An early episode of The Walking Dead was stomach-turning for actor Juan Gabriel Pareja, who admits he was left feeling grossed out during a scene between Morales and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). In "Guts," the second ever episode of the zombie drama, Rick finds himself trapped inside an Atlanta department store alongside Glenn's (Steven Yeun) group of survivors: Morales (Pareja), T-Dog (IronE Singleton), Jacqui (Jeryl Prescott Sales), and Andrea (Laurie Holden). To disguise their scents and escape the flesh-eating undead outside, Rick and Morales are forced to hack a zombie to pieces before slathering its guts on the now camouflaged Glenn and Rick.
"This scene totally grossed me out and turned my stomach," Pareja tweeted during ComicBook.com's #QuarantineWatchParty viewing of the first two episodes of The Walking Dead. "Also the axe handoff wasn't planned and improvised in the moment... [helmet] didn't fit.. actually fell off.. just had to wing it. It was kind of a one take deal at that point."
"That episode was pretty epic and it definitely, it was a big episode, got to work with everybody, got to get my bearings," Pareja told ComicBook.com of "Guts," his first episode of the series. "At that point, I was really new to the scene, so, kind of trying to balance the experience and making sure that I was doing everything I had to do to bring it, but, at the same time, being a little starstruck and a little kind of overwhelmed by the presence of so many kind of just stellar actors that we were working with, so, it was definitely an interesting time."
#PPEFail This scene totally grossed me out and turned my stomach. Also the axe handoff wasn't planned and improvised in the moment... Helmut didnt fit.. actually fell off.. just had to wing it. It was kind of a one take deal at that point. pic.twitter.com/lR57qZbbHB— Juan G. Pareja (@JuanGPareja) April 20, 2020
After parting ways with the Atlanta crew in the penultimate episode of the first season, Morales returned as one of the Saviors serving Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in Season 8 episode "The Damned," where he turned a gun on now-enemy Rick. One episode later, in "Monsters," Rick was saved when Daryl (Norman Reedus) fired a crossbow bolt at Morales, killing him despite recognizing him from their time together.
The Walking Dead next airs "A Certain Doom" as a special episode later this year. For all things TWD, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.