*Spoiler Warning: Don't read this article, if you haven't finished The Walking Dead Season 2. Jon Bernthal appeared last weekend at the Emerald City Comicon and talked with a number reporters about all things Shane. Items of interest include the fact that he also read for the part of Rick, he didn't read more than the first few issues of the comic series, and talk of upcoming work with Frank Darabont:
Losing His Job: "It has been pretty crazy with all the publicity around me losing my job. But I have to say (Shane’s demise) was always the plan. It made developing Shane into what he was a lot easier."
Last Scene: "It was a bittersweet moment. Leaving was tough. That last scene that Andy Lincoln and I shot – that was out in the field at night. It was about 30 degrees. The entire cast spent the night there (watching). We’re a tight-knit family. I love this job, and I realized how lucky I was to have it. But I’m so excited to move on."
Jon Auditioned for Rick and Shane: "No, Frank had the actors he wanted audition for both parts – Rick and Shane. Network screen tests are about as inhuman and artificial as possible. You have to sit down in front of a bunch of suits and try and act. But Frank rented a soundstage. He said no network execs were allowed to be there. He had the 10 guys spend the day together, trading off parts and reading together. I knew in my heart that Shane was the part I wanted to play. There was something really human about him. Out of that audition he only cast me as Shane. He couldn’t find a Rick that day. Then one day Andrew Lincoln came in and he blew the doors down."
Sharing a Soda With Zombies: "It got really normal really fast. We’re all a big family. A lot of the zombies are repeat offenders. I don’t want to be a weirdo method actor, but I don’t like zombies. When I go to press events and they hire people to be zombies for the night and they follow me around, my instinct is to bash their brains out. But we’re so used to blood and gore on this show that sharing a soda with a zombie is not a weird thing at all."
Via The News Tribune
Reading the Comics: "No, I didn't. I mean, they sent me the stuff when I got the job, and I was so excited and I opened up the source material and then my character was dead before I finished the first book and I realized, "There's really no reason to read this."
Watching the Finale: "It was so cool to watch the other night's finale because it was the first episode of theWalking Dead I could watch as a viewer and NOT know what was going to happen. I didn't read the script, I had no idea what was gonna happen. And that was really cool, I got to see the great work that everybody does... I was blown away by Andy (Rick) and Sarah (Lori), I thought their scene regarding Shane was really just beautifully done. They're such awesome actors."
Playing A Zombie: "Yeah, it was weird. I mean, look, I'm a preparation freak, so any time I'm on camera I really try to figure out what's going on in the scene, and when they were like, "Okay, time to put on your zombie make-up, put in the contacts, it's time to play a zombie." And I'm like, "I don't know how to play a zombie! I haven't practiced my walk, I mean, I have no idea how to do that." I mean, it was— I always knew it was going to happen, we had always talked about it, but it was very surreal. I didn't love being a zombie, I'll be honest with you.[Chuckle] People are always like, "How do I get to be a zombie? How do I get to be a zombie?" And I'm like, "You really want to wear 40 lbs. of makeup and sit in the sun all day?" That's what those guys go through."
L.A. Noir: "Yeah, I'll be playing a cop, Joe Teague, who goes up against the gangster Mickey Cohen. I'm really pleased to be working with Frank again, I mean, he's one of the greatest directors of our time. And it'll be interesting to flesh out this new character who's so completely different from Shane."
If you already miss Shane, you'll be able to catch Jon Bernthal on L.A. Noir later this year. As mentioned above, it is a new TV series being developed by Frank Darabont, who also created The Walking Dead TV series.