*Spoiler warning for those who haven't yet watched "Them", the latest episode of AMC's The Walking Dead.* Shambling down the sun-baked streets just ahead of a growing group of walkers, Rick Grimes and company were in a bad way in the last episode of The Walking Dead, but after enduring the heat and then a hellacious storm, Maggie and Sasha encountered what could be a big break for everybody: the arrival of Aaron. A key character from the comic book series, Aaron is brought to life on the small screen by Ross Marquand, who, in a recent interview, discussed the role he believes he originally auditioned for, Aaron's wise-cracking sense of humor, to what extent the comic book version of Aaron is influencing his onscreen portrayal, and Aaron's sneaky observances of the group.

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Marquand revealed that he thinks he originally auditioned for the role of Terminus leader Gareth:

"And I think—you get fake sides, of course—but I think I auditioned for Gareth a year ago. Because some of the language in the show when I saw it six months later matched what I saw in those sides, and I was like, “Gosh, I think I auditioned for Gareth.”

Marquand, who has plenty of improv experience and is quick on his feet with humor (having played Ross Marvin on The Impression Guys), incorporated those elements into his audition:

"She [casting agent Sharon Bialy] says, “I was thinking back to your impression videos and Scott Gimple is extremely into improv and impressions,” and there’s a part of that side of Aaron—that sort of whimsical side. He has a bit of a smart-ass side to him. He’s a little more fun and can crack jokes sometimes. And she was like, “We want to see a little glimmer of that in the take.”"

Though Marquand has been a fan of the show since its Halloween 2010 premiere, he hadn't read Robert Kirkman's comic book series prior to getting the role of Aaron (he's since read the comic books), so he chatted with showrunner Scott M. Gimple about bringing the paneled page version of Aaron to life onscreen:

"He’s [Scott M. Gimple] like, “I certainly wouldn’t tell you to shy away from reading that because I think it will give you some great insights into whom he is, but ultimately I want you to make this character your own.”

It was nice to hear that there was some artistic freedom to make this character what you felt it should be and could be. But reading through Kirkman’s comics was enormously helpful because you do get a really amazing sense of whom he is."

Before the interview concluded, Marquand touched on Aaron's stealthy observances of Rick and company:

"He’s been tracking the group for a while and getting a vibe from them and getting the dynamics of leadership from them and how they work together—and that’s extremely important to him. A lot more is going to be revealed next week."

To see photos and preview videos from next week's episode of The Walking Dead, titled "The Distance", visit:

Source: EW
  • 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.