With the second episode of The Walking Dead's seventh season, the show did something which it typically steers clear of. It was funny.
Part of what made Season 7 Episode 2 so bright, lighthearted, and enjoyable on the heels of the most horrific episode in its history was the introduction of Ezekiel and his pal Jerry. Sure, it's one thing to accept a guy who trots around acting kingly, but then came Jerry. Jerry is full of smiles, puns, and overall joy in a world which typically calls for none of those.
The character is played by Cooper Andrews. If he looked familiar in Sunday's episode of The Walking Dead, chances are you have watched either Hawaii Five-O, Limitless, or AMC's Halt and Catch Fire.
ComicBook.com caught up with Andrews after his Walking Dead debut to hear his perspective on the role and how much more of Jerry we will see in the future.
CB: I don't know how much back story we're going to see on the show, but would you say Jerry and Ezekiel knew each other prior to the world falling apart? Did they go to acting classes together maybe? Jerry's a pretty good live action role player, apparently.
CA: I honestly don't know. I feel like they would've met afterwards. When I was in it, we talked about with Scott, Jerry is there to protect Ezekiel, but when Ezekiel has him stand on stage, Jerry is just geeking out about this. This is the most exciting thing for him to get to do. He's never done a play. He doesn't know how to do the voices. He doesn't know how to act, but it's sort of like, "Today, Jerry, you get to stand next to me on the stage." He's just, "Yeah! Yeah!" Just plays the part.
When I got the dialogue, it's not a lot of dialogue, but there's so many different ways to read it and doing things like saying "It's fruit time" ... I was trying to be so presentational and regal, I just feel like it's falling flat, but he's trying so hard to do it. Ezekiel sees it, appreciates it, but it's bogus.
CB: I feel like Jerry is just a big Game of Thrones fan.
CA: Yes, he definitely would've been. I'm a huge Game of Thrones fan, so I wait for the 10 episodes to come out and I just binge the hell out of it straight. Phones off. Do not talk to me.
CB: The Walking Dead is not known for being funny. It's not a show that people watch to laugh, especially after the Season 7 premiere. Now, you come in, you're bringing a little bit of humor. ComicBook.com wrote an article yesterday comparing Jerry to Hurley from LOST. Is that a fair comparison?
CA: Yes. I did watch LOST. I've been compared to him before. They compared me to him on Halt.
I do get that every now and again. I actually did get to meet him when I was on Five-O, but I was like, "I will take that. I will gladly take that," because I actually loved Hurley. I feel like Jerry's the same way also. We can't really lose ourselves. Even though these people, they adapt, and Ezekiel says it more or less, that even though we've created this Kingdom, we've created this fantasy to not lose ourselves too much or it becomes crippling. He goes, "If we really dwell on how bad it could be," I feel like people will get lost in it.
Yes, I am proud to take up the Hurley mantle if it's being handed around.
CB: How much of Jerry do you think we will be seeing on The Walking Dead? Do we get more of Cooper Andrews' face on AMC on Sunday nights?
CA: I'll say that as long as there is an Ezekiel, there is a Jerry. So far, at the moment. I don't want to say more than that because I don't know what I'm allowed to say. When Ezekiel shows up, Jerry is not far behind.
CB: Is there anything in particular you're really excited about? Is there anyone on the show in particular that you're looking forward to working with?
CA: I've gone to work with a few of the people, but I'll say this about working with Lennie and Melissa, that was super awesome for me because, one, Melissa, before she was ... I think this is known, but she used to be a casting director, and I used to read for her all the time. She is the sweetest person. She left, and I didn't know where she went, then I saw the first season of The Walking Dead. I'm like, "Oh, there she is!"
I was a boom operator for 10 years, and I worked on second unit for Walking Dead, and for other productions. I saw her there one day and we just talked and chatted. I was like, "Man, I would love to work with her without having to stick a microphone in her face."
Getting to have that was awesome. Getting to work with Lennie James is freaking nuts for me.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.