Naming an ensemble of characters can be tricky for a writer. Some of these characters turn into icons and their name lives on forever. In the case of The Walking Dead, one of those characters was the Governor, who as best known for going by such a title, but also revealed his real name in private.
The Governor's real name, as created by writer/creator Robert Kirkman, was Phillip. Phillip was not a nice guy. In fact, Phillip was The Walking Dead's first truly evil and manipulative villain. The world despised him despite the fact that a charming-in-real-life David Morrissey was playing the part (all that much more credit to the acting skills!).
As it turns out, Kirkman named the Governor (and any other characters named Phillip in his wide arsenal of titles) after a kid who bullied him growing up. During an interview with Michael Cudlitz on the Skybound channel, Kirkman revealed his method to naming such despised characters.
"The honest answer is often times I'm writing a script and I'll go through people I remember from like second and third grade," Kirkman started. "There was a kid named Phillip who picked on me in the second grade or third grade, I can't remember, and so I have often times used the name Phillip for a--holes because Phillip is the name of an a--hole for me."
Cudlitz, the man who played the quick witted Abraham Ford on the AMC series, put it more simply after hearing Kirkman's description. "This character is a jerk!" Cudlitz joked. "That guy in high school was a jerk to me!"
Kirkman created The Walking Dead in 2003, publishing the first issue on October 8, 2003, which is estimated to have sold just over 7,250 copies. Since, the comic has published over 165 more issues and has been adapted into the most popular show on cable with AMC hosting over 10 million viewers on Sunday nights during new episodes.
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The Walking Dead will return for its eighth season in October of 2017. The first trailer is expected to arrive at San Diego Comic Con in July. For complete coverage and insider info all off-season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.