The Walking Dead's Jeffrey Dean Morgan has joined Stranger Things and Black Widow's David Harbour in Aftershock, a podcast from ex-Walking Dead star Sarah Wayne Callies. The filmmaker and former Lori Grimes actress described the project when promoting upcoming NBC drama Council of Dads at the Television Critics Association press tour, where Callies said she nearly quit acting after putting "a lot of violence into the world" when starring in TWD, Prison Break and Colony. Beyond her acting duties on Dads, where she appears in a starring role, Callies will tell stories featuring diverse casts more reflective of her environment growing up:
"I want to be a storyteller, whether it's acting, directing, writing or producing," Callies told press during the TCAs. "I'm interested in telling the kinds of stories that I’ve always wanted to be a part of. I grew up in Hawaii so I grew up around a lot of people who weren't white. I grew up around a lot of different cultural mythologies and religious mythologies. Then I got to Hollywood and I was watching stuff and I was like, 'Where's everybody I know?'"
Aftershock is described as a "full cast fiction audio thriller."
Callies is scripting and will star in the new podcast alongside two other female leads, described as a "16-year-old black girl and a Hawaiian woman who's a Hawaiian activist."
"That's what I want. If I gotta direct that, that's fine, write it, that's fine, produce it, it's all good," Callies said. "I sold a narrative podcast. It's like a radio drama. So I'm writing that and we just started recording it. Dave Harbour's going to be in it. Jeffrey Dean Morgan's going to be in it. I've got a bunch of my friends and so we've been writing and recording that so I'm staying busy."
Morgan and Callies never appeared together on The Walking Dead: Callies' Lori died in the series' third season, long before Morgan came aboard as then-villain Negan in the closing episode of Season 6.
During the winter press tour, Callies explained her intense connection with Council of Dads caused her to pull out of directing an episode of Fear the Walking Dead. When father-of-five Scott Perry (Tom Everett Scott) faces an unexpected health scare, he and wife Robin (Callies) call on their most trusted friends to step in as back-up dads in the inspirational and tear-jerking family drama.
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"My son is adopted. It’s a transrracial adoption," Callies told press (via Cheatsheet). "[Executive producers] Joan [Rater] and I and Tony [Phelan] got on Skype and we were talking about our children and all the weird moments of nursing my black son as a baby in Atlanta and all the things that teaches you about race in America. I realized that they had the sensibility to do this show so brilliantly because they approach life with humor and irony and open hearts."0comments
"You read the script, you have to do it," she added. "You just have to."
Council of Dads premieres Tuesday, March 10 at 10/9c following This Is Us and will air Tuesdays at 9/8c starting March 31. Morgan returns as Negan when TWD resumes with new episodes Sunday, Feb. 23. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.