‘The Walking Dead’ Star on Eugene and Rosita’s Comic Romance for TV

Josh McDermitt, who plays big-brained but socially inept Eugene Porter on The Walking Dead, says the show is more likely to adapt the themes from the comic book romance between Eugene and Rosita when interpreting that relationship for live-action.

“Here’s the thing with what the show does in terms of the comics, it’s not always by the book,” McDermitt said during the Abraham’s Army panel at Walker Stalker Con Atlanta Saturday, where he appeared alongside co-star Christian Serratos (Rosita) and former co-star Michael Cudlitz (Abraham).

“So, it’s not just like, ‘We’re gonna make it bigger and better.’ ... If we’re gonna see anything from the comics between Rosita and Eugene it’s gonna be some of these larger themes that we’re seeing in the comics,” McDermitt said.

“I wouldn’t say it’s gonna be XYZ and how it plays out but what are they feeling, what are the emotions from it? ... That’s all up to you and how you interpret the comics. I don’t want to say yes or no because that might be a spoiler to you!”

The comics saw a close friendship blossom between Rosita and Eugene after Rosita learned Abraham had cheated on her with Holly, a plot point that played out similarly in the show when Abe left Rosita for Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), to whom he had a deeper connection.

Rosita and Eugene grew closer following Abraham’s death — shot in the face with an arrow fired by Dwight — and following the time skip that signaled the end of the All Out War arc and the conflict with Negan and the Saviors, it was learned Rosita and Eugene’s relationship had grown romantic.

When Rosita became pregnant, she confessed to Eugene he wasn’t the father. Eugene committed to taking care of Rosita and her baby, but a pregnant Rosita was among those whose decapitated and reanimated head was placed on a border made of pikes by new enemy group the Whisperers.

In issue #170, a tearful Siddiq (played in the show by Avi Nash) confessed and apologized to Eugene for being the other man, earning Eugene’s comfort and forgiveness.

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The relationship has played out differently in the show: there Rosita expressed seething contempt for and nearly killed Eugene after he turned traitor and pledged his allegiance to Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors following his capture by the enemy group. Rosita later cooled on her old friend in the Season Eight finale after it was learned Eugene sabotaged the Saviors’ bullets, helping Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and company end the war.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.