The Walking Dead's loss of Carl Grimes and Chandler Riggs was especially difficult for Enid actress Katelyn Nacon.
Speaking to ComicBook.com in promotion of The Walking Dead Season Eight's blu-ray release on August 21, Nacon opened up about the most tragic loss of the recent season. The exit was sudden and shocking, which Riggs addressed at his panel at Walker Stalker con over the weekend, but it was such a big deal that the cast had to find out in an unusual manner by comparison to other exits.
"It kind of sucked because we're both practically the same age," Nacon said. My birthday is June 11th. His is June twenty-something. So we're really the same age, in the same grade, in the same classes, kind of had similar experiences. And so it was tough to lose someone that you worked so much with and you get close to and you don't get that luxury anymore. Of course, I still get to see him every once in a while, but he's in California and everything like that. But it is very different. It creates a different dynamic and it feels different on set. It always feels different whenever someone has to leave and it kind of becomes a new environment."
With Riggs' exit, the cast had to learn about the departure from showrunner at the time Scott Gimple over the phone. "Scott called everyone when Chandler was killed off the show," Nacon said. "But otherwise, I wouldn't find out until I read the script."
With new showrunner Angela Kang in charge, the policy hasn't changed. "Even recently, I don't know," Nacon went on. "Even recently, I didn't know about certain things until I actually read the script. So, they're very secretive. It's pretty surprising because you read and you're just like, 'Oh! Okay. I guess we're doing that now.'" There is still a courtesy for the actors hitting the road, though. "If you're the person dying, they usually notify you a couple episodes before."
Behind the scenes, though, Kang has made a few changes which allow the actors to have more say in the show's metaphorical suggestion box. "I feel like a lot of people have more input into kind of what they want to see what happens with their character," Nacon said. "She's very hands-on and very, I don't want to say cooperative, but she's very adamant about hearing what we have to say and our ideas and our opinions on the characters that we have kind of brought to life. She listens very well. She tries to make us feel as comfortable as we can with what we're doing and where we're going."
The Walking Dead Season Eight is available on blu-ray on Aug. 21. Fear the Walking Dead returned for the back half of its fourth season on Aug. 12 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. The Walking Dead returns for its ninth season on Oct. 7, 2018. For more updates and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter!