Although none of them are going to reveal the kill ahead of the Season 7 premiere, The Walking Dead cast members are starting to open up about their experience on set when Negan finally brings his bat down on a human skull rather than a camera.
While Melissa McBride didn't have much to say on the subject, considering her character was not one of the eleven potential victims, Ross Marquand seems to haunted by those days of filming. The actor who plays Alexandria native, Aaron, on the AMC series says that the first few days of filming for the upcoming season were "the most challenging" in all of his time there, so far.
"The word 'fun' doesn't come to mind because it wasn't fun," Marquand says in an exclusive interview. "It was very hard work from an emotional standpoint and a physical one too. You're up for 12 or 14 hours a day and it was very difficult work. As hard as it was emotionally to go through those scenes over and over again, I think everyone keeps on saying uniformly it was the most rewarding work we've ever done too."
"There has been several times on this show that I've said, 'My god, this has been the most amazing acting exercise I've ever had,' but that one, specifically the finale last year and the premiere this year, reinvigorated me as an actor," Marquand goes on. "I thought what a joy this is to be able to share this moment or these moments with such amazing actors and crew. I think we're creating television history with this episode. It's going to be so brutal, it's going to be so sad, there's no way around it, but I think what we're doing is pretty exceptional work across the board and I'm excited to share it with people."
Executive producer Greg Nicotero stepped in to direct both the finale episode which saw the first half of Negan's introduction back in April, as well as the premiere which will see its brutal conclusion in just a few works.
"Listen, it was the hardest two weeks of my life," Nicotero tells ComicBook.com of the premiere episode. "You take these actors and you drag them. You illicit the deepest, darkest fears that they've ever had because our actors, they're f---ing in it. So, you spend two weeks taking them to this place and it's horrific. You do it, over and over again for nine days and when it's over, you feel like you've just witnessed the most emotional things that they could drench up. They did it."
The Walking Dead returns for its seventh season on October 23 at 9 PM ET on AMC. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.