'The Walking Dead' Producers Describe Ryan Hurst's Whisperers

The Walking Dead cast will soon grow as Ryan Hurst and Samantha Morton debut as Beta and Alpha, the top commanders of a villainous group called the Whisperers. It's an element of the AMC series showrunner Angela Kang and executive producer Greg Nicotero are particularly excited for.

"I think with Samantha and Ryan coming into the show, they've brought so much energy and excitement in," Kang told ComicBook.com at an event in Los Angeles. "The two of them are, first of all, very excited to work on the show. But also, our actors are excited to work with them."

In fact, the actors are so excited to work with the new cast members, that they may have spoiled it before any contracts were signed! "I was really excited," Nicotero said. "The funny story is I was sitting at dinner with Jeffrey [Dean Morgan] and Norman [Reedus], and I got the email going, 'Hey, Ryan Hurst is gonna be Beta.'"

Immediately, Nicotero knew what was about to happen. "I went, 'Oh, that's great,'" he explained. "I read it out loud, and I realized that they were there. I'm like, 'Oh, f---.' Two seconds later, 'Dude!' Then Jeffrey's texting [Hurst] going, 'Dude!' I don't think Ryan knew yet. So Jeffrey's like, 'Dude!' I'm like, “What the f---'s the matter with you? You can't do that! I don't think his deal's set yet!"

The texting went back and forth and ultimately Hurst ended up landing the role as Beta, which will debut later in the season. "Finally, like a week later, Ryan gets it," Nicotero went on. “'Oh!' When his deal was set he goes, 'Now I know what the hell you were doing.'"

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Kang has nothing short of praise for the newest stars of her show. "They are such talented people," Kang said. "And so, in that way, there's been multiple points in the season where just exciting little groups of people have come in, and it always just energizes the cast. They step up their game. I think the work that Greg Nicotero and the visual effects group has done to create the looks for [the Whisperers]. What they have is some of my favorite stuff that I've seen so far in the show. So again, without giving too much away, I'm really excited for the fans to see that stuff."

Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays 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!