“The Walking Dead’s” The Governor dropped a zombie bomb on the prison, strapped Andrea to a dentist’s chair in his torture chamber, and – last week – bit off Merle Dixon’s fingers during a duel to the death just outside Woodbury, but Milton Mamet is still hoping his leader and friend can come back from the brink.
“Is the core of that person still in this sort of man who seems to be going mad, and, is there a way to pull that back?” actor Dallas Roberts told AccessHollywood.com of Milton’s thoughts on his friend, Phillip, who is gearing up for a bloodbath with the prison gang in the show’s Season 3 finale this Sunday night on AMC. “I think Milton will fight, as hard as he can to pull The Governor back.”
That may or may not be possible at this point, and Dallas (who this summer will appear in CBS’ returning Poppy Montgomery-fronted drama “Unforgettable”) hinted about some of the challenges ahead for those trying to keep peace on “The Walking Dead.” But first, Access had to ask him about Milton’s rather meticulous Season 3 look.
AccessHollywood.com: Milton takes great care of his clothing. Everyone else is wearing combat pants or jeans and wrinkled clothing. Is he using the power to iron on a regular basis?
Dallas Roberts: Yeah, I have to think that somehow he’s harnessed solar energy to set up a dry cleaning area in the back of Woodbury.
Access: Obviously Milton doesn’t have to do a lot of zombie fighting, but his appearance is very important to this character. Is that something you sort of pulled from when playing this part?
Dallas: You know… it was something stuck on him. When I showed up, they were like, ‘No dirt on him, he’s tucked in.’ Those were choices that were made sort of before I showed up. So I sort of went with them. In fact, I kind of played him the other way, that he’s so not aware that his exterior sends any message whatsoever, that he’s always just had sort of pressed shirts, so you just have pressed shirts now and I don’t even think he necessarily clocks the fact he’s different from everyone else in the town in that [way].
Access: How big of an influence do you think Andrea is on Milton at this point?
Dallas: I think that’s been the fun part about playing Milton. Obviously, when she first shows up in Woodbury, she can’t have been the first pretty young thing who fell under The Governor’s spell, and Milton must have seen that happen time and time again, so I don’t think he afforded her much respect or sort of even thought, and then being confronted with her and [Andrea] showing him that she has value to him and to the community has made him sort of rethink that and now he’s got his two people in Woodbury — The Governor and Andrea and they’re both going in opposite directions and he’s trying to figure out which way to go — with one of them or by himself. He’s torn between two lovers as it were (laughs).
Access: Ha! Do you think he’s afraid of The Governor at all at this point? I thought that the line that they gave you about hoping they catch whoever burned the zombie pit — it was very brave of Milton to say that. Is he turning into a different man now because of what’s happened with Andrea?
Dallas: He certainly… looks The Governor in the eye and without saying [it], says, I did it. If you go way, way back to the beginning, one of the first conversations they had — Andrea and Michonne are pulled into Woodbury and The Governor sends Merle off to deal with them and Milton says, ‘If I may say’ and The Governor says, ‘I always welcome your input,’ and Milton says, ‘I don’t think that’s the right move, to leave Merle with them.’ So there’s a history of him being able to talk bluntly with The Governor without fear of reprisal. I’m not sure he thinks whether there’s going to be reprisals or not. The Governor has changed – I think the Governor has changed more than Milton has changed.
Access: At the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences ‘An Evening with The Walking Dead’ back in January, David told us the second half of Season 3 was going to be about The Governor’s fight for his humanity — and whether Milton and Andrea can help. At this point, does Milton think The Governor can be reasoned with at all? Is he still his friend?
Dallas: I think it’s one of the overarching narratives with Milton. If you go to him and the walkers and his quest to find out if there’s something of the original person still left in the undead person, he’s got [those] same sort of issues with The Governor now. Is the person who he calls his friend, and [who] started this town and benefitted a bunch of people – is the core of that person still in this sort of man who seems to be going mad, and is there a way to pull that back and I think Milton will fight as hard as he can to pull The Governor back.
Access: So looking ahead to Sunday’s episode — obviously Milton knows there’s a dentist’s [torture] chair – does he have it in him to be a hero in the final episode?
Dallas: He has it in him. Whether he will be or not we’ll find out on Sunday.
Access: If you had to sum up the finale, which a lot of people are super excited about and equally sad as well that the show is wrapping up Season 3 — how are we going to feel about it? Is it going to blow our minds? Is it going to bring us to tears? Is it going to inspire rage?
Dallas: I bet it will do all three (laughs). I really do. I think that nobody’s gonna feel let down. You’re gonna feel satisfied, but you’re definitely gonna want more. It’s epic and I don’t say that lightly. It’s epic.
Access: Now, you’re also going to appear in CBS’ ‘Unforgettable’ this summer. Will you have a special memory in this show like Poppy Montgomery’s character?
Dallas: I think [two people in] a show with a crazy memory like that would be too much. I’m a guy sort of connected in the New York world with probably some political aspirations who’s decided to round up the best and brightest of New York’s finest and create a major crimes task force, so he sort of pulls Poppy and some of her crew over from Queens to Manhattan for Season 2.
“The Walking Dead” Season 3 finale airs Sunday night at 9 PM on AMC. “Unforgettable” returns for Season 2 this summer on CBS.
-- Jolie Lash