Well, this is really enlightening. I loved Tyler James Williams on The Walking Dead and reading his thoughts on his character makes me mourn the loss even more. Keep reading to get Williams’ thoughts on calling Noah’s demise, working with Emily Kinney (Beth), and theories on who Noah was. For more on The Walking Dead, visit the official site.
Tyler James Williams, who plays Noah on AMC’s The Walking Dead, talks about how he called his character’s death and shares his brilliant plan for hiding out from walkers.
Q: How long did you know in advance what would happen to Noah?
A: You have to deal with the paranoia that everyone else has and it can happen at any moment. I had a feeling, as much as I love this character, that he was going to go. I called it before Scott Gimple announced it to everyone.
Q: A ton happened to Noah in a few short episodes – helping Beth, finding his family, and dying – which was the hardest to film?
A: I’d have to say Tyreese’s death [in Episode 509] was probably hardest because it was so much to run over, quickly. At the top of the episode, Noah’s incredibly hopeful that he’s going to get back to his family. His goal is to meet up with his people and leave Rick and the crew and that’s it, but then he has this devastating breakdown. His place has been ransacked, then he sees his dead mother just lying there and – before he could fully mourn that – one of the people who protected him is possibly dying, when they just lost someone else two weeks ago. There was a lot going on in that episode for him that wasn’t processed until later.
Q: Can you talk more about that scene when Noah discovered he’s lost his family and community? Was that a tough scene to film?
A: I think it was just giving into this idea of hopelessness. It’s difficult shooting this kind of show about things that will probably never happen to any of us — hopefully — and trying to understand that or people who have lost entire families in a plane crash, for example. That’s what I was trying to connect to.
Q: What about your twin brothers? Does the idea of identical walkers spook you?
A: I thought that was a really interesting bit. You’d have to keep track of both. [Laughs] What the show does brilliantly is find more ways to show how messed up the world is. Here you have a kid whose whole family is dead and one of his brothers has turned and eats his own brother. I mean, come on!
Q: Your first scenes were with Emily Kinney. Did it affect you personally when her character was killed? Did she have any advice for you?
A: When anyone comes into this family, you’re immediately welcomed. However, most likely, when you come in, it means someone’s going. We didn’t see that coming with Beth. And I, specifically, was like, “I’m so sorry. I was introduced. It’s my fault.” [Laughs] For my death, it was just to “go well.”
Q: So many fans had their theories about who your character was. Which has been the craziest? Which has been your favorite?
A: My favorite is one that I also believe. In Noah’s first episode, he says he’s looking for his uncle and we’ve had Morgan following us this entire season. To this day, it’s still my theory that Morgan’s going to show up at some point and we’re going to find out that he was Noah’s uncle. Hey, you never know! No one has ever given me a straight answer about it. [Laughs] Another crazy theory was that I was Michonne’s son. That timeline is way off, though. Some people thought I was Heath from the comics and another was that I was a harvester of death.
Q: That’s quite metaphorical!
A: Yeah, I would play the function of Grim Reaper and everyone I got close to would die – and that’s what kept happening for a while.
Q: We first meet Noah at the hospital and now he’s at the Alexandria Safe-Zone. If it were up to you, where would be the best place to hide out from walkers and build a community?
A: When I fell in love with this show, I also became an apocalypse prepper and my thing was always storage units. If you took over a storage unit factory, you’re going to have a bunch of supplies in the units and you can lock them down and be relatively safe.
Q: How weird was it filming that party scene in Episode 513? Did it almost feel too normal?
A: That was one of the most fun scenes that we shot because we were able to play this contrast with everyone else. We were damaged, skittish animals, but the coverage they got of all of us standing together was interesting. It was weird having normal conversations, but we had fun with that.
Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned from being on the show?
A: The whole experience was nothing but a learning experience. I’ve said this before – and everyone thought I had to say it because I was on the show – but now that I’m not, I can say this: No one does it like Andrew Lincoln. He makes us feel like it’s really happening, that we’re all in this and following this fearless leader. I will carry that for the rest of my career.
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