Getting the call that you've been cast on The Walking Dead often comes with the understanding that, at some point, you will receive a very opposite call before the show comes to an end. Characters are killed off of the AMC series more frequently than most shows on television, making stints on the show often shorter than many actors prefer, especially considering the amount of fun many of them appear to have in their time with the show.
However, the "You're dead," call is a courtesy offered by the crew behind the series which offers actors a bit of a heads up prior to reading the script which sees their character bow out.
"Scott Gimple called me," Mahoney told ComicBook.com. "It was a Sunday morning. I was in bed with my husband and my two kids were running around. My phone rang and I looked and it said, 'Scott Gimple.' I looked at my husband and said, "I'm dead." I knew immediately that I was probably going to be dead."
For Abraham Ford actor Michael Cudlitz, the same call came, but shortly after being told he would be around a whole lot longer. Executive producer Greg Nicotero recently spilled the details a conversation he had with Cudlitz and a premiere event for the Say Yes episode, which he directed.
"Michael was sitting in my office and he was saying, 'Man, I love working on this f---ing show, it's the greatest job I've ever had!' and I'm like, 'Dude, you're great, you're not going anywhere!'" Nicotero said.
The conversation must have taken place a couple of years ago, now. The decision to kill both Abraham and Glenn in the Season 7 premiere was made well ahead of production of the Season 6 finale.
On board the Walker Stalker Cruise in February, Cudlitz shared his account of learning Abraham would get his head bashed in. "I was up visiting my son at college and I got a phone call, 'Scott [Gimple] wants to meet with you next week when you come back. Scott hadn't met with me in two years," Cudlitz said. "I was like, alright, I'm dead. Let's call Scott and confirm this."
"So I called Scott and said, 'Hey, uh, we're supposed to have this meeting next Tuesday. Are you killing me?'" Cudlitz said. "He said, 'Ha! Ha! Why would you? Ha! Well... maybe."
Abraham did outlive his life expectancy based on Robert Kirkman's comics. Rather than dying in issue #100 with Glenn upon Negan's introduction, the military veteran was taken out by Dwight in issue #97. On television, the shocking death was given to Denise Cloyd, instead.
MORE WALKING DEAD: Negan's Nod To Glenn Everyone Missed / Did We Just Meet The Whisperers? / Gallery Of Rick And Michonne Getting It On / Another Sign Michonne Is Taking Andrea's Place / 'Say Yes' Recap With Spoilers / Nicotero On Sasha And Rosita's Mission / The Sixteen Candles Tribute In 'Say Yes'