‘Sons of Anarchy’s Ryan Hurst Has Perfect Response to Joining ‘The Walking Dead’

Sons of Anarchy alum Ryan Hurst, who was announced as Whisperer second-in-command Beta today, has issued his first comment on joining The Walking Dead.

“SHHHHHH!!!! Just a Whisper,” he wrote in a tweet accompanied by an image of his flesh mask-wearing bad guy.

Beta is the towering number two of Alpha (to be played by Samantha Morton), unchallenged leader of the Whisperers. The group claim and wear the skin of walkers, a tactic meant to allow them to camouflage themselves from the dead and allow them to catch unsuspecting survivors off guard.

Unlike other members of the Whisperers, Beta ferociously protects his visage to the point of killing, refusing to ever remove the walker face he uses as a mask.

Hurst’s new co-star, Negan actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan, enthusiastically reacted to the news. In the comics, Negan and Beta go on to have an antagonistic and ferocious rivalry.

Hurst is the latest of multiple new additions to The Walking Dead Season Nine, joining after the series added Morton and Cassady McClincy as Alpha’s teenaged daughter Lydia.

The Season Nine trailer, released during San Diego Comic-Con, previously revealed a cache of new characters, including Magna (Nadia Hilkes, The 100), Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura, Into the Badlands), sisters Connie (Lauren Ridloff, Children of a Lesser God) and Kelly (Angel Theory), and Luke (Dan Fogler, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), a group of travelers who integrate into the network of communities now comprised of Alexandria, Hilltop, the Kingdom, Oceanside, and the since-converted Sanctuary.

Other franchise newcomers include Zach McGowan (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Rhys Coiro (Roy Donovan) as hostile Saviors Justin and Jed, respectively, and Hilltop husband and wife couple Earl (John Finn, NCIS) and Tammy Rose (Brett Butler, Grace Under Fire).

The Walking Dead’s plentiful amount of newest characters comes as Rick Grimes star Andrew Lincoln and Maggie Rhee star Lauren Cohan are poised to exit the series. Their exit comes right on the heels of the loss of Chandler Riggs and Lennie James.

New Season Nine showrunner Angela Kang characterizes the upcoming season as “a new chapter of the story” that takes the world of The Walking Dead in a new direction.

“We’re seeing the world start to break down around our characters a bit more. They run into challenges, with things like the infrastructure breaking down around them and things that they used to scavenge being in much shorter supply,” Kang told THR.

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“We get to see a world where they’re not relying on unstable gas that’s hard to find; they are taming horses; they’re pulling wagons; they’re fashioning more hand weapons so they don’t have to rely on bullets as much. That’s been really fun. We get to play while staying true to the principles of The Walking Dead that people love. It’s a new era in terms of where our characters are at and the challenges they’re facing.”

The Walking Dead returns Sunday, October 7 on AMC.