Drama and danger are prevalent within Alexandria's walls on AMC's The Walking Dead right now, and in the middle of the mayhem is Major Dodson, who plays Sam Anderson on the series. For our latest Q&A feature, we recently caught up with Major, who discussed working with Melissa McBride and Andrew Lincoln, his time on American Horror Story: Freak Show, and much more.

Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for us, Major. You do a great job playing Sam Anderson on The Walking Dead. Were you a fan of the show before joining the cast?

Major Dodson: I had only seen one episode on a plane TV during a trip, and it was an episode where a lot of people died. After I was cast as Sam, my entire family started watching from episode one and now we all are huge fans!

Can you tell us how you became involved with The Walking Dead? What was the audition process like?

Major Dodson: I did an audition tape first. We actually were on the way to Austin for an audition and then were driving to Houston to look at houses. We were moving down there from Dallas. My agent began frantically texting my mom that I had to turn in this tape within the hour so we turned around, rushed home and thankfully got it done in just enough time! The next evening while we were still in Houston, I was called to Atlanta for a live audition with Greg Nicotero and other producers. I had to be there by noon the next day! After I auditioned, they called me back into the room, and they had me do improv for Sam, who, for the fake script, saw his uncle stealing from his mom’s wallet, and he threatened him about what he’d do if Sam told. A couple days after, I learned I got the part, and let’s just say I kinda screamed!

Your character, Sam, shares a good number of scenes with Carol (Melissa McBride), including that memorable moment when she promises to make him cookies if he doesn’t share her secret. What have you enjoyed the most about working with Melissa?

Major Dodson: She’s just so darned nice. I get a complimentary hug every time we see each other in the makeup trailer! We have a lot in common. She told me all the good antique stores to hit when I am there in Atlanta!

In addition to being a key part on The Walking Dead TV show, your character also has a presence in the comic book series (under a different name). Do you read The Walking Dead comics or have you ever been tempted to start reading them?

Major Dodson: I’m kind of wary about reading the graphic (literally) novels, because I think they’ll be a lot bloodier and more inappropriate than the show.

The Walking Dead has a lot of zombie extras on set. What’s it like to constantly be around so many people in zombie makeup?

Major Dodson: I remember my first day of filming on TWD watching one guy in full-on walker makeup, just standing up against a wall by catering, which I found to be just slightly weird! A happy first day, right?!?

On The Walking Dead, you’ve worked with some very talented actors, including Andrew Lincoln and Alexandra Breckenridge. Have you absorbed any advice or other helpful details from them about the craft of acting?

Major Dodson: Andrew Lincoln has shown me how to get hyped for a scene. I have learned much from him. Alexandra has helped me to get into the feelings and emotions of a character. Honestly, all of the actors on the show have such great tricks and techniques that I have tried to watch and learn from all of them.

Do you have a favorite or funny on-set moment from working on The Walking Dead?

Major Dodson: One afternoon, I was in one of the houses TWD owns in Alexandria—production owns some and others are actually owned by private individuals. Andy was out on the porch singing away to one of his songs on his iPod. He didn’t realize I was in the house. It was hilarious.

Horror fans also know you as Corey Bachman from American Horror Story: Freak Show. What was it like working with John Carroll Lynch while he was playing Twisty the Clown? Were you afraid of clowns going into that show?

Major Dodson: Afraid of clowns? YES!!!! Afraid of John in a clown suit? Meh. We know each other so well; it’s hard to be scared. He’s SO nice; in fact, he gave me a robotic ball called a "Sphero" that he got from Sundance!

Halloween is right around the corner. How do you celebrate the holiday? Do you do anything special with family or friends?

Major Dodson: Back when we lived in Dallas, our neighborhood celebrated Halloween like it was Christmas—massive decorations, kids everywhere—FUN! It was a blast. This past Halloween was our first in Houston. My dad moved us from Dallas while my brother, mom and I were up in Atlanta still filming TWD last season. We came down to Houston right at Halloween for the first time and it was really different in our new neighborhood. We only saw two other families! The bonus was Cooper and I got a lot of candy! This year I will actually be at Walker Stalker in Atlanta for Halloween. I am really excited to spend it with all of TWD fans! My whole family is coming too.

With The Walking Dead now back on the air, what other projects do you have on deck that you can tease for our readers, and where can they find you on social media?

Major Dodson: It’s been hard to fit anything else in while I’ve kept busy with TWD, though I’m not complaining! I love being on the best show ever!

I am on Twitter and Instagram @Major_Dodson and Facebook at Official Major Dodson.

  • Derek Anderson
    About the Author - Derek Anderson

    Raised on a steady diet of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Derek has been fascinated with fear since he first saw ForeverWare being used on an episode of Eerie, Indiana.

    When he’s not writing about horror as the Senior News Reporter for Daily Dead, Derek can be found daydreaming about the Santa Carla Boardwalk from The Lost Boys or reading Stephen King and Brian Keene novels.