Abraham has quickly risen to "fan-favorite" status on The Walking Dead.
The character was introduced in season four but in the back half of the sixth season, he's been the center piece of a love triangle and making witty metaphors left and right while building relationships with characters like Glenn. Naturally, that type of development and favoritism on AMC's deadly zombie drama is scary. Look at what happened to Hershel, Tyreese and Beth if you don't believe me.
ComicBook.com had the chance to talk with Michael Cudlitz about his character's development, love triangle, and future on the show. Be warned, our conversation contains spoilers for Not Tomorrow Yet, the twelfth episode of season six, follow.
CB: Abraham is getting all sorts of development this season, it's a lot of fun. What's it been like for you and the character?
MC: You know what? I'm just so lucky. They're really taking care of me on the show. When Scott brought Abraham in, he really wanted to stay very close to the comic with him. It's kind of hard because the language of Abraham is half way there to the language of Negan. There's a lot of profanity in his everyday conversational speak. I think they've found a way to make you feel that crassness and that unfilteredness without going there. It kind of reminds me of when I used to watch NYPD Blue and you felt like Sipowicz was cursing all the time and he wasn't. I just think they've been very true to him and it's been really cool watching the development with the other characters and the other relationships. Obviously missing is the connection that he had with Rick. That is not necessarily something he had in the show, he obviously has a very positive relationship with him, but he's not as close with him in the comic. To see him develop his other relationships with other characters to fill that void, it's been fun.
I think the showrunners are doing a great job with the character, as are you, at making Abraham a fan-favorite very quickly. Having said that, it does make me scared for you because when characters become fan-favorites on this show and they get all this growth, it usually spells trouble.
Oh, well, yeah. I guess but isn't there trouble for everybody on the show? I feel like that's not anything we can really be concerned about because if they're gonna kill Hershel, they're gonna kill anyone.
In the Not Tomorrow Yet episode, you cut things off with Rosita and it's pretty harsh. Did you think that break up with a little cold?
I don't know what they left in there but I think she forged him into that. I don't mean to blame her, obviously he's the one who f---ed up in the sense of, "Is it f---ed up to fall in love with someone else?" You know? I don't know. When you're in a world where everything has been rebuilt or they're trying to rebuild and you're not a character who lies and you are a character who would rather not hurt somebody, if you fall in love with somebody, how do you best do that? I don't think Abraham is equipped to handle that in any other way other than to be honest about it. I think he's processing it and he knows that he has to leave and he's come to the conclusion that he has to leave and he's like, "Well, I'm gonna leave. It's gonna be easy." And she's like, "Why? Why? Why?" She's pushing for the why. He doesn't really have the words to do it in a soft gentle way in that moment but it certainly pains him to do it. I think he's much more used to dealing with men. It's just the way it is is the way it is. He's not good at doing that, apparently. I'm sure the character is gonna get some blow back and I'm gonna get some blow back because people aren't gonna be happy about that but that's life. I don't think he is equipped to handle it in any other way.
In last week's Knots Untie episode, Abraham sees Maggie and Glenn's sonogram. What's the thought process there when you see the baby and that there is life coming to the world?
I think at that point he is starting to get it. He's starting to get that there's a future. Through the whole episode he's seen little signs that there is life. It's not just survival. At Hilltop they're living lives. They're growing crops and have cattle. It's the beginning. There's people running around and kids running around and people are having babies and kids are running around in Alexandria. He's starting to be very aware of it. He's like, "Holy sh--, it's not just a war. This is life." That really is part of what throws us back into the conversation with Rosita again. Those are the elements that make him realize, "You cannot continue living this lie." He absolutely loves Rosita but not in the way that he's gonna have a future. He realizes he's not good for her either and she deserves more. She's making him jewelry and he can tell how much she loves him and he can tell he doesn't feel that same way about her so he's letting her go. It's sort of the Black Beauty moment, like, "Get out of here! This is for everyone's own good!"
Whether or not they actually ever come face to face, if Abraham was face to face with Negan who he's been hearing about, what would he say to him?
"Who's Negan?" [Laughs]
Oh, so the Abraham go-to. How many people ask you that or "Who's Deanna?" now?
[Laughs] They're always asking me.
That brings me to last question, what are your top three favorite lines of Abraham's?
My best three would be the "Vast ocean of shit," line at the end of season five. "It's a vast ocean of shit you people don't know shit about. Rick Grimes knows every fine grain of said shit." I love, "Who's Deanna?" because I love how everybody loves it. And, "Dolphin smooth." Yeah. "Maybe I'll let you shave me down all over, dolphin smooth." There's some stuff coming that's pretty epic.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 PM ET on AMC.