With one season of The Walking Dead under his belt, Cooper Andrews was ready to fully embrace his Jerry character during war time for the AMC show's eighth season.
While the most recent sixteen episode run of the zombie thrill ride was taxing for both its cast members and audiences with sudden goodbyes and intense stunt work, Andrews might have found himself more comfortable during the more recent run than in the year prior. During Season Seven, Andrews was mostly isolated to episodes and scenes which included the Kingdom location and its respective characters. By the time Season Eight began, the community lines were blurred and the groups were rallying to take on Negan, allowing the actor more time with more co-stars.
Season Eight, it definitely felt like I wasn't the new kid anymore," Andrews told ComicBook.com. "I learned so much from Lennie [James] and Khary [Payton] who was also new. You know how I've always talked about The Kingdom, and how we all were on this learning curve together. But it felt like we were starting our junior year of high school or something. It definitely lent for a lot of freedoms for us to really play with a lot of the moments they had given us."
One moment proved Andres had arrived: his Jerry character literally cut an enemy in half with a battle axe. "Chopping the guy in half for example, just knowing how much I can prep for it, and build up for it, and know that I can do my thing and I'm not going to be micro-managed," Andrews said. "And it wasn't that way in Season Seven either but I felt more constrained because I just didn't want to step out and get too comfortable with a character I wasn't sure of yet."
This moment, in fact, became one of the most popular shocking gifs from Season Eight of The Walking Dead, which arrives on blu-ray and DVD on August 21 to be viewed as many times as fans can handle. "There wasn't any prop or anything I cut through," Andrews said. "That was their effects. But I had just gotten some gym injury ... nothing major just like, 'Ooh, I stubbed something.' I had like three days to get my back back into action, like get it ready for that episode. And so I had just gotten healed, and we started that episode off with the trench."
In fact, Andrews was so comfortable with the role by the time this scene rolled around, he had suggested Jerry spit out the line, "How's that for symmetry?" Unfortunately, it didn't make any cut.
"I channeled my Jean Claude Van Damme," Andrews admits of letting out a gigantic roar after the move. "So when I try doing a yell, I run out of air. I go, 'Ahhh ... ' And then it's done. So I had to do this thing where I go, 'Ahhhhhh,' and keep breathing out and making a noise. And because of that, all the air had left my lungs and I'm looking down at Khary after I did that long scream. Then when they yell, 'Cut!', he looks up at me and he goes, 'Get this man a Gatorade!' And then I saw stars."0comments
With how many action sequences were packed into Season Eight of The Walking Dead and its All Out War story, the show should have earned itself a sponsor with some type of athletic drink to keep its actors fueled up!
Fear the Walking Dead returns for the back half of its fourth season on Aug. 12 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. The Walking Dead returns for its ninth season on Oct. 7, 2018. Season Eight is set to release on blu-ray and DVD on Aug. 21, 2018. For more updates and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter!