In his statement shared to Instagram, Hardwick remembered his personal interactions with Wilson from his appearances on Talking Dead.
“I am utterly broken-hearted to hear about the passing of Scott Wilson this evening,” Hardwick writes. “We had just completed the NYCC Walking Dead panel on which the crowd erupted in cheers when Angela Kang announced that he’d be appearing on season 9 at some point. A little less than an hour later I got the terrible news.
“All of the best parts of Hershel Greene came from Scott—he was so incredibly sweet, warm, and wise. When we lost Hershel on the show it was a week after my own father passed away and when Scott came on Talking Dead he said so many kind and wonderful things to me
Hardwick also clarified that there will be no mention of Wilson’s passing on tonight’s episode of Talking Dead because the episode was pretaped.
“It’s important to me to let you know that we pretaped the first episode of Talking Dead last week when the cast members were in LA for the WD premiere screening so please know that is the only reason why we don’t pay our respects to him in our show tomorrow.”
The news of Wilson’s death came at almost the same time that AMC announced his return to The Walking Dead for in the show’s ninth season. They have since confirmed that Wilson already filmed his planned appearance.
"Scott will always be remembered as a great actor and we all feel fortunate to have known him as an even better person. The character he embodied on The Walking Dead, Hershel, lived at the emotional core of the show," said AMC's statement. "Like Scott in our lives, Hershel was a character whose actions continue to inform our character’s choices to this day. Our hearts go out to his wife, his family, friends and to the millions of fans who loved him. Scott will be missed."
The Walking Dead Season 9 premieres tonight on AMC.