The Walking Dead is once again trying to reinvent itself upon a new season's arrival, this time by focusing on reuniting its core characters for more ensemble scenes if Father Gabriel Stokes actor Seth Gilliam's sentiments are any indication.
Gilliam, who recently appeared at Walker Stalker Con in Orlando, sat down with ComicBook.com to talk about the upcoming episodes of AMC's flagship zombie drama. With a pivotal season on the horizon, the series is burdened with convincing fans to stick around following the departure of Andrew Lincoln and his Rick Grimes character. Gilliam, like his co-stars, believes the show will satisfy fans in Lincoln's absence.
"They're always more fun when we're all together in a group," Gillaim said. Yeah, you know, there's so many different kinds of energy mixing together to form one cohesive thing, which is a lot of fun. But as is the nature of the show, you can't keep everybody together all at once all the time, so you treasure those moments when they come around."
While Gilliam wasn't able to be on set for Lincoln's last day, he did participate in in a few celebratory send-off events prior to the exit. "He left behind a lasting legacy, and gave us all very personal insights as to what makes the show breathe and live and how to carry it on in his absence," Gilliam said. "So I'm looking forward to applying those things."
As for Gilliam's Father Gabriel character who continues to rise in the fan popularity column, he'll have to overcome severe eye damage in the new season. As seen in the Season Nine trailer, Gilliam is forced to wear a contact in one eye to pose as blind, damage optic. "It's a little challenging because I can't really see out of it," Gilliam said. Talk about method acting. "It's kind of opaque. It's kind of tough to see out of. I see shapes and what have you. But I think it's a great look so I'm happy with it."
In fact, the rest of the gang will all have undergone same changes during the off-screen time jump, though not all are physical like Gabe's eye. "I think we tried to do things a little more fluidly as a unit, move more as one organism," Gilliam said.
Fans will, however, be surprised to see a developing relationship between Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh's character formerly known as Jadis) and Gabriel when the show returns. "I think Father Gabriel and Anne are similar characters in some sense," Gilliam said. "They can recognize something in each other that's kind of similar, I think, which could draw them to each other. As far as the rest of Father Gabriel's relationships, I'm happy that Father Gabriel's still alive!"
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. For more updates and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter!