amazing way too, so for me, I’ve kind of been shadowing him as of late to get his style on directing. He is more than a goo wizard, he is just a wizard. I think he might just be a wizard.
“The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season” is out now on Blu-Ray, DVD, and limited edition Blu-Ray with collector’s case, featuring a mini Governor’s fish tank wall, with detachable zombie heads.
-- Jolie Lash
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